Adam Jones' Lions XV doesn't have a Scot in sight
Scottish rugby Twitter awakens...
Adam Jones is a big fan of Stuart Hogg and Hamish Watson, but he can't find room for them in his strongest Lions XV.
With 37 players confirmed for the 2021 British & Irish Lions Tour to South Africa, some of the Test XV selections that were recently made have needed some tweaks. Sean O'Brien, for example, brought in Louis Rees-Zammit and Dan Biggar [with Owen Farrell dropping into midfield] when Keith Earls and Garry Ringrose did not make the cut.
For Jones, a two-time Lion and three-time Grand Slam winner, the only big change he had to make was in midfield, after injury to George North and the omission of Jonathan Davies.
The Harlequins scrum coach has selected a strong starting 15 to take the fight to the world champion Springboks, but it is short on representatives from one of the four nations.
Jones' selection split is 7:5:3 to Wales, Ireland and England. He has gone for Ireland's Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw in midfield, noting:
"The Lions will want to go fire with fire, with South Africa. You go Bundee Aki - big lump, gets over the gain-line, which Gats loves."
On House of Rugby, Jones debated the big calls at fullback and openside, both of which went against Scotland's best hopes for the Test Series.
"I'd go different to your back three [Sean]. For me, Liam Williams has got to play fullback. He's a brilliant player. Not that Hogg's not - he's a great player - but him and Anthony Watson, who I see doing well in the Premiership every week, have to start. And Josh Adams too.
"It pains me to say this," he added, "as I know how good Justin Tipuric is, but I think Tom Curry will start at 7... We haven't mentioned Hamish Watson yet, have we? He's mad, though. I love it."
As for his outhalf call, Dan Biggar gets the 10 jersey. "I can't see the Lions going into the First Test with Finn Russell at 10," he says. "Obviously, off the bench, Finn is a game-changer and he can flip it in there."
As for scrumhalf, the former Wales and Lions star says Ali Price has a chance to start, but he is edging towards Conor Murray. Just to keep the Welsh fan-base happy, he believes the best available No.9 - Tomos Williams - is one of the most unfortunate of all those that missed out on squad selection.
As for the Scottish rugby fan-base, they may need a moment or to to digest this XV. First Stephen Jones said Hamish Watson was too small, now this...
ADAM JONES' LIONS XV
15. Liam Williams (Wales)
14. Anthony Watson (England)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
12. Bundee Aki (Ireland)
11. Josh Adams (Wales)
10. Dan Biggar (Wales)
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
1. Wyn Jones (Wales)
2. Ken Owens (Wales)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
4. Maro Itoje (England)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
6. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
7. Tom Curry (England)
8. Talupe Faletau (Wales)
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