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What Would A Southern Hemisphere Equivalent Of The Lions Look Like?

The British and Irish Lions take over a month of the summer every four years for many rugby fans, and that doesn’t take into consideration the months of speculation over squads, starting XVs, coaches, and everything else possible.

But what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if there was a representative side for the Southern Hemisphere that toured Britain and Ireland every four years?

For the purposes of this exercise, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the Pacific Islands are included.

Loosehead: Tendai Mtawarira

Not quite the force he was, but The Beast is still one of the most solid scrummagers around and is a good ball-carrier.

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Hooker: Dane Coles

A tight contest here with Malcolm Marx, but the South African’s set-piece difficulties see him take a spot on the bench.

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Tighthead: Owen Franks

The All Black won’t score many tries, but he won’t let you down at scrum time, and his work rate in the loose sees him take this spot ahead of Sekope Kepu.

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Lock: Brodie Retallick

A former World Player of the Year, his all-round game is second to none. Retallick has an astounding work rate and is a quality line-out operator which sees him get in ahead of Eben Etzebeth.

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Lock: Leone Nakarawa

The flying Fijian is astonishingly athletic for a second row. One of, if not the only lock in world rugby equally at home on the Sevens circuit. Nakarawa is one of the best at offloading in the tackle in the game.

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Blindside: Michael Hooper

Normally on the other side of the scrum, he takes the number six jersey in a new take on the Pocock-Hooper axis that dominated RWC 2015.

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Openside: David Pocock

To many, he is the best in the world. After taking a year out, he is back in the Brumbies squad for 2018, to the delight of Wallabies fans.

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Number 8: Kieran Read

No contest here, Read is one of the most skilled forwards ever to play the game.

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Scrum-half: Aaron Smith

One half of the best duo in world rugby, Smith is back to his best after a rocky 2016.

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Out-half: Beauden Barrett

Does anything else need to be said – simply the best out-half in the southern hemisphere.

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Wing: Nemani Nadolo

One of the biggest men in rugby, but power is far from his only skill, with a delicate boot and goal kicking ability also making the Fijian international one of the best wingers in the world.

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Inside Centre: Sonny Bill Williams

Prone to the odd moment of madness but he is a classy operator, rock solid defensively with a great off-loading game to compliment his centre partner.

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Outside Centre: Tim Nanai-Williams

Sonny’s cousin, the Samoan is one of the most talented backs in the world, equally adept anywhere from 10-15. Running onto Sonny Bill’s offloads, Tim would do serious damage on this team.

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Wing: Nehe Milner-Skudder

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen enough of him since the 2015 World Cup with two long-term injuries> That said, he is the best stepper in the game and is always threatening on the ball.

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Full-Back: Israel Folau

Folau struggled for form in 2016 but looked back to his dangerous best during the Rugby Championship. Aerial ability, footwork, pace – he is the complete full-back.

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Replacements: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Joe Moody, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Eben Etzebeth, 20. Sam Cane, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Handre Pollard, 23. Damian McKenzie.

Joseph O’Gorman, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.