Ian McGeechan has named the British and Irish Lions team that he would like to see start against the Springboks in the first test.
All four nations are well represented in former Lions head coach McGeechan’s starting team, which comprises of four Irishmen, four Welshmen, four Englishmen and three Scotsmen.
McGeechan named his side after the Lions’ second win against the Sharks on Sky Sports, with just two warm-up games left before the first test match against the Springboks.
11 Tries ✅
651 Metres carried ✅
84% Tackle success ✅
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) July 10, 2021
The Scottish pundit has opted for ‘technical expertise’ in the pack.
McGeechan hasn’t been afraid to make some big calls in the backline, as he has gone with Liam Williams over Stuart Hogg at fullback, while Robbie Henshaw has missed out at centre.
Henshaw has been tipped to start for the Lions against South Africa by most pundits, but the Irishman hasn’t played since the first game of the summer against Japan, as he is currently struggling with a hamstring injury.
The experienced international coach has gone with Chris Harris and Owen Farrell as his centres, the latter of which he described as a “test match animal”.
McGeechan has picked a forward pack largely based on their “technical expertise”, expressing the importance of getting the set-piece right against the Springboks.
Half of the forwards the Scottish pundit has selected featured against the All Blacks in the last Lions tour, while three of them – Rory Sutherland, Hamish Watson and Tadhg Beirne – are touring with the best of Britain and Ireland for the first time.
Check out Ian McGeechan’s Lions XV for the first test below.
15. Liam Williams (Wales)
14. Anthony Watson (England)
13. Chris Harris (Scotland)
12. Owen Farrell (England)
11. Josh Adams (Wales)
10. Dan Biggar (Wales)
9. Conor Murray (Ireland, Lions captain)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)
7. Hamish Watson (Scotland)
6. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
5. Iain Henderson (Ireland)
4. Maro Itoje (England)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
2. Jamie George (England)
1. Rory Sutherland (Scotland)