With the Six Nations over for another year, we take a look at the players who would likely make up the Lions side if they were to tour in 2015…
There’s an argument for any one of Hogg, Kearney, Brown or Williams for the 15 shirt, however right now it has to go to Halfpenny. Not only is his kicking world-class but he is also one of the most consistent players in Europe, particularly in defence.
Bowe had a slightly subdued Six Nations, thanks in larger part to Ireland’s slightly conservative game plan. When given the opportunity though, he showed just how dangerous he can be, plus it’s hard to overlook that level of experience.
Joseph was quite possibly the player of the Six Nations this year and has firmly cemented his place at outside centre. A dangerous runner with ball in hand, he has also made great progress from a defensive point of view.
Roberts is now looking back to his best in a Welsh shirt, and was one of Wales’ stand-out performers during the Six Nations. He remained a solid presence in the midfield, whilst also showing some nice touches at times.
North had a bit of a mixed tournament, however there’s no doubting that he is a natural born finished as he demonstrated in the final game against Italy. His is one of the more debatable selections, however it’s hard to see who would step-in instead.
Biggar may have had a slightly more impressive Six Nations than Sexton, however this was in part down to injuries. On his day, Sexton is quite possibly the best fly-half in the world and can control a game like no other.
Murray enhanced his credentials even further during the 2015 Six Nations as he proved to be a key component of Ireland’s title win. He is able to control a game incredibly effectively, and has a kicking game to rival the best in the world.
Heaslip was another key performer for Ireland, and put in a late tackle on Stuart Hogg that was key in their eventual victory. Not only is he an important player, but he is a key leader on the field which is essential to success on a Lions tour.
Warburton has had the best few weeks of his Wales career to date during this years Six Nations tournament. He produced a series of man of the match-worth performances putting in tackle after tackle and winning key turnovers.
O’Brien proved just how valuable he is to Ireland during the final games of this years Six Nations, which also saw him score two tries during an impressive performance against Scotland. There is no doubt him and Warburton would be a great back row combination.
5.Alun Wyn Jones
The Welsh lock was in imperious form once more during the Six Nations, and would no doubt be captain if it wasn’t for Warburton. His work rate is second to none and ensures he is more than deserving of a place in any Lions side.
This was a close call between Lawes and O’Connell, however the Englishman’s performances after coming back from injury see him edge in ahead. His huge work rate and ability to run the line-out mean he would be a vital part of the side.
Cole may not have been at his best during this years Six Nations, however this was to be expected after a long injury lay-off. Despite this he still performed well, and has the experience necessary to thrive on a Lions tour.
Of all the hookers in the Six Nations, Best was probably the stand-out option for the Lions, especially given his wealth of experience. His leadership could also be vital in securing key victories in tough games.
Healy only had limited game time during this years tournament after coming back from an injury. However, during his appearances he showed just what a key player he can be and would no doubt be first choice for any Lions tour.
Bench – 16. Tom Youngs, 17. Gethin Jenkins, 18. Samson Lee, 19. Paul O’Connell, 20. Chris Robshaw, 21. Ben Youngs, 22. Dan Biggar, 23. Stuart Hogg