Belfast Telegraph

No room for Ulster's Iain Henderson in final Lions tie

 

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster's Iain Henderson will miss out on a Test jersey from his first Lions tour after Warren Gatland named an unchanged side to face the All Blacks in Saturday's crucial series decider.

The lock (below), who gets married only 48 hours after returning from the tour, has been in hugely impressive form throughout his latter weeks in New Zealand but it has not been enough to convince the coach to change last weekend's winning formula.

With hooker Rory Best also not involved and Jared Payne's tour over due to migraines, Ulster will not have any playing involvement in a Lions' Test series for the first time since 2005, when the side were last in New Zealand.

"There are some players who are pretty disappointed not to be selected and I understand that," admitted Gatland. "It is what you would expect from competitive top athletes, they back themselves."

The unchanged 23 comes despite full-back Liam Williams having to overcome a fitness scare and Jack McGrath making a seemingly convincing case to replace Mako Vunipola.

In contrast, Gatland's All Black counterpart Steve Hansen has rung the changes after last week's defeat.

Looking to avoid a first loss in a Lions series since 1971, Jordie Barrett, Julian Savea and Ngani Laumape all come in.

HISTORY BECKONS: Page 48

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