Former Scotland and British and Irish Lions captain Gavin Hastings knows a thing or two about what it takes to make a good Lions side, having been top scorer during the successful 1989 tour of Australia.
Having already given us a Lions XV following the x round of the Six Nations, the legendary Scot has returned and released his definitive XV following the conclusion of the tournament.
Announced on the official Lions website, Hastings has named a somewhat surprising Lions XV, going with six Irish, five Welsh, only three English and a single Scot.
— British&Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) March 20, 2017
Speaking on the Lions website, Hastings revealed that the Lions will have to at the very top of their game if they are to taste success over the double defending world champions.
“You need your best players playing their best rugby if you are going to make history in New Zealand”
Choosing to break up the second row partnership of Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes, Hastings has picked Ireland’s Iain Henderson at No. 5, with Billy Vunipola and Owen Farrell start at No.8 and inside centre respectively.
It certainly is a bold move as it is expected that Lions head coach Warren Gatland will call upon more than a handful of England’s Six Nations champions when the squad is announced on April 19th.
There is no place of any of Gatland’s assumed lead captain contenders, Rory Best, Dylan Hartley or Alun Wyn Jones, and has gone for an all-Irish half-back pairing of Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton, despite the massive Six Nations efforts of Rhys Webb at scrum-half for Wales.
Choosing a starting XV from the vast pool of world class contenders is certainly not going to be an easy job for Gatland next month if Hastings’ selection is anything to go by, it shows that the New Zealand native has more than a few options.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena