With the fierce competition for places within the back-row, Ben Morgan really has to shine over the last few games. The England number 8 certainly helped his chances with his performance against Saracens at the weekend. An incisive line cut a hole in the Saracens defence and allowed the barraging back-rower to set off on a stampeding run, handing off two would-be defenders before crashing over for a try. With his opportunity to prove his worth during the Six Nations being cut short by an untimely ankle injury, Morgan will have to work hard to be included in the tour. Nevertheless if he can help his side cement a play-off position, he may well find himself included amongst the wealth of talent Gatland has to choose from in the back row.
Verdict: Waiting nervously by the phone
The powerful prop remains firmly in contention for the Lions squad with another excellent performance to add to what has been a very successful season for Scottish loose-head. Solid in the scrum and effective in open play, the 27-year old may well provide the perfect foil for Warren Gatland’s front row. His side’s tremendous season only furthers his cause with another vital win this weekend against the visiting Ospreys. Grant provided a telling contribution, powering his way over the line to add to his side’s try tally, as they came away with a bonus-point victory. Although he may not start, the Scotsman certainly has one foot in the door.
Verdict: Looking frantically for his passport
Although omitted from the Irish team for the Six Nations, the Ulster wing has hit top gear of late and could be a late-runner for the trip down-under. The 28-year old is looks happiest out wide but is able to play in the centres. This versatility will be highly regarded when the final selection is made. This weekend saw Ulster weather an early Connacht storm and string together some fine running rugby in which Irish-man was instrumental. Ulster’s first try was a great example, as some sublime handling and awareness carved open the Connacht defence. However, it was Trimble’s line and Pienaar’s pass to send to send his team mate over that was really the highlight of the match. It was a fine example of two players being on the same wavelength with the creativity and audacity to match.
Verdict: planning his summer holidays
The Welsh centre has pretty much cemented his place on the Lions tour. He remains a consistent performer at international level and for the Scarlets. His defence is always strong and his performance at the weekend reminded us of his finishing ability. The outside centre ghosted through the Cardiff Blues back line with an intelligent and incisive run going against a drift defence and the second was finished clinically and powerfully. He is likely to partner either his Welsh compatriot Jamie Roberts or England’s Tuilagi, in what is shaping up to be an assured and accomplished three-quarter line.
Verdict: In the departures lounge
By Jono Frank