Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Lions XV for New Zealand 2017?

In the aftermath of the Six Nations all heads have turned to the World Cup, and quite rightly so. I've decided however to indulge myself in a bit of premature Lions talk. What I've put together is a Lions XV of Six Nations players who are 25 years or younger. Obviously it's impossible to predict who willl be playing in six years time, what I'm really doing is pointing out how many young players are already key figures for their countries.

It's certainly an exciting team.

Front Row
1) Cian Healy - Truly modern prop, scrummaging has improved massively.

2) Dylan Hartley - Solid Six Nations, strong carrier.

3) Dan Cole - Outstanding scrummager, strong around the park.

In the squad- Craig Mitchell

Second Row
4) Courtney Lawes - Immense ball carrier, huge hitter, big workrate, great target at the front of the lineout.

5) Richie Gray - ditto.

In the squad- Bradley Davies

Back Row
6) Tom Croft - Great rugby brain, awesome athlete, lineout supremo.

7) Stephen Ferris - Wonderful athlete, smart player.

8) Sean O'Brien  - Don't tell me he's not an 8, my lord can this man carry.

In the squad- Tom Wood, John Barclay, Sam Warburton

Half Backs
9) Ben Youngs - Tough game in Dublin, but generally a strong decision maker, and lightning off the base.

10) Johnny Sexton - Flood probably had a stronger Six Nations, but Sexton has the magic touch.

In the squad- Danny Care, Toby Flood

12) James Hook- I still think 12 is his position, gives him a little bit more freedom to be a creative.

13) Jamie Roberts - Hasn''t quite recaptured the form of the last Lions tour, but still a hugely powerful runner

In the squad- Jonathan Davies, Keith Earls

Back Three

11) Chris Ashton - Stop telling me he's overrated, he's not. Unique predator in European Rugby.

14) Luke Fitzgerald - It was tight between him and Leigh Halfpenny, I just think he's a classy footballer.

15) Ben Foden - Almost picked Rob Kearney, but I fancy Foden is just going to keep getting better.

In the Squad - Leigh Halfpenny, Rob Kearney

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