Lions tour: The British and Irish Lions starting XV – What you need to know

  • 23/06/2017
The Lions facing the haka against the Lions (Getty)
The Lions facing the haka against the Lions (Getty)

15 Liam Williams - 26, 38 Tests

The closest thing to a free-spirited in what is a highly-structured starting side. Ousts metronomic goalkicker Leigh Halfpenny.

14 Anthony Watson - 23, 26 Tests

A sharp and direct runner who will want to test the defensive prowess of 20-year-old rookie opposite Rieko Ioane.

13 Jonathan Davies - 29, 64 Tests

A favourite of coach Gatland. Has played just 109 minutes on tour after overcoming a head knock but is a proven solid performer.

12 Ben Te'o - 30, 8 Tests

Ben Te'o in action against the Maori All Blacks (Getty)
Ben Te'o in action against the Maori All Blacks (Getty)

Very quick to find his feet after switching from league, transferring his power game across. Clash with SBW is one to savour.

11 Elliot Daly - 24, 13 Tests

Versatile and skilled, has leapfrogged an out-of-touch George North.

10 Owen Farrell - 25, 52 Tests

Lions pivot Richard Wain (Getty)
Lions pivot Richard Wain (Getty)

Without doubt a match-winner, boasting more than just a highly-regarded kicking game in his kitbag. Only limited time at pivot on tour though.

9 Conor Murray - 28, 58 Tests

Bombs away. Towering Murray box kicks are sure to feature in the tense opening exchanges, as they did to deadly affect for Ireland in Chicago.

8 Toby Faletau - 26, 66 Tests

Some are calling him the player of the tour so far. Has ridiculed the pre-tour critique by Zinzan Brooke with a series of quality outings.

7 Sean O'Brien - 30, 49 Tests

Sean O'Brien in action against the Crusaders (Getty)
Sean O'Brien in action against the Crusaders (Getty)

Sheer weight of form has shut out tour captain Sam Warburton. No sign at all of the injuries that dogged him pre-tour.

6 Peter O'Mahony - 27, 40 Tests

Nobody's choice as Test skipper when the tour kicked off, has established himself as an aggressive and world-class forward.

5 George Kruis - 27, 20 Tests

No-nonsense lineout leader who has shut out strong lock contenders such as English compatriots Courtney Lawes and Majo Itoje.

4 Alun Wyn Jones - 31, 110 Tests

Alun Wyn Jones, one of the Lions senior players (Getty)
Alun Wyn Jones, one of the Lions senior players (Getty)

Skipper in the triumphant third Test in Australia four years ago. Still a hugely respected leader and the only centurion in either team.

3 Tadgh Furlong - 24, 16 Tests

Rising star of European front row play, who burst on the scene for Ireland against the All Blacks last November.

2 Jamie George - 26, 17 Tests

Yet to start a Test for England yet was funnelled quickly into the Saturday team. Part of a young and lively front row.

1 Mako Vunipola - 26, 42 Tests

Lions prop, Mako Vunipola (Getty)
Lions prop, Mako Vunipola (Getty)

Genuine contender as the world's premier prop. Among the best of the tourists so far and his clash with Owen Franks should be a cracker.