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Warren Gatland announced his 37-man squad in early May to face the SpringBoks. Their first test is against Emirates Lions on the 3rd July, but will we see many Ireland players on the pitch?
There are seven Irish players named in the 37-man Lions squad after a mixed performance at this year’s Six Nations.
Alun Wyn Jones has been named captain of the Welsh and English heavy side. But how do the Irish players stack up on this side?
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) June 17, 2021
Conor Murray is one of Ireland’s biggest hopes for starting as he is still the best option that the Lions have at scrumhalf. He would bring experience to a relatively young, new backline.
Murray’s quick thinking would make him an important part of Gatland’s fast, explosive side.
Robbie Henshaw is another strong shout for the starting team after a good season with Leinster and Ireland.
Henshaw’s fast and tenacious ball carrying will have him as a firm favorite to start second center against Emirates Lions.
Bundee Aki was a surprise to many that he was named in the squad after a disappointing Six Nations finishing with a red card against England.
Although it’s unlikely that he will start, Aki was brought due to the pace and ball-carrying skill he brings in the center. Expect to see him used off the bench in a few of the tests.
Tadhg Furlong has proven to be one of the British Isles’ best front row with his wide stature and powerful legs.
After another good Six Nations, Furlong appears to be the front runner for starting at number four for the Lions.
Ulster captain, Iain Henderson was a mainstay for Andy Farrell with Ireland and looks to continue that on tour.
Henderson’s style of play would work really well alongside Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones in second row
Munster’s Tadhg Beirne may have to deal with playing most of this tour off the bench or as a replacement.
The Lions team is very strong in second-row options but Beirne can also fill in at six if needed.
Jack Conan is another great Leinster player part of the Lions setup. Unlucky for him is that he is competing with Taulupe Faletau and Tom Curry for a starting shirt.
Conan’s surprising speed in the wide channels will make him a great option later in the tour when players start to tire.
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) June 17, 2021
Ronan Kelleher has trained with the squad in Jersey but is only a standby in case of injury to the other front-row options.
The last chance for the players to impress the head coach will be their last challenge against Japan on Saturday 26th June.
The 37-man squad for the British and Irish Lions 2021:
Josh Adams (Wales), Bundee Aki (Ireland), Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Gareth Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell (England), Chris Harris (Scotland), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Conor Murray (Ireland), Ali Price (Scotland), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales), Finn Russell (Scotland), Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland), Anthony Watson (England), Liam Williams (Wales)
Tadhg Beirne (Ireland), Jack Conan (Ireland), Luke Cowan-Dickie (England), Tom Curry (England), Zander Fagerson (Scotland), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Jonny Hill (England), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Wyn Jones (Wales), Courtney Lawes (England), Ken Owens (Wales), Sam Simmonds (England), Kyle Sinckler (England), Rory Sutherland (Scotland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England), Hamish Watson (Scotland)