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Wednesday Dec 26, 2012

Nick Evans and Jonathan Davies pick their British & Irish Lions starting XV

Nick Evans and Jonathan Davies pick their British & Irish Lions starting XV
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As this year comes to a close we look towards 2013, which is set to be one of the most significant chapters yet in the history of the British & Irish Lions, as they take on the Wallabies in search of their first series win since 1997.

Over the course of the next six months the Lions XV will be one of the most talked about and closely scrutinised selections in world rugby. With that in mind, today we look at two recent HSBC Ambassador videos that feature Nick Evans and Jonathan Davies making their picks.

Harlequins and former New Zealand flyhalf Nick Evans chose his starting XV for the first Test a few weeks back, and also made a prediction for the series result. He’s gone with a few ‘Quins team mates, but has omitted his club captain. 

Nick Evans’ Lions starting XV to face The Wallabies in 2013:

1. Gethin Jenkins, 2. Rory Best, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Richie Gray, 5. Courtney Lawes, 6. Stephen Ferris, 7. Sam Warburton, 8. Nick Easter, 9. Danny Care, 10. Johnny Sexton, 11. Tommy Bowe, 12. Jamie Roberts, 13. Brian O’Driscoll, 14. George North, 15. Rob Kearney

Former dual-code Wales International and commentator Jonathan Davies has also selected his starting XV for the first Test of the British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia.

With years of experience in both codes of the game, and now a seasoned pundit, Davies has included six Welsh players and six Irish players in his lineup. Among other selections, he’s moved Brian O’Driscoll to inside center, with namesake Jonathan Davies in at 13.

Jonathan Davies’ Lions starting XV to face The Wallabies in 2013:

1. Andrew Sheridan, 2. Rory Best, 3. Adam Jones, 4. Alun Wyn Jones, 5. Richie Gray, 6. Dan Lydiate, 7. Sam Warburton, 8. Jamie Heaslip, 9. Danny Care, 10. Johnny Sexton, 11. Tommy Bowe, 12. Brian O’Driscoll, 13. Jonathan Davies, 14. George North, 15. Rob Kearney

You no doubt have your own opinion on the above selections, so would you tweak their choices slightly, keep as is, or change things up completely?

37 Comments

  • lakey101
    6:16 PM 26/02/2013

    my bench and midweek team : bench test : 16. strauss 17. jenkins 18. cole 19. launchbury 20. o,brien 21. youngs 22. farrell 23. tuilagi midweek team 1. grant 2. hartley 3. murray 4. launchbury 5. o,connell (C) 6. tom wood 7. o,,brien 8. faletau 9. care 10. wilkinson 11. north 12. tuilagi 13 . davies 14. ashton 15. cuthbert 16. strauss 17. jenkins 18. cole 19. geoff parling 20. jamie heaslip 21. ben youngs 22. owen farrell 23. leigh halfpenny

    Reply
  • lakey101
    6:10 PM 26/02/2013

    i think i may aswell post my squad as everyone else has i,ll do my squad then test team from it if all fit!!! loose-head props : cian healy , gethin jenkins, ryan grant hookers : rory best, ricardt strauss, dylan hartley tight-head props: dan cole, adam jones, euan murray second rows : , geoff parling, joe launchbury, richie gray flankers : sean o,brien , chris robshaw, stephen ferris, tom wood numbers 8 : jamie heaslip, toby faletau scrum halfs : ben youngs, mike phillips , danny care fly halfs: jonny sexton , owen farrell, jonny wilkinson wingers : chris ashton, george north, tommy bowe, alex cuthbert centres : brian o, driscoll, jamie roberts, manu tuilagi, jonathan davies full backs : leigh halfpenny , rob kearney test team : 1.cian healy ( scrummages well and lots of work in loose) 2. rory best ( good line out thrower and very good at break down) 3. adam jones ( will probably only last 60 minutes but will dismantle australian scrum) 4. richie gray ( big , strong, work horse, pressure australine line-out 5. geoff parling ( line-out technician ) 6. stephen ferris ( ball carrier , great in defence and will carry for 80 minutes 7. chris robshaw (C) ( true leader, steps up every game, line-out ball player and breakdown operator played himself into test team 8. jamie heaslip ( carries well, defensively solid, break down very good and line-out option 9 .mike phillips ( big game experience, strong like extra back rower 10. johnny sexton ( good in defence, stands flat, best fly half available 11. tommy bowe ( out and out finisher, works well with kearney, looks for work) 12. jamie roberts ( always gets over gain-line , strong , been there and done it) 13. brian o,driscoll ( has it all defence, attack, kicking , passing) 14. leigh halfpenny ( consistent goalkicker, good in air, good pace and eye for gap, and big boot 15. rob kearney ( superb hands and kicker) spots space quickly constant threat

    Reply
  • lakey101
    6:07 PM 26/02/2013

    i think i may aswell post my squad as everyone else has i,ll do my squad then test team from it if all fit!!! loose-head props : cian healy , gethin jenkins, ryan grant hookers : rory best, ricardt strauss, dylan hartley tight-head props: dan cole, adam jones, euan murray second rows : paul o,connell , geoff parling, joe launchbury, richie gray flankers : sean o,brien , chris robshaw, stephen ferris, tom wood numbers 8 : jamie heaslip, toby faletau scrum halfs : ben youngs, mike phillips , danny care fly halfs: jonny sexton , owen farrell, jonny wilkinson wingers : chris ashton, george north, tommy bowe, alex cuthbert centres : brian o, driscoll, jamie roberts, manu tuilagi, jonathan davies full backs : leigh halfpenny , rob kearney test team : 1.cian healy ( scrummages well and lots of work in loose) 2. rory best ( good line out thrower and very good at break down) 3. adam jones ( will probably only last 60 minutes but will dismantle australian scrum) 4. richie gray ( big , strong, work horse, pressure australine line-out 5. paul, o connell ( leadership, experienced ) 6. stephen ferris ( ball carrier , great in defence and will carry for 80 minutes 7. chris robshaw (C) ( true leader, steps up every game, line-out ball player and breakdown operator played himself into test team 8. jamie heaslip ( carries well, defensively solid, break down very good and line-out option 9 .mike phillips ( big game experience, strong like extra back rower 10. johnny sexton ( good in defence, stands flat, best fly half available 11. tommy bowe ( out and out finisher, works well with kearney, looks for work) 12. jamie roberts ( always gets over gain-line , strong , been there and done it) 13. brian o,driscoll ( has it all defence, attack, kicking , passing) 14. leigh halfpenny ( consistent goalkicker, good in air, good pace and eye for gap, and big boot 15. rob kearney ( superb hands and kicker) spots space quickly constant threat

    Reply
  • patrickh
    8:31 PM 05/01/2013

    Bolters. I think from an Irish perspective Gilroy has to go. He's the most exciting prospect around at the moment. Ian Henderson's ability to play in the second row or back row (at a very high level) will get him on the tour. By the time the squad is picked they both may well have earned it on merit in the 6N anyway. I love the 6N & Lions tours & the H Cup etc.. Rugby's great!

    Reply
  • pretzel
    2:52 PM 05/01/2013

    Again 2 more people add Lawes to their list?!?!? Who is he really? The guy has made less of an impact on the rugby scene at least from what I have heard, than the impact someone like Peter Stringer would make on Bakkies Botha's knee cap....

    Reply
  • mickeyfinn
    12:11 AM 05/01/2013

    1. Sheridan 2. Best. 3. Cole 4. Lawes 5. Gray 6. Armitage 7. Warburton 8. Heaslip 9. Care 10. Sexton 12. O' Driscoll 13. Tuilagi 11. Bowe 14. Trimble 15. Kearney I can't believe either of them did not say Tuilagi after he ruined New Zealand attack after attack.

    Reply
  • ak-nz
    10:22 PM 04/01/2013

    Needs more Cian Healy. Seriously, if he's not on that tour I will be greatly disappointed.

    Reply
  • 11:01 PM 03/01/2013

    I was wondering about who should be captain. There's not that many guaranteed starters at the moment. I think it may well be Sexton. He showed his leadership qualities in the HC final against Northampton and is one of the few certs to start (baring injury).

    Reply
  • irishrugby
    9:02 PM 30/12/2012

    I have no idea why people chose tualagi. He is pretty good but there are better, and he would probably get into trouble off the pitch. And saying that O'Driscoll is past it is wrong, he is still a better player than some will ever be

    Reply
  • pretzel
    8:19 PM 30/12/2012

    I have no idea why Lawes is picked by so many, I've never seen him in European domestic stuff (other than RD) and Internationally? No idea who he is in the international scene, other than an injury prone hammer who has Ko'd or injured a few smaller players.... is that all that is needed to get onto the B&I lions?? Goodluck with the tour if it is...

    Reply
  • irishrugby
    6:39 PM 30/12/2012

    1:Cian Healy 2:Richardt Strauss 3:Dan Cole 4:Richie Gray 5:Donnacha Ryan 6:Stehen Ferris 7:Sean O'Brien 8:Jamie Heaslip 9:Eoin Reddan 10:Jonathan Sexton 11:Craig Gilroy 12:Jonathan Davies 13:Brian O'Driscoll 14:Tommy Bowe 15:Rob Kearney

    Reply
  • thunor
    5:15 PM 30/12/2012

    Not entirely sure why Charlie Hodgson isn't getting more mentions, he's been the best 10 in the premiership in 2012, and likely one of the best passers and kickers in world rugby at present. Defensively he's improved a great deal. Having retired from England shouldn't preclude him, in my view.

    Reply
  • stefft
    9:30 AM 29/12/2012

    I really don't know why people are putting BOD near their starting XV's! He shouldn't even go on the plane to Oz.

    Reply
  • danhs
    5:15 PM 28/12/2012

    1. Healey 2. Hartley 3. Cole 4. Wyn-Jones 5. Parling 6.Lydiate 7. Steffon 8. Faletau 9. Care 10. Wilkinson 11. Visser 12. Manu 13. Davies 14. Bowe 15. Foden

    Reply
  • tram14
    12:44 AM 28/12/2012

    1. Corbisiero 2. Best 3. Cole 4. Gray 5. Launchbury 6. Robshaw (c) 7. O'Brien 8. Heaslip 9. Care 10. Sexton 11. North 12. Roberts 13. O'Driscoll 14. Halfpenny 15. Brown 16. Jones 17. Hartley 18. Croft 19. Warburton 20. Youngs 21. Wilkinson 22. Tuilagi

    Reply
  • dutchie
    6:49 PM 27/12/2012

    1. Healy 2. Best 3. Cole 4. Gray 5. AW Jones 6. Ferris 7. Warburton 8. O'Brien 9. Youngs 10. Sexton 11. Visser 12. Tuilagi 13. O'Driscoll 14. North 15. Kearney 16. Rees 17. A Jones 18. Launchbury 19. Heaslip 20. Care 21. Farrell 22. Davies

    Reply
  • 9:56 AM 27/12/2012

    1. C. Healy 2. R Strauss 3. E. Murray 4. R. Gray 5. G. Parling 6. S. Ferris 7. C. Robshaw 8. S. O'Brien 9. D. Care 10. J. Sexton 11. C. Gilroy 12. J. Roberts 13. M. Tuilagi 14. G. North 15. R. Kearney

    Reply
  • kettlerugby
    2:02 AM 27/12/2012

    Sorry but you cannot put BOD in there ahead of Manu or JD...it would be ridiculous. I think English back row forwards in general are ahead at the moment, Robshaw, Croft (coming back from injury), Wood, Morgan all playing well. AWJ can jog on as well, Parling all day long... Need young exciting players on form with a few experienced heads such as Flood, Roberts and Cole

    Reply
  • reality
    1:33 AM 27/12/2012

    Am I the only one that doesn't get what all the hype about Dan Lydiate is? I mean he's good at tackling people around their ankles, but I've never seen him do much else. Ferris and O'Brien offer so much more in defense and attack, and make a real, noticeable impact. And the opposite for Cian Healy. He's faster and stronger than probably any other loosehead in world rugby, is an excellent tackler, great ball-carrier, and brilliant in the scrum. Why isn't he number 1 on everyone's list?

    Reply
  • 7:28 PM 26/12/2012

    Whenever I read these lists, I think on the fact that Gatland has said he's taking 30+ players, so if I have a problem with a selection (say, Roberts over Tuilagi or Jenkins over Healy) I know there's a good chance that the "other" player will be selected anyway. BUT, I do think some of these names shouldn't be brought along at all, namely Easter. Sure, he's performing well at club level, but so are Billy Vunipola, Ben Morgan, and Tom Waldrom. All of these players have better international hopes than Easter so surely they're better picks? Also, Courtney Lawes: I know he's a big guy, but I've only really ever seen him run straight upright into contact, making his size useless.

    Reply
  • 6:10 PM 26/12/2012

    1- Healy 2- Best 3- Jones/Coles (even though I'm not a fan of Coles' workrate around the park, he is a solid scrummager) 4- Gray (one of the few to have his place locked in already with AW Jones as backup)/ POC (for grunt?) 5- Davies (one tough SOB, just when we need a tough as nails tight 5 and backrow to dominate australia and keep pocock in check) 6- Ferris (please, PLEASE god, keep him injury free. If not, then pick Lydiate) 7- Armitage/Warburton (how armitage isn't in the england squad just amazes me) 8- Morgan/Heaslip 9- Care/Phillips/Murray 10- Sexton (due to lack of competition, another with his place tightly locked)/Farrel 11 & 14- North & Bowe (I don't really focus on 11/14, nowadays a winger is a winger)/ possibilities: Sharples/Ashton/Visser (huge potential)/Cuthbert/Craig Gilroy (potential to be the next Shane Williams. There, I said it, and I'm not taking it back!) 12 - Roberts (if they play Sexton at 10, watch how they commit the stupidity of replacing roberts with farrel) 13 - Tuilagui (if he keeps his form and finds consistency, the place is his already)/Davies (hugelly underrated, even if he is the big man everyone sees, hes deceptivelly fast, a good defender and distributes really well)/ Darren Cave (again, I'm going to comment an utter blasphemy, but as Drico fades, a new potential O'Driscoll emerges. If only he was given half the nurturing that Keith "The Walking Flop" Earls has been given over the years...) 15 - Kearney/ Halfpenny (not a fan, irregular and prone to brain farts, but a great player on his day and a valuable kicker)/ Brown (longshot) Others to travel would be Obrien, Launchbury, Palmer, Robson, Jenkins, Denton and some others. The crucial point in this series will be coaching, gelling, player management and morale and gelling. They certainly have the players for a historic win

    Reply
  • themull
    6:04 PM 26/12/2012

    Ireland have arguably the best back row out of the Lions nations..Dont think Eng, Scot or Wales come close to having 3 players as good as Ferris, heaslip and O' Brien...Its only arguable because they have no top quality specialist 7...if fit and playing anywhere near the level he played over the last few seasons Ferris is a must start..Nobody comes close to his defensive skills and he is a powerhouse with ball in hand.. I'd probably put Faletau at 8, but wouldn't argue with Heaslip there..I think I read or heard in the build up the Clermont game that Heaslip has made 40 plus tackles in this years HC and has not missed 1 either..Pretty impressive and that's the sort of hidden work you need out of your back row... Warburton at 7...Warburton is the best breakdown specialist and we're gonna need him to try and shut Pocock down...If not Warburton then O' Brien should get the nod..(wouldn't mind seeing him at 8 either)....Considering he's only back from a pretty bad injury he is playing great ruby and nearly always gaining yards and/or breaking tackles.. Of course this is all speculation that current form will continue up to he Lions tour and during the 6 nations in particular.. I'd definitely have Dan Cole at 3 with Best at 2...Not sure about 1 at the moment but Healy should definitely be mentioned along with Jenkins....Second Row is toss up because there's been no really stand out players this season yet..6 Nations form will decide it here... Agree with Danny Care at 9 and Sexton at 10...For the 2 centre positiosn I believe it'll come down to the 4 of BOD, Roberts, Davies and Tuilagi...Sure Bod's not near what he was 4 years ago, but he's still one of the best in the game and even if he won't start he's a great leader with great experience and would be invaluable to have on the bench and in the locker room.. Bowes injured as of now so he could be a doubt..Agree with Kearny and North for final 2 back three.

    Reply
  • 5:49 PM 26/12/2012

    Did you see Ben Morgan against New Zealand? I admit he needs to play at that tempo and workrate more consistently, but he is a monster. Surelly Easter is not the answer neither for the lions or england. He has more than been exposed at international level. Like some others he is great at club level, but pitch him against Read, Samo, Vermuelen (hell, even Kankovski and Keegan Daniel!), Fernandez Lobbe or Senatore, and you're in for a tough time! Faletau is in bad form at the moment, so I'd guess Morgan would start and Heaslip would be his backup (Heaslip is one hell of a player and athlete, but his smaller stature has prevented him to impose himself on his opposite nr8 recently)

    Reply
  • 5:44 PM 26/12/2012

    And no Irish back-rower should be near a shirt at the moment, nor should Warburton. Lydiate at 6, Steffon at 7 and Faletau/Denton at 8 with Robshaw to cover.

    Reply
  • 5:44 PM 26/12/2012

    And no Irish back-rower should be near a shirt at the moment, nor should Warburton. Lydiate at 6, Steffon at 7 and Faletau/Denton at 8 with Robshaw to cover.

    Reply
  • 5:42 PM 26/12/2012

    Dan Cole is the first choice 3, no other British or Irish prop is in touching distance of him currently - Adam Jones could challenge but we haven't seen him play internationally for a while now so he should not automatically get the shirt.

    Reply
  • ash7
    5:41 PM 26/12/2012

    1)cian healy 2)rory best 3)dan cole 4)courtney lawes 5)richie gray 6)stephen ferris 7)sam waburton 8)david denton 9)danny care 10)jonny sexton 11)george north 12)billy twelvetrees 13)manu tuilagi 14)chris ashton 15)alex goode my first 15

    Reply
  • ciaranbrk
    5:25 PM 26/12/2012

    I don't think bod shouldent be there untill he proves he should be in the 6 nations. How they coul leave cian healy out is a joke. Heaslip and o'brien need to up their game. To be considered the second rows will be intresting because all the sides have good 2nd row's. Its all well and good picking a side now but its the 6 nations that count. Besides bowe will misd the 6 nations with his injury so he is pretty much outa the lions runnin in my oppinion.

    Reply
  • 3:56 PM 26/12/2012

    Cole, jones, Healy, Murray, Youngs, best, Rees Gray, lawes, poc, Ryan Warburton, Denton, Heaslip (these 3 possibly to start), Obrien, robshaw Care, oleary, Blair Sexton, biggar, Scottish boy, Farrell (prob centre) Bod, Manu, Davies, rOberts Bowe (cover 13) gilroy, brown, zebo, Trimble (no visser till he learns to defend)

    Reply
  • facepalm
    1:03 PM 26/12/2012

    I'll get the ball rolling. 1) Corbisiero 2) Best 3) Jones 4) Gray 5) Lawes 6) Ferris 7) Waburton 8) Morgan 9) Youngs 10) Sexton 11) Bowe 12) Tuilagi 13) Davies 14) North 15) Kearney 16) Cole 17) Hartley 18) Wyn Jones 19) O'Brien 20) Care 21) Roberts 22) Halfpenny

    Reply
  • adastra
    12:51 PM 26/12/2012

    So two or three Englishmen out of 15. Both collections appear founded on past international exploits rather then current form. We shall see....

    Reply
  • facepalm
    12:32 PM 26/12/2012

    I also don't see the Heaslip appeal.

    Reply
  • facepalm
    12:30 PM 26/12/2012

    I just don't get this Easter thing. To be selected for the Lions you should have to prove your worth at international not at club.

    Reply
  • upthelowend
    12:15 PM 26/12/2012

    Someone's clearly a Quins fan!

    Reply
  • southwelshvalleys
    11:57 AM 26/12/2012

    Nick Easter?? hahahahahahahaha omfg thats classic LOL LOL either toby faletau or jamie heaslip by far, noone else should even be looked at

    Reply
  • jimothy
    11:47 AM 26/12/2012

    I know!! Hahaha lol imagine Nick Evans knowing anything about rugby lol. Not the first professional to suggest Easter.

    Reply
  • welshosprey
    11:24 AM 26/12/2012

    Nick Easter? Comedy gold Gethin Jenkins is also a massive liability in the scrum

    Reply


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