Kyle Sinckler has vowed to do as instructed and continue giving a “two-fingered” salute to the Lions’ initial decision not to pick him.
The England prop told of his joy last night at being called up as an injury replacement for the South Africa-bound tour.
Warren Gatland said he deserved it for his reaction, both on and off the park, to his omission from the original squad.
“And I hope he continues to stick two fingers up to me about leaving him out in the first place,” added the Lions boss.
Sinckler said: “Gats is a funny guy, that was a bit tongue in cheek, but he does want me to continue on the form I’ve shown in recent weeks.
“There’s no point in worrying about why I was not selected to begin with. I’m there now, put me on the field.
“Of course I was massively disappointed not to be in the initial squad. Anyone who plays for their country and didn’t get selected is going to be, but you just have to get on with it.
“You have to understand that every coach has a difficult decision to make, and it’s based on what they think is going to be best for the team, for the environment, their game plan.
“I have to show through my performances that I deserve to be there. I just want to crack on.”
Bristol star Sinckler has the play-offs to contend with first, with table-topping Bears through to a home Premiership semi-final.
But as anyone who saw his TV reaction to missing out on tour selection a month ago will already know, he wants the Lions badly.
“At the time of that the wounds were still quite new,” he said. “I was on my way to processing it and it all just kinda came out.
“Something I’ve been working on is just being real and authentic, being myself, because in the modern day we all struggle to be ourselves.
“If I’m being honest, we all care a lot about caring what other people think about us. I guess I was so upset that I said I’m just going to be myself.
“I was absolutely gutted and I just tried to harness that disappointment, anger and all the emotions I had inside of me. I tried to just put it towards my rugby.”
Four years ago Sinckler was just starting out in Test rugby. Now he’s a seasoned international.
“To have been on one Lions tour was a dream come true,” he said. “To get a second opportunity, when I thought the opportunity was gone, is so special.”