Josh Adams, Liam Williams, Justin Tipuric and Alun Wyn Jones snubbed as James Haskell and Mike Tindall pick their Lions XV

 admin   2020-06-29 12:05   300 人阅读  0 条评论

Former England internationals James Haskell and Mike Tindall have put their heads together to come up with a Lions XV to start the first Test against South Africa next summer.

And the ex-flanker and Test skipper, with a 152 internationals between them, are already bracing themselves for the social media backlash over their choices that feature eight of their fellow countrymen, two Welsh players, two Scots and three Irishmen.

Despite talking up the Lions credentials of Welsh wonder wing Josh Adams, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau, Ross Moriarty, Ken Owens and Rhys Webb, just two of Wayne Pivac's squad make the starting XV to take on the 2019 Rugby World Cup champions.

And there was no mention of Warren Gatland's starting full-back for the 2017 Lions drawn series with the All Blacks - Liam Williams - or totemic lock Alun Wyn Jones, who is still seen by some pundits and former players as a potential skipper for the tour to the Rainbow Nation.

Wales and Lions wing George North was another not to get a look-in on the wing as the duo mulled over their back-three options.

In going for Scotland skipper Stuart Hogg at full-back and England wing Anthony Watson as their two bankers for the back-three, the duo initially had jet-heeled Jonny May and Adams competing for the other spot out wide.

But Tindall then threw Ireland's Jacob Stockdale into the mix.

"Josh Adams has been pretty good. At the moment in terms of what we can judge on and select on it would probably be between Jonny May and Josh Adams," Tindall told the House of Rugby Podcast.

"Back three there's lots of good options. I think Jacob Stockdale would actually be quite a good fit if you're playing South Africa.

"In terms of options there's a hard blitz, cross-field kicks, little chips for himself, never seems to miss a try. He just needs to kick the ball every time he gets it, as he scores.

"So I think he would probably fit into the structure of playing South Africa."

There was no debate concerning the centre spots with Jonathan Davies and Manu Tuilagi getting an overwhelming vote of confidence.

"If you put Manu and Foxy (Jonathan Davies) together and you can get them playing well, that's not a bad set-up," said Tindall.

"If Foxy's fit he's in the front-runners, he's got so much experience and class, hasn't he?

"And then you just need someone like Manu who can break down doors if you need it.

"Especially against South Africa, you're going to need someone like him.

"If you use him as a decoy, and use Foxy on the outside, you can mix and match with those two very well.

With England skipper Owen Farrell slotting in at No.10, Haskell said his vote went to Scarlets scrum-half Gareth Davies to partner him.

"I'd have Davies for his experience," said Haskell.

Tindall added: "If you're picking a scrum-half, he'll be Welsh," referring to the credentials of Rhys Webb to fill the jersey.

He added: "I'd go with Gareth Davies, he's my favourite."

Their front-row sees England's Mako Vunipola and Jamie George filling the loosehead prop and hooking berth, with Ireland's Tadhg Furlong pipping Kyle Sinckler at tighthead.

Ireland's James Ryan and English lock Maro Itoje fill the boilerhouse berths while Haskell and Tindall settled on a back-row of Tom Curry, Hamish Watson and Billy Vunipola.

Tindall said of their selections: "Someone is going to tear it apart."

Haskell added: "We won't read the comments. We don't go in the Facebook group, so it doesn't matter."

Haskell and Tindall's Lions XV: Stuart Hogg (Scotland); Anthony Watson (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Manu Tuilagi (England), Jacob Stockdale (Ireland); Owen Farrell (England), Gareth Davies (Wales); Mako Vunipola (England), Jamie George (England), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), James Ryan (Ireland), Tom Curry (England), Hamish Watson (Scotland), Billy Vunipola (England).

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