Gatland on Porter: “Andrew is a young man with a great future ahead of him and I am sure he will be in contention again in four years”; Every game of the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa will be exclusively live on Sky Sports
Last updated: 06/06/21 18:44
Kyle Sinckler will replace injured mainstay Andrew Porter in Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions squad for a tour of South Africa this summer.
Ireland international Porter injured his toe in Leinster’s loss to the Glasgow Warriors in the PRO14 Rainbow Cup on Friday night, forcing him to withdraw from the tour.
Sinckler, who toured New Zealand with the Lions in 2017, will join the squad after the Bristol Bears’ domestic season is over, as Pat Lam’s side have already qualified for the Premiership play-offs.
The Lions reunite in Jersey on June 13 to begin preparations for the game against Japan at Murrayfield on June 26, before flying to South Africa for the series against the Springboks.
“It’s really bad luck for Andrew and we send him our best wishes for a speedy and successful rehabilitation,” Gatland said.
“Andrew is a young man with a bright future ahead of him and I am sure he will be in contention again in four years.
“As always in rugby, when there is an injury there is an opportunity for someone else. I was very happy to see the way Kyle reacted to being initially kicked out of the tour.
“He’s been showing excellent form lately and I hope he will continue to show me two fingers to get him out of the way in the first place.”
Biggar and Simmonds add to Gatland concerns over injuries
There could be further injury issues for Gatland, after Saints opening half Dan Biggar and No.8 Chiefs Sam Simmonds left the pitch at the start of Sunday’s Premiership clash between Northampton and Exeter.
There has been no official word from either club regarding the pair, but Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter said in his post-game interview that Simmonds’ injury came at a time when his team were picking up speed in the game and the loose striker was pulled out without much evaluation from the medical staff in order to keep the game running smoothly.
“At the moment, we don’t think it’s too serious,” Baxter said. BT Sport. “He rolled his ankle a few weeks ago and has tied it up ever since.
“We made the change very quickly without evaluating it because we wanted to keep the momentum going.
“We were on them, we were on a roll. We didn’t want a three or four minute injury stoppage to allow Northampton to really take the wind, so we made the quick change.
“We hope it’s nothing too serious, but the evaluation is still in its early stages.”
British and Irish Lions 2021 South Africa’s confirmed fixture list:
• Saturday July 3, 5 p.m .: Emirates Lions vs. British and Irish Lions (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
• Wednesday July 7, 7 p.m .: Cell C Sharks vs. British and Irish Lions (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
• Saturday July 10, 5 p.m .: Vodacom Bulls vs. British and Irish Lions (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
• Wednesday July 14, 7 p.m .: South Africa ‘A’ v British and Irish Lions (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
• Saturday July 17, 5 p.m .: DHL Stormers vs. British and Irish Lions (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
Test series devices
• Saturday July 24, 5 p.m .: Springboks vs. British and Irish Lions (1st test, Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
• Saturday July 31, 5 p.m .: Springboks vs. British and Irish Lions (2nd Test, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg)
• Saturday August 7, 5 p.m .: Springboks vs. British and Irish Lions (3rd Test, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg)
Watch every game of the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa exclusively live on Sky Sports this summer.