Neil Francis picks his Lions starting team - and Ireland dominate
Joe Schmidt's Ireland will head into a busy 2017 in good shape following autumn victories over New Zealand and Australia.
There is a hectic few months ahead as the players gear up for the Six Nations and a possible Lions Tour in June.
The debate on who should make Warren Gatland's squad is in full flow and Neil Francis has had his say in today's Sunday Independent with no less than nine Irish in his starting 15 based on current form.
Jack McGrath, Rory Best and Tadhg Furlong make up an all Irish front row with Iain Henderson partnering England's Maro Itoje in the second row.
Sean O'Brien takes the number six jersey while Francis has gone for Conor Murray at scrum half and Johnny Sexton fly-half.
Robbie Henshaw and Rob Kearney also get the nod in an exciting looking 15.
Neil Francis' Lions team on current form:
International Rugby Newsletter