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Martin Johnson And Shane Williams Pick Their ‘Lions XV’ From The Final Round Of The Six Nations

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 04: Lions try scorer Shane Williams waves to the crowd after the Third Test match between South Africa and The British and Irish Lions at Ellis Park Stadium on July 4, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The final round of Six Nations fixtures last weekend saw Ireland win the battle but England claim the spoils of the war.

Joe Schmidt’s side came away from the Aviva Stadium with a 13-9 win to put an end to England’s hopes of a second successive grand slam, as well as ending their unbeaten run under Eddie Jones. The Red Rose, however, still lifted the championship trophy in Dublin.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 18:  Sean O'Brien of Ireland charges towards Ben Youngs of England during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium on March 18, 2017 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

As such, Ireland took most of the plaudits on a weekend where Scotland scored 29 unanswered points against Italy, and France defeated Wales 20-18 after the unusual spectacle of the match going into almost 20 minutes of added time.

As has been the case throughout the tournament, Lions sponsors Standard Life Investments enlisted legends Martin Johnson and Shane Williams (though Paul O’Connell and Gavin Hastings are normally involved too) to select their ‘Lions XV’ from each round of fixtures and, as expected, Ireland feature somewhat heavily this week.

Johnson, who picked an Ireland-heavy side after their win against France in round three, has done so again and has opted to select nine Irish players in his collective, including an all-green front row. Just one player makes it in from his native England, along with one from Scotland and four from Wales:

Martin Johnson’s Lions XV: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), George North (Wales), Garry Ringrose (Ireland), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Tim Visser (Scotland), Johnny Sexton (Ireland), Rhys Webb (Wales), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Rory Best (Ireland), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Peter O’Mahony (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), CJ Stander (Ireland).

Williams, meanwhile, was even kinder to Ireland and Scotland, while being much harsher to his own nation off the back of that late defeat to the French. Ten Irish players make the cut in the Welsh legend’s team, with three from Scotland and one each from England and his own homeland:

The all-Irish front row is the same as Johnson’s side, as are the back row and the centres (albeit in reverse order), but the rest of the team contains a number of changes.

Shane Williams Lions XV: Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Elliot Daly (England), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Garry Ringrose (Ireland), Tim Visser (Scotland), Johnny Sexton (Ireland), Kieran Marmion (Ireland), Jack McGrath (Ireland) Rory Best (Ireland), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jonny Gray (Scotland), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Peter O’Mahony (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), CJ Stander (Ireland)


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Author: The PA Team

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