Ex-England back-rower James Haskell has opted for Wales’ Dan Biggar to start at fly-half for the British and Irish Lions against South Africa in July. With Warren Gatland naming his tour squad on May 6, The Good, The Bad and The Rugby have shared Haskell’s 40-man squad on Twitter – as well as his Test team.
There is plenty of focus on the No10 jersey this year, with Owen Farrell, Johnny Sexton, Finn Russell and Biggar all competing to make the squad. All four toured with Haskell with the Lions in 2017 and he has selected this quartet in this year’s squad as well, using Farrell as a centre.
However, the retired England flanker has chosen Biggar, his former Northampton Saints teammate, to start the Test series with Farrell on the bench.
Having started in every match of Wales’ successful 2021 Guinness Six Nations campaign, Biggar is the form No10 out of the Lions candidates at the moment, and his string of commanding performances for the Saints have come at the perfect time.
His Gallagher Premiership man of the match performance against Leicester Tigers in the East Midlands derby last Saturday was an ideal statement in his final match before the Lions squad is announced.
? Finally, the rugby nause and guru of egg @jameshaskell has selected his 40 tourists for South Africa…
The man knows his rugby ??
Has Hask picked a conquering team? pic.twitter.com/S28UHPF11w
— The Good, The Bad & The Rugby (@GoodBadRugby) April 25, 2021
There is also room in Haskell’s squad for fellow Saint Courtney Lawes, who was picked at the expense of Ireland and Munster’s Tadhg Beirne despite his barnstorming Six Nations. Joe Launchbury has also made Haskell’s 40-man squad, although his chances of making the tour are now in jeopardy after picking up a knee injury for Wasps against Bath last weekend after already missing the Six Nations through injury.
Elsewhere in the second row, Haskell, the 77-cap England international, has chosen Alun Wyn Jones as his captain this year in what could be his fourth tour. The Wales skipper gets the nod over the likes of Farrell, Sexton and Maro Itoje, who are also contenders to lead the team.
EXCLUSIVE: “It is totally out of order to threaten not to pick players if they cannot attend the training camp. Once again it is rugby shooting itself in the foot"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 25, 2021
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