With just two weeks remaining until Warren Gatland names his squad for the Lions squad for the tour of New Zealand this summer, the debate is intensifying – just who will be on the plane?
Certain players are already assured of their place but there are still a number of bolters looking to force their way into Gatland’s plans and earn a spot to potentially face the All Blacks, or at least to make the squad.
All will be revealed on April 19th but for now, BT Sport’s Austin Healey and Lawrence Dallaglio, both former Lions themselves, have whittled down a lot of names and settled on their combined preferences.
They began by establishing that while they have a number of players down as certainties it was harder than in recent tours to have a set list of who was definitely going. Their reasoning for each choice can be seen in the video below, but suffice to say they are looking at midweek options as well as test picks.
Dylan Hartley fails to make the grade for their squad despite Eddie Jones championing him, while Christ Ashton has played his way into their thoughts after a very strong showing in Saracens Champions Cup win at the weekend.
Their full rationale can be seen in the video below, but here is the 38-man squad they came way with.
- Jack McGrath (Ireland), Mako Vunipola (England), Cian Healy (Ireland)
- Rory Best (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Ken Owens (Wales)
- Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Dan Cole (England), WP Nel (Scotland)
- Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Donnacha Ryan (Ireland), Joe Launchbury (England), Geroge Kruis (England)
- CJ Stander (Ireland), Peter O’Mahony (Ireland)
- Sam Warburton (Wales), Justin Tipuric (Wales)
- Billy Vunipola (England), Taulupe Faletau (Wales)
- Rhys Webb (Wales), Conor Murray (Ireland), Greig Laidlaw (Scotland)
- Johnny Sexton (Ireland), Owen Farrell (England), Dan Biggar (Wales), Finn Russell (Scotland)
- Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Jonathan Joseph (England), Elliot Daly (England), Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
- Jack Nowell (England), Chris Ashton (England), George North (Wales), Liam Williams (Wales)
- Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Anthony Watson (England)