A “gutted” Kyle Sinckler was the stunning omission from Warren Gatland’s 37-man Lions squad that calls into question many of England head coach Eddie Jones’ selection decisions this year. As Lions attack coach Gregor Townsend revealed that he had not consulted any of the England coaches in the build-up to the announcement of this party for the South Africa tour, head coach Gatland sensationally... Overlooked England prop Sinckler, who had been considered by many as a nailed-on squad selection Did not select Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton and lock James Ryan Picked Exeter No 8 Sam Simmonds, who Jones has not selected in three years, over England stalwart Billy Vunipola Insisted Elliot Daly would play at centre rather than full-back, where he has been Jones' first choice since 2018 Suggested he could “create an environment” for a five-strong Saracens’ contingent to recapture their best form after underperforming for England in the Six Nations Gatland revealed the brutality of the 2009 South Africa series weighed heavily on his mind with selection. He promised his squad, led by Wales second row Alun Wyn Jones, will need to be prepared to “get in the trenches” against the world champion Springboks. Fitness and durability proved to be two key criteria in the most surprising Lions squad of recent times. The effects of those bombshells reverberated across the British Isles. They were perhaps most keenly felt in Ireland with the omissions of captain Sexton and second row Ryan, who was mentioned as a possible captaincy contender last year. Yet Gatland showed no favouritism towards Wales, whom he coached for 12 years, with centre Jonathan Davies also omitted. Despite England’s desperate fifth-place finish in the Six Nations, they still boast the greatest representation with 11 players, although that is a long way short of the target of 20-plus players set by Jones last year. Scotland, meanwhile, boat their highest total in 32 years with eight players.