Lions 2013: Who are the early contenders for test spots?

With the World Cup well and truly over, it is time to look forward to the next time the home nations go en masse to the Southern Hemisphere: the 2013 Lions tour of Australia.

Having narrowly lost the test series to South Africa in 2009, the 2013 Lions will be after their first test series win since 1997. That tour to the newly crowned World Champions, South Africa, was the first one of the professional era, and a memorable one thanks to the “Living with the Lions” documentary.

However the home nations haven’t won since then. They certainly have the quality of players to go to Australia and win, but will they?

Foresight is a wonderful thing, so provided everyone is fit, which they probably won’t be but we can dream a little, here is who I reckon will make that first test XV, based on past performances.

15. Ben Foden
He may have had a quiet World Cup but the creativity that we know Foden has is in there somewhere waiting to come out once more. James Hook was another option but Foden is more of an out and out full back.

14. Tommy Bowe

Having impressed in 2009 with the Lions, Bowe is given another chance for his attacking prowess. George North is the unlucky one missing out but there’s plenty of time for him as he will only be 21 in 2013.

13. Manu Tuilagi
By choosing this centre combination, the focus is on bulk and pace but the two should work well together. Manu Tuilagi started out as a winger but has taken to the 13 jersey like a duck to water. The only possible worry for him is sticking to the defensive line but with just under two years of rugby still to come that should sort itself out.

12. Jamie Roberts
Another 2009 Lion, Jamie Roberts has shown how vital he is to the Wales squad in both attack and defence. Both will be stretched to their limits in Australia but Roberts is easily the best inside centre in the home nations at the moment so will be able to handle the pressure.

11. Chris Ashton
An excellent player to watch, Ashton works his way around the pitch looking for work to do. He will capitalise on any opportunities given to him whilst making ones of his own. With that hard work and ethic he’ll be in the squad and the first test team.

10. Jonathan Sexton
It could have been Toby Flood, it could have been Rhys Priestland or Ruaridh Jackson. Instead I’ve opted for Jonathan Sexton to take on the fly-half berth. The way he controls a game is impressive and his kicking – both out of hand and spot kicks are superb. It was a tough choice but I think it’s the right one.

9. Mike Phillips
A member of the 2009 Lions squad, Phillips has continued to improve and impress while the likes of Ben Youngs and Conor Murray have come on the international scene. He makes the team for his skill and experience, once again vital in such a specialist position.

1. Cian Healy
The Irishman has been one to watch for a while and has proved his worth over the past couple of seasons both for Leinster and Ireland. A good all round player that deserves the chance to represent the Lions.

2. Matthew Rees
Unfortunate to miss out on the World Cup through injury, I still reckon that Matthew Rees is one of the best hookers in the home nations and having toured with the Lions before he will have the necessary experience in such a specialist position.

3. Dan Cole
As someone who has been successful against Australia in the past, Cole is a pick as I reckon he and Healy will shine against the Wallabies improved scrum. They are both young but already very good at the dark arts of the front row, any weaknesses will be exploited.

4. Richie Gray
In the second row we have power and mobility, as both are as adept at ball carrying as they are at the line out and scrum. Richie Gray has been one of the stand out performers of the past year and should it continue through to 2013 he would be a definite for the test XV.

5. Courtney Lawes
Lawes will complement Gray well in the second row. While Lawes gets stuck into the rucks, Gray will prefer to carry the ball. This is a Lions combination for now and future tours, that’s how the coaching staff should think.

6. Sean O’Brien
He’s like a brilliant bulldozer. Sean O’Brien is everywhere that matters on the pitch and when playing on the blindside he can be a game changer, as shown in the second half of the 2011 Heineken Cup Final. O’Brien should relish the challenge in Australia, whether he’s up against Rocky Elsom, Scott Higginbotham or even Dave Dennis.

7. Sam Warburton (c)
The 24 year old Wales captain has done it by jumping in the deep end at the World Cup so why not the Lions? He should be facing fellow brilliant openside David Pocock in a head-to-head to savour, with both players having upped their games since 2011.

8. Jamie Heaslip

Toby Faletau will find himself unlucky not to be named in the side, but I wanted to have the extra line out option in the side, and Heaslip provides that. A storming player, he regularly gets over the gain line and when on form is a pleasure to watch.

What do you think of this side? Who would make your Lions test XV? Let us know in the comments.

by Rachel Simmonite

49 thoughts on “Lions 2013: Who are the early contenders for test spots?

  1. Great team, with good choices. It will be interesting to see how Conor Murray, Danny Care, Ben Youngs and players like Tavis Knoyle progress. I think George North will become an even better player so he could be worth a shout when it comes to the Lions series. If Wales keep picking Halfpenny at Full Back he could be worth a shout for the Lions after his great display’s at Full Back during the world cup.

    1. I agree with North, the wings are going to be hotly contested with Luke Fitzgerald and the possible emergence of the likes of Christian Wade too.

  2. Interesting choices there. Of course by the time the 2013 selectors start looking it could be very different. I would agree with most of the choices here, with a few exceptions.
    15. Foden 14. North 13. Tuilagi 12. Roberts 11. Ashton 10. Priestland 9. Phillips 1. Healy or Stevens (I expect him to step up and prove his worth in the six nations) 2. Rees 3. Cole 4. Gray 5. Lawes 6. O’Brien 7. Warburton 8. Faletau

    For me North would be above Bowe in the pecking order now, as with Priestland and Faletau. But as I said, by 2013 some of these players could have been replaced already in their national squad. Some of the younger guys playing at top level club rugby could be household names by the time this team is actually selected, and knocking these guys well down the selection list. Very interesting though.

  3. Good selection Rachel. As ever it depends on the vision (or lack of) of the coach. Could be discipline problem with Tuilagi and Lawes but they may have grown up by then or be serving long suspensions. The back row will be interesting as all 4 nations are pretty strong there, so another candidate for captaincy could be Tom Croft.

  4. Phillips has never done it for me. Yes, his running is strong, yes, his tackling is good, but his delivery is so slow it makes continental drift seem quick.
    I would much rather have a Scrum half who can set the back line free with a quick delivery.
    Youngs and Care both do this well. Hopefully Lee Dickson will get his chance for England before it is too late as well.

    Back row looks really strong, with others like Croft and Faletau waiting in the wings to provide cover.

    Centres could be a problem if Tuilagi doesnt fulfil his potential, any chance BOD could still be around?

  5. These articles are always so hard to write as it is a fine line between picking players who are established now and players who haven’t even won international caps yet (e.g. Greenwood 1997, Robinson 2001, Earls 2009).

    If the match was tomorrow I think I would have gone with almost exactly the same team. However, I know from an English perspective that there are a number of players who could easily step up to international level (Farrell, Robshaw etc.) and throw a spanner in the works. I imagine this is probably the same right across the home nations.

    Would be interesting to see who you would have on your bench Rachel.

  6. I agree with all of this except one thing. Courtney lawes is not the superhero people seem to think he is. I think i’d pick any one of the other home nation locks from the world cup squads above him.

    1. Never in a million years did I think I would write this preRWC, but Charteris was the find of the tournie. If the Lions were picked right now it would be hard to leave him out

      (and I thought him useless preRWC)

  7. I agree with james. Whilst i admire the way Phillips has an impact on play with a backline like that you want a 9 that releases the ball a bit quicker. Ideally Youngs can get back to last years form.

    Was Charteris not in everyones world cup 15s? i think the 2nd row is an area of strength for us and i think Grey and Lawes are the 2 with the most potential. but there could also be Palmer, Davies and O’connel.

    Surely if Gethin can stay fit he is the man? i would probably start Adam jones in an all welsh front row and have Stevens on the bench for impact.

    O’brien, Warburton and Heaslip… with Ferris/Croft/Faletau for impact is so good.

    10 could be any of the 4 you mention.

    This is looking like a really strong lions side. Such a Grizzly pack with a nice back line as well.

  8. North makes it ahead of Bowe, Priestland ahead of Sexton. Very promising young team. Could put Croft in – the captaincy will almost certainly be his or Warburton’s

  9. Really to far ahead, although welsh I have tried to look at it with an unbiased eye, difficult also as there is strength in depth in many positions, Lawes to me has to many dicipline problems, impressed with Charteris and Gray in WC, and these 2 could be pushing for the second row places. Still would prefer an all welsh front row to start, Jenkins is a must if fit and Jones has the experience of South Africa, cole and healy make a good bench, really not sure about Sexton and Tulangi yet….on a positive note you know you will need a strong squad which seems to be the case at the moment, but 2 years is a long time and rising stars will fall, and players who are on the fringes will push themselves forward. Warburton could be an outstanding captain with little opposition at the moment…would try and persuade Geeks to have one more trip with this squad.

  10. How has Courtney Lawes had too many discipline problems, he had that ban in the world cup, but thats about it. Yes he makes some big tackles but so do hundreds of other players all over the world, yet because he’s English / he had the ban in the world cup everyone suddenly thinks he’s the dirtiest player ever.
    Nobody would turn their head if it was an All Black, it’d be deemed the greatest tackle ever seen in rugby. Get a grip and accept that he’s a brilliant player

  11. Chooshing the bench:
    16- Dylan Hartley: he will probably gain a lot of experience in these years as Thompson will no longer be considered so he will fight a lot with Rees for the spot

    17- Adam Jones: A 09 Lion, wonderfull scrum for really struglling the wallabies biggest weakness
    18- Luke Charteris: A wonderfull underestimated player, could very well replace Richie Gray, Charteris puts on a massive amout of tackles and exellent line out option

    19- Toby Faletau: No comments needed, tackles a lot and always gains metres. I see Warburton as a future line out option (1.88m is not tall but not small either) as he is a very athletic and versatile player so it would be no problem for him entering for Heaslip

    20- Mike Blair: Probably a polemic decision but i have faith in him. He has show how good he can be, and i think he can manage to get that again. Youngs struggles with pressure and eventhough the wallabies scrum is not tough, theyre back row is. Pocock will always be on him and Higginbotham, (who on 2013 will be a killing machine, im sure) so basiclly i consider Blair best stuited for this spot if Phillips gets injured.

    21- Rhys Priestland: I think he is a very good player, tactically better than flood. I also think he was better chances of getting better as he is not used to international level so in 2 years he can progress more than Flood.

    22- George North: Extremelly though call as he is not as polifunctional as i would like him to be, he is young tough and may be a future full back option. But i worry in case of one of the centres gets injured, as the most suitable cover would be Tommy Bowe who has little to none experience their. Eventhough he is just a STAR, debut against the springboks with 2 tries at age 18, nuff said. How he can manage to progress and be more versatile will be crucial though, kinda like Oconnor i hope.

    Hope u like my choices.

  12. Dear oh dear, dreadful team. Ben Foden? Courtney Lawes? Jamie Heaslip? On current form this team looks better value for money;

    15: Leigh Halfpenny
    14: George North
    13: Manu Tuillagi
    12: Jamie Roberts
    11: Tommy Bowe
    10: Rhys Priestland
    9: Mike Phillips
    1: Gethin Jenkins
    2: ??????? (nobody standing out right now)
    3: Adam Jones
    4: Luke Charteris
    5: Richie Grey
    6: Sean O’Brien
    7: Sam Warburton (captain)
    8: Toby Falatau

  13. Current form doesn’t count for much when we’re talking about a tournament 2 years away…

    Foden and Lawes, and Heaslip for that matter, are class.

      1. Foden has consistently been the best full back in Britain and Ireland over the last year Halfpenny having two great games in the world cup doesn’t change that (although i wouldn’t rule him out of taking over from Foden).

        Lawes I think is in there for potential more than anything I wouldn’t start him at the moment. Hes proven it on the international stage a few times (two games against aus) but not consistently.

  14. View lacks pace and his form isnt great, North is a once in a generation player. halfpenny should have been considered; flawless in the RWC and brings a kicking game. priestland is only just beginning and will his game management will prove essential. Can’t believe the best forward prospect in the world didn’t make it, Faletau should have been a shoe in. And you can’t look past charteris and AWJ in the 2nds surely. And finally, where’s Big Adam Jones. Max Evans is better than Ashton for me.

  15. Yes, and even my non Welsh choice has a Welsh name. The stats back me up on my forward picks and like many who disagreed with Bowe, we all seemed to opt for North. Other than AWJ most comments involved some or all of my picks. And on current form, how could you look beyond Wales in most positions. Even if I was English id struggle to choose more than three. Stevens would be nowhere near the team! Gray impressed from Scotland, and he’s only young. Let’s be honest, it should be the Welsh and Irish and one Samoan Lions!

  16. As Republican Irish, I always find the Lions tour a bit nervy. I support all Irish players of course in their national side games, and I understand the draw of the Lions tour.
    It’s hard to describe it. Let me put it this way, there are rugby fans in the North (of Ireland) that dread seeing Ireland play as they don’t like pro-Unionist players to play with Irish nationalists, and they don’t like the sight of the tri-color. That’s kind of how I see the Lions tour, so I know how they feel I must admit. But I have no spite against it as I say, it’s just not my thing.
    What I would like is a Rep. of Ireland rugby team. One that doesn’t compete in the 6 nations or the world cup and travels to Europe, Oceania and South America to be beaten up :) I’d love to see our players involved in that instead of the Lions tour. I’m sire there would be plenty of Brits that wouldn’t mind this either, and you’d still have some decent options from Northern Ireland – Trimble, Best, Ferris.
    Any other Irish feel like that? Maybe I should ask this question somewhere else. The Basques have their own football team that play independent of Spain. We’re a separate country and we don’t even have a Rep. rugby team.

    1. Also, BO’D is currently preparing to undergo surgery for a shoulder problem he has endured since the Lions tour of 2003. It’s a farce really as noone was even cited for that afaik. That thug Umaga and his accomplice had their fun. Now, it will be the turn of the next set of minions to target O’Brien or Heaslip or whoever. They’d better hit Lawes, Foden, Feletau, Phillips or Ashton time.

      1. This is dangerous ground so I’m going to tread very carefully so as not to offend anyone.

        Whilst your points are incredibly valid, I’m not completely sure that they would be wholly supported, meaning that it would create a divide which, as far as I know (and please correct me if I’m wrong), doesn’t actually exist at the moment. I don’t wish to come across as naive, or maybe even ignorant, but surely the fact that the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have had one team under the same umbrella without many issues means that the current system works. I understand your point of view completely, and also respect it, but wouldn’t it be creating a conflict in rugby which doesn’t necessarily need to occur.

        Getting back on topic, the BOD incident in 2005 was a shambles and should have been picked up on, but we can never claim to be whiter than white. I’d never wish it on anyone, but although one particular B&I Lions player could be targeted, don’t you think it works both ways?

        So many debates to be had here but one major consistent: The fact that there can be arguments made across the park for each positions means that we should be able to put out a team that can seriously contend for a series win. Crisis? What crisis?

        1. “What I would like is a Rep. of Ireland rugby team. One that doesn’t compete in the 6 nations or the world cup ”

          Where in the above, did I mention divide. I basically said, let things remain as they are for the big time.

          I agree that there is plenty of talent and emerging talent there.
          I’d go with Kearney or Foden (let form decide order there) as #1 and #2 full back. Either would do. Feletau at 8. Phillips and Roberts in first fifteen. Lawes and Ashton. Heaslip as back-up no. 8 for Feletau. Too many choices at 10. Let form decide that one. Priestland maybe though. For the rest, let a straight 50:50 average of form between Heineken cup and SH test form take precedence over 6 nations form (6 nations is devoid of SH players). That’s how I feel generally, but 2 years is a long time. Who knows who will come on to the scene and who will get injured in that time. 24 months! It’s around the corner!! Damnit time :(

          1. Balon, I can understand what do you feel about the lions, but they are British and Irish, you are in that name. That’s important because some other nations aren’t. I understand you are playing with the empire but at least you are doing much better on the team selections for the Lions.
            Although I don’t understand why you don’t feel happy to have an united national team (whole Eire), something that the empire not allows you, at the moment NI is part of the UK. I can’t imagine me unhappy having a Galician National team with all the historic parts of my nation.
            Only one thing more. Basques don’t have an official football team, like us (Galicians 0, and Catalans. Spaniards don’t allow us to have it.
            Galiza sempre!!!
            Talking about Lions selection. In my opinion the post miss some Welsh player who did very well at the World Cup (North, Priestland, Halfpenny, Felatau or Charteris).

  17. Great blog for inciting comments as demonstrated above, however you might as well put forward a team for each of the home nations next RWC. Two years is an age away. Who would have mentioned Tuilagi, North, Priestland and Warburton (particularly for captain!) seriously 6 months ago.

    However I have enjoyed reading the comments. Looks like each country has gone back to its parochial best. Home nation unity even if fleeting in the face of the southern hemisphere opposition seems to have totally disappeared!!!

    I guess that you’ll have the usual suspects there or thereabouts, but it will be interesting to see who comes through. There may indeed be more English wildcards than anyone else as the English team looks set for the biggest shake up after this RWC.

    You may want to try to predict the England team for the upcoming six nations. It might be that you will be more accurate with this Lions forecast! As they say time will tell.

      1. And yet we’ll probably pull one exceptional performance out of the bag along the way, flatter to deceive in two and get thoroughly beaten in one (probably the AB’s!) if history is any indication. Won’t be the end of the world, although you could describe it as the “Ends of the World Test series” bearing in mind where they come from!!

  18. its hard to judge!! more like who can shake things up! so more who can get on the squad, 30 players 16 14 split
    forward front row contenders in 2 years time … healy, Hagan irish both be 26 ish very mobile gethin and adam will be pushing the 32 mark good scrumagers but against oz don’t need to be world class as oz can be beaten up by good props england so much strength in depth in props, joe marler could be up their hookers rory best was one of the best hookers at the world cup hartley and rees can all be good options second rows paul o’connel will be 33 but could still be a force and the other options have been mentioned dan touhy could be up their hope he gets game time with ireland from now on finally back row tom croft won’t make the squad sean o’brien ferris heaslip warbarton and felateau would be my 5! at the moment

    backs 9, philips not my favorite at all murray, danny care, alt of strength in this area for oz a quick pass is needed.
    10, Prestland, sexton and farrel ten cover might start 12
    centers bod if his bod keeps going tuilagi, roberts stand outs now
    back 3 bowe aston fitz halfpenny north kearny, earls up and coming conway sharples great talent will be left at home for the back 3 hard to pick just 5 all i can say is ho said northern hemisphere rugby is dead this is only a fraction of the choices and it seems like i have wrote an essay in 2 years alot can change newzealand might not be the best team in the world….

  19. 15 foden eng
    14 north wal
    13 tuilagi eng
    12 roberts wal
    11 ashton eng
    10 priestland wal
    9 youngs! eng
    8 heaslip ire
    7 warturburn wal
    6 obrien ire
    5 lawes eng
    4 gray sco
    3 cole eng
    2 hartley eng
    1 healy ire

    16 rees wal
    17 jenkins wal
    18 davies wal
    19 ferris ire
    20 falutau wal
    21 murray ire
    22 sexton ire
    23 halfpenny wal

    wood eng
    lydiate wal
    phillips wal
    best ire
    jones wal
    murray sco
    ansbro sco
    davies wal
    flood eng
    haskell eng
    jackson sco
    williams wal

  20. As the 6 nations draws to a close its an interesting (albeit early) time to review the potential Lions. Here’s my (1st/2nd) choice…

    15. Kearney (Halfpenny)
    14. Bowe (Cuthbert)
    13. O’Driscoll? (Tuilagi/Davies)
    12. Roberts (Williams)
    11. North (Hogg)
    10. Sexton (Farrell)
    9. Phillips (Reddan)
    1. Healy (Jenkins)
    2. Best (Hartley)
    3. Jones (Cole)
    4. Gray (Jones)
    5. O’Connell (Ryan)
    6. Ferris (Croft)
    7. Warburton (O’Brien)
    8. Denton (Morgan)

    Tho I might be slightly biased in favour of my home nation!?

    1. I’m Irish and I would have issues with several of your selections. Kearney is great under the garryowen/high ball but I would expect nothing less from a full back. That’s his job afterall. Unfortunately he plays heads down rugby with ball in hand. The play usually ends with him being tackled and going to ground which slows everything down. He doesn’t link with the other backs because I suspect he doesn’t know where they are most of the time. He needs to play heads up before I’d pick him. Sexton was out played and out thought by Farrel in the Ire v Eng match so no I wouldn’t pick him ahead of Farrell.I wouldn’t even have Reddan on the plane as a third choice. Murray is my pick. Best is an honest player but I think Rees shades it. I wouldn’t pick that scumbag Hartley for club or country not to mention the Lions..I’ d like to have seen O’Brien get a run at no.8 in the six nations as I think he could be a revelation but that spot was taken up by the posing and preening Jamie Heaslip who did next to nothing all through the championship. Ferris will have a job to get in ahead of Croft.

  21. After the Six nations, this is who i’d pick to be in the Lions squad 2013……

    1. Jenkins Wal
    2. Best Ire
    3. Jones Wal
    4. Gray Scot
    5. O’connell Ire
    6. Lydiate Wal
    7. Warbutton Wal
    8. Denton Scot
    9. Phillips Wal
    10. Sexton Ire
    11. North Wal
    12. Roberts Wal
    13. Davies/ Tulagi Wal/Eng
    14. Cuthbert Wal
    15. Foden Eng

    16. Cole Eng
    17. Rees Wal
    18. Davies Wal
    19. Croft Eng
    20. Youngs Eng
    21. Priestland Wal
    22. Halfpenny Wal

    Healy Ire
    Hartley Eng
    AW Jones Wal
    Evans Wal
    Ferris Ire
    O’brien Ire
    Faletau Wal
    Reddan Ire
    Farrell Eng
    Ashton Eng
    Williams Wal
    Bowe Ire
    Kearney Ire

  22. Starting XV

    1 Jenkins (W)
    2 Hartley (E)
    3 A.Jones (W)
    4 Gray (S)
    5 A W Jones (W)
    6 Lydiate (W)
    7 Warburton (c) (W)
    8 Faletau (W)
    9 Dickson (E)
    10 Farrell (E)
    11 North (W)
    12 Roberts (W)
    13 Tuilagi (E)
    14 Bowe (I)
    15 Halfpenny (W)

    16 Rees (W)
    17 Healy (I)
    18 Charteris (W)
    19 O’Brien (I)
    20 Phillips (W)
    21 Sexton (I)
    22 Bowe (I)

    The Rest
    E.Murray (S)
    Corbiseiro (E)
    Ford (S)
    O’Connell (I)
    Ferris (I)
    Robshaw (E)
    Morgan (E)
    C.Murray (I)
    Priestland (W)
    Davies (W)
    Williams (W)
    Hogg (S)
    Ashton (E)
    Kearney (I)

  23. 15 Kearney (I)
    14 Bowe (I)
    13 Davies (W)
    12 Tuilagi (E)
    11 North (W)
    10 Priestland (W)
    9 Phillips (W)
    1 Jenkins (W)
    2 Ford (S)
    3 Jones (W)
    4 Grey (S)
    5 O’Connell (I)
    6 Ferris (I)
    7 Warburton (C) (W)
    8 Heaslip (I)

    16 Rees (W)
    17 Corbisiero / Cole (E)
    18 Lawes (E)
    19 O’Brien (I)
    20 Blair (S)
    21 Farrell (E)
    22 Earls (I)

    The rest
    Healy (I)
    Best (I)
    Charteris (W)
    AWJ (W)
    Lydiate (W)
    Rennie (S)
    Faletau (W)
    Youngs (E) Pending a recapture of form
    Sexton (I)
    Visser (S) Wildcard
    Roberts (W)
    Ashton (E) Pending a recapture of form
    Halfpenny (W)
    Foden (E)

  24. Has anyone mentioned BOD yet? he’ll still be around in 2013 and I doubt he won’t make it into the Lion’s squad.

  25. to be honest i think a lot of people above dismissing brian o driscoll would be mistake and wildcard who i think will go as 2nd choice number 10 is jonnny wilkinson in my opinion playing some of his best rugby in france and reliable with boot in tight encounters

    my starting xv :
    1. cian healy ( scrummager and ball carrier )
    2. rory best ( accurate arrows, gets around park
    3. adam jones ( cornerstone of pack
    4. richie gray ( terrific line-out and in loose
    5.paul o connell ( leadership, line out forward
    6. stephen ferris ( powerful carrier and defender
    7.sam warburton ( captain and only out and out 7 good enough
    8. jamie heaslip ( carrying, line out , defence got it all
    9. mike phillips 9 (strong, experienced
    10.jonny sexton ( running threat, good in defence
    11. leigh halfpenny ( goalkicker, utility back , dangerous counter attacker
    12. jamie roberts( strong ball carrier , defence strong too
    13. brian o driscoll ( amazing in defence and at breakdown, also lots experience and nous
    14. chris ashton( northern hemisphere best finisher
    15. rob kearney( good runner, good in air , kicks well

    16. dylan hartley
    17.dan cole
    18.alan wyn jones
    19. sean o,brien
    20. ben youngs
    21. jonny wilkinson
    22. manu tuilagi

    other travelling squad members :
    mike ross
    gethin jenkins
    courtney lawes
    chris robshaw
    toby faletau
    danny care
    rhys priestland
    george north
    gordon d,arcy
    sean cronin
    jonathan davies
    alex cuthbert
    tommy bowe
    dan lydiate

  26. im welsh and non-biased

    1. Healy Ire -good scrummager + carrier
    2. Heartley Eng -leadership+carring+good lineout+scumager
    3. Cole Eng -Best tighthead in the world by far
    4. Gray Sco -best lock in the world
    5. Lawes Eng -provides grunt and hart tackleing+rucking
    6. Wood Eng -great at breakdown and tackling+a poacher of the ball
    7. Warburton Wal -Best openside in the north hemesphere
    8. Heaslip Ire -great ball carrier+line out option

    9. Care Eng -attacking threat+great passing
    10. Sexton Ire -attacking treat+brings others into game

    11. North Wal -good carrier and ram with speed
    12. Roberts Wal -best inside centre in the north hemesphere
    13. Tuilagi Eng -best ball carrier in north hemisphere+game changer
    14. Ashton Eng -best finisher in north hemisphere
    15. Halfpenny Wal -great under high ball+counteratacking threat+can kick

    16. Best Ire
    17. Corbisiero Eng
    18. Jones Wal
    19. Ferris Ire
    20. Phillips Wal
    21. Farrel Eng
    22. Hook Wal

    Total Starting team(whole team)for countrys

  27. 1 Sheridan Eng
    2 Ford Ire
    3 Cole Eng
    4 Wyn Jones Wal
    5 Lawes Eng
    6 Croft Eng
    7 Warbuton (c) Wal
    8 Heaslip Ire
    9 Phillips Wal
    10 Sexton Ire
    11 North Wal
    12 Davies Wal
    13 Tuilangi Eng
    14 Ashton Eng
    15 Halfpenny Wal

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