As we said in our first newsletter of the season, with 2016/17 being a British and Irish Lions season, once a month we will pick a Lions team in our newsletter.
With the NatWest Cup and Champions Trophy kicking into action soon, this might be the only chance we get in September, so we thought we had better get it in now. Hopefully over the course of the season the squad will evolve and change as form and preference change. Even now with just our second squad there are a few changes.
Of course now that we know the identity of the Head Coach – Warren Gatland for those who have been out at sea – there is obviously a certain style of player that he will likely pick, but for now we shall continue to pick as though we were the Head Coach (if only!).
Fifteen Rugby British & Irish Lions XV (16th September 2016):
15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow & Scotland)
14 Liam Williams (Scarlets & Wales)
13 Jonathan Joseph (Bath & England)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens & England)
11 Tommy Seymour (Glasgow & Scotland)
10 George Ford (Bath & England)
9 Rhys Webb (Ospreys & Wales)
1 Jack McGrath (Leinster & Ireland)
2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints & England)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers & England)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens & England)
5 Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys & Wales)
6 Taulupe Faletau (Bath & Wales)
7 Sam Wurburton (Cardiff Blues & Wales)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens & England)
Replacements: 16 Jamie George (Saracens & England), 17 Mako Vunipola (Saracens & England), 18 W.P. Nel (Edinburgh & Scotland), 19 Iain Henderson (Ulster & Ireland) 20 Sean O’Brien (Leinster & Ireland), 21 Connor Murray (Munster & Ireland), 22 Robbie Henshaw (Leinster & Ireland), 23 Anthony Watson (Bath & England).
Further Squad (Total Squad Number = 37):
Forwards: Rory Best (Ulster & Ireland), Cian Healy (Leinster & Ireland), Samson Lee (Scarlets & Wales), Joe Launchbury (Wasps & England), Jonny Gray (Glasgow & Scotland), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins & England), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys & Wales), James Davies (Scarlets & Wales).
Backs: Gareth Davies (Scarlets & Wales), Jonny Sexton (Leinster & Ireland), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets & Wales), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins & Wales), George North (Northampton Saints & Wales), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon & Wales).
England: 12 (7 starting)
Ireland: 8 (1 starting)
Scotland: 4 (2 starting)
Wales: 13 (5 starting)
Interestingly, from our previous squad the number of each nationality touring remains the same, however the nationality make up of the starting XV changes along with plenty of personell.
It is most noticeable in the backline where only 9, 10, 12, and 15 are the same. With Seymour and Williams coming in for North and Watson on the wings, and Joseph replacing Davies at outside centre.
In the pack the only change is moving Faletau to 6 and bringing in Vunipola for the outgoing O’Brien.
In terms of the squad overall, the only change sees Scarlets’ James Davies replace Ospreys’ Justin Tipuric as a back up openside.
What do you think of the squad, who would you pick?