Lions Selection – March 2009

With two rounds to go in the Six Nations, the British and Irish Lions squad is beginning to emerge. There has been plenty of debate over the last few weeks – I’ve read your comments, listened to your arguments and updated my team selection accordingly. Watch the video, then let me know your thoughts.

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In terms of the changes made, Dylan Hartley has hardly had any game time in England’s struggling side, so I’ve picked Jerry Flannery instead – Ross Ford could still get the nod if he has a strong showing in the last couple of rounds.

Alun Wyn Jones has been one of the outstanding players for me so far in the Six Nations and edges ahead of Nathan Hines who hasn’t had a chance to prove his value to the team.

Martyn Williams is putting forward a strong case for selection, but David Wallace has been at least as good, and offers additional weight to the pack.

Andy Powell has been dropped this month, with Jamie Heaslip coming into the side because he seems to offer more than just a battering ram option that the Springboks will learn to deal with very quickly.

Mike Blair retains his place, marginally ahead of Mike Phillips – although the Welshman enjoyed their Murrayfield encounter more than his opposite man, I believe this has more to do with the performance of the pack and Frank Hadden’s lack of options in the second row.

Jonny Wilkinson almost got the nod at fly-half, and this suggests that it could be a problem position for the Lions. Ronan O’Gara’s kicking against England takes him out of contention for me, but he or James Hook could play themselves in over the next couple of weeks.

Jamie Roberts comes in for Gavin Henson, which means we’ll miss the booming boot, but it’s hard to pick Henson when he hasn’t been playing and Roberts has been in great form.

You’ll also notice that I’ve changed my mind on captaincy – McGeechan likes a forward and O’Connell must be the man.

The Wales versus Ireland game will be fascinating to watch. Many of the decisions to be made are between Welsh and Irish players, and they’ll be going head-to-head in Cardiff in a couple of weeks’ time…I can’t wait!

Let me know what you think, and if you make a strong case, your man may get included in April’s selection. Additionally, I don’t usually do requests, but if you have any suggestions for next month’s song, I’d be happy to hear them.

54 thoughts on “Lions Selection – March 2009

  1. how you can pick phil veckery over adam jones beggars belief – adam is fitter -stronger and more consistent than vickery – he tackles like a back row

  2. I think Vickery’s experience and leadership give him an edge. The rest of the pack is young, but it’s good to have wise old front row.

  3. Would have to go with Ron James – cannot understand and don’t buy your logic/reasoning about Vickery. He hasn’t exactly demonstrated much leadership of late unless you count showing the young England pack the best way to give away penalties. For a prop of his experience to be penalised for not binding properly and then giving away needless penalties for playing the ball on the ground just after the ref had warned England about the very same speaks volumes. The fact that he wasn’t binding properly against Marcus Horan also says a lot. Horan is not exactly the greatest scrummager – more solid and dependable than outstanding. If he does it against Horan what will he be forced to do against the Boks?

    Both Adam Jones and John Hayes have to be seen as being ahead of Vickery in the pecking order. However, the clear first choice in terms of technical ability and alround game has to be Euan Murray whether he has had a lot of game time or not.

  4. Vickery is not a wise old front row, he struggles and givees away penalties for persistent binding offences

    The whole mix of your 15 is lacking in flair. You need more threat at Scrum half and a handling centre. PHilips is okay, but better still is Danny Care at 9. Dylon Armitage should play Centre. But I would change the whole mix by switching O’Driscoll to inside centre (which he has never played, but hae you noticed that he does not miss head on tackles and he wins lots of ruck ball)

    Why not have Martin Williams AND David Wallace – I know they are both open sides, but Wallace has the strength to carry straight.

    James Hook is the stand out fly half by a mile in terms of presenting a threat. Jones presents no threat and goes too deep in the pocket. Shane Geraghty is the second best Fly half, but not even in a national side, for kicking you have to take O’Gara over Stepehn Jones on statistics alone.

    The new Scottish Brothers might make a case for inclusion on one wing, the only English Wing might be O’Banahan at Bath, but again not even in the national side. But he is a good balance with Shane Williams on the right.

    I see very little that is special at number 8, but suspect the latest Ireland find is the on-form player.

  5. I can’t see the team for some reason only the article , I echo the comments on Vickery and Care doesn’t seem to be flavour of the month with England either. I note Henson is out for lack of game time -fair enough -Jonny Wilkinson being considered though he hasn’t laced a boot in anger for some time now seems to be a bit contrary to this though ! !This would just be repeating a mistake made on the last tour if it came to pass..

  6. This team feels very… blah. Not the fault of the author, but of the coaches and players. Still, a bit more zing might be in order. I think Joe Worsley showed against Wales that Jamie Roberts, like Andy Powell, is only a basher — when tackled out of the game (which the Boks will be more than happy to do), he goes missing. I’ve often wondered why O’Driscoll hasn’t moved inwards as he’s lost pace over the years — he’s silky enough with ball in hand, and a decent enough kicker. BO’D at 12 with Max Evans at 13 sounds more interesting… I’d also be tempted to put Tomas O’Leary ahead of Blair: he has Danny Care’s zest, but he also has a brain. Finally, Haskell?! Despite being a traitor to his club, with every game he further reveals himself to be a prat. Any one of Strokosch, Ferris or Ryan Jones would be preferable — the only England back-rowers I’d be tempted to take are Worsley and Tom Rees, if fit.

  7. By and large I agree with the selections, although between now and the First test, the carnage of injuries will alter it somewhat. Whilst understandably the Celts take most of the positions – I wouldn’t rule out Harry Ellis and Danny Cipriani taking the pivotal roles. If only because they both have a threat individually, and the latter is a love child of Geechs. Blair and Stephens are so dull the Boks will be lining up for our centres before the tour starts. Having said that after a Rugby Dinner recently, I asked Geechs who was in his Lions XV ? Probably hearing I was English he smiled and said ‘Celts’ !

  8. 7. Wallace
    8. Heaslip
    9. O Leary
    10. Jones
    11. Shane williams
    12. Jamie Roberts
    13. Brian O Driscoll
    14. Bowe
    15. Byrne

    Obviously my team is based on top notch performances to date.
    If I was to be political about it like geechan will have to, This would be my team

    1. Adams
    2. Flannery
    3. Jenkins
    4. Al wun jones
    5. O Connell
    6. Ferris
    7. Wallace
    8. Powell
    Still no english or scots!!
    9. oh heres one.. Blair
    10. Cipprianni He’s the only confirmed player picked already.
    11. Williams
    12. Roberts
    13. O Driscoll
    14. evans
    15. Kearney

    Hayes
    Mears
    steven jones
    Stringer
    Sackey
    Bryne
    Heaslip

  9. 1stly tho Phill Vickery’s power and experience are invaluble the best Tighthead in the World right now is Euan Murrey. Phil has played Loosehead on many previos ocasions so thats where i’d pick him. The two backup props would be Andrew Sheridan and John Hayes. Ronn James in his opinion sugests that Adam Jones is better than vickery. If my body wernt sore from last nights game id laugh at you!!!! Jones is good but no where near vickery. The question that remains is Jenkins or Sheridan.

    2ndly How come none of you pick Rory Lamont? I thought he was great for scotland.
    My Squad
    15.Lee Beyrn
    14.Rory Lamont
    13.Brian O’Driscoll
    12.Rick Flutey
    11.Shane Williams
    10.Ronan O’Gara
    9.Dwyn Peel
    8.Jamie Heaslip
    7.Martyn Williams
    6.Ryan Jones
    5.Poule O’Connel
    4.Simon Shaw
    3.Euan Murray
    2.Ross Ford
    1.Phill Vickery

  10. I wouldnt bring any England players they hate black people and will probably cause even MORE PENALTIES!!

  11. We are not going to out power the boks, no chance. So why not go for speed and do it our own way. Wallace and Williams in the back row. Blair, Hook, Henson, Evans, Williams, Evans and Byrne. At least then we would be better then the boks at something instead of worse at everything.

  12. Can’t see Blair anywhere near the team on form – we must have been watching different games. For me he’s been very poor. Phillips has done nothing to advance his cause, but will probably get the nod. I would still choose Peel whose only error was to go to Sale and then not be selected by the tinkering Frenchman (OK another tinkering Frenchman and a pretty big error too!!). I can’t see Vickery getting there – what exactly has he done? Hook has been badly off all season and cannot possibly make the first XV on form although he has loads of talent. Henson is a huge gamble, the most overrated player in European rugby in living memory – again huge potential but he simply never lives up to it – he wouldn’t make my team. My deeply-held view is that we’ll get thumped and I think you have to pick a team to stand up to the Boks (and hope). So I would certainly be happy to pick Williams and Wallace in the back-row, probably with Heaslip, Jones at 10, O’Driscoll at 12 is a good idea and Shanklin at 13. If the captain is a forward, then, yes, no better than O’Connell. Front row has Flannery, Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins with, as Pontylad pointed out recently, Euan Murray, if he can prove his fitness pushing very very hard. Of course, Geechs will choose something completely different so watch out for the Evans boys, Worsley(the outstanding English claimant at this stage) and maybe Harry Ellis

  13. If the Bok play Heinke vd Merwe, none of the tightheads i’ve seen in the six nations will stand in the scrum, but they’ll probably pick the Beast Mtawarira, who’s not an exceptional scrummager like vd Merwe, but he’s pretty good. The key to disrupting the Boks’ scrum will have to be on the Lions loosehead side. If they intend playing Smith there, it could be critical to pick a strong scrummager and I don’t think Jenkins is that man.

    To win a test in SA, especially on the Highveld ans especially against Fourie Du Preez, Ruan Pienaar and whoever the Boks pick at fullback, and with these new rubbish rules, you’re going to have to win the kicking game first. That can only mean Johnny Wilkinson, if he is fit, has to feature somewhere. Breakdowns are critical, especially those in your own half since any team can be blown up at any given moment for anything, especially in your own half. It seems as if there is a lot more kicking with the ELV’s.

    Line-outs are critical, you have to be able to compete with Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, and Juan Smith. That’s a major part of the Boks’ plan to neutralise and turn possesion over. If you can’t compete in this phase, and win at least 95% of your own ball, you’re buggered.

    The biggest thing to remember though is tha the Springboks is probably the only teamin the world that can win with 30% of the possesion, and the new ELV’s seem to suit this type of style. Which makes first pahse possesion and kicking out of hand absolutely critical. Win those battles and you’ll beat the Boks.

  14. As ever it’s the Six Nations that sets the standard for British rugby so the likelihood is that the teams prospering in the tournament – Wales and Ireland will make up the core of the side. England for me can’t have more than 1 player in the 15 with their lack of international quality and Scotland should complete the jigsaw by adding grit and determination.
    The key to my side is the balance, with the combinations in midfield and leadership up front the overall side blends well.
    Firstly Lee Bryne provides the stability at full-back, his reading of the game allows his to pick runs and scythe defences. An understanding of the back three is vital on tours to South Africa which is why I have chosen the magical Shane Williams, his Welsh compatriot on the other wing. To complement them on the other wing is Delon Armitage who is run close by Rob Kearney. But Armitage offers a more conservative and reliable game which would prove a good variety. O’Driscoll is simply world class and one of many leaders in this team and he partners the more direct and powerful Jamie Roberts who also comes with being relatively unknown to South Africa. With no outstanding half backs in the British Isles Stephen Jones and Mike Blair just pipped Ronan O’Gara and Mike Phillips respectively. RO’G was omitted for his crumbling under pressure but he would still make my squad. Jones brings stability and a decent kicking game that it is important in today’s game with Blair a livewire at the breakdown.
    The forwards always have a heavy burden to carry on Lions tours an dthis one will be no different. The hardest part of selecting my team was trying to incorporate Wallace, Jones and Williams into the back row. Jones is another leader who tackles everything and Wallace is a devastating ball carrier. As for Williams he has critical experience from the last two tours and secures loose ball effectively. The second row picks itself with captain O’Connell pairing the equally McBride esque Alun-Wyn Jones with both solid at set piece time. In the front row Euan Murray adds strength and dynamism at the scrum and in the loose. The scrum is always essential in South Africa and Ford has a good understanding with Murray and has developed a good line out throw. Gethin Jenkins completes my side with his in your face style that should ask questions of the South African front row.

    15: LEE BRYNE
    14: DELON ARMITAGE
    13: BRIAN O’DRISCOLL
    12: JAMIE ROBERTS
    11: SHANE WILLIAMS
    10: STEPHEN JONES
    9: MIKE BLAIR
    8: RYAN JONES
    7: MARTYN WILLIAMS
    6: DAVID WALLACE
    5: PAUL O’CONNELL (C)
    4: ALUN-WYN JONES
    3: EUAN MURRAY
    2: ROSS FORD
    1: GETHIN JENKINS

  15. As ever it’s the Six Nations that sets the standard for British rugby so the likelihood is that the teams prospering in the tournament – Wales and Ireland will make up the core of the side. England for me can’t have more than 1 player in the 15 with their lack of international quality and Scotland should complete the jigsaw by adding grit and determination.
    The key to my side is the balance, with the combinations in midfield and leadership up front allowing the overall side to blend well.
    Firstly Lee Bryne provides the stability at full-back, his reading of the game allows him to pick runs and scythe defences. An understanding of the back three is vital on tours to South Africa which is why I have chosen the magical Shane Williams, his Welsh compatriot on the other wing. To complement them on the other wing is Delon Armitage who is run close by Rob Kearney. But Armitage offers a more conservative and reliable game which would prove a good variety. O’Driscoll is simply world class and one of many leaders in this team and he partners the more direct and powerful Jamie Roberts who also comes with being relatively unknown to South Africa. With no outstanding half backs in the British Isles Stephen Jones and Mike Blair just pipped Ronan O’Gara and Mike Phillips respectively. RO’G was omitted for his crumbling under pressure but he would still make my squad. Jones brings stability and a decent kicking game that’s important in today’s game with Blair a livewire at the breakdown too.
    The forwards always have a heavy burden to carry on Lions tours and this one will be no different. The hardest part of selecting my team was trying to incorporate Wallace, Jones and Williams into the back row. Jones is another leader who tackles everything and Wallace is a devastating ball carrier. As for Williams he has critical experience from the last two tours and secures loose ball effectively. The second row picks itself with captain O’Connell pairing the equally McBride esque Alun-Wyn Jones with both solid at set piece time. In the front row Euan Murray adds strength and dynamism at the scrum and in the loose. The scrum is always essential in South Africa and Ford has a good understanding with Murray and has developed a consistent line out throw. Gethin Jenkins completes my side with his in your face style that should ask questions of the South African front row.

    15: LEE BRYNE
    14: DELON ARMITAGE
    13: BRIAN O’DRISCOLL
    12: JAMIE ROBERTS
    11: SHANE WILLIAMS
    10: STEPHEN JONES
    9: MIKE BLAIR
    8: RYAN JONES
    7: MARTYN WILLIAMS
    6: DAVID WALLACE
    5: PAUL O’CONNELL (C)
    4: ALUN-WYN JONES
    3: EUAN MURRAY
    2: ROSS FORD
    1: GETHIN JENKINS

  16. Hauta – I thought Rory Lamont had a great season last season and he was certainly in contention. I haven’t seen much of him this season as i think he’s lost form for Sale (or maybe was injured) and Scotland haven’t been picking him either so he’s not in my Lions thoughts at the moment, if he has a stormer for the rest of the season then he might have a chance of making the plane.

  17. 1.sheridan 2.flannery 3.hayes 4.alun wyn jones 5.o’connell(capt) 6.ryan jones 7.martyn williams 8.wallace 9.blair 10.o’gara 11.shane williams 12.henson 13.o’driscoll 14.fitzgerald 15.byrne

  18. no Sheridan not after his scrummaging masterclass so far this season, Hayes not good enough Blair not quite unless injuries, O’Gara have you addiction problems? Henson, Fitzgerald good outside calls. Instead G.Jenkins, E. Murray/A.Jones, Peel(if still injured)Phillips, S.Jones, Shanklin move O’Driscoll & my one leftfield selection Cueto.
    Ty

  19. this is my team

    1.gethin jenkins
    2.ross ford
    3.euan murray
    4.nathan hines
    5.paul o’connel
    6.ryan jones
    8.andy powell
    7.david wallace
    9.mike blair
    10.stephen jones
    11.shane williams
    12.rikki flutey
    13.brian o’driscoll
    14.thom evans
    15.lee byrne

  20. Let´s get serious. We need a tour squad of 35 not just a team – including a few utility players. The team itself will emerge on tour.

    Half-backs: M. Phillips, M. Blair, C. Cusiter, S. Jones, R. O´Gara

    Backs: G. Henson, J. Roberts, T. Shanklin, B. O´Driscoll, G. D´Arcy, T. Bowe, M. Evans, R. Kearney. L. Byrne, S. Williams, M. Cueto

    Back-row: A. Powell, R. Jones, D. Wallace, M. Williams, J. Worsley, J. Heaslip, J. Haskell

    Second-row: P. O´Connell (Capt.), A. Wyn-Jones, I. Gough, N. Hines, S. Taylor

    Front-row: G. Jenkins, A. Jones, P. Vickery, E. Murray, M. Rees, R. Ford, J. Flannery

    (Near-misses: R. Flutey, M. Evans, T. Croft, D. Armitage)

  21. Martin Williams a cert’ surely 2nd to O’Connell in captain’s role.
    1, G. Jenkins.
    2, At the mo’ anyone from Div’ 3 up!!
    3, E, Murray.(fitness dependent)/A,Jones.
    4, A.W. Jones.
    5, P. O’Connell(C).
    6, J. Worsley.
    7, M. Williams.
    8, J. Heaslip.
    9, M. Phillpis.
    10, S. Jones.
    11, S. Williams.
    12 T. Shanklin.
    13, B. O’Driscoll.
    14, M. Cueto.
    15, L. Byrne.
    Balanced I think but don’t forget I’m a hooker!?!?!?!?!
    Vickery, Another div3 hooker, Croft, Blair, & Armitage on bench.
    Unless they call up most of the Bolingey Barbarians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. 1. Jones
    2. Ford/J. Flannery
    3. G. Jenkins
    4. Al Wun Jones
    5. P. O Connell (vc)
    6. R. Jones
    7. D. Wallace/M. Williams
    8. Heaslip/Powell
    9. B. Blair/M. Philips/P. Stringer
    10. R. O’Gara/J. Hook
    11. S. Williams
    12. J, Roberts/G. D’Arcy
    13. B O’Driscoll (c)
    14. L. Fitzgearled
    15. R. Kearney

    Henson/Wilkinson/Cipriani/Byrne and other show men(no dissrespect , like to watch them all) to play midweek to draw crowds and sell jerseys………………Lets hope for no injuries and a briliant tour. And im aware my choice of captain will be un-popular but he deserves it on merit and on sentiment.

  23. ok,obviously,none of ye are watchin the 6 nations,this has to be the lions side:

    15:Lee Byrne
    14:Luke Fitzgerald
    13:Brian O’ Driscoll(c)
    12:Jamie Roberts
    11:Shane Williams
    10:Stephen Jones
    9:Mike Blair
    8:Jamie Heaslip
    7:David Wallace
    6:Stephen Ferris
    5:Paul O’ Connell
    4:Alun Wyn Jones
    3:Gethin Jenkins
    2:Jerry Flannery
    1:Euan Murray

    Replacements:
    Ronan O’ Gara,Rob Kearney,Gordon D’arcy,Dwayne Peel,Andy Powell,Martyn Williams,Nathan Hines,Ross Ford,John Hayes

    I’ve looked at the rest of the posts,and some of you have Delon Armitage at full back..how in the name of god could he start or even come on as a replacement ahead of kearney and bryne???
    and something else that id question is how stephen ferris hasnt figured in any side so far..

  24. ah he is though..
    byrne and kearney are now very well established in their national squads..
    delon armitage has 4 games of test experience..and that tells against southern hemisphere teams..
    also both byrne and kearney have had an excellent 6 nations..

  25. Well, having not at all recovered from Ireland’s historic win and a nerve-wrackig occasion, I thought I’d venture an update (probably should hae waited till tomorrow). Here’s my first team:
    15 Byrne
    14 Williams S (but he’s losing his lead)
    13 O’Driscoll (Captain)
    12 Flutey
    11 Fitzgerald
    10 Jones S
    9 Phillips (but he’s not had a good 6 Nations) Injury will keep Peel out so Ellis is No. 2. Blair, in my opinion doesn’t have it)
    8 Heaslip (maybe Jones R)
    7 Williams M
    6 Worsley
    5 O’Connell (captain if it must be a forward)
    4 A W Jones
    3 Jones A
    2 Flannery
    1 Jenkins
    Lokkig back at this, I see 5 Irishmen and 8 Welsh with two English – a bit odd, given the result of the 6 Nations? All I can say is that it’s position by position.

  26. 15 lee bryne
    14 tommy bowe/luke fitzgerald
    13 brian o’driscoll
    12 riki flutey/tom shankalin
    11 shane williams
    10 ronan o’gara
    9 tomas o’leary/dwayne peel
    8 jamie healslip
    7 david wallace
    6 stephen ferris/ryan jones
    5 paul o’connell
    4 donnacha o’callaghan
    3 john hayes/euan murray
    2 jerry flannery
    1 andrew sheridan

  27. This tour is going to be 80 minutes flat out every game over hard ground! This is where Geech will excel, he will bring in players people have doubts over but knows can do a job. Croft at 6, the man has so much pace and will be needed, Kenedy, lineout man to challenge the Boks second rows, and a round the park runner. Even to the likes of pulling in the un capped players, like he did with Greenwood in 97. Foden will go, wilkinson fit will go. His sleection will spark questions but will work. Test team to be:
    15. Byrne
    14. Monye
    13. O’Driscoll
    12. Flutey
    11. Williams
    10. Wilko (if fit) Flood
    9. Ellis
    1. Jenkins
    2. Mears
    3. Murrary
    4. Alun Wyn Jones
    5. O’Connell
    6. Croft
    7. Wallace
    8 Heaslip

  28. Danny Cipriani being considerd for a starting place on the Lions Tour is disgracefull. Stephen Jones and O’Gara are both much better at controling a Game than Cipriani and his inexpiernce would be targeted by the Boks.

    1.Jenkins
    2.Flannery
    3.Hayes (Better than Vickery in my opinion)
    4.Al wyn Jones
    5.Paul O’Connell (vice captain)
    6.Stephen Ferris
    7.David Wallace
    8.Jamie Heaslip
    9.Philips/Blair (Blair had a great game against England)
    10.O’Gara
    11.Williams (Hope he improves on his 6 nations displays)
    12.Tom Shanklin
    13.Brian O Driscol
    14.Bowe
    15.Byrne

    16. Ford
    17.E Murray
    18. Donnacha O’ Callaghan
    19. Ryan Jones
    20. Philips/ Blair
    21. Jones
    22. Kearney

    Other players to travel Vickery, Horan, Mears, Shaw, Taylor, Martyn Williams, Andy Powell, Tomás O leary, Patterson, M. Evans, Danielli, Fitzgerald Flutey, Armitage, Roberts, D’Arcy

  29. Just one question: Why is the Lions team not renamed as; Wales. It seems that the Welsh as opposed to the Scots, English and Scots seem to think their players are the best in every position. Thankfully a Scot is choosing the side, we may then get the best team. By the way I’m not a Scot.

  30. 15. Lee Byrne – Depsite a bad 6N by his standards, no one has done enough to see him out of a starting place yet, although Armitage continues to impress.
    14. Tommy Bowe
    13. BOD
    12 Jamie Roberts – only if Gavin Henson doesn’t find some comsistent for, becaues he does have the potential to be one of the best centres in the world. As for Roberts… if he can bring his hard line breaking runs to the Lions tem, he’ll give BOD all the gaps he needs
    11. Shane Williams – completes an all ospreys back line, which oozes creativity… leading to one thing… TRIES!
    10. Stephen Jones – playing his best rugby to date, only man who could take the jersey of him justly his a certain mr wilkinson
    9. Mike Phillips – no matter how many arguements made about his inefficiencies at the basics, he brings a whole different dimension to the team (although a fit and in for Peel is still the best number 9 in the world)
    8.Powell/Jones
    7. Williams – plays on the edge of the rules, vital for a number 7, can create something out of nothing
    6. Joe Worsely – just look at his tackle count in the 6N
    5. O’Connell – picks himself
    4. Alun Wyn Jones – future Wales and Lions captain
    3. Murray/Jones – Murray is world class in the scrum, but Jones tackles like he’s in the Back Row
    2. Flannery – the Irish lineout is the best, and why change a combination that works
    1. Gethin Jenkins

  31. My XV:

    15 – Delon Armitage
    14 – Tommy Bowe
    13 – Brian O’Driscoll (c)
    12 – Gavin Henson
    11 – Shane Williams
    10 – Ronan O’Gara
    9 – Mike Blair
    8 – Andy Powel
    7 – David Wallace
    6 – Ryan Jones
    5 – Paul O’Connell
    4 – Alun-Wyn Jones
    3 – Andrew Sheridan
    2 – Mattew Rees
    1 – John Hayes

  32. lions team will be

    Byrne
    Fitzgerald
    O Driscol
    flutey
    Williams
    O Gara
    Philips
    Heaslip
    Wallace
    jones
    O Connell
    A W Jones
    Hayes
    Flannery
    Jenkins

  33. Phillips is way to slow in getting the ball out
    blair hasnt had a great six nations but he is still the man for the job

  34. ya maybe harry ellis from england should be in with a shout. o driscol will defintely be captain. o connell will be vice captain. some squad there too. no scots by me but the likes of blair white taylor ford murray and evens will be there abouts come match day. wat happened to ally hogg.hes an exceptional back row player. any news on wilkinson???? gavin henson wont even make the panel i reckon.. peel too will probably go if fit. very gud scrum half.

  35. No no no……Gavin Henson is a great player but hasn’t proved his worthiness at all this season, he is also a liability. Luke Fitzgerald is so fresh,young and inexperienced, I really cant see him causing damage against the likes of Habana and Pietersen. Shane Williams is pure class…no doubting that but he seem’s to be a confidence player and he needs to find that before he can nail down his number 11 jersey. James Hook at 10 will not work…..we need a real leader who will dictate the game and I think O’ Gara or Jones are needed in this department. Its still anybodys at number 9. Powell is a real power house but we need brains over brawn against the types of Burger and co. Not sure about Haskell either….hasn’t shown what he is really made of lately. Nathan Hines…….? NO! Alun-Wynn Jones and POC! Vickery and Hartley……lord NO! Euan Murray and Jerry Flannery with Jenkins. I could be wrong so please free to dis-agree.

  36. fakey,danny care doesnt even start for england,so how could he start for the lions?????
    and seriously how stephen ferris is not being considered by anyone is a joke..

  37. 15 lee bryne
    14 tommy bowe
    13 brian o’driscoll(c)
    12 riki flutey
    11 shane williams
    10 ronan o’gara
    9 mike phillips
    8 jamie heaslip
    7 david wallace
    6 stephen ferris
    5 paul o’connell
    4 donnacha o’callaghan
    3 euan murray
    2 jerry flannery
    1 andrew sheridan
    16 ross ford
    17 phil vickery
    18 al wyn-jones
    19 ryan jones
    20 tomas o’leary
    21 stephen jones
    22 luke fitzgerald

  38. you realease it when it has decent FIRST team experience..
    its his first season in his rugby union national side..
    he was a rugby league player and only one english player made the grade for england and was any good in the last few years and thats jason robinson…
    and you dont experiment with the Lions..thats rubbish..
    six nations teams experiment..france experiment..the Lions shouldnt experiment..
    they have 3 tests to do it,if you were coach would you experiment against the world champions when many consider them up agaisnt it anyway????

  39. Look at this line-up and see if the Lions will be able to beat this Springbok team..

    1)Guthro Steenkamp
    2)John Smit
    3)CJ van der Linde
    4)Bakkies Botha
    5)Victor Matfield
    6)Schalk Burger
    7)Luke Watson
    8)Pierre Spies
    9)Fourie du Preez
    10)Butch James
    11)Bryan Habana
    12)Jean de Villiers
    13)Jacques Fourie
    14)JP Pieterson
    15)Zane Kirchner

  40. 15 bryne
    14 bowe
    13 odriscoll
    12 flutey
    11 williams
    10 ogara
    9 phillips
    8 healslip
    7 williams
    6 wallace
    5 oconnell
    4 ocallaghan
    3 murray
    2 flannery
    1 sheridan

  41. my test team:

    15-Lee Byrne
    14-Tommy Bowe
    13-Brian O Driscoll
    12-Jamie Roberts
    11-Shane Williams
    10-Ronan O’ Gara
    9-Mike Blair
    8-David Wallace
    7-Martin Williams
    6-Stephen Ferris/Ryan Jones
    5-AW Jones
    4-Paul O’ Connell (C)
    3-Euan Murray
    2-Jerry Flannery
    1-Getin Jenkins

    Near misses…..John Hayes,Jamie Heaslip,Stephen Jones,Riki Flutey,Ugo Monye

    2 possible munster surprises to make the plane:Keith Earls and even Alan Quinlan well ok quinny wont but hed do a good job no doubt!!!

  42. 15. Lee Byrne
    14. Paul Sackey
    13. Brian O’Driscoll (C)
    12. Ricki Flutey
    11. Shane Williams
    10. Ronan O’Gara
    9. Harry Ellis
    8. Jamie Heaslip
    7. David Wallace
    6. Joe Worsley
    5. Paul O’Connell
    4. Alun Wyn Jones
    3. Phil Vickery
    2. Jerry Flanery
    1. Andrew Sheridan

  43. O’Gara was pure class for munster against ospreys. O’ Driscolls defence was gud against harlequins. Armitage is in good form for London Irish at the moment aswell. Hpefully some of theese players can carry dis sort of form into the summer.

  44. Leamy, Quinlan and Earls have to be strong outside bets for Lions selection after their performances on Sunday. Quinlan in an ‘enforcer’ role especially.
    Ryan Jones, Hook and Shane Williams again failed to impress.
    Monye and Turner Hall from Quins put their hands up.
    McGeechan has to make his picks from left field and mix the selection up. Just relying on so called form players from the Six Nations will result in another whietwash.

  45. Geech will pick the biggest meanest team available to him, if we remember 97 he picked backs that were primarily defensive players, Tait on the wing for example. I fear for players such as O’Gara, Peel, Futey, Fitzgerald Williams and Williams as they might get bumped for more physical options, Geech will go there assuming the Lions will be on the defense for the majority of the games.

    Geechs team:
    1-Murray
    2-Flannery
    3-Jenkins
    4-O’Connel
    5- AW Jones
    6-Croft
    7- Wallace
    8- Heaslip
    9- Phillips
    10- Jones
    11- Bowe
    12- Henson
    13- O’Driscoll
    14- Armitage
    15- Byrne

  46. 1. Gethin Jenkins
    2. Lee Mears
    3. Euan Murray
    4. Paul O Connel
    5. Alun Wyn Jones
    6. Joe Worsley
    7. Martin Williams
    8. Jamie Heaslip

    9. Mike Phillips
    10. Stephen Jones
    11. Shane Williams
    12. Tom Shanklin / Riki Flutey
    13. Brian O’Driscoll
    14. Ugo Monye
    15. Lee Byrne

    16. Andrew Sheridan
    17. Jerry Flannery
    18. Simon Shaw
    19. Duncan Wallace
    20. Harry Ellis
    21. Ronan O Gara
    22. Brian Kearney

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