Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Lions Squad Announcement & Reaction Live!

Warren Gatland - pic courtesy InPhoto/Lions Rugby

You can watch the Lions squad announcement here live from 11:45 am BST on Thursday 6 May.


The full squad list:

Forwards: Alun Wyn Jones (c), Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Zander Fagerson, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Wyn Jones, Courtney Lawes, Ken Owens, Andrew Porter, Sam Simmonds, Rory Sutherland, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Hamish Watson
Backs: Josh Adams, Bundee Aki, Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Gareth Davies, Owen Farrell, Chris Harris, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Conor Murray, Ali Price, Lewis Rees-Zammit, Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams

We’ll be streaming our live reaction from 3:30pm BST on all our channels and making it available as an audio podcast for Patreons only afterwards. You can also watch below.

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31 Responses

  1. Wow, I didn’t expect to be so nervous about this. My final prediction for this morning (in order of likelihood):
    1 prop (Fagerson or Sutherland, could maybe be both)
    1 halfback (Russell more likely than Price IMO)
    ANother (1 of: DVM, Harris, Turner, Gray, Huw Jones or Redpath. Got a feeling this one could be a back – my guess would be Harris).

    I think the rumours about Sam Simmonds may signal the end of Ritchie’s chances for the initial squad.

    I’m sure I’ll look very silly in a few hours, but hopefully not as angry as 2017!

    1. The leaked selections, if true, so worry me a bit. I can’t see Simmonds and Watson in the same backrow, so it might be his place at risk. Also, Daly has probably taken Harris position vacated by North.

      If that holds we could be looking at very poor representation again, which given the Scottish coaches involved and our away results would rightly cause an outcry.

      Still hoping for 6+ but optimism is flagging a bit.

      1. Simmonds and Watson in the same back row would be amazing! Though your 6 would need to be a big tackling lump but there’s a million of them around, and that’s just in Ireland…

      2. Agree with Rory, it would give the Boks’ back row a runaround. They are two of the most highly powered back rowers in Europe. However, Faletau is in prime position to start the first test at 8.

      3. More rumours swirling of a second bolter. Fingers crossed it’s Cam Redpath and not Danny Care or Marcus Smith!

  2. Duhans ‘Tackles Broken’ stats against all of the others….simply astonishing!

  3. 6 Scots touring has to be the baseline benchmark – less than that will be a big disappointment given recent performances/form.

    If Smith goes and Russell (or any of the other big name 10’s for that matter) doesn’t, then it’s madness, Care I wouldn’t mind as much as he has been playing well, has experience, and the current international 9’s haven’t looked exceptional.

    There seems to be far too many English names being thrown around in the (mainly English) press – hopefully it is just the usual bias rather than genuine inside information as most of them don’t deserve a place over Scottish/Welsh/Irish players on current form. Simmonds should go, but Daly, Nowell, May, M.Vunipola, Tuilagi and so on would be being picked on past glory.

    Would love to see Redpath go, but maybe if he had had a couple more games in the 6N.

    Have the usual feeling the announcement will leave us disappointed, just need to remember there are always late call ups in the Lions and often they end up playing key roles (2017 aside….)

  4. Cracking result for the Scots! Few curveballs in the squad but has a good feel to it overall!

    1. Yes, pleasantly surprised – disappointed for Gray but lock is one of the most competitive positions.

  5. The full list:

    Forwards: Alun Wyn Jones (c), Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Zander Fagerson, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Wyn Jones, Courtney Lawes, Ken Owens, Andrew Porter, Sam Simmonds, Rory Sutherland, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Hamish Watson,

    Backs: Josh Adams, Bundee Aki, Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Gareth Davies, Owen Farrell, Chris Harris, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Conor Murray, Ali Price, Lewis Rees-Zammit, Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams

    1. Main person I am surprised at is Bundle Aki. I think George North is going to be a big loss

  6. It looks like Toonie has had the ear of Gatland. Delighted for Harris something which I didn’t think I’d be saying prior to this six nations, where he was superb. A number of 50/50 shouts there and I think we got the rub with a lot of them. Ritchie will tour in 4 years time and captain in 8 years time. Pretty happy overall.

  7. 10 Welsh
    8 Irish
    11 English
    8 Scots

    Good result for Scotland

    A few unexpected English names – most Exeter by the looks of it – Irish will feel a bit hard done by, but overall a good balance of nations.

    Wasn’t expecting Aki, Conan, Hill, Lawes, VDM, Price, Harris
    AWOL – Sexton (but for the best as he would get crocked)

    1. Absolutely delighted. Seem to have got the 50/50 calls in Scotland’s favour. Feel for Jonny but felt he would get pipped by Ryan. The fact he’s got pipped by Lawes is surprising but it’ll be nice to have Lawes on our side for once!
      Daly seems to be the biggest surprise – picked over Ringrose and Slade (or even Huw Jones) as an outside centre?

  8. Absolutely thrilled with our representations – included all my certainties, probables, and possibles. But left out my outsiders – Gray and Ritchie – both of whom will surely be on the unofficial “back-up list”.

    Entirely mystified by Hill over Ryan, unless there’s an injury we don’t know about, and Lawes going when Beirne fills the 4/6 role. Aki over Slade AND JD2 is a surprise, but might tell us something about the game the Lions are going to play. Daly is possibly going as the big-booted centre (so we don’t need Farrell in the test team).

    1. Hill over Ryan is a surprise. Gray not selected not a surprise. He is still behind those selected

      1. Just read Irish Independent and they think that Ryan and Sexton will not be selected due to concussion issues. So it has been proved

  9. As with most posters, I am delighted to have 8 Scots named in an overall squad of 37. However , why should we be surprised. We could realistically have won the 6 nations this year. We were by far the better team against Wales and only lost because of the card incident. We were the better team against England and yet both these teams have larger representation. The best 2 teams in the comp were us and Ireland and we both have the smallest number of players picked.
    Our scrum has been an asset, we should not be surprised at Fagerson and Sutherland getting picked, I hope they go well.
    Price perhaps is fortunate but few other 9s have impressed this year.
    I personally would have liked to see Maitland and Jones on the plane too as well as Ritchie but back row is possibly the most competitive area of all.

    1. Some random thoughts.

      Maitland is a consistently classy performer and can count himself unlucky not to be in the squad. I’d have picked him over Adams, whose form seems to have dipped a bit this year.

      Price is a very lucky boy indeed. That said, the experience of touring with the Lions will undoubtedly improve him as a player, which is fine by me.

      I’ve been critical of Harris, but I’m pleased for him and wish him nothing but good luck. He’s stuck in, worked hard and has earned his spot.

      Daly is a waste of a jersey. Yes, he’s got a big boot but whatever he brings in attack (not much, frankly) is outweighed by his inability to tackle a fish supper. Jones would be a better option to cover outside centre and full-back. Moreover, he’d add a bit of much-needed attacking threat at 13.

      Stander’s omission is a surprise, as is that of Ryan. I suspect that other factors (injury in Ryan’s case) may have been at play, though.

      I’m not surprised at Sexton’s omission, however. He should retire for the sake of his health and his family – he’s had too many head knocks in recent years.

      Ritchie’s time will come, perhaps sooner rather than later – there will be injuries.

  10. Players selected by club.

    Saracens (5) Vunipola, George, Itoje, Farrell, Daly
    Exeter (4) LCD, Hill, Simmonds, Hogg
    Leinster (4) Porter, Furlong, Conan, Henshaw
    Edinburgh (3) Sutherland, Watson, DVDM
    Scarlets (4) Jones, Owens, Davies,Williams
    Gloucester (2) Harris, Rees-Zammit
    Bath (2) Faletau, Watson
    Glasgow (2) Fagerson, Price
    Ospreys (2) Alun Wyn Jones, Tipuric
    Northampton (2) Lawes, Biggar
    Munster (2) Beirne, Murray
    Ulster (1) Henderson
    Sale (1) Curry
    Racing (1) Russell
    Connacht (1) Aki
    Blues (1) Adams

  11. Fantastic! I was far more excited about this than any other election today! I think Ritchie, J Gray and Maitland can all feel a little disappointed but you can’t win them all and their positions are all ones of high strength in the other home nations, had it been a regular full sized squad I’m sure some of them might have gone too.

    Hopefully a few of them will make it into the test squads. It’ll be great experience for the 8 of them playing with the very best players in the NH and as part of a team that should very much be a match for the Boks. Finn being picked ahead of Sexton is massive lols and Simmonds being picked is just trolling Eddie Jones which is always encouraged.

  12. Eight players in this squad is more than I feared we’d see, and I’m delighted for them all. A few unexpected non-Scots names in there, but I’m not going to have a moan about any of them because eight of ours does seem to begin to reflect acknowledgment of the steady progress Scotland have made in the last five or so years.

  13. Can’t complain about that.
    I thought Harris would go. The kind of player Warren Gatland likes but there’s a lot of quality in the centres. Even Ringrose missed out.

    Both on standby im sure.

  14. Really pleased for the lads that have been selected. I could see this bringing the likes of Price, Fagerson, VdM and Harris to the next level and in turn have a positive impact on Scotland through to the next world cup.

    If there is a downer for me I think the centre selection is more focussed on defense and crashball than attacking skill. I think that means Russell is unlikely to start except midweek and might be warming the bench a bit. I do like the idea of Price and Russell coming off the bench in the tests though with a bit of freedom to attack the inevitable space that opens up later in the games. Similar story for Fagerson and Sutherland who have a really good chance of test caps, especially off the bench.

    Looking forward to see how this goes!

    1. Alternatively, it suggests the centres are doing mostly defence and the attack will be aerial with back three and a kicking standoff – where Russell is as good as Biggar at the kick pass, and better at the more creative kicks?

  15. Great result for Scotland. Very surprising selections, hill over Ryan or gray, lawes over underhill , mako over healy, conan over stander, daly over slade or ringrose. I find it hard to agree with any of those, the Irish will be fuming.

  16. Anyone think any of the boys are on standby? Personally I don’t think so. Suspect Navidi is ahead of Ritchie in the back row, May is the next back three player with Williams / Daly / Watson all shifting to 15 if needed, Ringrose / Davies for centre, Sexton at 10, Ryan at lock, Healy and Sinckler at prop. Maybe one of the hookers could be close actually.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion