Garry Ringrose makes starting Lions XVs of Mike Tindall and Ben Ryan 3 years ago

Garry Ringrose makes starting Lions XVs of Mike Tindall and Ben Ryan

"They should ring-fence it at eight games for the next two or three tours."


News of the 2021 Lions Tour being reduced from 10 to eight games was always going to cause fissures. With Premiership officials staging their final late into the summer, in recent seasons, and player welfare coming to the fore, a sizeable bite was taken out of the Lions' next tour.

While many are upset that a prestigious and storied tour is being reduced in matches and length especially when north of 35,000 fans from Ireland and the UK travel with the tour every four years.

The reduced tour schedule caused some lively debate on the latest episode of the UK's House of Rugby show, with host Alex Payne getting into it with former England captain Mike Tindall. While Payne would prefer the 10-match tour to be guaranteed, Tindall argues that eight is the perfect amount of games for a summer tour but agrees that no more cuts should be made in 2025 and 2029.

Former England and Fiji Sevens coach Ben Ryan saw both sides of the argument but leaned towards Tindall's thinking on the matter. To end their debate on an amicable note, both Tindall and Ryan were tasked with selecting a Lions XV for 2021.


The thinking behind both teams [with subs being named] was this was a team based on recent form rather than looking 18 months into the future with predictions on who may be on the up.

There were five Irish players mentioned in the match-day 23s of both Tindall and Ryan. Both men had Garry Ringrose as their starting No.13 while Ryan had his Leinster teammate Cian Healy (below) as starting loosehead.

Ulster scrumhalf John Cooney and Leinster lock James Ryan made it onto Tindall's bench, with Gareth Davies of Wales getting his No.9 jersey. Both Ryan and Tindall have Tadhg Furlong as their replacement tighthead.


Warren Gatland, who will coach the Lions on that 2021 tour to South Africa, has already named eight players that he reckons will make the plane if form and fitness go their way - Jamie George, Maro Itoje, Tom Curry, Anthony Watson, Manu Tuilagi (all England), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Aaron Wainwright (Wales) and Furlong (Ireland). On Furlong, Gatland told BBC 5 Live, "I need an Irishman so, Tadhg Furlong... and I'll give you an outsider now that might make it, Aaron Wainwright."

Back to the team's selected by Tindall and Ryan, the world champion Springboks would be in for one hell of a Test Series.

Mike Tindall's Lions XV

15. Liam Williams (Wales)
14. Anthony Watson (England)
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
12. Owen Farrell (England)
11. Josh Adams (Wales)
10. Finn Russell (Scotland)
9. Gareth Davies (Wales)

1. Mako Vunipola (England)
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (England)
3. Kyle Sinckler (England)
4. Maro Itoje (England)
5. Jonny Gray (Scotland)
6. Alex Dombrandt (England)
7. Sam Underhill (England)
8. Billy Vunipola (England)


Selected replacements: Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, James Ryan, Tom Curry, John Cooney, Danny Cipriani.

Ben Ryan's Lions XV

15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Liam Williams (Wales)
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
12. Manu Tuilagi (England)
11. Jonny May (England)
10. Owen Farrell (England)
9. Gareth Davies (Wales)

1. Cian Healy (Ireland)
2. Jamie George (England)
3. Kyle Sinckler (England)
4. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
5. Maro Itoje (England)
6. Aaron Wainwright (Wales)
7. Tom Curry (England)
8. Alex Dombrandt (England)

Replacement front row: Joe Marler, Stuart McInally, Tadhg Furlong




Barry Murphy and Andrew Trimble are joined in the House of Rugby studio by Jerry Flannery as they look back on the Guinness PRO14 action, talk about a possible Johnny sexton move, preview the Champions Cup and select an underrated XV.