Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


Kelleher receives Lions call, Gatland discusses captaincy

Ronan Kelleher is officially a British & Irish Lion.  Days after his four-try haul against t...

Ronan Kelleher is officially a British & Irish Lion. 

Days after his four-try haul against the United States at the Aviva, the Leinster and Ireland hooker has been summoned to South Africa.

Kelleher's addition to the squad had been signposted by head coach Warren Gatland ahead of Wednesday's game with South Africa 'A'.

The 23-year old is no stranger to the Lions squad, having been part of a larger training panel in Jersey last month.

"I’m delighted to announce Ronan will join up with the squad," Gatland said.

"There’s no injuries with the three hookers out here, but we think it’s prudent to bring in cover in that position ahead of the Test series.”

Earlier in the week Gatland said, "If we picked up an injury there, and then picked up an injury in training, they were concerned that possibly a game could go down to uncontested scrums."

Kelleher will travel to South Africa in tandem with the fit-again Alun Wyn Jones.

Speaking in Cape Town ahead of the South Africa 'A' game, Gatland said of Jones, "He wouldn't be coming out here unless he was going to play.

"And in his mind as well he feels he's back fully fit, so he'll arrive here tomorrow [Thursday] and he'll be back in training on Monday and in contention - potentially - for Test selection.

Jones won't be available for Saturday's meeting with the Stormers.

Gatland also addressed the captaincy situation, with Murray appointed skipper in the Welsh second row's absence.

"Yeah we'll have a conversation with Alun Wyn and Conor when Alun Wyn gets out here," the head coach told Sky Sports, "and we'll talk about that.

"There's a good chance that probably Alun Wyn will resume as tour captain, and I think Conor will be pretty happy with that because none of us expected he [Jones] was going to be able to make the sort of recovery to come out.

"We'll just have a chat with both the guys. They're both extremely diligent and professional and we'll just make the best decision for the squad."

Lions forced into late changes as Biggar & Adams miss South Africa A

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Alun Wyn Jones British And Irish Lions Lions Ronan Kelleher The Lions Warren Gatland