Friday 9 December 2016

No room for Johnny Sexton or Conor Murray in top pundit's 2017 Lions Squad

Published 20/03/2016 | 09:53

The 2016 Six Nations is over and with the Lions set to appointment a head coach this summer, we can all start speculating as to the make-up of the squad that will tour New Zealand in 2017.

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Forecasting the touring party a year out is an almost entirely fruitless endeavor - but it is also one of the most fun things you can do while keeping your clothes on.

As is the standard, your national allegiance will dictate who you want picked when it is a 50/50 call but we were a little surprised with this selection from Welsh journalist Stephen Jones in today's Sunday Times.

Irish fans have always been wary of Jones' commentary when it comes to the Irish team, and the fact that he chose just five of Joe Schmidt's men in a party of 36 is sure to anger supporters further.

While it was undoubtedly a disappointing campaign for Ireland, we definitely don't agree with his omission of Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton from his squad.

Here is his squad in full:

Fullback: Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Mike Brown (England) and Leigh Halfpenny (Wales).

Wing: George North (Wales), Anthony Watson (England) and Dave Kearney (Ireland).

Centre: Jamie Roberts (Wales), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland) and Elliot Daly (England).

Out-half: Owen Farrell (England), Finn Russell (Scotland) and Dan Biggar (Wales).

Scrum-half: Rhys Webb (Wales), Ben Youngs (England) and Greig Laidlaw (Scotland).

Prop: Jack McGrath (Ireland), WP Nel (Scotland), Samson Lee (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England) and Jake Cooper-Woolley (England).

Hooker: Dylan Hartley (England), Jamie George (England) and Richard Hiibbard (Wales).

Second Row: Luke Charteris (Wales), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Ultan Dillane (Ireland), Jonny Gray (Scotland) and George Kruis (England).

Back Row: Sam Warburton (Wales), John Hardie (Scotland), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), James Haskell (England), Billy Vunipola (England) and Toby Faletau (Wales).

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