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Lions ready to clash with New Zealand on tour

Warren Gatland took some serious time deciding a final squad selection for the upcoming Lions tour to New Zealand. 

 

He pushed for Jonathan Joseph to be included as well as putting in a good word for one of the largest squads the Lions party has ever seen for the tour – 41 players which is 4 more than initially planned and costing an additional £600,000 than last year.

 

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Can I watch the matches on TV? 

All matches will be shown live on Sky Sports, Sky Go (on demand media player) and Sky Sports. talkSport will also offer a live commentary of the matches including the tests.

 

 

Some additional squad stats: 

The players picked for the squad have a total of 35 Lions caps between them. The individual players’ origins are as follows:

 

England: 16

Wales: 12

Scotland: 2

Ireland: 11

The youngest player is Maro Itjoe at 22 years of age and older Rory Best at 34.

 

Fixtures List: 

Lions tour to New Zealand 2017 – fixtures

Game 1: Saturday, June 3 v Provincial Union Team in Whangarei

Game 2: Wednesday, June 7 v Blues in Auckland

Game 3: Saturday, June 10 v Crusaders in Christchurch

Game 4: Tuesday, June 13 v Highlanders in Dunedin

Game 5: Saturday, June 17 v Maori All Blacks in Rotorua

Game 6: Tuesday, June 20 v Chiefs in Hamilton

Game 7: Saturday, June 24 v All Blacks in Auckland

Game 8: Tuesday, June 27 v Hurricanes in Wellington

Game 9: Saturday, July 1 v All Blacks in Wellington

Game 10: Saturday, July 8 v All Blacks in Auckland

BACKS

STUART HOGG (Scotland)

  • Age: 24
  • Position: Full-back
  • Caps: 53
  • Verdict: Scotish Hogg gives any side’s defence a run for their money – solid and stable.

LEIGH HALFPENNY (Wales)

  • Age: 28
  • Position: Full-back
  • Caps: 71
  • Verdict: Respected player of 2013 tour and scores goals like a pro.

JARED PAYNE (Ireland)

  • Age: 31
  • Position: Full-back
  • Caps: 20
  • Verdict: Payne is a New Zealand-born back – will be interesting to see his value on his own home soil.

ANTHONY WATSON (England)

  • Age: 23
  • Position: Wing/full-back
  • Caps: 26
  • Verdict: Competent arial player and exquisite finisher.

ELLIOT DALY (England)

  • Age: 24
  • Position: Wing/centre
  • Caps: 13
  • Verdict: Daly’s pace is second to none – a whippet.

GEORGE NORTH (Wales)

  • Age: 25
  • Position: Wing
  • Caps: 69
  • Verdict: Heavy winger with Lions experience and worth.

LIAM WILLIAMS (Wales)

  • Age: 26
  • Position: Wing/full-back
  • Caps: 43
  • Verdict: Travelling to New Zealand as the Lions’ form wing.

JACK NOWELL (England)

  • Age: 24
  • Position: Wing
  • Caps: 23
  • Verdict: Another quick player who is always hungry for tries.

TOMMY SEYMOUR (Scotland)

  • Age: 28
  • Position: Wing
  • Caps: 36
  • Verdict: This Glaswegian has the record and form to make a dent in the New Zealand strategies.

ROBBIE HENSHAW (Ireland)

  • Age: 23
  • Position: Centre
  • Caps: 29
  • Verdict: A versatile and modest player who offers inside and outside centre options.

JONATHAN JOSEPH (England)

  • Age: 26
  • Position: Centre/wing
  • Caps: 33
  • Verdict: Bolt of lightening on the pitch with twinkle toes about him – weaves his way through players.

JONATHAN DAVIES (Wales)

  • Age: 29
  • Position: Centre
  • Caps: 64
  • Verdict: A definite presence on the pitch offering muscle and intelligence.

BEN TE’O (England)

  • Age: 30
  • Position: Centre
  • Caps: 8
  • Verdict: Ability to get the Lions over the try line..

OWEN FARRELL (England)

  • Age: 25
  • Position: Centre/fly-half
  • Caps: 52
  • Verdict: Utter class and consistence with proven results in his back pocket.

JONATHAN SEXTON (Ireland)

  • Age: 31
  • Position: Fly-half
  • Caps: 66
  • Verdict: Bright player off to New Zealand as the Lions’ conductor-in-chief.

DAN BIGGAR (Wales)

  • Age: 27
  • Position: Fly-half
  • Caps: 56
  • Verdict: Reliable playmaker with the fierceness required to challenge the New Zealand side.

GREIG LAIDLAW (Scotland)

  • Age: 31
  • Position: Scrum-half
  • Caps: 58
  • Verdict: Scottish captain to replace Ben Youngs.

CONOR MURRAY (Ireland)

  • Age: 28
  • Position: Scrum-half
  • Caps: 57
  • Verdict: On-pitch management considered outstanding.

RHYS WEBB (Wales)

  • Age: 28
  • Position: Scrum-half
  • Caps: 28
  • Verdict: The scrum-half who proved himself to be one of the stars of the Six Nations.

The first test between Lions and New Zealand will begin June 23rd.

 

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