Sunday 30 April 2017

English newspaper selects 11 Irish players in post-Six Nations Lions squad as some big rivals miss out

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

With the Six Nations now over, thoughts turn to Warren Gatland's Lions squad announcement on April 19, four weeks from today.

While there is still plenty of rugby to be played between now and then - including some cracking Champions Cup fixtures - performances in the Six Nations will no doubt be the main thing Gatland looks as he compiles his touring party.

37 players are expected to travel to New Zealand to try and beat the All Blacks in a Lions test series for the first time since 1971, and a number of Irish stars are in contention.

It is hard to know exactly who is in with a chance after a mixed Six Nations campaign, but one English paper thinks that Joe Schmidt's men will be very well represented.

The Daily Telegraph have 11 Irishmen in their 37-man squad, with a number of expected tourists missing the cut. Wales' Dan Biggar, Scotland's Richie Gray and England's entire back row and back three (bar the versatile Maro Itoje) aren't included, while Ireland have a player selected in almost every position.

Here are the 11 Irish players who were included in The Telegraph's squad:

Jack McGrath (prop)

Cian Healy (prop)

Tadhg Furlong (prop)

Rory Best (hooker)

CJ Stander (flanker)

Peter O'Mahony (flanker)

Sean O'Brien (flanker)

Conor Murray (scrum-half)

Johnny Sexton (out-half)

Robbie Henshaw (centre)

Rob Kearney (fullback).

Ireland had nine players selected in the original squad to tour Australia in 2013.

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