MY Lions Test XV



  • 15-Lee Byrne; Despite Rob Kearney doing very little wrong on tour it’d be crazy to exclude Byrne who’s been one of the best players on tour thus far, solid under the high ball, huge left boot and wonderful line-running.
  • 14-Tommy Bowe; Probably the biggest surprise on tour so far. Everyone knows Bowe is a fine player but the range of skill he’s shown on tour has made him the top winger by far.
  • 13-Brian O’ Driscoll; No contest.
  • 12-Jamie Roberts; Formed an instant partnership with O’Driscoll and the pair looked a well-oiled unit at this stage. Should be aware that Fultey is an outstanding talent and wouldn’t weaken the side if Roberts isn’t on top form.
  • 11-Ugo Monye; Just about pipping Fitzgerald. A really tight call but the Harlequins man has a little more practice on tour and shades Luke in terms of physicality but the Irish wing certainly wouldn’t look out of place in the starting team.
  • 10-Stephen Jones; Again just about. The Welshman’s selection is purely based on his understanding with Philpis at 9 and Roberts at 12 and his slight superiority over O’Gara in defence. ROG and Hook have both had fine tours so Jones has no margin for error.
  • 9-Mike Philips; Once Tomas O’ Leary was ruled out of the tour Philpis was always favourite. His physicality, distribution, kicking and running are ahead of what Ellis and Blair can offer. The Englishman should be the bench option.
  • 8-Jamie Heaslip; An excellent tour to date has made him the clear choice.
  • 7-David Wallace; Probably the tightest call in the whole team. Williams has been outstanding especially against the Western Province. Whoever starts on the bench should expect to make an appearance.
  • 6-Tom Croft; A great pity that Ferris was forced out of contention, there was genuine competition for this jersey and the Ulsterman could easily have gotten the nod for his added power in the tight. Croft’s athleticism and lineout jumping give him the edge over Worsley.
  • 5-Paul O’ Connell
  • 4-Alun Wyn Jones; Narrowly chosen over Hynes who’ll be ready to come on for either lock if they’re not pulling their weight.
  • 3-Phil Vickery; Another close call. Murray has been very impressive and Jones has done nothing wrong. Vickery brings experience and leadership and his season has peaked in a Lions shirt. Murray to come on in the second half and do a job in the scrum.
  • 2-Lee Mears; Like scrum half injury was key. Flannery was clearly the stand-out hooker in the 6 nations. Rees has failed to make any kins of impression while Forde’s basics fall way short of what’s needed. Mears is the only choice.
  • 1-Gethin Jenkins; The Wesh loosehead gets through a huge amount of work and acts almost as another flanker. If McGeechan looks to attack the Bok’s scrum he’ll go with Sheridan but Jenkins is the more complete player.
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One Response to MY Lions Test XV

  1. mikefromdorch says:

    I agree with all your selections except No 7 where Martyn Williams gives that extra touch of finesse. Some would say that O’Connell and Wynn-Jones are too similar and Hynes would add muscle. Sheridan is a big lump about the field but in the scrum he is formidable. It depends whether they think the referee will allow the Lions to scrum.

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