Sam Warburton has selected six Ireland players in his British and Irish Lions team of the week, despite the men in green losing to France at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland have lost their opening two games of the championship for the first time since the Six Nations began in 2000 – with the introduction of Italy – and currently sit in fifth place in the table.
While Andy Farrell’s side have had to contend with a red card against Wales and multiple injuries to key players, their performances have not reached pre-tournament expectations.
Former Lions and Wales captain Warburton has been clearly impressed by a number of members in the Ireland squad however, naming more Irish players than any other nation in his starting 15.
Despite their victory against Scotland at Murrayfield Stadium, Warburton has named just three of his countrymen in his Lions team of the week – Louis Rees-Zammit, Wyn Jones and Taulupe Faletau.
England have earned four selections off the back of their win over Italy, while Scotland have just two representatives in the team with Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell.
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) February 15, 2021
The Welsh legend’s choices in the backline are perhaps the most surprising, choosing three Irish players – Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw and Jamison Gibson-Park – despite Ireland’s struggles in breaking down the French defence.
Warburton has gone for an all-Irish second row, while Rhys Ruddock gets the nod after his first international test match since the Rugby World Cup in 2019.
Check out Sam Warburton’s Lions XV of the week below.
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
11. Anthony Watson (England)
10. Finn Russell (Scotland)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (Ireland)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)
7. Tom Curry (England)
6. Rhys Ruddock (Ireland)
5. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
4. Iain Henderson (Ireland)
3. Kyle Sinckler (England)
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (England)
1. Wyn Jones (Wales)