Feb 20 2009 @AverageYoungsy

With 2 rounds of the 6 Nations over and done with, Ireland and Wales are sitting top of the pile with 2 wins out of 2. With players a plenty putting their skills on show and showing their worth for the lions selection team. Who is pushing themselves into a seat on the plane in May? Who are must have’s no matter what? Follow me over the next few weeks and I will select my team, as it stands.
Based on the 2 rounds played, this would be my Lions test side – Will start with the Backs: –

15. Lee Byrne (Wales) – The Welsh Full-Back has followed on from some great performances in the autumn internationals with some solid performances for Wales in the 6 Nations. Dependable under the high ball and plays with his head up. He could cause problems for the springboks’ defence if he is on form.

14. Leigh Halfpenny (Wales) – The young Cardiff Blue has shown that he has the character to step up to the plate at international level. However will he be able to cope with a flying Bryan Habana is another question. Time will tell but he is my 14 so far.

13. Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – Ireland’s talisman & 2005 Lions captain, seems to be showing the form that made him one of the most feared backs in the world. His try against France in the first game showed glimpses of his try in the first Lions test in 2001.

12. Jamie Roberts (Wales) / Riki Flutey (England) – A tough call. Playing against South Africa I think you need an abrasive midfield player to rough up the likes of Francois Steyn and co. to put them off their game, which is suited to Jamie Roberts however as shown against England on Saturday if you stop Roberts penetrative running he can be nullified out of the game. Flutey is a much more inventive player though, and may prove more useful to find holes in the Springboks defence if the ‘bash man’ method doesn’t work. They will both be on the plane.

11. Thom Evans (Scotland) – The only Scot in my backline, this kid has pace to burn. Apparently can run the 100m in 10.8seconds (Maybe Scotland should put him in the Olympics!)! Scored a well taken try on his six nation’s debut. But with Shane Williams returning from injury and Evans not having much experience it will be a tight call.

10. Stephen Jones (Wales) – Slightly suspect in defence, which is a worry however he gets a backline moving and he kicks goals under pressure. At the moment I cant see another 10 that comes close. Almost a certain starter.

9. Mike Phillips (Wales) – The welsh scrum half was selected over Dwayne Peel and Gareth Cooper in a hotly contested position, and he has proven why with some solid performances behind the scrum. This is probably the toughest choice for the selectors to make, with probably only 3 Scrum Halves going and with the three Welshmen, Harry Ellis, Tom O’Leary, Eion Reddan & Mike Blair are all in with a shout there will be some unhappy players come selection day.

So there you have it, my choices so far. Feel free to agree / disagree and I am sure my opinion will change between now and May! Till next week when I will post my forwards.

Happy Hunting, Youngsy



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