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Clive Woodward names just one Irish player in his Lions XV


Tadhg Beirne is the sole Irish player to be named by Clive Woodward in the Englishman’s British and Irish Lions starting 15 to face South Africa.

Former Lions coach Woodward has selected six English players in his team for the Daily Mail, despite England’s poor performance in the 2021 Six Nations Championship.

England lost all three of their matches against their fellow Lions nations – Ireland, Scotland and Wales – in the Six Nations, but that hasn’t deterred Woodward from opting for six of his countrymen.

England’s six players equal Wales’ tally for the most representatives from any one nation in Woodward’s team, while the former Lions coach has gone with two Scottish players.

Woodward has gone with Welsh talisman Alun Wyn Jones to captain the Lions in their series with the Springboks, while he has opted for England captain Owen Farrell to start at fly-half.

The Rugby World Cup-winning head coach believes the battle for the number 10 shirt is between Farrell and Ireland captain Johnny Sexton, but he has favoured the England captain as he believes he is less likely to get injured.

Elsewhere, in an interesting positional choice, Justin Tipuric has been selected at number eight, despite the Welshman normally playing at openside flanker for his country.

The former England coach has gone with Beirne at blindside flanker, in order to make room for Jones and Maro Itoje in the second row.

Check out the full starting XV below

15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
13. Henry Slade (England)
12. Jonathan Davies (Wales)
11. Anthony Watson (England)
10. Owen Farrell (England)
9. Gareth Davies (Wales)
8. Justin Tipuric (Wales)
7. Tom Curry (England)
6. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
5. Maro Itoje (England)
4. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales, captain)
3. Kyle Sinckler (England)
2. Ken Owens (Wales)
1. Rory Sutherland (Scotland)

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