Speculation over the British and Irish Lions squad continues and ahead of Warren Gatland’s official announcement in less than a weeks time, Lions legends Martin Johnson and Gavin Hastings have been discussing the highly competitive second row.
The recently concluded Six Nations championship showcased the ridiculous strength and depth of talent in the second row of the four home nations, with each country able to put forth Lions candidates with some serious credentials.
Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes for England, The Gray brother from Scotland, Alun Wyn Jones from Wales and Ireland’s Donnacha Ryan, Iain Henderson and Devin Toner, have all given Gatland food for thought.
Discussing the options, Johnson and Hastings put forth a number of surprising preferences but their settling on Maro Itoje for the no.4 Lions jersey was as unanimous as it gets.
Despite being employed as a flanker for the Six Nations, allowing Launchbury and Lawes to form a formidable partnership, Itoje would blush if he heard what Johnson had to say about him.
“This guy for me, has got something special.
“I don’t think we’ve seen an athlete as good as him in the British Isles playing in that position.”
Hastings was quick to agree with the Johnson,
“I think he has a great engine on him as well hasn’t he? He’ll run all day.”
Take a look.
Video Credit: Standard Life Investments
Considering the legends of the game who have enjoyed storied careers in the second row, the comments from Johnson and Hastings and their agreement that he should start at No.4 for the Lions, it is clear the pair have huge expectations of the formidable 22-year-old, and are confident he will deliver against the All Blacks this summer.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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