Will Greenwood has selected four Irish players in his Lions 2025 team
Another couple of Irish lads on the bench too including *checks glasses* Tadhg FURLONG?!
After the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand, we took a crack at selecting a starting XV for the 2021 jaunt to South Africa. We got five players right, so we are not chancing a Lions 2025 selection.
Will Greenwood, on the other hand, has bravely stepped forward to do so.
The former England and Lions star has taken a look about the four nations, judged the prevailing rugby winds, assessed what to expect in Australia and, let's be honest, pick a few of his favourite players.
Writing in The Telegraph, Greenwood has selected a Starting XV that contains four Irish players, four Welshmen, four English stars and three Scots. His preferred head coach is Gregor Townsend, who was assistant to Warren Gatland in South Africa, and assistants for 2025 are Steve Borthwick and Ronan O'Gara.
The Irish starters include four uncapped Lions, although Rónan Kelleher was part of the 2021 squad after being called up for the Jersey training camp and as front row cover, later in the tour.
It is great to see Garry Ringrose feature, but the only way the Leinster star seems to have a hope with the Lions is if Warren Gatland steps away from the set-up.
WILL GREENWOOD'S 2025 LIONS TEAM
15. Hugo Keenan (Ireland)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
13. Gary Ringrose (Ireland)
12. Cameron Redpath (Scotland)
11. Adam Radwan (England)
10. Marcus Smith (England)
9. Tomos Williams (Wales)
1. Ellis Genge (England)
2. Ronan Kelleher (Ireland)
3. Zander Fagerson (Scotland)
4. Maro Itoje (England)
5. Adam Beard (Wales)
6. Jamie Ritchie (Scotland)
7. Tom Curry (England)
8. Caelan Doris (Ireland)
REPLACEMENTS: Ewan Ashman (Scotland), Bevan Rodd (England), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Ryan Baird (Ireland), James Botham (Wales), Raffi Quirke (England/Ireland), Adam Hastings (Scotland), Ioan Lloyd (Wales).
Tadhg Furlong will be 32 by the time the tour Down Under comes about. Should fitness and form be good to him, he would certainly be eyeing that No.3 jersey again.
Raffi Quirke, an exciting scrumhalf prospect at Sale Sharks, has played underage for England sides but is also eligible to play for Ireland.