Duhan in, Stander out as B&I Lions name squad

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.

However, his back-row spot in the squad has effectively gone the way of surprise selection Sam Simmonds. The Exeter Chiefs No 8 is the English Premiership’s leading try-scorer, but has been snubbed by England coach Eddie Jones for the past three years.

Yet, coach Warren Gatland has found space in the squad for Van der Merwe, who enjoyed a standout Six Nations season for Scotland, beating a tournament-record 31 defenders and finishing as the Championship’s top try-scorer with five in his debut campaign.

Several players are named in a Lions squad for the first time, including Louis Rees-Zammit, Duhan van der Merwe, Josh Adams, Chris Harris, Bundee Aki, Gareth Davies, Ali Price; Sam Simmonds, Jack Conan, Hamish Watson, Tom Curry, Jonny Hill, Tadhg Beirne, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Rory Sutherland, Andrew Porter, Wyn Jones, Zander Fagerson.

ALSO READ: Jones to lead British & Irish Lions

The B&I Lions’ full squad

Backs (16):

Josh Adams (Cardiff, Wales) Wing

Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland) Centre

Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) Flyhalf

Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) Centre

Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) Scrumhalf

Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) Flyhalf

Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) Centre

Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) Centre

Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) Fullback

Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) Scrumhalf

Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) Scrumhalf

Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales) Wing

Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland) Flyhalf

Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) Wing

Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) Wing

Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) Fullback

Forwards (21):

Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) Second row

Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) Back row

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) Hooker

Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) Back row

Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) Prop

Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) Back row

Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) Prop

Jamie George (Saracens, England) Hooker

Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) Second row

Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England) Second row

Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) Second row

Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) (Captain) Second row

Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) Prop

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) Second row

Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) Hooker

Andrew Porter (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) Prop

Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England)  Back row

Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) Prop

Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) Back row

Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) Prop

Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) Back row

More to follow …

Post by

Craig Lewis