B&I LIONS RACE: Emerald shines bright

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:35
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OPINION: The famous rugby365 Team of the Week will continue to focus on the four Home Unions as the British and Irish Lions tour draws closer.

Ireland managed to keep themselves in with a chance of claiming the Six Nations title with victory over France and it comes at no surprise that they have the biggest representation - six starters and four replacements- for a second consecutive week.

The other big winners of the weekend, Scotland, who like Ireland still have a chance to win the competition has four starting players and four on the bench while England, fresh off their 17th consecutive victory have cracked the nod with three starting spots and five among the replacements.

Wales rounds off the team with two selections in the starting XV and the replacements.

Owen Farrell (England), Christiaan Stander (Ireland) and Tadhg Furlong (Ireland) are the only players who remain in the team for a third consecutive week, while Huw Jones (Scotland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Joe Launchbury (England) and Joe Marler (England) have retained their places for the second week running.

B&I LIONS TEAM OF THE WEEK - ROUND THREE:

15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
It was going to take something special to dethrone Stuart Hogg and Leigh Halfpenny's performance has given selectors an extra option in the backline.
Bubbling under: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

14 Tommy Seymour (Scotland)
An elusive runner who knows his way to the try line in what is a dangerous Scottish back three.
Bubbling under: Keith Earls (Ireland)

13 Huw Jones (Scotland)
Broke the advantage line with each of his runs and is enjoying a rich vein of form since making his debut Six Nations competition.
Bubbling under: Ben Te'o (England)

12 Owen Farrell (England)
He may as well collect his kit and plane ticket already.
Bubbling under: Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)

11 Tim Visser (Scotland)
Possesses an all-round game that will be needed to counter the threats New Zealand has.
Bubbling under: Elliot Daly (England)

10 Jonathan Sexton (Ireland)
Returned to the playing field to produce a performance that proved why he is one of the best in the business.
 Bubbling under: Finn Russell (Scotland)

9 Conor Murray (Ireland)
A scrumhalf that executes the basics the way he should but his sniping runs around the fringes makes him dangerous.
Bubbling under: Ali Price (Scotland)

8 Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
A monstrous defensive effort has seen him climb the pecking order for selection.
Bubbling under: Nathan Hughes (England)

7 Justin Tipuric (Wales)
The work-horse continues to grind out performances that displays his skill.
Bubbling under: Sean O'Brien (Ireland)

6 Christiaan Stander (Ireland)
He might as well pack his bags and plan his trip.
Bubbling under: Maro Itoje (England)

5 Jonny Gray (Scotland)
Defensively strong and a line-out whizz.
Bubbling under: Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

4 Joe Launchbury (England)
Will provide the team with a consistent performance every time he takes to the field.
Bubbling under: Richie Gray (Scotland)

3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
His form continues as he makes a dart for a starting spot.
Bubbling under: Dan Cole (England)

2 Rory Best (Ireland)
His calm demeanour will be vital on the tour later in the year.
Bubbling under: Ken Owens (Wales)

1 Joe Marler (England)
The consistency is now there and should be well on his way to selection.
Bubbling under: Jack McGrath (Ireland)

Our individual selections:

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Christiaan Stander, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Joe Marler.

Warren Fortune XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best, 1 Joe Marler.

Leezil Hendricks XV: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Ben Te'o, 12  Robbie Henshaw, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Ali Price, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 John Barclay, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Rory Best, 1 Jack McGrath.

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Christiaan Stander, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best, 1 Joe Marler.

Previous selections:

B&I LIONS TEAM OF THE WEEK - ROUND TWO: 15 Stuart Hogg (Scotland), 14 Keith Earls (Ireland), 13 Huw Jones (Scotland), 12 Owen Farrell (England), 11 Liam Williams (Wales), 10 Paddy Jackson (Ireland), 9 Rhys Webb (Wales), 8 Josh Strauss (Scotland), 7 Justin Tipuric (Wales), 6 Christiaan Stander (Ireland), 5 Courtney Lawes (England), 4 Joe Launchbury (England), 3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), 2 Niall Scannell (Ireland), 1 Joe Marler (England).

B&I LIONS TEAM OF THE WEEK - ROUND ONE: 15 Stuart Hogg (Scotland), 14 George North (Wales), 13 Jonathan Davies (Wales), 12 Owen Farrell (England), 11 Liam Williams (Wales), 10 Paddy Jackson (Ireland), 9 Greig Laidlaw (Scotland), 8 Josh Strauss (Scotland), 7 Hamish Watson (Scotland), 6 Christiaan Stander (Ireland), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 4 Richie Gray (Scotland), 3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), 2 Rory Best (Ireland), 1 Jack McGrath (Ireland).

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