Home Rugby An Anzac XV To Take On The British And Irish Lions

An Anzac XV To Take On The British And Irish Lions

It has often been argued that the game of the century would be the Lions taking on an Anzac XV – a side made up of the Wallabies and the All Blacks combined. 

The brilliance of Lions tours is the bringing together of four nations who are usually rivals (Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales) in the space of just a few weeks and making them a team worthy of taking on the best down under.

After the Lions’ 41-16 demolition in the third test against Australia during the last tour, and with the upcoming tour highly anticipated, it would certainly be an interesting prospect.

To whet the appetite, here is the Anzac XV this writer would select:

1. Wyatt Crockett (NZ)

2. Dane Coles (NZ)

3. Sekope Kepu (AUS)

4. Brodie Retallick (NZ)

DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 19: Brodie Retallick of New Zealand in action during the International Friendly between Ireland and New Zealand at Aviva Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

5. Sam Whitelock (NZ)

6. David Pocock (AUS)

7. Michael Hooper (AUS)

8. Kieran Read (NZ)

9. Aaron Smith (NZ)

10. Beauden Barrett (NZ)

WAVERLEY, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 17: Beauden Barrett of the Hurricanes breaks away for a try during the Super Rugby pre-season match between the Hurricanes and the Crusaders at Border Rugby Club on February 17, 2017 in Waverley, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

11. Julian Savea (NZ)

12. Ryan Crotty (NZ)

13. Tevita Kuridrani (AUS)

14. Ben Smith (NZ)

15. Israel Folau (AUS)

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The Lions XV To Face The Anzacs:

1. Mako Vunipola (ENG)

2. Rory Best (IRE)

3. Tadhg Furlong (IRE)

4. Maro Itoje (ENG)

5. Jonny Gray (SCO)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Jonny Gray of Scotland celebrates on the final whistle after the RBS Six Nations match between Scotland and Wales at Murrayfield Stadium on February 25, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

6. CJ Stander (IRE)

7. Justin Tipuric (WAL)

8. Billy Vunipola (ENG)

9. Connor Murray (IRE)

10. Owen Farrell (ENG)

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 11: Owen Farrell of England is tackled by Dan Biggar of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and England at the Principality Stadium on February 11, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

11. Anthony Watson (ENG)

12. Robbie Henshaw (IRE)

13. Elliot Daly (ENG)

14. George North (WAL)

15. Stuart Hogg (SCO)

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While this fixture may currently be a fantasy for all rugby fans, it would be beneficial for the governing bodies of the sport, with supporters likely to pay big money to watch this historic game. Perhaps it could be used as a final match on a Lions tour, a one-off every four years to test the best against the best.

It has support too, with Brian O’Driscoll and other Lions legends having previously backed the idea.

Admittedly the prospect of this clash happening is a long way off, but, especially as rugby grows across the pond, ideas such as an Americas Lions tour means as the tradition slowly alters, this game becomes increasingly likely.

Oscar Reilly, Pundit Arena

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