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24th Jun 2017

Supporters left saying the same thing after Lions’ First Test defeat to New Zealand

One man's name on everyone's lips

Darragh Murphy

“Get Joe Launchbury on the phone.”

One of the most shocking decisions made by British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland when putting together his squad for this summer’s tour of New Zealand was leaving Launchbury back home.

The Wasps lock had every right to feel hard done by to miss out on selection and he was dearly missed in the Lions’ First Test, which ended in a 30-15 defeat to a rampaging All Blacks side.

Supporters felt there was a different reason for Launchbury’s omission because, on form and ability, Launchbury should really be a part of that squad.

Alun Wyn Jones and George Kruis started at second row for Saturday’s clash at Eden Park, with neither proving all that effective against a typically devastating onslaught from the Kiwis.

Jones, in particular, was singled out for some harsh criticism from frustrated supporters and the Welshman was hauled ten minutes after half-time.

And after the game, those same fans took to social media to claim that the game would have played out differently if Launchbury had received the shout from Gatland.

It’s not too late to fly to New Zealand, is it?