There were a few shock omissions from Warren Gatland’s reported list of players who have been put on standby for the British & Irish Lions.
According to reports in Europe, Gatland has compiled a list of players he wants available to him in the event of injuries occurring to those within his first-choice 37-man squad for the Lions tour of South Africa.
And it is believed that the 57-year-old has again sprung several surprises in terms of high-profile players with a few big names who missed out on selection in the original squad, now not even making the standby list.
Top-five players left out of Lions standby squad as per reputable website Ruck.co.uk:
Jonny May (England)
‘The wing’s form has dropped off a bit this year, but his absence will still come as a shock to many. He has a brilliant try-scoring record for England and is one of the best finishers around. However, a report in The Times suggests Gatland doesn’t see him as a brilliant player and sees him as more of a “speed” merchant,’ writes Ruck.
Joe Marler (England)
‘Given how much was made of England not selecting Marler to start the World Cup final, with his scrummaging power missed, his case for selection by the Lions to face South Africa seemed strong. However, with Marler himself admitting he was a bit of a “sh**” in 2017 it seems he’s not even being considered for a call-up.’
Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
‘Arguably the best reader of play in the game, we can also call him the best goal-kicker in the world, if you like. Injuries hit Halfpenny at the wrong time during the Six Nations, but the Lions player of the series in 2013 remains a class act.’
Jonathan Davies (Wales)
‘Perhaps the biggest name to have been left out by Gatland. He has started all six of the Lions’ most recent Test matches and was named player of the series by his teammates after touring New Zealand in 2017.’
Callum Sheedy (Wales)
‘During the 2021 Six Nations, Dan Biggar came under huge pressure to keep his Wales place, with Bristol’s Sheedy breathing down his neck. However, the talented flyhalf hasn’t made the standby list while Biggar heads to South Africa as favourite to start for the Lions.’
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