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gatland call-up? Johnny Sexton, Garry Ringrose and James Ryan waiting anxiously for Lions call

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Cian Healy: In contention for a second Lions tour. Photo: Sportsfile

Cian Healy: In contention for a second Lions tour. Photo: Sportsfile

Cian Healy: In contention for a second Lions tour. Photo: Sportsfile

Johnny Sexton is facing an anxious wait as Warren Gatland prepares to name his 36-man squad for the tour of South Africa this afternoon.

Although the Ireland fly-half was in a strong position after the Six Nations, his recent injury issues will count against him as Gatland considers his No 10 options.

Likewise, James Ryan and Garry Ringrose’s injury absences may have dented their chances of going, with Ryan in a battle with Iain Henderson and Jonny Gray for the right to join Alun Wyn Jones, Maro Itoje and Tadhg Beirne as the travelling locks.

Welsh second-row Jones is expected to be named as the Lions captain when Gatland announces his panel at 12.30.

Robbie Henshaw, Tadhg Furlong, Conor Murray and Beirne are expected to be included, while Cian Healy has emerged as another likely candidate to travel after Scotland’s Rory Sutherland was ruled out.

Andrew Porter is also a front-runner for selection at tighthead while Rónan Kelleher may be squeezed out by Jamie George, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Ken Owens.

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