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Player by player - A 37-man Lions squad form guide

By Josh Raisey
Alyn Wyn Jones (Photo by Dan Sheridan - Pool/Getty Images)

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A look at every one of Warren Gatland’s 37-man British and Irish Lions squad:

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Hookers
Ken Owens
Position: Hooker
Age: 34
Region: Scarlets
Caps: 82
Lions Tests: 2
Returning for his second Lions tour, Wales’ Ken Owens started on the bench in all three Tests against the All Blacks in 2017.

Form guide: Returned from injury to shine in this season’s Six Nations. An experienced leader.

Luke Cowan-Dickie
Position: Hooker
Age: 27
Club: Exeter
Caps: 31
Lions Tests: 0
Despite earning 31 England caps since making his debut in 2015, Luke Cowan-Dickie has only started six Tests, three of which were in this year’s Six Nations. But he benefited from Exeter Chiefs’ all-conquering 2020 to shift the balance of power at No2 in England.

Form guide: A destructive forward who is a handful for any opponent. Will relish his Lions chance.

Jamie George
Position: Hooker
Age: 30
Club: Saracens
Caps: 59
Lions Tests: 3
England’s Jamie George started all three Tests against the All Blacks in 2017 in what was his first Lions tour, and now returns after spending a season in the Greene King IPA Championship with Saracens.

Form guide: Key Lions Test team performer in 2017, and will have a thirst for more action in South Africa.

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England Six Nations

Paolo Odogwu and Jamie George /PA

Props
Wyn Jones
Position: Prop
Age: 29
Region: Scarlets
Caps: 35
Lions Tests: 0
Loosehead Wyn Jones made his Wales debut against Tonga during the Lions tour in 2017 and has since earned 35 caps, starting in all five matches of their victorious Six Nations campaign this year.

Form guide: Impressive during Wales’ Six Nations title campaign this year. Strong Test team claims.

Mako Vunipola
Position: Prop
Age: 30
Club: Saracens
Caps: 67
Lions Tests: 6
Only Alun Wyn Jones has more caps for the Lions than Mako Vunipola in this squad, who has six. The England loosehead started every Test in the drawn series with the All Blacks in 2017 to add to his three caps he earned four years before against the Wallabies (two from the bench and one starting).

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Form guide: Had his share of injuries, but offers an enormous amount of quality and experience.

Rory Sutherland
Position: Prop
Age: 28
Caps: 16
Lions Tests: 0
Having earned his first three Scotland caps in 2016, Rory Sutherland had to wait another four years before he played international rugby again. An adductor injury and a bilateral adductor reconstruction in 2017 left his career in jeopardy.

Form guide: Impressed for Scotland this season through admirable consistency. Deserves his Lions chance.

Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland

Tadhg Furlong
Position: Prop
Age: 28
Province: Leinster
Caps: 49
Lions Tests: 3
Ireland’s 52-cap tighthead Tadhg Furlong started all three Tests against the All Blacks in 2017 in his first tour and has since won a Grand Slam with Ireland and a Heineken Champions Cup with Leinster.

Form guide: Currently shades the contest for a Test team place.

Zander Fagerson
Position: Prop
Age: 25
Club: Glasgow
Caps: 38
Lions Tests: 0
Scotland tighthead Zander Fagerson was the youngest prop to play for his country since 1948 when he faced England in 2016 at the age of 20. Five years and 38 caps later, he is fundamental to Lions attacking coach and Scotland boss Gregor Townsend.

Form guide: Solid performer for Scotland this season, who is part of a strong Lions front-row contingent.

Fagerson

Zander Fagerson competes with Sam Skinner /Getty

Andrew Porter
Position: Prop
Age: 25
Province: Leinster
Caps: 37
Lions Tests: 0
An Ireland debutant against the USA during the Lions tour in 2017, Andrew Porter serves as a back-up to Furlong for both Leinster and Ireland and is usually deployed to wreak havoc on the opposing scrum in the second half.

Form guide: Behind Furlong in the pecking order for Ireland and Leinster, but a player who consistently impresses.

Locks
Alun Wyn Jones
Position: Lock
Age: 35
Region: Ospreys
Caps: 148
Lions Tests: 9
Returning for his fourth tour, the 35-year-old Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones is only bettered by seven players in history in terms of the number of Lions Test caps he has, nine, and is the only player in the professional era to have worn the red jersey in nine Tests in a row. The 157-cap veteran captained the Lions in the series decider against the Wallabies in 2013, but this is the first time he has been named tour captain.

Form guide: Gatland’s choice as captain is the squad’s most experienced player. Fourth Lions tour, and remains in peak form.

Maro Itoje
Position: Lock
Age: 26
Club: Saracens
Caps: 48
Lions Tests: 3
After making his debut for England in 2016, the 2017 Lions tour was where Maro Itoje announced himself on the world stage. After starting on the bench in the first Test, he started the next two Tests and was monumental in the drawn series, which earned him a nomination for World Rugby Player of the Year.

Form guide: Likely to be among the first names on Gatland’s Test team-sheet. World-class.

Tadhg Beirne
Position: Lock/back-row
Age: 29
Province: Munster
Caps: 22
Lions Tests: 0
A nominee for the Six Nations Player of the Championship, Munster and Ireland’s Tadhg Beirne is equally comfortable in the second-row and blindside flanker. Beirne only made his Ireland debut three years ago after moving from the Scarlets to Munster.

Form guide: Consistency personified for Munster and Ireland. Will be in Test team shake-up.

PRO14

Tadhg Beirne /PA

Iain Henderson
Position: Lock
Age: 29
Province: Ulster
Caps: 63
Lions Tests: 0
Ulster captain Iain Henderson is returning for his second Lions tour, where he featured for the midweek team in 2017. Another player who is adept at playing in the second-row and back-row.

Form guide: Will be an important part of the squad. Vastly-experienced and a possible midweek team captain.

Jonny Hill
Position: Lock
Age: 26
Club: Exeter
Caps: 9
Lions Tests: 0
England lock Jonny Hill was in the engine room of the Exeter Chiefs pack that swept aside all before them last year, winning the Champions Cup and Gallagher Premiership. He was capped by Eddie Jones soon after, and has since won nine caps in white.

Form guide: Continues his rapid emergence on the international scene with his Lions selection. All-action performer.

Courtney Lawes
Position: Lock
Age: 32
Club: Northampton
Caps: 87
Lions Tests: 2
Making his second successive Lions tour, Courtney Lawes’ game time has been limited over the past year due to an ankle and pectoral injury. But the two-cap Lion and 87-cap England lock-cum-flanker provides the physicality Gatland will be dreaming of to take on the Springboks.

Form guide: Currently sidelined through injury, but should be back in action soon. Could make a major Lions contribution.

Back rows
Hamish Watson
Position: Flanker
Age: 29
Club: Edinburgh
Caps: 41
Lions Tests: 0
Scotland openside Hamish Watson has been selected on the back of his Six Nations campaign, where he was named the Player of the Championship. He helped Scotland beat France in Paris and England at Twickenham both for the first time this century, and could help the Lions win a series against any reigning world champions for the first time since 1997.

Form guide: This season’s Six Nations player of the tournament who is rightly among Gatland’s back-row riches.

Tom Curry
Position: Flanker
Age: 22
Club: Sale Sharks
Caps: 33
Lions Tests: 0
England’s Tom Curry made his Test debut at the age of 18 against Argentina in 2017 during the Lions tour and in doing so became England’s youngest ever flanker and youngest forward in over a century. He has since secured a place in Eddie Jones’ starting XV and was a nominee for World Rugby Player of the Year in 2019.

Form guide: One of the world’s finest players on current form. Appears a Test team certainty.

Justin Tipuric
Position: Flanker
Age: 31
Region: Ospreys
Caps: 85
Lions Tests: 1
Welsh openside Justin Tipuric returns for his third Lions tour, but the 31-year-old will be hoping to add to his one cap, which came from the bench in the third Test against Australia in 2013.

Form guide: One of the most naturally-gifted forwards in world rugby. Strong in all departments.

Justin Tipuric. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Sam Simmonds
Position: Number eight/flanker
Age: 26
Club: Exeter
Caps: 7
Lions Tests: 0
The 2020 European Player of the Year Sam Simmonds won the last of his seven England caps in 2018, but won the domestic and European double with Exeter last year as well as the individual accolade.

Form guide: Overlooked by England boss Eddie Jones since 2018, but is arguably the Premiership’s most consistent player.

Jack Conan
Position: Number eight
Age: 28
Province: Leinster
Caps: 28
Lions Tests: 0
Leinster No8 Jack Conan made his Ireland return this Six Nations after a string of injuries had kept him out of the Test arena since he picked up an ankle injury in the World Cup. His form has peaked at the perfect time though, with a try-scoring performance against England in Dublin followed by another try-scoring performance against Munster in the Guinness PRO14 final a week later.

Form guide: Outstanding in Leinster colours over an extended period. Strong performer.

Taulupe Faletau
Position: Number eight/flanker
Age: 30
Club: Bath
Caps: 86
Lions Tests: 4
Wales No8 Taulupe Faletau earned his first Lions cap in the series decider against Australia in 2013 and went on to start in all three Tests against the All Blacks four years later. He has had some injury battles since then but was in the form of his life during the Six Nations.

Form guide: Test team certainty. Back to his very best, which will be a concern for the Springboks.

Scrum-halves
Conor Murray
Position: Scrum-half
Age: 32
Province: Munster
Caps: 89
Lions Tests: 5
Scrum-half Conor Murray has five Lions caps as well as 89 for Ireland, started all three Tests against the All Blacks in 2017, scoring the decisive try in the second Test victory.

Form guide: Hugely-experienced player who was key for the Lions in New Zealand four years ago. Test place likely.

Ireland Farrell Covid

(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Gareth Davies
Position: Scrum-half
Age: 30
Region: Scarlets
Caps: 62
Lions Tests: 0
Part of the ‘Geography Six’ who were flown into the squad in the latter stages of the 2017 tour by Gatland, Gareth Davies was on the bench against the Hurricanes but never got onto the field. However, the 30-year-old is primed to make his first Lions appearance this year.

Form guide: Possesses searing pace and an eye for tries, he can change games in an instant.

Ali Price
Position: Scrum-half
Age: 27
Club: Glasgow
Caps: 42
Lions Tests: 0
Since Grieg Laidlaw retired at the end of the World Cup, Ali Price has become Scotland’s first choice scrum-half and has grown into the role as Scotland have improved as well.

Form guide: Has landed one of the Lions scrum-half roles following a solid season with Scotland.

Fly-halves
Dan Biggar
Position: Fly-half
Age: 31
Club: Northampton
Caps: 92
Lions Tests: 0
Welsh fly-half Dan Biggar caps a marvellous season with his second selection for a tour. The Northampton Saints No10 has proven to be the form fly-half in Great Britain and Ireland this year after guiding Wales to the Six Nations.

Form guide: Favourite for the Lions Test fly-half role after starring for Wales in their Six Nations title-winning campaign.

Finn Russell
Position: Fly-half
Age: 28
Club: Racing 92
Caps: 55
Lions Tests: 0
Another member of the ‘Geography Six’ in 2017, Finn Russell did feature against the Hurricanes. The Scot has since made the move from the Glasgow Warriors to Racing 92 and his reputation has only grown.

Form guide: Playmaker who shone for Scotland in the Six Nations. Magical on his day.

Farrell Russell Six Nations

(Photo by Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images)

Owen Farrell
Position: Fly-half/centre
Age: 29
Club: Saracens
Caps: 93
Lions Tests: 4

At the age of 29, England captain Owen Farrell is returning for his third tour. After being on the bench for all three Tests against Australia in 2013, he started every match against the All Blacks four years later, finishing the tour as top points scorer. He could also earn his 100th Test cap if he starts all three matches against the Springboks (or against Japan).

Form guide: Proven Lions pedigree in 2017, but struggled for form during this season’s Six Nations.

Centres
Robbie Henshaw
Position: Centre
Age: 27
Province: Leinster
Caps: 52
Lions Tests: 0

Robbie Henshaw won the first of his 52 Ireland caps against the USA during the 2013 Lions tour and was selected by Gatland four years later. The 27-year-old picked up a pectoral injury against the Hurricanes in the final match before the Tests, which ruled him out of the rest of the tour.

Form guide: The form centre in this season’s Six Nations is on course for a Lions Test spot.

Bundee Aki
Position: Centre
Age: 31
Province: Connacht
Caps: 31
Lions Tests: 0

Ireland’s Bundee Aki made his Test debut in a 38-3 win over South Africa in November 2017. He has not since played against the Springboks in his 31-cap career, but has been called upon to provide the raw power in midfield that is often needed against the world champions, and which is missing after George North’s ACL injury.

Form guide: A real left-field selection by Lions boss Gatland, but the Ireland centre is an experienced campaigner.

Ireland Aki

(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Chris Harris
Position: Centre
Age: 30
Club: Gloucester
Caps: 28
Lions Tests: 0

Scotland’s Chris Harris joins a trio of out-and-out centres in the Lions squad and has been richly rewarded for a Six Nations in which he proved he is the probably the most reliable defensive centre available. The 28-cap Gloucester centre was not even capped when the Lions drew with the All Blacks four years ago, making his first Scotland appearance later that year.

Form guide: Outstanding for Scotland in the Six Nations this season, and deserves his Lions chance.

Wingers
Louis Rees-Zammit
Position: Wing
Age: 20
Club: Gloucester
Caps: 9
Lions Tests: 0
Welsh 20-year-old winger Louis Rees-Zammit only made his debut in October but was a nominee for the Six Nations Player of the Championship in Wales’ title winning campaign. This will surely be the first of many Lions tours for the Welshman.

Form guide: Burst on to the Test scene this season and made a blistering try-scoring impact.

Louis Rees-Zammit

Louis Rees-Zammit /Getty Images

Josh Adams
Position: Wing
Age: 26
Region: Cardiff Blues
Caps: 32
Lions Tests: 0
In a three year Test career so far, Wales winger Josh Adams has scored 17 tries in 32 matches, which also included being the 2019 World Cup top try scorer, with seven.

Form guide: Top try-scorer at the 2019 World Cup, his finishing ability is unquestioned.

Anthony Watson
Position: Full-back/wing
Age: 27
Club: Bath
Caps: 51
Lions Tests: 3
England winger Anthony Watson earned his 50th Test cap in the first round of the Six Nations this year, with three of those caps coming for the Lions against the All Blacks. Since the 2017 tour, the Bath man missed over a year of rugby with an Achilles injury before returning to help England to the World Cup final.

Form guide: Outstanding and consistent form makes a Test team place highly likely.

Duhan van der Merwe
Position: Wing
Age: 25
Club: Edinburgh
Caps: 10
Lions Tests: 0
Having qualified for Scotland last year, the South African-born Duhan van der Merwe had a barnstorming debut Six Nations, where he finished the highest try scorer, with five, and broke the most tackles. At 6 foot 4 inches and 17 stone, the 25-year-old will add plenty of power to the back line.

Form guide: Eight tries in 10 Tests underlines the finishing ability of the South Africa-born wing, who qualifies for Scotland on residency.

Scotland player ratings

Duhan Van Der Merwe /Getty Images

Fullbacks
Stuart Hogg
Position: Full-back
Age: 28
Club: Exeter
Caps: 85
Lions Tests: 0
This is Scotland captain Stuart Hogg’s third Lions tour, but the 28-year-old is yet to play a Test in red owing to an injury that ruled him out of the 2017 series in one of the warm-up matches.

Form guide: Scotland captain will challenge strongly to make the Lions Test team.

Liam Williams
Position: Full-back/wing
Age: 30
Region: Scarlets
Caps: 71
Lions Tests: 3
Imperious in the air and lethal when given any space, Wales’ Liam Williams instigated one of the great Lions tries against the All Blacks in 2017, which was eventually finished by Sean O’Brien.

Form guide: Huge success on the Lions’ 2017 New Zealand tour, and his form has not waned.

Elliot Daly
Position: Centre
Age: 28
Club: Saracens
Caps: 52
Lions Tests: 3
The starting left winger across the entire Test series in 2017, England’s Elliot Daly is capable of covering the back three and outside centre. The Saracen possesses dynamite in his left foot and landed a defining 55 metre penalty in the drawn third Test against the All Blacks four years ago.

Form guide: Another surprising selection, given his poor form in the recent Six Nations, but he has Lions experience.

Words by Josh Raisey with additional form guide reporting from PA. 

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Player by player - A 37-man Lions squad form guide

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