Lions Squad Announced

by Ray_North on April 30, 2013

imagePut two British rugby fans in a room and the chances are that eventually they will discuss the make-up of the British and Irish Lions. They will argue, they will debate, they will usually disagree – marvellous! It is the best sporting debate to be had made so by the fact that the argument does have a conclusion, there comes a time when the argument goes beyond the abstract and an official squad is actually chosen, the players get together, throw off the chains of tribalism and merge together to form a team – it is a wonderful sporting tradition.

Well, on these pages, we’ve debated who should be in the squad and today the debate is decided, Warren Gatland the Manager has announced his tour squad of 37 and captain. Here it is:

Full Backs
Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
Rob Kearney (Ireland)

Wings
George North (Wales)
Alex Cuthbert (Wales)
Tommy Bowe (Ireland)
Sean Maitland (Scotland)

Centres
Jamie Roberts (Wales)
Manu Tuilagi (England)
Jonathan Davies (Wales)
Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Outside Halves
Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
Owen Farrell (England)

Scrum Halves
Mike Philips (Wales)
Ben Youngs (England)
Connor Murray (Ireland)

Props
Adam Jones (Wales)
Dan Cole (England)
Cian Healey (Ireland)
Gethin Jenkins (Wales)
Matt Stevens (England)
Maku Vinaipola (England)

Hookers
Dylan Hartley (England)
Richard Hibbard (Wales)
Tom Youngs (England)

Second Rows
Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
Ian Evans (Wales)
Richie Gray (Scotland)
Paul O’Connell (Ireland)
Geoff Parling (England)

Flankers
Sam Warburton (Wales) Captain
Justin Tipuric (Wales)
Tom Croft (England)
Dan Lydiate (Wales)
Sean O’Brian (Ireland)

Number 8′s
Toby Faletau (Wales)
Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)

What a squad.
15 from Wales, 8 Irish, 10 English and 3 Scots.

Do I think they’ve got it right?

Well, personally, I would have taken the Irish hooker Best and I’m not entirely convinced by Vainopola, but he is young and improving. On the whole it does appear to be a mixture of youth in the likes of North, Hogg and Faletau and experience in the wonderful O’Connell, O’Driscoll, Croft and Philips.

Is the captain right? Yes, I think so. Warburton strikes me as the type of man who you would run through a brick wall to follow – and you can’t ask for more than that.

Did me and Charlie East-West get our selection right? Charlie predicted 27 out of the 37, whilst my score was 31!

Now, bring on the games.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

David Blythin April 30, 2013 at 10:41 am

I think Hartley and Stevens are liabilities, but a great squad overall, and especially happy to see Lydiate there.

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Charlie_East_West April 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm

An atrocious lack of Scots. Three?! I feel sorry for Laidlaw, Beattie and in particular, Hamilton.

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Alex W April 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Stevens? An odd choice. Think Laidlaw is a bit unlucky, also a back up goal kicker. Hamilton was unfortunate in that second row has become an area with a lot of strength in depth, unlike the paucity of choice for the no 10 shirt! I’d also say heaslip is quite fortunate.

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