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Journalist Stephen Jones’ Lions Squad Is Littered With Dark Horses

Rugby fans around the world are waiting with bated breath as they ponder and debate Warren Gatland’s impending Lions squad selection. The Kiwi coach will name his squad on Wednesday, charged with the task of shocking World Cup champions New Zealand across three tests in the summer.

Which players will get the call-up? Will there be a bolter? Who will captain the tour? Questions are flying around, and the answers are on the way.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Warren Gatland is announced as the Head Coach of the British & Irish Lions for the 2017 Tour to New Zealand during the British and Irish Lions Press Conference at Standard Life House on September 7, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

However, that doesn’t prevent a bit of impatience, and everybody is chipping in with their own two cents before the announcement.

In today’s Sunday Times, journalist Stephen Jones has selected his squad, and not everybody may agree.

While Jones often gets on the back of Ireland fans, he has surprised a few with his Irish inclusions. Rob Kearney and Simon Zebo both get the nod, but there is no room for the likes of CJ Stander, Rory Best, Cian Healy and Robbie Henshaw.

Scotland get a similar treatment, with Sean Maitland and Duncan Taylor included. However, there is no room for Stuart Hogg nor Jonny Gray.

While Wales (12) and England (16) are well represented, there are several notable inclusions and omissions.

Nobody is giving Scott Williams, Richard Wigglesworth, Luke Charteris, Tomas Francis, Kyle Sinckler and Richard Hibbard any chance of getting the call, but Jones has opted to include them.

Stephen Jones’ Lions squad selection, per the Sunday Times:

Rob Kearney, Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams, Anthony Watson, George North, Simon Zebo, Sean Maitland

Elliot Daly, Jonathan Joseph, Duncan Taylor, Scott Williams, Owen Farrell

Johnny Sexton, Dan Biggar

Conor Murray, Rhys Webb, Richard Wigglesworth

Billy Vunipola, Toby Faletau, Sam Warburton, Peter O’Mahony, James Haskell, Sean O’Brien, Maro Itoje

Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis, Luke Charteris, Courtney Lawes

Tadhg Furlong, Dan Cole, Tomas Francis, Kyle Sinckler

Jamie George, Dylan Hartley, Richard Hibbard

Mako Vunipola, Jack McGrath, Joe Marler

_____

Hat-tip to Balls.ie.

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Author: The PA Team

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