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Lions agony for Ulster star Hendy as he's cut from pride



Ulster lock Iain Henderson

Ulster lock Iain Henderson

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ulster lock Iain Henderson

Ulster lock Iain Henderson has missed out on selection for the British and Irish Lions squad for their first Test against the All Blacks on Saturday (kick-off 8.35am UK time).

After three strong performances in the warm-up matches, Ulster hopes were high that Henderson would at least make the bench for the first Test.

However, head coach Warren Gatland has instead opted for the experienced Alun-Wyn Jones in the second row alongside Englishman George Kruis, while Maro Itoje is on the bench.

It's a blow for the 25-year-old, who will get one more shot at working his way into the side for the second or third Tests when the Lions face the Hurricanes on Tuesday in their final midweek game.

Henderson's Ulster team-mates Rory Best and Jared Payne also missed out on selection for the clash with the World champions.

Best's struggles at the line-out ultimately contributed to him being left out, with Jamie George and Ken Owens preferred, while there simply wasn't a place in the back-line for New Zealand native Payne.

Munster flanker Peter O'Mahony will captain the side and is one of four Irishmen named in the starting line-up, alongside Munster team-mate Conor Murray and Leinster duo Tadhg Furlong and Sean O'Brien.

Fly-half Johnny Sexton has to make do with a place on the bench after Gatland decided to go with England's Owen Farrell at 10, with former Leinster centre Ben Te'o at 12.

Belfast Telegraph