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RugbyPass 'Readers' Choice' Lions First Test XV agrees on 10 of Gatland's picks

By Ian Cameron

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The RugbyPass ‘Readers’ Choice’ First Test XV agreed on ten of head coach Warren Gatland’s XV picks for this weekend’s titanic battle with the Springboks in Cape Town.


Gatland’s selection is been touted as being based on form, whereas the readers’ picks, chosen using the RugbyPass selector over the last seven days, if anything, seem like a more conservative appraisal, with household names favoured over bolters on some of the tougher calls.

Temporary tour captain Conor Murray was selected at scrumhalf (59 per cent of the vote), one better than his bench spot on the real fifteen. He beat actual nine selection, Ali Price, who garnered 35 per cent of the vote.

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Josh Adams, maybe Gatland’s biggest shock omission, gets the nod on the left wing with 41 per cent of the vote, beating Duhan Van Der Merwe on 22 per cent.

2017 series star Jamie George, who didn’t make Gatland’s 23, is picked at hooker with 42 per cent, beating off Exeter Chiefs’ Luke Cowan-Dickie to the number two spot by just 4 per cent (38 per cent).

The readers have gone leftfield on Hamish Watson’s selection at number six, despite the Edinburgh man being a regular selection at openside. Watson received 18 per cent of a vote on a hotly contested position, beating actual selection Courtney Lawes’ 5 per cent.

Welsh fan favourite Taulupe Faletau was also favoured at No.8 to Leinster’s Jack Conan. The Welshman secured a decent 22 per cent of the vote, significantly more than Conan on just 4 per cent of the vote, which comes despite an outstanding tour to date, with many fans voting for Tom Curry in that slot too.


The rest of the fifteen mimics Gatland’s team, suggesting Gatland’s decision making is largely in chime with RugbyPass’ readership, or at least the readers who responded to the competition.

15. Stuart Hogg (53%)
14. Anthony Watson (28%)
13. Elliot Daly (33%)
12. Robbie Henshaw (36%)
11. Josh Adams (41%) – 22% Duhan van der Merwe
10. Dan Biggar (78%)
9. Conor Murray (59%) – 35% Ali Price
1. Wyn Jones (60%)
2. Jamie George (42%) – 38% Cowan-Dickie
3. Tadhg Furlong (88%)
4. Maro Itoje (46%)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (28%)
6. Hamish Watson (18%) – 5% Courtney Lawes
7. Tom Curry (25%)
8. Taulupe Faletau (22%) – 4% Jack Conan

Winners of the competition will be contacted in due course


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RugbyPass 'Readers' Choice' Lions First Test XV agrees on 10 of Gatland's picks