The Forgotten Lions

Chris Robshaw England

Having analysed the Lions squad yesterday I thought it might be nice to have a look at those individuals who missed out on the squad. The best way in which to do this I figured was to create a team out of the forgotten souls so the below is what I dreamed up.

1. Ryan Grant

2. Rory Best

3. Euan Murray

4. Jim Hamilton

5. Joe Launchbury

6. Kelly Brown

7. Chris Robshaw

8. Ben Morgan

9. Danny Care

10. Jonny Wilkinson

11. Tim Visser

12. Billy Twelvetrees

13. Joel Tomkins

14. Simon Zebo

15. Mike Brown

16. Ross Ford

17. Joe Marler

18. Mike Ross

19. Donnacha Ryan

20. Tom Wood

21. Greig Laidlaw

22. James Hook

23. Christian Wade

Not a bad looking team at all I would suggest as it includes two international captains (Kelly Brown and Chris Robshaw) alongside a fantastic mix of exciting young players and experienced older heads. The inclusion in the 23 man team of four different players who can cover the ten shirt (Wilkinson, Laidlaw, Hook & Twelvetrees) is in sharp contrast to just the two amongst the 37 man Lions touring party.

The squad looks really well balanced with a grizzly looking front row backed up by youngsters like Marler who could make an impact off the bench. The second row is a similar mix of experience and youthfulness with the line-out ability of Jim Hamilton a great asset. The back row also looks well balanced with the tackling machines of Robshaw and Brown coupled with the ball carrying ability of Ben Morgan.

The half backs also provide a nice contrast with Care’s exciting running game couple with Wilkinson’s experienced left boot. Whilst the midfield partnership may be a slight concern defensively there is no doubt that going forward they make a formidable looking pairing. Twelvetrees fly-half experience makes him a good second received and Tomkins off-loading ability could bring the exciting wingers into play.

The back three are where it gets really exciting though with the try scoring machine that is Tim Visser coupled with the Irish starlet Simon Zebo. Brown also provides an excellent running option from full-back who is secure under the high ball and reliable in defence. Having Wade come off the bench is the real ace up the sleeve as his blistering pace could tear tired defences apart in the final stages of a game.

This team looks well balanced and a hell of a lot more exciting than the squad travelling to Australia this summer. I know that Gatland is limited in his selections but just a few of the players listed here could of made for a much more exciting team in Oz. As it is the Lions look likely to try to grind out results without great ambition this summer.

What do you reckon to the above team, could it take on the Lions?

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