Who Would Make a Lions XV in 2014?

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With the bulk of the 2014 internationals over we take a look at who would likely make the Lions squad based on current form;

15.Rob Kearney

Leigh Halfpenny’s recent injury troubles mean Kearney has leapfrogged him this year. Kearney has been in superb form for Ireland and looks like the Northern Hemisphere’s most complete full back right now.

14.Tommy Bowe

Bowe is currently one of the finest wingers in international rugby, solid in defence and a constant threat in attack. His international and Lions experience counts hugely in his favour as well.

13.Jonathan Davies

Wales may not be quite the dominant force they were a couple of years ago, but Davies still stands out as one of their most naturally gifted players.

12.Robbie Henshaw

It’s a bit of a gamble playing such an inexperienced centre, however Henshaw has proven over the last few games for Ireland that he is more than capable of taking on the best in the world.

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11.George North

North’s form for Wales hasn’t been quite up to his highest standards, however he still looks a class act and his try scoring form for Saints means he has to start.

10.Johnny Sexton

Sexton is currently one of the finest fly halves in world rugby. His overall game is incredibly well-rounded and his kicking of late has been nothing short of excellent.

9.Connor Murray

The Lions tour in 2013 seems to have really helped Murray kick on as he has developed his partnership at half back with Sexton into one of the most formidable in world rugby.

1.Joe Marler

Injuries to key men in the loosehead position mean many first choice options haven’t been available for large parts of 2014, of those left Marler is probably the strongest scrummager so starts.

2.Dylan Hartley

Hartley may not be everyones favourite player, but his lineout throwing for England has been nothing short of sensational recently, his experience is also a huge plus.

3.Samson Lee

In a disappointing year for Welsh rugby, Samson Lee has been one of the few shining lights. He has ensured Adam Jones hasn’t had a look in at the Welsh tighthead jersey.

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4.Paul O’Connell

Mr Reliable – Paul O’Connell is one of the most enduring locks in world rugby. His experience and commitment mean that he is ideal Lions material.

5.Courtney Lawes

Lawes lineout partnership with Hartley has been one of the few positives from England’s recent internationals – he also happens to be pretty handy around the park.

6.Peter O’Mahony

O’Mahony has become almost undroppable by Ireland over the last 12 months despite originally coming in as a replacement, he more than deserves his place in the team.

7.Sam Warburton

Warburton was one of the most criticised players on the last Lions tour but he has bounced back well since and has shown his leadership qualities in a struggling Welsh side.

8.Jamie Heaslip

Heaslip didn’t quite live up to potential during the last Lions tour, however he has since more than made amends for Ireland and is now one of the key leaders in their team.

16.Richard Hibbard

Hibbard showed on the last Lions tour that he is a top quality hooker, and the last 12 months have suggested no different.

17.Jack McGrath

McGrath has ensured that Ireland haven’t missed the injured Cian Healy in recent weeks and has become a key weapon in both the tight and the loose.

18.David Wilson

There seems to be a lack of quality tightheads in world rugby right now, however Wilson looks like one of the best in the Northern Hemisphere after a top year for England.

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19.Jonny Gray

The bench spot was a tight call between Gray and Alun Wyn Jones, however Gray’s recent performances have been superb for Scotland.

20.Taulupe Faletau

Faletau may not be the biggest number 8 in world rugby right now, but that never seems to stop him making ground with ball in hand.

21.Greig Laidlaw

Laidlaw’s form for Scotland over the last couple of weeks has been superb as he showed an attacking edge to his game, his ability to kick and cover fly-half is also a bonus.

22.Kyle Eastmond

He may have had a disappointing tour of New Zealand but has bounced back well during the autumn having shored up his defence. Coming off the bench he could prove to be a serious game changer.

23.Stuart Hogg

Hogg is potentially one of the most exciting players in the Northern Hemisphere right now and has bounced back from a poor showing in the Six Nations to help Scotland to some great performances recently.

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