A British & Irish Lions XV Based On Statistics

South Africa v British & Irish Lions - 2nd Test

The British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand may still be several months away but the debate on who should be on the plane in 2017 is gathering momentum.

Warren Gatland was confirmed this week to be the man in charge of selecting a side to take on New Zealand. Gats is no stranger to controversial selections, with the omission of a certain Brian O’Driscoll overshadowing a win against Australia in the 3rd test.

So what if you were to take personal preference and emotions out of the equation and picked a Lions team right now based on the last twelve months of internationals, solely based on stats. Sky Sports recently teamed up with Hewlett Packard and did just that.

Although they have oddly selected Jack McGrath at tighthead…

Check out the results below.



Vunipola  is a huge ball carrier with 59 total carries in 2016, and tops the metres made for his position with 75.


Ken Owens has shown the most consistency of any hooker in 2016, ranking the highest for number of carries and metres made.

Jack McGrath tops the table among props for most carries – 89, and for his 115 metres made. He also made an impressive 114 tackles, with just nine missed.

Itoje is a machine at the breakdown with 8 turnovers. He’s also brilliant with the ball in hand – seven clean breaks and three offloads.

Kruis has won 35 lineouts and leads all locks in 2016 with eight steals. He also leads the way in defence with 104 tackles.


Robshaw tops the carries list with 63 as well as winning the most lineouts for a backrower with 15.

Haskell tops the tackle ratings and is high up on the ‘turnovers won’ table as well.

Billy Vunipola tops the table with 150 carries and metres made – an incredible 501. Faletau is a very close second for the coveted 8 position.



Webb edges out Conor Murray and Ben Youngs, although played less games.

Biggar will face stiff competition from Farrell and Sexton but leads the way at the moment according to the stats.11Nowell is ranked second among the wingers behind North when it comes to carries and when it comes to defenders beaten with a total of 31 but tops the tackle count with 62.

Jamie Roberts has been impressive on the carries front with a total of 90, while has gained 370 metres, beaten 12 defenders and made 77 tackles. 

With 77 carries and 381 metres gained, Jonathan Joseph leads the way on the stats table.14

North has the most carries with 79, and leads the metres made with 724. He also topped the defenders beaten category with 35.  15

Stuart Hogg is no doubt in the running for the fullback spot, but Mike Brown is the clear winner when looking at the statistics, although the Scotland international has played three fewer matches this year in an international jersey.

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