Lawrence Dallaglio's Lions XV sees five Irish players make the cut
Ringrose edges out Henshaw.
Former England and Lions star Lawrence Dallaglio has been following the Six Nations closely, and his Lions XV is a reward for those that shone in the championship.
While the Champions Cup and, to a lesser extent, Challenge Cup offer up extra windows to impress British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland, many names on the squad list will have been written in bold and underlined after the Six Nations.
On The Ruck podcast, Alex Lowe of The Times told Dallaglio that Hamish Watson, Tadhg Beirne and Robbie Henshaw had locked in their Lions spots with outstanding Six Nations campaigns. He said:
"Robbie Henshaw really stood up. He went on the last Lions tour but didn't really look like he was going to get into the Test team before he got injured. He is now a real frontrunner to play on the Test team. Tadhg Beirne has played himself onto the tour and Toby Faletau, I think, will be the starting No.8 again."
While Lowe believes Henshaw is pushing for a starting role in the Lions XV to face South Africa, Dallaglio is plumping for his Leinster and Ireland teammate Garry Ringrose.
Dallaglio's Lions team differs somewhat from the 15 men selected by his colleague Stephen Jones in his latest column for The Sunday Times. Whereas Jones had no place for Stuart Hogg, Justin Tipuric or Johnny Sexton in his touring squad [of 35 players], Dallaglio has two of that trio in his Starting XV for the First Test.
Welsh fans will be spitting feathers over this one as their title-winning form is rewarded with just two starters - Alun Wyn Jones and Toby Faletau - while Scotland's sole starting representative is Stuart Hogg.
Ireland have five men selected, with Henshaw and Iain Henderson the most unfortunate to miss out, while England, who finished fifth in the championship, getting seven men into the starting team.
LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO'S LIONS XV
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Anthony Watson (England)
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
12. Owen Farrell (England)
11. Jonny May (England)
10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
1. Mako Vunipola (England)
2. Jamie George (England)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
4. Maro Itoje (England)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
6. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
7. Tom Curry (England)
8. Toby Faletau (Wales)
Gatland is set to name his touring squad on May 6 and there is speculation that his travelling party will be smaller than the last four editions of the tour.
Should he be restricted to 35 or 36 players, the old-stagers and versatile guys could be the ones to benefit.