We promise not to bring you every predicted Lions squad/starting team over the next few months, but Shane Williams' selection for Wales Online did grab our attention.
He picked just three Welshmen, which is somewhat surprising, but entirely understandable given Wales' underwhelming Autumn series. What did surprise us, however, is the number of Irish players he picked: just three of the side who have beaten South Africa, New Zealand and Australia in the same year. He says he made it based purely on form across the Autumn series. It ius dominated by English players.
Here's the team in full:
S. Hogg (Scotland); L. Williams (Wales), H. Jones (Scotland), O. Farrell (England), J. May (England); J. Sexton (Ireland), B. Youngs (England); J. McGrath (Ireland), D. Hartley (England), D. Cole (England), AW. Jones (Wales), J. Launchbury (England), CJ Stander (Ireland), B. Vunipola (England), J. Tipuric (Wales).
So the Irish players included are Johnny Sexton at 10, Jack McGrath at loosehead prop and CJ Stander at 6. All very fair, but we can't help feel that Tadhg Furlong is very unfortunate not to be included ahead of Dan Cole, who looked inferior in both the scrum and the loose across England's games, particularly against Argentina. Also, we don't think it is blind patriotism to suggest that Ben Youngs over Conor Murray - particularly given the latter's performance against New Zealand, the Lions' opposition - is a bit of a mad shout.
Robbie Henshaw, Andrew Trimble, Sean O'Brien, Rory Best and Jamie Heaslip should all be in and around contention for a starting spot, too.
It's beginning to seem as if these teams are picked with the sole intention of folk disagreeing with it...