It is almost a pointless exercise trying to second-guess Ian McGeechan. Not one Scotsman deserves to go but he will ensure that there will be more than the token two required. Geech will also ensure that Wasps will have quite a few representatives. The left-fielders, bolters and un-capped are also an unknown – I'd be reasonably confident that there won't be any "where the f**k did he come from?" selections because quality is thin on the ground. I would prefer to concentrate on my own selection and negative bastard that I am, concentrate on the people I don't want to see going on tour.
Let's start with my favourite centre – Riki Flutey – a self-serving cynical Kiwi mé-féiner who joins Wasps, complies with the three-year residency, gets a couple of English caps and then buggers off to Toulon – not English, not a candidate for Lions tourist and certainly not an inside centre to O'Driscoll. My second favourite centre, the brilliantine and empty vessel that is Gavin Henson. It would only encourage the Japies if he was selected. Remember when the Welsh press selected him for the second test in New Zealand? It was the worst performance at that level by a centre ever. Steve Borthwick, not even to captain the Wednesday side. Even if Andy Powell was a two-trick pony I wouldn't have him. Cipriani would tempt me with his pace, bravado and brio but if nobody likes him – there is no point. Tommy Bowe did wonderfully well for Ireland, but dumb luck runs out at the most inopportune moments. They'll bring him anyway.
I went for Flannery and Best because Flannery will be the test hooker and Best is better than the rest. Denis Leamy is too good to leave behind. James Haskell is not in his class.
My tightest call was Gordon D'Arcy or Jamie Roberts. D'Arcy's failure to play in the third test against New Zealand might stand against him – but he is a better player than Roberts.
The Lions are a losing brand and the only thing that stands between them and a 3-0 losing series is South African coach Pieter De Villiers. Over to you Geech.
The squad Ian McGeechan will pick
Backs (17) Lee Byrne (Wal), Rob Kearney (Ire), Shane Williams (Wal), Luke Fitzgerald (Ire), Leigh Halfpenney (Wal), Josh Lewsey (Eng), Tommy Bowe (Ire), Mike Phillips (Wal), Mike Blair (Sco), Harry Ellis (Eng), Stephen Jones (Wal), Ronan O'Gara (Ire), James Hook (Wal), Brian O'Driscoll (Ire), Tom Shanklin (Wal), Jamie Roberts (Wal), Riki Flutey (Eng) Forwards (19) Andrew Sheridan (Eng), Gethin Jenkins (Wal), Jerry Flannery (Ire), Lee Mears (Eng), Ross Ford (Sco), Phil Vickery (Eng) Adam Jones (Wal), Paul O'Connell (Ire), Donncha O'Callaghan (Ire), Alun-Wyn Jones (Wal), Steve Borthwick (Eng), Ryan Jones (Wal), Jamie Heaslip (Ire), James Haskell (Eng), David Wallace (Ire), Martyn Williams (Wal), Stephen Ferris (Ire, left), Tom Croft (Eng), Joe Worsley (Eng)
but this is the squad he
Backs (17) Phillips, Chris Cusiter (Sco), O'Leary, Jones, O'Gara, Hook, S Williams, Fitzgerald, Halfpenny, Lewsey, Ugo Monye (Eng), O'Driscoll, Shanklin, Earls, D'Arcy, Byrne, Kearney Forwards (19) Sheridan, G Jenkins, Flannery, Best, Ford, Vickery, Hayes, O'Connell, O'Callaghan, Alun-Wyn Jones, Hines, Jones, Heaslip, Leamy, Wallace, Williams, Ferris, Croft, Worsley
The squad Ian McGeechan will pick
Backs (17) Lee Byrne (Wal), Rob Kearney (Ire), Delon Armitage (Eng), Shane Williams (Wal), Tommy Bowe (Ire), Luke Fitzgerald (Ire), Paul Sackey (Eng), Brian O'Driscoll (capt, Ire), Jamie Roberts (Wal), Tom Shanklin (Wal), Riki Flutey (Eng), Stephen Jones (Wal), Ronan O'Gara (Ire), Toby Flood (Eng), Mike Phillips (Wal), Mike Blair (Sco), Dwayne Peel (Wal)
Forwards (19) Gethin Jenkins (Wal), Andrew Sheridan (Eng), Phil Vickery (Eng), Euan Murray (Sco), Jerry Flannery (Ire), Lee Mears (Eng), Ross Ford (Sco), Paul O'Connell (Ire), Donncha O'Callaghan (Ire), Alun-Wyn Jones (Wal), Simon Shaw (Eng), Joe Worsley (Eng), Tom Croft (Eng), James Haskell (Eng), Stephen Ferris (Ire), Martyn Williams (Wal), David Wallace (Ire), Ryan Jones (Wal), Jamie Heaslip (Ire, below)
but this is the squad he should pick...
Backs (17) Byrne, Kearney, Armitage, S Williams, Bowe, Fitzgerald, Mark Cueto (Eng), O'Driscoll (capt), Roberts, Shanklin, Keith Earls (Ire), S Jones, O'Gara, Danny Cipriani (Eng), Phillips, Tomas O'Leary (Ire), Danny Care (Eng)
Forwards (19) Jenkins, Sheridan, Vickery, Murray, Flannery, Ford, Dylan Hartley (Eng), O'Connell, O'Callaghan, A-W Jones, Shaw, Worsley, Croft, Ferris, Alan Quinlan (Ire), M Williams, Wallace, R Jones, Heaslip
Niel Francis seems to be negative just for the sake of being negative.
He said that the lions are a losing brand, but in the last seven tours they've won 3(Aus, SA & France), lost 3(2-NZ & Aus) and drawn 1(Arg)
If they lose against SA it'll be because SA's clubs are doing well in the super 14 this year
Riki Flutey has gone to Brive not Toulon. Attention to detail please horse
I hate Henson but he played that second test in NZ with a pretty bad concussion....
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Why wouldn't Ian McGeechan pick Euen Murray for his squad? Also, if he was keen to pick more scots as stated in your article, wouldn't Thom Evans get in?