Show scores
ADVERTISEMENT
Back

British & Irish Lions confirm Kelleher call-up, explain hooker situation

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

More News More News

Alun Wyn Jones won’t be the only forward flying out to South Africa to link up with the Lions squad in Cape Town on Thursday as Warren Gatland has confirmed that Ireland hooker Ronan Kelleher has also been called up.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kelleher was an additional player drafted in for Lions training when they initially assembled in mid-June on the Channel Island of Jersey as Jamie George missed the first week of build-up and Luke Cowan-Dickie missed both preparation weeks due to club commitments.

That left the Lions assembling with just a single hooker, Ken Owens, and Gatland felt it best that Kelleher was called up to Jersey training to help out in a specialist position.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer
RugbyPass fanzone on what Marcus Smith joining the Lions means for Finn Russell

The hooker has since played twice with Ireland, wrapping up their summer series with a four-try performance against the USA last Saturday, and he is now flying into Cape Town in the company of Alun Wyn Jones ahead of the final preparation match versus the Stormers and the three-Test series versus the Springboks.

A Lions statement shortly before Wednesday night’s kick-off versus South Africa A read: “Ronan Kelleher will join-up with the Lions touring party on Thursday. The Irish hooker, who trained with the Lions squad in Jersey prior to the start of the series, will travel together with Alun Wyn Jones to Cape Town.”

“I’m delighted to announce Ronan will join up with the squad,” said Lions boss Gatland. “There are no injuries to the three hookers out here, but we think it is prudent to bring in cover in that position ahead of the Test series.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Lions assistant Robin McBryde had hinted while the squad were in Jersey that Kelleher could ultimately feature on the tour. “It is going to grow him as an individual and I’m sure Ireland will get to use him in these summer Tests, so it works both ways and you never know he could join us at a later date as well.”

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now
ADVERTISEMENT

British & Irish Lions confirm Kelleher call-up, explain hooker situation

Search