Ireland
Eleven Irish Lions Selected
By Gary Watton
April 20 2017


Gatland

One cannot help but feel really sorry for Scotland. They defeated us and Italy and whipped Wales, and yet they have been short-changed in the selection process by the Welsh-leaning supremo. Of course, John Bull is far from satisfied with 'only' sixteen players in the forty-one tour party, but I reckon that the Oirish can have few complaints about a healthy allocation of eleven representatives. Leinster surprise surprise boast five players in the squad, while Munster and Ulster have done well to receive three call-ups each.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Jared Payne, admittedly quite versatile, has been preferred to young Garry Ringrose. Maybe the tour to New Zealand has come one year too soon for Garry R. Meanwhile, big Iain Henderson could well prove to be the ideal impact substitute for the test matches - if that is what Warren Gatland has in his mind. Of course, a few who have not made the final cut may still be eventually summoned once the customary injuries kick in and repacements need to be drafted into the set-up, so all is not lost yet for the overlooked Earls, Heaslip, Kearney, Ringrose, Toner, and Zebo. 

The eleven lucky ducks are as follows:

Rory Best [Ulster]

Tadh Furlong [Leinster]

Iain Henderson [Ulster]

Robbie Henshaw [Leinster]

Jack McGrath [Leinster]

Conor Murray [Munster]

Sean O'Brien [Leinster]

Peter O'Mahony [Munster]

Jared Payne [Ulster]

Jonny Sexton [Leinster]

CJ Stander [Munster]