Only a week until the British and Irish Lions kick off this summer's tour down under. Now that we know pretty much who's going we can consider the team we expect to be in line to play the first test on June 22nd. Only change we expect to be made to the Lions party is that Rory Best will now come in for a banned Dylan Hartley (unless he can persuade the disciplinary panel that he was abusing his own team-mate rather than the ref today). Here's the team I expect to see stepping out at Brisbane.
Full Back - Leigh Halfpenny. .....Kearney is good, and could be Halfpenny will be picked on the wing but not for me. Halfpenny is a dead cert.
Wings - George North and Alex Cuthbert......Though I do think a match fit Tommy Bowe will replace Cuthbert by 3rd test in Sydney.
Centres - Brian O'Driscoll and Jamie Roberts... though wouldn't argue with Jonathon Davies and Manu Tuilagi. Big question mark about whether the great Irishman's body will hold out.
Stand off - Johnny Sexton.......Just don't think Owen Farrell is up to it yet. If Sexton's injured, we will see Johnny Wilkinson in the team. Aussies will be licking their lips at the thought of nailing our ten.
Scrum Half - Mike Phillips. Hope the big man's on form.
Front Row - Gethin Jenkins, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones - but will need three front rowers on the bench as replacements.
Second Row - Paul O'Connell and Alun Wyn Jones.....Stand out.
Back Row - Sam Warburton, Jamie Heaslip and Tom Croft..... lots of options here. Dan Lydiate could be back for 2nd test. Gatling likes him (rightly). Can't rule out Justin Tipuric, Toby Faletau and Sean O'Brien either.
OK its 10 Welshmen. Promise I tried not to be partisan. And I think the Lions will win 3-0. Won't be easy, and Will Genia will have to be watched like a hawk, which is why I think Lydiate might make it. Only reason there are doubts is because of weakness at stand off.