Garry Ringrose’s disappointment at not making the Lions squad may yet be short-lived.
The Ireland and Leinester centre was not one of the eleven players picked by Warren Gatland for the upcoming tour of New Zealand, though it seems that he is still not far from the coach’s thoughts.
Gatland will name his backup list for the tour once the club season is over, and although he has refused to divulge many secrets of who might be on the list, namechecking Ringrose is surely good news for the 22-year-old’s chances of finding himself facing the All Blacks in June:
“We’re waiting for the club games to finish before we formalise a reserve list.
“The reason we won’t publish a list is because we may want to change our minds – we don’t want to back ourselves into a corner with a player who is right at the moment but maybe isn’t later on.
“The best example of a player who was unlucky not to be picked in the original squad is Garry Ringrose, but if in the last week the weather forecast says it will be pelting it down, it could be that someone else comes in instead of him.
“In our minds we have players who we will notify for standby, but we also have to be flexible.”
Gatland will select as many as fifteen players for the reserve list, as a number of injury withdrawls in the original 41-man squad are expected over the course of the tour. With the main squad now in place, speculation has since turned to which players will be on the standby list for when the inevitable happens and players need to be replaced.
Greig Laidlaw would have been on the list until he found himself elevated to the main squad due to Ben Youngs’ withdrawal for family reasons, while the likes of Finn Russell, George Ford, Cian Healy and Joe Launchbury will be among the strong contenders to find themselves on call.