Warren Gatland picks 10 Ireland players in Lions XV - and has no room for any Welshmen

Wales head coach Warren Gatland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Warren Gatland has picked his hypothetical Lions matchday squad after the Six Nations - and no Wales players have made the cut.

Gatland, who made a sensational return as Wales head coach ahead of the Six Nations after the sacking of Wayne Pivac, has included 10 Irish players in his starting team and another two on the bench.

Wales endured a miserable Six Nations, only winning against Italy and suffering heavy defeats in their four other games.

The Kiwi has plenty of Lions experience, having been a head coach on three tours (2013, 2017 and 2021) and an assistant in 2009.

Writing in The Telegraph, Gatland explained why he opted against choosing any of his own players in his team.

"If I was to pick a Lions side to play a Test match next weekend, I would not have any of my Wales players in the 23," Gatland said.

"It is simply a reflection of where we are as a team right now. I thought we improved as the Six Nations went on, but we still have a long way to go.

"I am confident that we will get better, and it would be interesting to see if we do this exercise again after the World Cup warm-up games and the World Cup itself, how much it would change. "

Gatland decided not to include any players who were injured for the final round of Six Nations fixtures, which ruled out Ireland star Garry Ringrose and Scotland duo Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg.

Still, Ireland fans ought to be very pleased with the amount of green jerseys in Gatland's Lions squad.

Warren Gatland's Lions matchday squad

15. Hugo Keenan (Ireland), 14. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland), 13. Huw Jones (Scotland), 12. Sione Tuipulotu (Scotland), 11. James Lowe (Ireland), 10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland), 9. Jamison Gibson-Park (Ireland), 1. Ellis Genge (England), 2. Dan Sheehan (Ireland), 3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), 4. James Ryan (Ireland), 5. Maro Itoje (England), 6. Jack Conan (Ireland), 7. Josh van der Flier (Ireland), 8. Caelan Doris (Ireland).

Replacements: 16. George Turner (Scotland), 17. Andrew Porter (Ireland), 18. Zander Fagerson (Scotland), 19. Jonny Gray (Scotland), 20. Jamie Ritchie (Scotland), 21. Alex Mitchell (England), 22. Owen Farrell (England), 23. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland).