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The British and Irish Lions omission that shocked Dan Carter

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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All Blacks great Dan Carter has shown his dismay at the decision to leave Johnny Sexton out of the British and Irish Lions squad this year.

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The Ireland captain failed to make Warren Gatland’s 37-man squad, missing out on a place to Owen Farrell, Dan Biggar and Finn Russell.

Carter, who announced himself on the world stage against the Lions in 2005, responded to the squad announcement on Twitter, saying he “can’t believe they left Sexton out,” but admitted there were “quality 10s to pick from”.

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Episode 29 – Lions Legend Jeremy Guscott, Jamie Roberts and Ryan Wilson React and Reminisce ahead of Lions Tour
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Episode 29 – Lions Legend Jeremy Guscott, Jamie Roberts and Ryan Wilson React and Reminisce ahead of Lions Tour

The 2018 World Rugby player of the year Sexton was aiming for his third tour and needed three more Lions caps to overtake Brian O’Driscoll as Ireland’s most capped Lion in the professional era.
However, Gatland raised questions of Sexton’s durability and ability to string together a number of high intensity matches as the No10 will be 36 come the Test series.

O’Driscoll is another former player who is shocked by the omission of his former Leinster and Ireland teammate. The 2005 Lions captain also addressed the questions over Sexton’s durability in an Instagram Live video.

“No Johnny Sexton, obviously, that was going to be a big talking point,” said the four-time Lions tourist. “I’m personally disappointed because I know what he can deliver. Sometimes the durability question is understandable but for me sometimes his bravery is his Achilles heel because he throws himself into his defensive game as much as he does in attack.

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“I know we have a very high opinion of him in Ireland and maybe not so much in the UK, certainly not to the same degree as the 2018 Johnny Sexton, but I just know what he can deliver and how he picks a pass and how he can manage a game and even at 35 I feel as though he’d have been good value to be in there.”

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