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13th Jan 2017

You may not agree with Dan Carter’s pick for the Lions out-half

Would he be your choice?

Sean McMahon

A controversial choice?

It’s the question on everyone’s lips.

Any player who is not involved or potentially involved with the Lions is going to be asked their opinion on who should play in a particular position for the Test matches against New Zealand.

As rugby fans on these shores can be quite opinionated, there will be an inevitable fallout or disagreement when questions such as these are answered.

Dan Carter was recently asked in an interview with the Daily Mail who he would pick in the pivotal out-half position for the first Test against the All Blacks in the summer.

‘”Farrell’s (Owen) been in fantastic form for a year or two and he would be my pick at fly-half,’ Carter told the Daily Mail. “He’s worked out a good partnership with George Ford for England.”

There is no doubt that Owen Farrell could do a job for the Lions, he has proven his worth in the out-half position at Test level for England over the past number of years. However, under Eddie Jones, Farrell has predominantly played at 12, operating in a highly effective 10-12 axis with George Ford.

It will be interesting to see whether Gatland would have an issue with Farrell playing his latest Test rugby at inside-centre.

This is something which Carter alludes to:

“Warren Gatland has been pretty open that selection will come down to form and the Six Nations is the perfect platform. But you could question the fact Farrell’s been playing 12 for England. That might work against him.”

It has been said that the Six Nations will be the key indicator for Gatland and his coaches when it comes to Lions selection.

So would Farrell playing at 12 put him behind the likes of Jonathan Sexton?

Obviously, there is a lot of rugby to be played between now and when the Lions selection is made. Injuries are also likely to play a major role.

But March 18 will be an interesting date.

Ireland play England at the Aviva Stadium and that could be the stage where Sexton lays down a marker on who should be Gatland’s man in New Zealand.

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