The Six Nations has come to an end and there have been some quite outstanding performances from players we did not expect to shine here is our pick of one from each of the home nations to be included in the Lions squad.
The Scottish flanker has propelled himself into Lions contention after a storming championship. He carries hard and with pace, his ability to break the line could be key in New Zealand where the defensive line speed will be quicker than he has experienced in the Six Nations.
Hamish Watson does have stiff competition in his position from some of the best operators in the world. He is one of many Scots to have impressed throughout the championship though.
Selection Chances: Low, too much quality in this position.
He started the championship as firmly behind Taulupe Faletau but due to injury he got his chance, and boy did he take it! His powerful defensive game was the inspiration behind the win over Ireland.
The Gloucester back row is sure to be on Gatland’s radar after two months of hard hitting and abrasive running. Moriarty could well oust Faletau from the tour. His tackling game could be a hugely powerful asset in New Zealand.
Selection Chances: Moderate, lots of quality but the Welsh connection won’t do his chances any harm.
Launchbury has returned due to George Kruis’ injury and has once again shown what a class act he is. He has pushed himself back to the front of the queue regarding second row selection.
He acts like a third flanker around the field and his tireless effort is underestimated as a quality. For your teammates to be able to rely on you to make the hard yards and hit those rucks is immeasurable.
Selection Chances: Moderate, his contribution will be noted but lots of players playing well in this position.
It was hard to quantify Ringrose after the autumn, hard to really argue his case as his international qualities were still raw. There is no doubting his quality after those performances.
His lightning pace and eye for a gap see him firmly in contention for the tour now and he could even threaten the test side due to his ties with Sexton who surely has to be the frontrunner to wear 10 now.
Chances: Low, hugely bright talent but older more experienced players playing some good rugby.
A lot of players put their hands up and these four would certainly be an asset to any touring party. Warren Gatland is due to announce his squad on the April 19, and domestic form could determine whether these players are wearing the famous red jersey this summer.
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