Rugby-England's Sinckler says late Lions call-up a 'massive shock'

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(Reuters) - England's Kyle Sinckler said his late call-up to the British & Irish Lions squad for the South Africa tour was a "massive shock" after he missed out on the initial selection last month.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland added Sinckler to the squad last weekend to replace tighthead prop Andrew Porter, who was ruled out due to a toe injury.

Sinckler was in the Lions squad for the 2017 tour of New Zealand but was among the notable absentees when the initial 37-member squad was named.

"It has been a month since the announcement and the emotion from not getting selected and then getting selected again, life is crazy isn't it?" Sinckler told British media on Monday.

"You just have to roll with the punches."

The 28-year-old said he did not want "to be a victim" after being initially left out and vowed to make the most of his late entry for the July-August tour.

"Now it's about not losing yourself in terms of everyone telling you how great you are," he said. "I didn't get selected in the first place because obviously I wasn't good enough and so I need to improve."

The Lions play Japan at Murrayfield on June 26 before travelling to South Africa where they will play eight matches, including three tests against the world champion Springboks.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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