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Andy Farrell Has Explained James Ryan's Lions Absence

Andy Farrell Has Explained James Ryan's Lions Absence

James Ryan's place in the Ireland team for Saturday's game against Japan came as a bit of a surprise, given his omission from the Lions squad after Alun Wyn Jones' injury in the opening game of the tour.

Coach Warren Gatland chose to call up Adam Beard instead of Ryan to replace the injured Jones, with Ryan's absence put down to an injury sustained during Irish training last week. Given that reasoning, his place in Ireland's starting XV for the game against Japan raised a few eyebrows.

However, Irish head coach Andy Farrell has explained the injury situation surrounding Ryan. He clarified that Ryan has recovered from his strain earlier than expected, and that's the reason he is playing with Ireland this weekend.

Myself and Warren have communicated quite a lot and I know that Warren really rates James, but the injury was a little bit of a setback towards the end of last week and we didnโ€™t quite know where he was up to with that and then the medics took over.

I think James in the last day or so in particular has surprised everyone with the speed of his recovery.

Farrell went on to answer questions on his communication with Lions head coach Gatland. He said that he was unsure whether Ryan's injury had played a part in his omission, but that he had indeed notified Gatland of the Leinster second row's injury situation.

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Well, I informed him that there was something going on and the medics took over from there.

I donโ€™t know whether that would have been the case or not, but thereโ€™s obviously conversations that have to happen before decisions like that are made.

Farrell will be without seven first-choice players for the two summer internationals against Japan and the USA, with new tour captain Conor Murray leading seven Irish representatives on the Lions' tour of South Africa.

Farrell would surely have been delighted to have Murray on hand for the test series, but he nonetheless expressed his happiness for the Munster scrum-half on the honour of captaining the Lions.

Thereโ€™s no better man. You can see within the dynamics of the Jersey camp of how Conor would be at the forefront just because of his personality. He attracts people around him, not because heโ€™s loud and boisterous, just because heโ€™s a good bloke and the experience that heโ€™s got from the last few tours and the experience of the ups and downs that heโ€™s had throughout his career will stand him in great stead. Iโ€™m sure heโ€™ll do a fine job and weโ€™re all delighted for him here.

Despite the Lions-enforced absences, Farrell has a strong side lining out on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium, with Garry Ringrose, Jacob Stockdale, and Peter O'Mahony among the starters.

Irish fans will be disappointed that James Ryan is not travelling to South Africa with the Lions, but Andy Farrell will surely be quietly happy that the Leinster lock is on hand for Ireland's two summer tests in Dublin.

SEE ALSO: Alun Wyn Jones' Farewell Speech Had Lions 'Close To Tears'

Alun Wyn Jones Lions

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Eoin Harrington

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