Saturday 22 October 2016

One English newspaper thinks that just one Irishman will make the Lions test team in New Zealand

Published 08/09/2016 | 10:13

Warren Gatland. Photo: Reuters
Warren Gatland. Photo: Reuters

Although the 2017 Lions test series isn't due to take place for another nine months, Warren Gatland's appointment as head coach has started the countdown to the first game against the All Blacks.

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With the guts of a season's rugby still to be played before the touring party is announced, it is difficult to pick the squad - let alone the test team - with any degree of accuracy.

However, that doesn't stop journalists from having some fun in forecasting what the XV might look like on June 24 at Eden Park - something The Telegraph did this morning.

Naturally, given that England have just won a Grand Slam, they are well represented with seven selections. Wales have five players in the hypothetical team, with Scotland getting two and Ireland just one.

While it is just one journalist's opinion, with Eddie Jones' men looking increasingly formidable, it will undoubtedly be tough for many Irish players to force their way into Gatland's team.

Here is the full Telegraph selection.

15. Stuart Hogg

14. Anthony Watson

13. Jonathan Davies

12. Manu Tuilagi

11. George North

10. Owen Farrell

9. Rhys Webb

1. Jack McGrath

2. Dylan Hartley

3. WP Nel

4. George Kruis

5. Alun Wyn Jones

6. Maro Itoje

7. Sam Warburton

8. Billy Vunipola

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