Bryan Habana has picked out Duhan van der Merwe and Josh Adams as the British and Irish Lions’ most impressive wingers so far.
Lions wingers van der Merwe and Adams have found tries very easy to come by in South Africa, with the Scotland winger picking up five, while the Welshman has scored eight so far.
Former Springboks winger Bryan Habana was speaking to Sky Sports about the pair of wingers and admitted that van der Merwe especially has surprised him with his performances on tour.
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) July 12, 2021
Bryan Habana on the Lions’ wingers.
“A big name for me, and we probably all saw him as a bolter originally, is Duhan van der Merwe. Gatland has got an incredibly difficult, but pleasing situation ahead in terms of who he selects for his back three,” Habana said.
“It looks as if Josh Adams has done enough to cement his place, whether on the left or right-wing, and I sort of feel that Anthony Watson moving to full-back this week is just Gatland looking at a bit of versatility.
“I initially had Stuart Hogg, Watson and Adams in my back-three, but I think van der Merwe is not just knocking on the door but he’s banging it down at the moment with his performances.
“He’s done his reputation the world of good. Coming to the soil of his birth and putting in some fantastic efforts.”
The battle for places in the back three.
While Adams and van der Merwe may have the most tries of anyone in the Lions squad, the competition for places among the back three is far from over.
Anthony Watson has only played one game on tour so far, but the Englishman looked very good against the Sharks, and has been selected to start at fullback against South Africa ‘A’ on Wednesday.
The experienced England international started in all three tests against the All Blacks in 2017 and has consistently performed at a high level for both club and country since then.
Louis Rees-Zammit has also been no slouch for the Lions, while Stuart Hogg, Liam Williams and Elliot Daly could all feature at fullback against the Springboks.
With just two warm-up games left before the test series, time is running out for players to stake their claim, although it’s fair to say that no back three player has played themselves out of contention so far.