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Paul O’Connell And Martin Johnson Pick Their ‘Lions XV’ From Round 4 Of The Six Nations

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: British & Irish Lions Ambassador Martin Johnson of England addresses the media during the British & Irish Lions 2017 Tour Media Briefing at The Gherkin on January 11, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The penultimate round of 2017 Six Nations fixtures saw England claim the championship prize for the second year running, while Wales ground out a victory against Ireland to keep their chances of finishing second alive.

As has been the case throughout the tournament, Lions shirt sponsors Standard Life Investments have enlisted legends Paul O’Connell, Martin Johnson, Shane Williams and Gavin Hastings to run the rule over the four Lions nations’ performances and select a fifteen based on said showings.

Where in round three Ireland and Scotland took the plaudits, this time England dominate with almost every one of the four composite teams featuring a strong presence from Eddie Jones’ side.

Despite Ireland’s performance on Friday being criticised my many, Paul O’Connell has still selected four of Joe Schmidt’s side in his fifteen, including Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton at scrum-half and out-half respectively. Tadhg Furlong and Jamie Heaslip (at blindside flanker) also make the cut in a team that features six English players:

Paul O’Connell’s Lions XV: Stuart Hogg (Scotland), George North (Wales), Jonathan Joseph (England), Owen Farrell (England), Anthony Watson (England), Johnny Sexton (Ireland), Conor Murray (Ireland), Mako Vunipola (England), Ken Owens (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Maro Itoje (England), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), Sam Warburton (Wales), Bully Vunipola (England)

Former England captain Martin Johnson, who was relatively harsh on his countrymen after the unsure display against Italy, but makes up for it with his latest selection by including no fewer than eight of his old side’s players:

As with O’Connell, Itoje, Farrell and Joseph are included, along with Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, Nathan Hughes and George Ford. Scotland don’t get a mention (which tends to be a theme in the two below also).

Martin Johnson’s Lions XV: Rob Kearney (Ireland), George North (Wales), Jonathan Joseph (England), Owen Farrell (England), Liam Williams (Wales), George Ford (England), Rhys Webb (Wales), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Dylan Hartley (England), Dan Cole (England), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Courtney Lawes (England), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Nathan Hughes

Williams, meanwhile, was suitably impressed with Wales’ performance against Ireland that he has picked nine of Rob Howley’s side in his team, in a side that also features six English players and just one from Ireland.

Shane Williams’ Lions XV: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), George North (Wales), Jonathan Joseph (England), Owen Farrell (England), Simon Zebo (Ireland), Dan Biggar (Wales), Rhys Webb (Wales), Rob Evans (Wales), Ken Owens (Wales), Dan Cole (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Courtney Lawes (England), Sam Warburton (Wales), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Nathan Hughes (England)

And finally, former Scotland international Hastings couldn’t bring himself to select any of his compatriots, who were put the sword so brutally by England on Saturday. Eight English players are selected by Hastings in a side that, like Williams, features just one from Ireland.

Gavin Hastings’ Lions XV: Rob Kearney (Ireland), George North (Wales), Jonathan Joseph (England), Owen Farrell (England), Liam Williams (England), George Ford (England), Rhys Webb (Wales), Joe Marler (England), Dylan Hartley (England), Tomas Francis (Wales), Joe Launchbury (England), Courtney Lawes (England), Sam Warburton (Wales), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Nathan Hughes (England)

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Author: The PA Team

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