Five British & Irish Lions veterans – Martin Johnson, Sam Warburton, Stuart Barnes, Ian McGeechan and Clive Woodward – reveal who they’d select as Lions bolters for the upcoming tour of South Africa.
Martin Johnson picks England flank Sam Simmonds
‘The Lions will need lightning-quick ball and will thrive on turnover possession. He could be devastating in South African conditions,’ Johnson said.
Sam Warburton picks Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit
‘Rees-Zammit still has some things to work on defensively, but that part of his game has clearly come on, and I think his pace and X factor are irresistible for a coach. I’m sure Warren will be excited to work with him.’
Stuart Barnes picks Ireland fullback Hugo Keenan
‘I seem to be the only person to have chosen Ireland and Leinster’s Hugo Keenan for the Lions. Here’s why. He was the best fullback in the Six Nations by some distance. Quite how someone who has performed with such consistent excellence is termed a bolter is beyond me.’
Ian McGeechan picks England scrumhalf Danny Care
‘At scrumhalf, Conor Murray is the clear favourite to be Test starter, but my bolter would be Danny Care. He offers something different from virtually every other No 9 and is in cracking form.’
Clive Woodward picks England prop Joe Marler
‘I have been critical of Marler in recent seasons but he is in outstanding form for Quins and could, potentially, do a job for the Lions. He is also a lively character who could add to the dynamic on a testing tour.’
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