British Lions squad announced . . .

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May 06, 2021, 14:20

Here's the squad:

British and Irish Lions squad 2021:

Forwards (21)

Loosehead prop: Mako Vunipola (Saracens and England), Wyn Jones (Scarlets and Wales), Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh and Scotland).

Hooker: Ken Owens (Scarlets and Wales), Jamie George (Saracens and England), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs and England).

Tighthead prop: Tadhg Furlong (Leinster and Ireland), Andrew Porter (Leinster and Ireland), Kyle Sinckler (England), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors and Scotland).

Second Row: Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys and Wales, Captain), Maro Itoje (Saracens and England), Iain Henderson (Ulster and Ireland), Tadhg Beirne (Munster and Ireland), Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs and England), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints and England).

Back-Row: Tom Curry (Sale Sharks and England), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys and Wales), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh and Scotland), Taulupe Faletau (Bath and Wales), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs and England), Jack Conan (Leinster and Ireland).

Backs (16)

Scrum-half: Conor Murray (Munster and Ireland), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors and Scotland), Gareth Davies (Scarlets and Wales).

Fly-half: Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints and Wales), Owen Farrell (Saracens and England), Finn Russell (Racing 92 and Scotland).

Centre: Robbie Henshaw (Leinster and Ireland), Chris Harris (Gloucester and Scotland), Bundee Aki (Connacht and Ireland).

Back-three: Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs and Scotland), Liam Williams (Scarlets and Wales), Anthony Watson (Bath and England), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester and Wales), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh and Scotland), Elliot Daly (Saracens and England), Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues and Wales).

Pretty good squad if you ask me. Notable omissions include Jonny Sexton (Ireland), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Billy Vunipola (England) and James Ryan (Ireland) but it's hard to see where any of those (other than Jonathan Davies perhaps) would have strengthened the squad significantly.

Bring it on!

May 06, 2021, 14:25

A few strange choices in there, I think. 

May 06, 2021, 14:37

And Jonny Hill plays for England, not Scotland ! 

May 06, 2021, 15:13


Why did your team quote end at flyhalf?    

May 06, 2021, 15:18

Hill and Lawes ahead of Ryan is insulting

Davies at centre is past it, I get his omission

The inclusion of Jack Conan is staggering

Sexton and North are injured and CJ has retired from international rugby

Navidi, Sinckler and Ringrose are big omissions

How Daly merited selection is madness - good player but in shit form. Same can be said of Aki who is only just back from injury

Jamie George is lucky to be there

May 06, 2021, 15:35

Yes, Garry Ringrose is another who would have added value, expecially with only three centres named.

May 06, 2021, 15:48

Johnny May has been left out too. Agree about Aki.  No idea how Lawes made the squad

Good to see Van Der Merwe in the squad

Just dissecting the backrow. No real grunt in there other than the token islander. Most under 1.85 barring 2 that doubles up as locks. 

Props look okay, but I think we are okay there. 

Nine and 10 probably be Connor Murrey and Owen Farrel combo. 

Nice to see Reece Zammit, but not sure if he should start

Also think he left a lot of quality players out, but who knows. 

See Genge and Marler has been completely omitted, to be honest those 2 are probably the ones I would hate playing against. They could be a liability, but not the guys you want getting under Etzebeth skin

May 06, 2021, 15:50

Not sure about the Murray/Farrell combo. With so few centres named I suspect he's planning on Farrell at #12.

May 06, 2021, 16:09

So who will be his 10? Finn Russell or Dan Biggar?

May 06, 2021, 17:24


May 06, 2021, 17:38

This team doesn’t feel very impressive.....especially at flyhalf and centre and frankly the whole pack hardly impresses. 

Wot no Stampkar? I’m guessing his return home counted against him.

May 06, 2021, 21:23

Jonathan Davies's omission is a surprise, as is Sexton. Maybe Sexton would lack the pace required for the highveld. 

Centre seems thin, and mostly Irish players. Surprise that Al Bundy was included. 

Stampkar is finish and klaar with Ireland, and the Lions. 

Although it is likely he will pop up at the Bulls sooner than later, perhaps as hooker as they already have so much depth at loose forward.

May 06, 2021, 21:41

Stampkar apparently said he’d even drive the bus....not a good idea given his penchant for running into things and not seeing the gaps. But most reports I’ve read suggest he was available for selection... like this one from Sky Sports:

Losers: Josh Navidi, CJ Stander, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola

Speak to those in Wales, and they are shocked Navidi has not been chosen. Speak to those in Ireland, and there is large surprise Stander has suffered the same fate.

Navidi seemed a perfect fit for the hard-working blindside flanker Gatland so regularly employs, while Stander, as a tough-carrying No 8 or blindside, will be devastated to miss out ahead of his impending retirement at the age of just 31. All the more so for Stander as he has lost out to international team-mate Conan, despite never losing his place to him for Ireland.

May 07, 2021, 00:13

CJ Stander retired from test rugby after the 6N and retires from rugby after the Munster season

Biggest loser has to be Ryan, the best lock in the UK. He had only just returned from injury during the 6N but the same can be said of Aki and Lawes

Hill and Lawes ahead of Ryan is a joke.

Porter ahead of Sinckler is another poor selection

How Daly on form made the squad is beyond me, same applies to George

Strangest selection is Jack Conan

Ringrose and Huw Jones lost out.

Davies I get, he is past it and was a non entity in the 6N

Sexton and North are injured

May 07, 2021, 10:15

Looking at the team - it seems to me that the Tight 5 forwards will have an extremely high mountain to climb when meeting the Boks.    There is not a single of the props that would be adequate against Springboks in tests,    That applies to the hookers as well,  

As to locks - the only good  lock is Wyn-Jones - the  rest are barely average  on international level -especially with players like Etzebeth, Snyman and  Schickerling around.    I leave out the injured De Jager - viur thre aere plenty real locks available to SA better than the locks in the Lions team.   

As to the loosies - those selected  are poor compared to the fantastic   Du Toit and Vermeulen and the very good Kolisi,    We have back\ups aplenty as well.

As to the scrummies Murray is a decent enough scrummie  - bit De Klerk beats him every time.    The rest are not really top class.

At flyhalf  Farrell  was neutralized in the WC Final when he moved to flyhalf 50 minutes into the game.    Like Ford he produced near to nothing  in the WC final and  is not comparable to compete with Pollard at flyhalf,   Biggar is even worse - he is a  Morne Steyn type when to comes to defense,     

Bundee Aki  at inside center  -   in 31 appearances  for Ireland he scored 5 tries  - in  the WC he was beaten by the Japanese constantly and was really not that good.    Should they play  Farrell or him at  inside center will mean  nothing since De Allende will make mincemeat of them.

The have good outside backs - but that can easily be isolated by what happened inside of them.

And hten we have the brilliant Erasmus and Nienaber combination.    By now theyw ould have started analyzing the team and every player in the squad and they soon will be able to coach the players accordingly.    They have no competition when it comes  to rugby ecumen in teh world at present.       


May 07, 2021, 11:59

I think Gatland has a unique style of play with this selection in mind ( have great respect for him) although the bottom line is at the very least they will to match the Boks looks a fairly well balanced squad...I'm not expecting a whitewash and looking forward to tomorrow...should be a good series 

May 07, 2021, 16:51

This from Brian O Driscoll who probably knows whether an Irish player was available or not:

Why Conan is in the Lions squad instead of Stander

The inclusion of Jack Conan is a major coup for the Leinster loose forward over the Munster men, as many feel that CJ Stander would be much better suited for a Lions place.

However, O’Driscoll believes that Conan’s diversity in his carrying is the reason that he was selected ahead of Stander.

“People are saying, ‘oh I would have picked stander over Conan,’ for me, there is way more dynamism to the carrying that Jack Conan does,” O’Driscoll said.


O Driscoll puts his finger on the issue.....Stamp can charge into the first tackler 20 times a game.many see that as great running. But he hardly ever beats a tackle. Obviously Gatland has a negative view of that kind of toothless effort. 

An honest player but not very dynamic....the only big impact he had was on Pat Lambie. 

May 07, 2021, 18:28

CJ himself said he was retiring for test rugby - playing for the Lions is test rugby

May 07, 2021, 20:03

He was available for selection, so his decision must have excluded the Lions’ tour.

May 07, 2021, 21:40


Stander announced  in March he is retiring from test rugby and will complete his  contract  with Munster - which is fie and then retire from all rugby totally, in June 2021  while the Lions tests are played in July 2021 -   does that reconcile  with you present story about Stander being available for the Lions squad,     If that was the case  - how come Stander said he retired  from  rugby in June when his  contract with Minster expires  and the date was always in June 2021 - while the Lions tour is in July 2021.   Do you think that Stander did  mot know when the Lions Tour was to be.

Really a funny story that is really based on  a media story,  Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!    

May 07, 2021, 22:18

Nope he was not available for the Lions, just like Youngs made himself unavailable

Others are questioning why Sexton is not in - simple, he is injured

May 07, 2021, 23:48

So Brian O Driscoll.....the former Irish captain is wrong and you two guys, desperately trying to defend Stampkar are right...hahaha.


May 07, 2021, 23:48

So Brian O Driscoll.....the former Irish captain is wrong and you two guys, desperately trying to defend Stampkar are right...hahaha.


May 07, 2021, 23:49

Surprise omissions:


Billy Vunipola (England, No 8)
CJ Stander (Ireland, loose forward)
Kyle Sinckler (England, tighthead prop)
Josh Navidi (Wales, flank)
James Ryan (Ireland, lock)
Joe Marler (England, loosehead prop)
Ellis Genge (England, loosehead prop)
Jonny Gray (Scotland, lock)
Sam Underhill (England, flank)
Jamie Ritchie (Scotland, flank)
Cian Healy (Ireland, prop)

May 07, 2021, 23:52

 2907  124

Duhan van der Merwe has earned inclusion in the British & Irish Lions’ confirmed squad, but there’s no space for CJ Stander in the touring team that will be led by Alun Wyn Jones.

Earlier this year, South African-born Stander announced his impending retirement from all forms of rugby, but did leave the door open to be selected for the Lions tour to his home country.

Case closed....Stander wasn’t selected based on performance, not retirement.

May 08, 2021, 00:01

The nail in the coffin:

Speaking with us after he announced his 37-man squad, Gatland's comments on the sort of ball-carriers he had selected gives an insight as to why Stander may have missed out. Gatland commented:

"Looking at South Africa, you have to have players, particularly in your forward pack, that just don't put the ball under their arm and run straight. You need players with footwork and Simmonds has that with pace.

"Faletau has definitely got footwork as well. It's not about trying to match them physically. You need players that can do that but you've got to be able to bring some variation into your attacking options. From shorter lineouts, where Exeter use Simmonds, he's got that variation and that pace. He scores tries and I'm really excited about him getting that chance."

While Stander is capable of a breaking tackles and offloading, his game is often one of making the one-out carries, into contact, that Munster and Ireland rely on him for.

May 08, 2021, 00:29

Gatland knows how to combat the Bok physicality. I'd say of all the coaches we've faced in his time, he had been the best at properly assessing us. 

As for Stander, he was what Potgieter was for the Waratahs: a bit of blunt muscle for an otherwise lateral roving underpowered pack. Unfortunately, a little too blunt in the end. 

May 08, 2021, 00:58

I’m going by what CJ said himself not what the rest of the fools out there are concluding

If it’s a form thing then how the hell did Farrell, Mako, Lawes, George, Daly, Aki, Hill , Porter and Conan make the squad?

May 08, 2021, 02:11

Dave I’ve produced several quotes stating Stampkar was available...from a source as plugged in as guys have provided nothing that says he wasn’t available. Here’s another:

CJ Stander crowning his rugby career with a tour of his native South Africa with The Lions is absolute fairytale stuff, but we're just not sure his form warrants the call this time around. We can certainly see a path to his selection. Taulepe Faletau looks certain to be the test Number 8, but the next person on the depth chart isn't as clear. As an option at 6 or 8, Stander is still a good one for Warren Gatland.

Time to admit you and the clown from Riversdale are wrong. I mean just breathing the same air as that moron puts you at risk.

May 08, 2021, 05:25


I really think your addiction  to BS is really taking over logical thinking completely.   Stander announced in March that the last test Ireland was playing  the  succeeding weekend after the announcement  would be his last test on international level.    He went on to say that he is retiring  from professional rugby when his contract  with Munster expires in June 2021. 

So to fit your craziness  you ignore the statement of Stander himself and keep on with BS writing  in site,                                                               

May 14, 2021, 11:31

Confirmed schedule:

2021 British and Irish Lions confirmed fixture Schedule:

• Saturday 3 July, 5pm: Emirates Lions v The British & Irish Lions (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
• Wednesday 7 July, 7pm: Cell C Sharks v The British & Irish Lions (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
• Saturday 10 July, 5pm: Vodacom Bulls v The British & Irish Lions (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
• Wednesday 14 July, 7pm: South Africa 'A' v The British & Irish Lions (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
• Saturday 17 July, 5pm: DHL Stormers v The British & Irish Lions (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)

• Saturday 24 July, 5pm: Springboks v The British & Irish Lions (1st Test, Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
• Saturday 31 July, 5pm: Springboks v The British & Irish Lions (2nd Test, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg)
• Saturday 7 Aug, 5pm: Springboks v The British & Irish Lions (3rd Test, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg)

May 14, 2021, 12:39

Stay away from KZN...makes sense, only Cape Town, Jo'burg and Pretoria.

May 14, 2021, 20:45

Reports here are saying the matches will be played behind closed doors after all. 

May 20, 2021, 07:37

Not sure if tour will go ahead. I apologise for being a carrier of bad news but let's face facts;

We face this bad news. We don't face the prospect of does not happen here. We have been become, what appears to be an authentic "Banana Republic:

SA faces third wave, yesterday 3500 new cases an increase of 9%.

Shambolic roll out of vaccines. 87 vaccine centres of which only 4 are private. 

The vaccines of govt were monopolised by The African Union and spells disaster.

Talk of alcohol sales being banned completely.

Jun 08, 2021, 12:40

Update: Tighthead prop Kyle Sinckler replaces the injured Andrew Porter in the squad.

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