Jason Robinson has included seven English players in his British and Irish Lions starting 15 to face South Africa in the first test this summer.
Two-times Lions tourist Robinson has gone with a powerful side to take on the Springboks, naming Manu Tuilagi, who missed out on the official 37-man squad, at outside-centre.
The World Cup-winner with England named his side for the Daily Express, which features seven Englishmen, three Irishmen, three Welshmen and two Scotsmen.
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) January 26, 2021
‘A rookie can make a big impact on a Lions tour.’
Robinson, who won his first test cap for the Lions against the Wallabies just four months after his international debut in 2001, backed fellow Lions rookie Louis Rees-Zammit to start against the Springboks.
“He has the pace to go the distance on the hard grounds of South Africa. He has only played a handful of Wales tests but a rookie can make a big impact on a Lions tour. I guess I should know,” Robinson wrote.
The former Sale Sharks winger has gone for an experienced half-back pairing, selecting Conor Murray at nine and Owen Farrell at 10, the same combination that started in the first test against the All Blacks in 2017.
Robinson has also gone with a familiar front-row, opting for Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Tadhg Furlong, who started in all three tests against New Zealand four years ago.
The former England winger’s second row of Alun Wyn Jones and Maro Itoje started in two Lions tests four years ago, while two debutants – Tom Curry and Hamish Watson – feature in the back row.
Check out Jason Robinson’s full Lions starting XV below.
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Anthony Watson (England)
13. Manu Tuilagi (England)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
11. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
10. Owen Farrell (England)
9. Conor Murray(Ireland)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)
7. Hamish Watson (Scotland)
6. Tom Curry (England)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
4. Maro Itoje (England)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
2. Jamie George (England)
1. Mako Vunipola (England)