Sunday 25 February 2018

Will Greenwood names his current Lions XV and includes an uncapped Irish star and ZERO Welsh players

Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Conor Murray (Ireland) and Dylan Hartley (England) are in the XV but no Welshman
Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Conor Murray (Ireland) and Dylan Hartley (England) are in the XV but no Welshman
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

England world cup winner and popular pundit Will Greenwood has named the Lions XV that should take on the All Blacks this summer.

A lot will change over the course of the next seven weeks as more players stake their claim for inclusion in Warren Gatland's plans during the Six Nations.

In his column in the Daily Telegraph, Greenwood picked his team on the basis that they would need to be capable of scoring 30-35 points against the best defence in international rugby.

Five Irish players make the starting lineup including rampaging tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Robbie Henshaw and Leinster's rising star Adam Byrne, despite the fact that he was not included in Joe Schmidt's 40-man squad for the Six Nations.

Controversially, he has decided against playing any Welsh players in the team with the rest of the side comprising of eight Englishmen and the Scottish pair of Stuart Hogg and Johnny Gray.

Byrne's inclusion is the big surprise, along with his Welsh snub.

Explaining his selection of the 22-year-old, he said: "My long shot. Uncapped players are like hen's teeth and Joe Schmidt's Six Nations squad tells us he won’t get game time to show his worth.

"There are lot of players above him in the pecking order. Tim Visser of Scotland has been in cracking international form in the autumn. Liam Williams is always unlucky only to be mentioned as a player who plays when others are injured for Wales - he is so much more than a bit part player.

"So Byrne may be stirring it a little. But why not? The norm has never won in New Zealand - they always beat the norm. Byrne is huge, quick and balanced. If there was a Test match today I would pick North, but I have seen something in Byrne that I know could trouble the world's best."

AB.jpg
Adam Byrne has been in terrific form

Here is the team in full:

Full-back: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Right wing: Antony Watson (England)

Outside centre: Jonathan Joseph (England)

Inside centre: Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)

Left wing: Adam Byrne (Ireland)

Fly-half: Owen Farrell (England)

Scrum-half: Conor Murray (Ireland

Loosehead prop: Mako Vunipola (England)

Hooker: Dylan Hartley (England)

Tighthead prop: Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

Lock: Johnny Gray (Scotland)

Lock: Maro Itoje (England)

Blindside flanker: CJ Stander (Ireland)

Openside flanker: James Haskell (England)

No 8: Billy Vunipola (England)

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