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Reports Suggest Jamie Roberts Is Set To Make The Lions Squad

Reports Suggest Jamie Roberts Is Set To Make The Lions Squad
By Gavin Cooney Updated
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The Irish and British Lions squad for the daunting tour of New Zealand will finally be announced tomorrow, with rumours rife regarding the squad Gatland will pick for the trip to his homeland. While most of the Lions squads picked by pundits and columnists are based on form, the rumours circulating tonight indicate that Gatland will pick those he knows best, rather than rely solely on form, with England suffering the most.

It was reported this morning that English stars Jonathan Joseph and Joe Launchbury are to be excluded, so as to be able to include Ben Te'o and Donnacha Ryan. Reports on the eve of the announcement suggest

Those remarkably dedicated sleuths Sky Sources have been busy, and Sky Sports News report that out-half George Ford will miss out, along with Mike Brown, Joseph and Launchbury. Ford's exclusion would mean Owen Farrell would likely be brought as a fly-half, meaning there is a vacant spot at centre. Sky report that Gatland is likely to fill it with Welsh giant Jamie Roberts.

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Roberts is a Lions veteran at this stage, and earned an award for the Lions best player on the 2009 tour of South Africa, having formed a formidable centre partnership with Brian O'Driscoll. Having missed the first two tests of the 2013 series through injury, he was picked at centre for the third test, but controversially not alongside O'Driscoll, but with compatriot Jonathan Davies.

Despite his track record, Roberts was unable to nail down a starting spot in the Welsh backline this year: coming off the bench in all of Wales' Six Nations games this year.

Roberts' ballast through the middle has always been looked upon favourably by Gatland, however, to the extent that he has decided that he needs him to help execute Warrenball this summer.

It's a bit of a surprise, and proof that Lions squads are picked on things other than solely form.

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See Also: Watch: Rassie Erasmus Finally Gives Honest Take On His Munster Future

 

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