Stephen Ferris selects his Lions team to face South Africa


“I’m going to go with Conor Murray at scrum-half and Owen Farrell at fly-half.”

Stephen Ferris has selected five Irishmen in his team to start against the Springboks for the British and Irish Lions this summer.

The former Ireland international has made a few interesting choices in his Lions team, with the selection of Jacob Stockdale at fullback perhaps his most courageous decision.

Ferris was speaking to Sky Sports about his Lions selection, which he thinks should be led by England captain Owen Farrell this summer.

Stephen Ferris selects his Lions team.

“As much as he’s been written off for a long time, I’m going to go with Conor Murray at scrum-half and Owen Farrell at fly-half,” Ferris commented.

“I think the Lions are going to roll their sleeves up and go to the power game against South Africa, and with Farrell at No. 10 it gives you another option outside.

“I think if Farrell is playing 10 I’d lean towards him as captain as well. He’s come in for a lot of criticism recently, but I think in general over the last couple of years he’s been pretty good.

“If it’s not him, it’s got to be somebody in the pack and then it’s either got to Itoje or Ryan.”

Ferris, who toured South Africa with the Lions in 2009, has gone with a second row of Maro Itoje and James Ryan, although he has argued that his fellow Ulsterman Iain Henderson could work his way into the starting team.

The former Lions flanker has selected three members of the Wales team that could win a Grand Slam this Saturday in his starting side, while one Scottish player – Rory Sutherland – makes the cut.

England have the largest contingency in the starting 15, as Ferris has named six members of Eddie Jones’ team to start for the Lions against South Africa this summer.

Check out the full starting XV below.

15. Jacob Stockdale (Ireland)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
13. George North (Wales)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
11. Jonny May (England)
10. Owen Farrell (England, captain) 
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
1. Rory Sutherland (Scotland)
2. Jamie George (England)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
4. Maro Itoje (England, vice-captain)
5. James Ryan (Ireland)
6. Sam Underhill (England)
7. Tom Curry (England)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Wales).

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