Ugo Monye has put aside his national bias when selecting his British and Irish Lions starting XV, as just two England players have made the cut.
Anthony Watson and Maro Itoje are the only Englishmen to make Monye’s team, as the former England winger has rewarded players based on their form in the 2021 Six Nations on the BBC Rugby Union Weekly podcast.
Wales and Ireland – the two Lions nations that finished highest in the table in this year’s championship – make up the bulk of the team, as six Welsh players and five Irish players have been included.
“There’s going to be some quality players who miss out.”
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) April 15, 2021
The former Harlequins man has gone with an experienced side, as just four players in his starting team have never toured with the Lions before.
Those four players are Welsh youngster Louis Rees-Zammit, reliable Wales prop Wyn Jones, versatile Ireland forward Tadhg Beirne and Scotland’s bruising back rower Hamish Watson.
There are no overly controversial choices to speak of in Monye’s side, although Scotland fans may feel a little hard done by for having only two players in the side after a solid Six Nations.
Scottish supporters will be happy to see Six Nations Player of the Tournament Hamish Watson included in the starting team though, with the flanker considered to be too small by some pundits to face the Springboks.
Check out the full starting XV below.
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Anthony Watson (England)
13. George North (Wales)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
11. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
1. Wyn Jones (Wales)
2. Ken Owens (Wales)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
4. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
5. Maro Itoje (England)
6. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
7. Hamish Watson (Scotland)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)