Lee Byrne attacks Wales omission on Twitter
LEE Byrne doesn’t seem to have done his Wales future prospects much good after publicly criticising his omission from the 35-man autumn series squad on Twitter.
The Clermont Auvergne full back certainly won’t be the last to put his foot in it after his comments on the social networking site were used against him.
Byrne, on fire during the 2008 Grand Slam season, has missed out on selection at the expense of British and Irish Lions’ 2013 player of the series Leigh Halfpenny, back in favour Perpignan star James Hook and highly regarded up-and-coming Scarlets No 15 Liam Williams.
The 33-year-old has been in fine recent form for the Heineken Cup runners-up but hasn’t played for Wales since winning his 46th cap in the 66-0 massacre of Fiji during the 2011 World Cup.
National head coach Warren Gatland has previously talked about wanting to focus on the 2015 tournament over the next two seasons, with Byrne seemingly not seen as an option for that competition.
Byrne’s tweet said: “Gutted to be overlooked by wales again obviously squad was picked on blooding players for WC not on form or playing ability.”
His despair was immediately picked up by journalists and he toned things down later when he posted: “Not hitting out at anybody especially not Gatland @WalesRugby just my opinion on how selection might have been prioritised. #Twisted”
Byrne was called back into the squad for last season’s Six Nations as Wales retained their title, but he was never even considered for bench duty during those five games.
The Clermont man, who played in their agonising 16-15 defeat to Toulon in this year’s Heineken Cup final at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, left the Ospreys for France in 2011.
Byrne has shown his character at battling back after being written off in the past, most notably recently after he made a swift and remarkable return to action after breaking a bone in his back in a victory over Leinster in Europe last December.
He toured with the 2009 Lions and played in the 26-21 first Test defeat to South Africa.
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