Wednesday 21 March 2018

Shane Horgan picks his 'biggest mover' in the Lions selection debate - and chooses a bolter for the test team

Warren Gatland is set to name his Lions squad next month.

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Shane Horgan is backing Wales flanker Sam Warburton to lead the Lions for a second time when they tour New Zealand this summer.

The back row led the Lions to test series glory in Australia in 2013, and after strong run of form to close out the 2017 Six Nations, Horgan thinks Warburton could be the ideal man to take the captain's armband once again this time around.

Warburton had been under pressure for his place in Welsh team ahead of the visit of Ireland, but delivered a dominant defensive performance that helped keep Joe Schmidt's side tryless.

There were questions before that game over whether Warburton would get the nod from Warren Gatland when he announces his squad in April, but speaking on Sky Sports after yesterday's Pro12 clash between Leinster and Cardiff, Horgan said that in his opinion, the Wales star has shot right back to the front of the selection queue.

"I think the biggest mover since the start of the Six Nations was Warburton," Horgan said.

"There was talk of whether he would get on the plane. Not only will he get on the plane now, I would select him as the starting seven and I'd suggest that he will be captain as well."

As well as tipping Warburton to start and captain the Lions test team, Horgan also offered a new English back as one player who might surprise people by forcing his way into the first XV in a crucial position.

"A player who may have always been on the tour but I think he could really push for a start is [Elliot] Daly and I think he can play at 13," Horgan said.

"I think that was a very interesting option for him and I think his skill-set is incredible. He has a great left foot wiper that can get you out of trouble and he is a very nice footballer in what could be a very footballing side and that is the way that I think you get at the All Blacks."

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