5 Players Who Stood Out As British & Irish Lions Contenders In the 1st Round Of The Six Nations
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Warren Gatland no doubt was keeping close tabs this past weekend.
The Six Nations got underway this past weekend, with Scotland surprising everyone in the opening game with a huge win over Ireland. The introduction of the bonus-point system seems to have had a positive effect so far, with a much more expansive, attacking game being deployed by all the teams.
This is the kind of rugby that will need to be played against the All Blacks, and seeing players flourish in these conditions, surely makes them contenders for Lions selection in April. One thing’s for certain, and that is we will see a lot more Scots in the team than initially thought if they continue to play the way they’re playing.
Here’s five players we think stood out as Lions contenders in the 1st round.
It will take something very special for Hogg to not start against the All Blacks next summer. One of the best fullbacks in the world right now, he showed his class once again this past weekend against Ireland with two excellent tries, including a brilliant individual effort.
The Irish tighthead has been hotly tipped for Lions selection in recent weeks and did himself plenty of favours in his Six Nations debut. Brilliant around the pitch, one of Ireland’s few performers on the day. Proved once again at scrum-time he’s up to the job and has to be leading the way for the test number three jersey right now.
The Scotland playmaker was the difference on Saturday. Controlled the game brilliantly, and knows how to get his back-line into the game and make them an attacking threat. Russell has leap-frogged the likes of Biggar and Ford in recent weeks and as things stand should travel, even if Gatland decided to bring only two tens again.
A surprise candidate that hasn’t been mentioned in recent months. Put in an excellent shift on the wing and could be brought for his versatility alone. We know he can do a job almost anywhere across the back-line, and we now know he can do it at Test level.
The Scotland lock has overtake the likes of Henderson and Toner with a superb performance against the Irish. If he keeps playing the way he’s playing, he’ll be fighting for a Test spot alongside Alun Wyn Jones or Maro Itoje.