6 Irish Players That Must Be On The Plane To New Zealand With The Lions
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The boom is back.
Munster and Leinster both booked their places in the last four of this year’s Champions Cup overcoming Toulouse and Wasps respectively in some style.
Those two games were Warren Gatland’s real last chance to see potential Lions stake their claim for a spot on the plane to New Zealand.
Ireland may have not won the Six Nations this year, but their win over England at the Aviva, couple with Munster and Leinster’s incredible form, means there’s a real chance we will see upwards of ten Irish players in New Zealand this summer.
The competition for places in a lot of positions is really close, but here are five players that simply must be on a 1st class ticket to New Zealand this summer.
1. Conor Murray
The Munster nine missed both Ireland’s win over England and Munster’s win over Toulouse with a shoulder injury but is still the leading candidate at nine.
2. Johnny Sexton
The Leinster playmaker seems to be hitting form at just the right time and providing he stays fit, will be the Lions first-choice outhalf.
3. CJ Stander
Whether or not he plays at six or eight for the Lions, he at the very least must be on the plane. Saracens battle with Munster at the Aviva will play a huge role in deciding his starting XV, with the Stander coming up against Vunipola and O’Mahony also fighting for a spot in the starting XV. Keep Vunipola at bay and we could very well see both O’Mahony and Stander in the starting line-up against the All Blacks.
4. Robbie Henshaw
We still think a centre partnership of Farrell and Henshaw is the way to go in New Zealand but the Leinster star will at the very least travel and could end up having a starring role. Knows exactly what it takes to beat New Zealand having starred in Chicago.
5. Peter O’Mahony
The Munster captain has burst back onto the Lions scene with some incredible performances in recent weeks. Should be on the plane for his leadership qualities and lineout skills alone.
6. Tadhg Furlong
What a season the young man from Wexford is having. From nobody to Leinster, Ireland and Lions starter. Should make the Test team, never mind the plane.