The Current Best Possible Lions XV Statistically Speaking
The Lions tour of New Zealand is still several months away but that hasn’t stopped us from looking forward to it already.
Coming off the back of a massive series win over Australia, absolutely smashing the Wallabies in the final test, the Lions face the daunting task of trying to take down the back to back world champions, New Zealand.
The 2017 tour includes the usual three test matches along with some huge midweek games against the likes of the Crusaders, the Chiefs and the Maori All Blacks. You can view the full schedule here.
A lot has changed in the last few weeks when you look at the potential make up of the squad. Ireland not too long ago according to many of the leading media outlets, were set have little influence. That all changed when they secured a memorable victory over the All Blacks in Chicago and capped off their series with an excellent win over Michael Cheika’s Wallabies.
A lot of players from all four nations have really stepped up their game in recent weeks, but what’s the current best possible Lions XV?
The guys over at the The Rugby Net have done the all hard work, compiling all the stats and putting them together into a rankings list so we can see who’s performing the best in each position.
There are a couple of exceptions however…
Chris Robshaw slots in at seven with CJ Stander at six as no other flanker comes close to them in the rankings at the moment. Owen Farrell pips Jonathan Davies at 12 even though he’s slightly behind him in the rankings. As we saw last time round in 2013, Davies is a better fit at outside centre but Joseph pips him in that position.
We’ve also left Anthony Watson in despite injury as he still comes in at seventh in the world just ahead of another injured teammate in the form of Jack Nowell. The other potential Lions winger to make the top ten is Ireland’s Andrew Trimble.
Have a look at the XV below. Is it a fair reflection?
*The ratings are mathematically generated from a variety of objective criteria, meaning they aren’t simply an opinion of who is best, they are calculated by The Rugby Net Rating Engine. The Rating Engine takes in information (statistics, standings, match results, etc) and produces a rating for each player. For a full breakdown of the algorithm click here.
1. Jack McGrath
2. Dylan Hartley
3. Dan Cole
4. Devin Toner
5. George Kruis
6. CJ Stander
7. Chris Robshaw
8. Jamie Heaslip
9. Conor Murray
10. Dan Biggar
11. George North
12. Owen Farrell
13. Jonathan Joseph
14. Anthony Watson
15. Mike Brown