Ireland head coach Andy Farrell does not expect to link up with the Lions following Ireland’s game against the USA next week.
Warren Gatland had left a spot vacant in his backroom team, with Farrell tipped to travel to South Africa following his Ireland commitments.
However, the Ireland boss said that he has not held any further discussions with Gatland about joining the Lions ahead of the Test series against the Springboks.
“Since the last time I spoke to you guys, I’ve had no conversation regarding that,” Farrell said. “As far as I’m concerned, I thought the Lions were great in their first outing.
“I’m sure the unity within the whole group after the first couple of weeks is where it should be. They certainly showed that in the performance. I’m sure that the management and coaching staff are finding their feet. I wouldn’t expect to go out at this stage but anyway, we’ll see. We’ll see.
“I’ll be putting my Ireland hat on for the next couple of weeks and then I’ll be the Lions No 1 fan from afar, I would have thought.”
James Ryan has made much a quicker than expected recovery from an adductor issue to be passed fit to captain Ireland for the visit of Japan to the Aviva Stadium tomorrow.
Farrell spoke with Gatland about Ryan’s injury last week, which he described as a “setback” to the Ireland lock’s chances of replacing Alun Wyn Jones in the Lions squad.