May 13, 2021

Monye & Jones’ Lions selection summit

Manu Tuilagi, Finn Russell and Josh Navidi had been all factors of competition as Rugby Union Weekly tried to choose their 36-man Lions squad
Date: Thursday, 6 Might Time: Time: 12:00 BST
Protection: Reside textual content commentary on the BBC Sport web site

The intention was to debate, rethink, compromise and eventually produce one definitive 36-man squad.

It did not work out like that.

As a substitute 2009 British and Irish Lion Ugo Monye and Rugby Union Weekly co-presenter Chris Jones agreed to disagree over their choices to tour South Africa this summer time.

These are the controversial calls, left-field shouts and unreconcilable variations that made up their choice assembly on this week’s episode.

And for the actual factor, be a part of us from 11:45 BST on Thursday for dwell textual content protection of the announcement of the British and Irish Lions squad and captain for 2021.

Again three

(variations in opinion marked in daring)

Ugo: Louis Rees-Zammit (Wal), Anthony Watson (Eng), Stuart Hogg (Sco), Liam Williams (Wal), Josh Adams (Wal), Jack Nowell (Eng)

Chris: Louis Rees-Zammit (Wal), Anthony Watson (Eng), Stuart Hogg (Sco), Liam Williams (Wal), Josh Adams (Wal), Jonny Might (Eng)

Ugo: “I really feel responsible about this choose. Jonny Might was a world XV choose final yr and never a lot has modified in 2021 other than England and Gloucester struggling.

Jack Nowell
Nowell got here off the bench within the second and third Checks in New Zealand 4 years in the past

“Nowell has solely performed 100 minutes of rugby because the Premiership closing in October as he comes again from damage, however Gatland loves him.

“Nowell is an efficient workforce participant, a very good squad man and, along with his urge for food for work and energy over the ball, he brings one thing totally different.”

Chris: “I believe that Jonny Might has come on a lot as a participant, you need him there. In November he scored that excellent size of-the-field attempt towards Eire. You possibly can’t inform me that a lot has modified.”


Ugo: Robbie Henshaw (Ire), Manu Tuilagi (Eng), Henry Slade (Eng), Garry Ringrose (Ire)

Chris: Robbie Henshaw (Ire), Jonathan Davies (Wal), Henry Slade (Eng), Garry Ringrose (Ire)

Ugo: “Tuilagi is simply simply getting back from a long-term damage however on his day he is among the world’s finest, an enormous level of distinction and, towards the world champions, that high quality could possibly be invaluable.”

Chris: “A part of me does need to choose Tuilagi as a result of there may be a very long time to show health between the squad announcement on Thursday and the tour opener towards the Stormers on 3 July.

“With out the injured George North as nicely, I realise I may be wanting energy in my midfield choice.

“However I believe it could be an enormous gamble to choose a participant who has suffered with accidents prior to now and has been sidelined since September.”

Ugo: “That you must have Slade to provide you a kicking choice. Owen Farrell may, but when he’s touring as a fly-half then then you definitely want Slade to deliver that dimension.”


Ugo: Dan Biggar (Wal), Owen Farrell (Eng), Marcus Smith (Eng)

Chris: Dan Biggar (Wal), Owen Farrell (Eng), Finn Russell (Sco)

Ugo: “Folks will probably be screaming at me for this, but when Biggar and Farrell are your Check fly-halves, your third fly-half needs to be very totally different to the opposite two.

Marcus Smith
Marcus Smith could be the primary uncapped participant to tour with the British and Irish Lions since Will Greenwood in 1997

“You want a third-choice 10 who accepts that position. Smith could be over the moon to tour, has power and vitality that can reverberate across the squad and will be the fulcrum of the midweek aspect.

“Individuals are free to agree, disagree, be offended, however that’s the considering.”

Chris: “When it comes to a Lions squad that goes down nicely with Scotland followers, Finn Russell being neglected for an uncapped Marcus Smith would go down like an unsavoury sandwich.

“I’d be surprised if Russell does not go.

“We have now received to speak about the truth that neither of us are taking Johnny Sexton – a contemporary nice, the Eire captain, the beginning 10 for the second and third Checks in New Zealand 4 years in the past.

“My considering is nearly health and sturdiness of a participant who will flip 36 in the course of the tour.

“He has had three failed head damage assessments since February.”


Ugo: Conor Murray (Ire), Gareth Davies (Wal), Danny Care (Eng)

Chris: Conor Murray (Ire), Tomos Williams (Wal), Danny Care (Eng)

Ugo: “Faf de Klerk is an actual heartbeat for South Africa, and Gareth Davies is a bodily, energetic 9 who can get at his reverse quantity.

“I believe he could be an unbelievable match-up to tackle De Klerk.

Chris: “With [co-presenter of Rugby Union Weekly] Danny, I do not assume it’s blind religion in a pal. There are authentic explanation why he will get on the aircraft: he presents one thing totally different off the bench, he is in good type, he is in a very good place mentally, he is received a great deal of expertise.

“He may also have the respect of the squad and be a very good vacationer. I do not assume that may be a trite factor to say in 2021. On this ‘bubble’ atmosphere it’s extra essential than ever.”

Free-head prop

Ugo: Wyn Jones (Wal), Mako Vunipola (Eng), Cian Healy (Ire)

Chris: Wyn Jones (Wal), Mako Vunipola (Eng), Rory Sutherland (Sco)

Chris: “Sutherland is round 4 weeks away from health with a shoulder damage. If he can show his health, I’d take him. If not, I might take Healy.

Rory Sutherland
Sutherland is a kind of hoping to extend Scotland’s illustration after solely two of his countrymen made the preliminary squad in 2017

“I believe with Jones, Vunipola and Healy (29, 30 and 33 respectively) you’re brief somewhat little bit of dynamism and that trio are ticking up when it comes to age in comparison with 27-year-old Sutherland.”


Each: Luke Cowan Dickie (Eng), Jamie George (Eng), Ken Owens (Wal)

Tight-head prop

Each: Kyle Sinckler (Eng), Tadhg Furlong (Ire), Zander Fagerson (Sco)

Second row

Each: Maro Itoje (Eng), James Ryan (Ire), Alun Wyn Jones (Wal), Tadhg Beirne (Ire)

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Ugo: Tom Curry (Eng), Hamish Watson (Sco), Justin Tipuric (Wal), Aaron Wainwright (Wal), Jamie Ritchie (Sco)

Chris: Tom Curry (Eng), Hamish Watson (Sco), Justin Tipuric (Wal), Josh Navidi (Wal), Sam Underhill (Eng)

Ugo: “I believe Wainwright has a little bit of X-factor. He could possibly be world class. I like his match-up with Pieter-Steph du Toit and he brings further top and a leaping choice within the line-out as nicely.

Aaron Wainwright
Wainwright, seen right here scoring towards France within the quarter-final, was a key man for Wales within the 2019 World Cup, however has struggled for an everyday beginning place since

“Ritchie is simply sensible. Curry and Watson are two gamers in a selected mould however Ritchie is a unique kind of participant as I search for steadiness and alternative ways of working.”

Chris: “I do not assume that Wainwright has performed sufficient on the highest degree not too long ago to go forward of Navidi, who was in nice type within the Six Nations.

“I believed Jamie Ritchie was terrific within the Six Nations, particularly in that win away towards France on the ultimate day. I actually like him, however I would not be snug boarding that aircraft with out Underhill.

“I believe towards South Africa, you want Underhill to be chopping down these huge runners.”

Quantity eight

Ugo: Taulupe Faletau (Wal), Sam Simmonds (Eng)

Chris: Taulupe Faletau (Wal), Billy Vunipola (Eng)

Ugo: “I do not assume both the Lions or South Africa have a participant like Simmonds. He modifies the dynamic of the way you play. He’s lightning fast. I’d like to see him in a contemporary pair of mouldies on a tough observe in South Africa.

“He’s a harmful man, some extent of distinction.

26 June Japan (Murrayfield, Edinburgh)
3 July Stormers
7 July South Africa Invitational
10 July Sharks
14 July South Africa A
17 July Bulls
24 July South Africa
31 July South Africa
7 August South Africa

“Nearly as good a participant as Vunipola is, within the final 18 months or two years, towards huge bodily packs, he hasn’t performed the issues we all know he can.”

Chris: “I believe you go to South Africa with out Vunipola’s energy at your peril.

“We in all probability haven’t seen a totally rampaging, barnstorming Vunipola for some time, so he’s my status choose.

“I’m not saying he needs to be a Check starter, however I would like him as an choice.”

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