Former Munster star Johne Murphy reveals which Irish players should make the Lions squad 1 year ago

Former Munster star Johne Murphy reveals which Irish players should make the Lions squad

"CJ Stander is probably in the mix as well and that would be an incredible way for him to finish"

Former Munster Rugby and Leicester player, Johne Murphy was speaking at the launch of 2021's #TheBigRugbyRun.

Advertisement

Murphy also revealed which Irish rugby players are in with a chance of making Warren Gatland's Lions squad, which is due to be announced tomorrow.

"Well I think someone like Robbie Henshaw is probably nailed on, and there's a couple of others," admitted Murphy.

"You would imagine Garry Ringrose is probably going to be in that centre pairing. There's James Ryan as well and then with Ben Youngs' announcement, you open it up to the likes of of Luke McGrath and John Cooney - are they now in the mix?"

Ben Youngs announced that he was withdrawing himself from contention in order to spend more time with his family in the summer.

Advertisement

"Because of Ben's announcement, it's going to be interesting and you have to wait on Johnny Sexton's injury update to see where he's at.

"You would imagine that we'd have a very strong contingent, Tadhg Furlong is probably going to go and be very close to being a test starter. Ronan Kelleher is a bit of a bolter because of his performances and what he's been doing at line-out time, he's such a nuisance at ruck time as well and you need that physical annoyance, going down to South Africa."

So much of it comes down to Gatland's tactics and how he wants to set his team up, not to mention the increasing list of injuries that frees up more and more spaces on the team.

"Probably nine for me is one that is wide open for those slots, and whether he's going to be forward heavy in his selection, given that we know how physical the Africans are," continued Murphy.

Advertisement

"Is he going to drop off and go for a bit more versatility in the box? Someone like Robbie Henshaw gives you that because he can move around the backline. Is he going to pick two 10's or is he gonna drop a centre, and pick Owen Farrell because he knows Farrell can go into the 12  and play outside someone like Sexton? There's a lot of makeups in it and it's going to be an interesting 24 hours, I think.

"The definites are probably James Ryan, Robbie Henshaw and Tadhg Furlong. CJ Stander is probably in the mix as well and that would be an incredible way for him to finish. It will be interesting to see how it goes."

#TheBigRugbyRun is an event where teams or individuals cover a full marathon distance while carrying a rugby ball and all of the donations go to the Tackle your Feelings programme.

 

Advertisement