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Chris Robshaw picks his British and Irish Lions XV

By Ian Cameron

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Chris Robshaw has picked his starting XV for the first Test of the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

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Capped 66 times by England – the former England captain never quite made the Lions cut – but he’s some strong views as to who could do a job for Warren Gatland this summer, provided of course, that the tour still goes ahead. The blindside has gone for a selection that includes seven Englishmen, five Welsh, two Irish and just one Scot.

“I’m going to go with my old mate Joe Marler at loosehead,” Robshaw┬ásaid on the RugbyPass Offload alongside Christina Mahon and Jamie Roberts. “I know he didn’t play in the Six Nations, but going up against South Africa, there’s no better. He’s big. He’s physical.”

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Chris Robshaw talks to The Offload:
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Chris Robshaw talks to The Offload:

“Hooker, I’m going to go Jamie George. He didn’t have his best Six Nations but I think now that he’s going to be pretty sharp. He probably going to play a lot more in the Champ than he thought.

“I’m going Furlong at tighthead. It’s a battle between him and Sinckler and the way Ireland played in that last game will nudge it forward for him.

“Maro Itoje at 4. World class player, has big moments in games.”

“One I’m not sure with, I’m going to go Alun Wyn Jones at 5. I’m going to make him captain as well. The way he led Wales in the Six Nations, the games he’s played, the leader he is.”

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“Faletau at six. Big carrier, good the lineout. I’m going Tom Curry at seven. He is England’s best player at the moment and potentially the first name on England’s team sheet.”

Robshaw, who said that guesses that Eddie Jones thinks Sam Simmonds is too small, has picked the Exeter Chief at No.8.

“[No.8] This is where I’m going to bring in Sam Simmonds. On a hard pitch down in South Africa, now we know they’re going there. That’ll suit him.

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“Nine I was a little bit unsure but I’m going to go with the Welsh lad [Kieran] Hardy. The game against England he was pretty good.

“Finn Russell at 10. The player he is and the stuff he can do is pretty special.

“I’m going to go Rees-Zammit on the wing. Dangerous, quick, scores tries.”

Now playing for the San Diego Legion, the 34-year-old has selected Owen Farrell at 12, describing the Saracen as the best player he has ever played with.

“Owen Farrell at 12. A controlled presence. Been there before, done it. Probably the best player I’ve ever played with.

“Robbie Henshaw at 13, with Anthony Watson at 14. Incredible player. A big presence as well. He’s bigger than people think he is. His footwork’s incredible.”

“Then Liam Williams at 15. I’ve always liked Liam Williams. He’s aggressive, he’s tough, he’s abrasive the way he plays, but most importantly he’s composed under a high ball.”

CHRIS ROBSHAW’S LIONS XV
1. Joe Marler
2. Jamie George
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Maro Itoje
5. Alun Wyn Jones
6. Taulupe Faletau
7. Tom Curry
8. Sam Simmonds
9. Kieran Hardy
10. Finn Russell
11. Louis Rees-Zammit
12. Owen Farrell
13. Robbie Henshaw
14. Anthony Watson
15. Liam Williams

 

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Chris Robshaw picks his British and Irish Lions XV

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