Will Greenwood has selected four English players in his Lions 2025 team
A lot of gas in that backline.
After the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand, we took a crack at selecting a starting XV for the 2021 jaunt to South Africa. We got five players right, so we are not chancing a Lions 2025 selection.
Will Greenwood, on the other hand, has bravely stepped forward to do so.
The former England and Lions star has taken a look about the four nations, judged the prevailing rugby winds, assessed what to expect in Australia and, let's be honest, pick a few of his favourite players.
Writing in The Telegraph, Greenwood has selected a Starting XV that contains four Irish players, four Welshmen, four English stars and three Scots. His preferred head coach is Gregor Townsend, who was assistant to Warren Gatland in South Africa, and assistants for 2025 are Steve Borthwick and Ronan O'Gara.
Greenwood, who toured with the Lions to Australia in 2001, has Marcus Smith and Tomos Williams as his starting half-backs. Along with Smith, there are three other English starters - Ellis Genge, the pacy Adam Radwan and 2021 Vodafone Player of the Series, Maro Itoje.
The Irish starters include four uncapped Lions, although Rónan Kelleher was part of the 2021 squad after being called up for the Jersey training camp and as front row cover, later in the tour. It is great to see Garry Ringrose feature, but the only way the Leinster star seems to have a hope with the Lions is if Warren Gatland steps away from the set-up.
The Scottish contingent is made up of Jamie Ritchie, Cameron Redpath and Zander Fagerson, who toured this summer but did not feature in the Test Series.
WILL GREENWOOD'S 2025 LIONS TEAM
15. Hugo Keenan (Ireland)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
13. Gary Ringrose (Ireland)
12. Cameron Redpath (Scotland)
11. Adam Radwan (England)
10. Marcus Smith (England)
9. Tomos Williams (Wales)
1. Ellis Genge (England)
2. Ronan Kelleher (Ireland)
3. Zander Fagerson (Scotland)
4. Maro Itoje (England)
5. Adam Beard (Wales)
6. Jamie Ritchie (Scotland)
7. Tom Curry (England)
8. Caelan Doris (Ireland)
REPLACEMENTS: Ewan Ashman (Scotland), Bevan Rodd (England), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Ryan Baird (Ireland), James Botham (Wales), Raffi Quirke (England/Ireland), Adam Hastings (Scotland), Ioan Lloyd (Wales).
Raffi Quirke, an exciting scrumhalf prospect at Sale Sharks, has played underage for England sides but is also eligible to play for Ireland.