Sunday, March 03, 2013

Early Call for the Lions Team

Still a bit early to settle on the Lions team, but here's my assessment of what Warren Gatland will be thinking about as we approach the run-in to final selection. Inevitably there's a bit of Welsh bias in my selection, even if I've tried to avoid it. But I have picked seven Welshmen. The next two games could change that.

Prop - Gethin Jenkins. Back to form now he's back to playing. Needs to be back in the UK.
Prop - Adam Jones. Still the best in my book.
Hooker - Rory Best. Obvious choice.
Second Row - Geoff Parling.
Second Row - Alun Wyn Jones, though he needs two good games to tell us he's really back to form.
Blind side - Tom Croft, just ahead of Sean O'Brien. Both will step aside if a fully fit Dan Lydiate returns.
No 8 - Toby Faletau.
Scrum Half - Mike Phillips.
Stand Off - Johnny Sexton - after Farrell's petulant display against France.
Inside Centre - Brad Barritt. I really like him. Not flash. Just very good.
Outside Centre - Brian O'Driscoll. Controversial call this. No complaint if Tuilagi's picked.
Wing - Tommy Bowe. Brilliant and just hope he's back in time.
Wing- George North. Very Special player.
Full Back - Leigh Halfpenny. Obvious choice and goalkicker.

There are a few others who could be selected without dispute from me - and I have assumed some anticipated form improvement over the last two rounds. Here's my respected alternatives who will make the tour - Dan Cole, Tom Youngs, Richie Gray, Joe Launchbury, Johnnie Beattie, Jamie Heaslip, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton, Ryan Jones (Captain of mid week side), Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell. Manu Tuilagi, Jamie Roberts, Jonathon Davies, Stuart Hogg.

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