Sunday 4 December 2016

English newspaper selects 10 Irish players to make next year's Lions squad but some big names miss out

Published 16/11/2016 | 12:28

Ireland players will make up a sizable contingent of the British and Irish Lions squad that will travel to take on the mighty All Blacks next summer.

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Ireland's impressive victory over the All Blacks, Scotland's near-miss against the Aussies, England's 10-match unbeaten run and Wales' having the advantage of Warren Gatland picking the squad illustrates just how difficult it will be to make the 37-man squad.

The Daily Telegraph is predicting that 16 Englishmen, 11 Welsh players, 10 Irish internationals and just two representatives from Scotland will make up the final squad.

In the front row, Ireland are represented by Jack McGrath, Rory Best and Cian Healy.

Devin Toner is the only Irish second row selected with the likes of Iain Henderson and Ultan Dillane overlooked.

Jamie Heaslip and CJ Stander are the only Irish players named among the back rowers. Sean O'Brien, Peter O'Mahony and Josh van der Flier miss out.

Unsurprisingly, Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton are picked among the half backs.

Robbie Henshaw and Rob Kearney are the only other Irish backs chosen. This means that there will be no place for Jared Payne or Simon Zebo.

The Daily Telegraph's Lions squad:

FRONT ROW: Jack McGrath (Ireland), Mako Vunipola (England), Cian Healy (Ireland), Dan Cole (England), Gethin Jenkins (Wales), WP Nel (Scotland), Dylan Hartley (England), Rory Best (Ireland), Jamie George (England).

SECOND ROW: Alun Wyn-Jones (Wales), Maro Itoje (England), Devin Toner (Ireland), George Kruis (England), Joe Launchbury (England).

BACK ROW: Chris Robshaw (England), CJ Stander (Ireland), James Haskell (England), Sam Warburton (Wales), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Billy Vunipola (England), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland).

HALF BACK: Rhys Webb (Wales), Conor Murray (Ireland), Ben Youngs (England), Dan Biggar (Wales), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Owen Farrell (England).

CENTRE: Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Jamie Roberts (Wales), Jonathan Joseph (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales).

BACK THREE: George North (Wales), Liam Williams (Wales), Anthony Watson (England), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Rob Kearney (Ireland).

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