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The Best And Worst Of Lions XV Predictions

The Best And Worst Of Lions XV Predictions
By Emmet O'Keeffe Updated

Predicting the Lions starting XV to play Australia in the first test before the tour even started was always going to be difficult for fans and pundits alike given the level of competition for selection especially in the back row. So give credit to Harlequins Director of Rugby Conor O'Shea who came very close to perfection with only injuries to Cian Healy, Jamie Roberts and Tommy Bowe denying him . This is the RTÉ pundit's selection from May 2nd with the ones he missed in brackets.

15. L Halfpenny
14. G North
13. B O'Driscoll

12. J Roberts (Johnathan Davies)
11. T Bowe (Alex Cuthbert)
10. J Sexton
9. M Phillips
8. J Heaslip
7. S Warburton
6. T Croft
5. A W Jones
4. P O'Connell
3. A Jones
2. T Youngs

1. C Healy (Alex Corbisiero)

At the other end of the scale is the Daily Telegraph's Mick Cleary who was clearly drunk on euphoria after England had just beaten the All Blacks in the Autumn Internationals with only Jamie Heaslip fortunate enough to be selected in an otherwise all-English pack. It is unfair to compare a team selected the month before the tour to a team selected in November of last year but this was a still a pretty ridiculous team. Seven of the starting XV didn't make the touring squad so there are plenty of brackets here.

15. Leigh Halfpenny
14. Tim Visser (George North)
13. Manu Tuilagi (BOD)
12. Brad Barritt (Johnathan Davies)
11. Craig Gilroy (Alex Cuthbert)
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Ben Youngs (Mike Phillips)
8. Jamie Heaslip
7. Chris Robshaw (Sam Warburton)
6. Tom Wood (Tom Croft)
5. Geoff Parling (Paul O'Connell)
4. Joe Launchbury (Alun Wyn Jones)
3. Dan Cole (Adam Jones)
2. Tom Youngs
1. Alex Corbisiero

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

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