Wasps stunned as England lock Joe Launchbury misses out on Lions squad

19 April 2017 02:54

Wasps have said they are "gobsmacked" after lock Joe Launchbury was a surprise omission from the British and Lions squad for this summer's tour of New Zealand.

Head coach Warren Gatland selected a 41-man squad for the 10 fixtures which include a three-Test series against New Zealand.

But despite England having the largest contingent of players in the squad, Launchbury missed out.

Following the midday squad announcement, Wasps tweeted: "All gobsmacked here that Joe Launchbury wont be with @lionsofficial. 2 motm's in a 6 Nations winning campaign & player of the comp nominee."

Wasps did, however, congratulate Elliot Daly for making the squad, adding: "Hugely proud of @elliotdaly as he's selected to tour NZ with @lionsofficial! Congrats Elliot, massively deserved!"

England's 2003 World Cup-winning boss Sir Clive Woodward stated his approval over the choice of Sam Warburton as captain, writing on Twitter: "Congrats all those selected @lionsofficial , especially @samwarburton_ , definitely correct choice and what an opportunity for all of them."

Former England flanker Lewis Moody believes some players left disappointed will still have a chance to be involved, tweeting: "Those who missed out will still inevitably have a part to play as injuries occur. Ala Corry, corbisero and Ryan jones over the years."

One of the surprise picks was Harlequins tighthead prop Kyle Sinckler who has eight England caps to his name so far, making a name for himself as one of Eddie Jones' 'finishers'. The 24-year-old expressed his shock with a simple tweet that said, "Wow".

Former Wales and British and Lions prop Adam Jones added: "Very proud of my boys @JoeMarler and @KyleSinckler getting the @lionsofficial call up! They will both do incredibly well out there."

Ross Moriarty revealed how he checked Twitter for updates and admitted his shock at receiving a Lions call-up.

The Gloucester and Wales flanker said: "It sounds fantastic. Obviously it's a shock to me, I only found out an hour ago, but I'm truly over the moon. It's not really sunk in yet.

"I was listening on my phone, and checking Twitter whilst out for lunch down in Bill's, at the (Gloucester) Quays, and as the names were going on, it was getting longer and longer, and I really didn't expect to get named.

"When it came, I was just so shocked. I didn't know what to do with myself."

Gloucester's Paddy McAllister congratulated team-mate Moriarty as well Ulster trio Jared Payne, Rory Best and Iain Henderson on their selections: "Unreal news for @RossMoriarty6 having a blinder of a season! Also to the Ulster men @thepain15 @HendersonIain and @RoryBest2 LionsNZ2017"

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said the club are proud to have six of their players selected for the summer tour.

Previous Lions tourists Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola will be joined by Jamie George, George Kruis, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola.

McCall said: "We're honoured to have six of our players included in the squad. Every player included is under the age of 27 which is extremely exciting for Saracens and for England, and I'm extremely confident they'll thrive in the red jersey in New Zealand.

"Four of the players have come through the age-group system at the club and both Vunipolas arrived at Saracens under the age of 21, so their selection is the culmination of a lot of hard work from the players themselves, our coaching staff and support team.

"All six of the players still have a huge role to play in some massive games for Saracens in the upcoming weeks, I know that they'll be raring to go in club colours before they jet off Down Under.

"I'm sure I share every Saracens fan's sentiment by wishing them the best of luck in the upcoming British & Irish Lions tour."

Source: PA