Picking A 38-Man British & Irish Lions Squad If They Were Touring This Summer
What a difference a year can make.
What would happen if the British and Irish Lions toured this summer, instead of last? How different would the squad look? A lot different if you ask us.
This time last year the Lions were already well underway, so we’re perhaps a little late on this, but it’s only for fun, so why not? Given Ireland’s success this year, understandably, things would be a lot greener.
England meanwhile are a shadow of their former selves, while Wales’ contingent would be similar enough. What would cost them is injuries to tour captain Sam Warburton and Player of the Series Jonathan Davies.
First up – let’s look at last year’s original British and Irish Lions squad that was picked to tour New Zealand.
2017 British & Irish Lions Squad. – Tour Captain: Sam Warburton
Lions squad (backs)
Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell, Leigh Halfpenny, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Jonathan Joseph, Conor Murray, George North, Jack Nowell, Jared Payne, Jonathan Sexton, Tommy Seymour, Ben Te’o, Anthony Watson, Rhys Webb, Liam Williams, Ben Youngs
Lions squad (forwards)
Rory Best, Dan Cole, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Jack McGrath, Ross Moriarty, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Ken Owens, Kyle Sinckler, CJ Stander, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Billy Vunipola, Sam Warburton.
A lot of names there would probably still make a Lions squad this summer, but a lot would miss out, mostly because of injury. Ben Te’o, Jack Nowell, Jared Payne, Rory Best, Billy Vunipola and Sam Warburton for example – would all be unavailable for selection.
The others would likely be pipped based on form we reckon. Anyway, here’s our squad, and remember – it’s only a bit a of fun, and you might completely disagree with some our selections.
It’s Ireland/Leinster heavy – but why wouldn’t it be given the season they’ve had.
2018 British & Irish Lions Squad – Tour Captain: Johnny Sexton
Fullbacks (3): Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Liam Williams (Wales) and Elliot Daly (England)
Wing (4): Jordan Larmour (Ireland)), Jacob Stockdale (Ireland), Keith Earls (Ireland), Jonny May (England) and Josh Adams (Wales)
Centre (5): Garry Ringrose (Ireland), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Henry Slade (England), Bundee Aki (Ireland), Hadleigh Parks (Wales)
Outhalf (3): Johnny Sexton (Ireland) Owen Farrell (England), Danny Cipriani (England)
Scrum-half (3): Conor Murray (Ireland), Gareth Davies (Wales) and Ben Youngs (England)
Loosehead Prop (3): Cian Healy (Ireland), Mako Vunipola (England) and Jack McGrath (Ireland)
Tighthead Prop (3): Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Andrew Porter (Ireland) and Kyle Sinckler (England)
Hooker (3): Jamie George (England), Niall Scannell (Ireland) and Ken Owens (Wales)
Second Row (5): Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), James Ryan (Ireland), Joe Launchbury (England) and Iain Henderson (Ireland).
Back Row (6): Dan Leavy (Ireland), Peter O’Mahony (Ireland), CJ Stander (Ireland), Aaron Shingler (Wales), Ross Moriarty (Wales) and Toby Faletau (Wales).