How does the makeup of this Lions squad compare to previous ones?

There are 16 England players, 11 from Ireland, 12 from Wales and two from Scotland

British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton during the squad announcement at Hilton London Syon Park. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton during the squad announcement at Hilton London Syon Park. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

 

Warren Gatland on Wednesday ended weeks of speculation by naming his squad for this summer’s British and Irish Lions tour.

Gatland selected 16 players from Six Nations champions England, 11 from Ireland, 12 from Wales and only two from Scotland for June and July’s trip to his native New Zealand.

Here, we assess how that compares to the make-up of recent Lions squads and recaps how they fared against Australia, South Africa and New Zealand on their last two tours of each nation.

2013

Opposition: Australia

Captain: Sam Warburton (Wales)

Coach: Warren Gatland (Wales coach, nationality New Zealand)

Original squad (refers to players initially selected — replacement players not included): England 10 players, Ireland 9, Scotland 3, Wales 15.

Test selection: England 20 appearances/9 starts, Ireland 14/11, Scotland 1/0, Wales 29/25.

Wales’ back-to-back Six Nations champions — Grand Slam winners in 2012 — provided 15 of the 37-man squad and more than half of the players in the starting line-ups under their established coach and captain. Full-back Leigh Halfpenny was the chief inspiration for a 2-1 series win and a record 41 points in the deciding third Test. Coach Gatland and captain Warburton remain in charge for 2017.

2009

Opposition: South Africa

Captain: Paul O’Connell (Ireland)

Coach: Sir Ian McGeechan (Scotland)

Original squad: England 8, Ireland 14, Scotland 2, Wales 13.

Test selection: England 15 appearances/12 starts, Ireland 21/16, Scotland 1/0, Wales 24/17.

Ireland had won the Six Nations Grand Slam, matching the feat of Wales the previous year, and both nations were well represented as England slipped to third in the pecking order. South Africa won the series 2-1, with Morne Steyn’s match-winning penalty from his own half in injury time of the second Test ultimately proving decisive.

2005

Opposition: New Zealand

Captain: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Coach: Sir Clive Woodward (England)

Original squad: England 20*, Ireland 11, Scotland 3, Wales 10.

Test selection: England 28 appearances/19 starts, Ireland 16/11, Scotland 1/0, Wales 18/15.

Woodward kept faith with many of his 2003 World Cup winners, but suffered a 3-0 series whitewash. Wales’ Gareth Thomas took over the captaincy after O’Driscoll was controversially spear-tackled out of the tour two minutes into the first Test.

* Jonny Wilkinson was added to the squad as a 21st England selection, having initially been included on a list of players to join the squad subject to proving their fitness.

2001

Opposition: Australia

Captain: Martin Johnson (England)

Coach: Graham Henry (Wales coach, nationality New Zealand)

Original squad: England 18, Ireland 6, Scotland 3, Wales 10.

Test selection: England 32 appearances/25 starts, Ireland 9/9, Scotland 4/3, Wales 12/8.

England’s back-to-back Grand Slam winners dominated the team-sheet, led by captain Johnson two years before he marshalled his country to global success. He was the first man to captain the Lions twice, an achievement now matched by Warburton. Prop Tom Smith was the last Scot to start a Lions Test, making the XV in all three games in a series won 2-1 by Australia.

1997

Opposition: South Africa

Captain: Martin Johnson (England)

Coach: Sir Ian McGeechan (Scotland)

Original squad: England 18, Ireland 4, Scotland 5, Wales 8

Test selection: England 27 appearances/22 starts, Ireland 9/8, Scotland 8/8, Wales 8/7

The last time Scotland were not the nation least represented — they had five players to Ireland’s four and eight starts to Wales’ seven. The Lions won the series 2-1, largely thanks to the kicking of Neil Jenkins — a member of the 2013 and 2017 coaching staffs.

1993

Opposition: New Zealand

Captain: Gavin Hastings (Scotland)

Coach: Sir Ian McGeechan (Scotland)

Original squad: England 16, Ireland 2, Scotland 7, Wales 5

Test selection: England 32 appearances/31 starts, Ireland 3/3, Scotland 6/6, Wales 5/5

Rory Underwood’s try helped the tourists win the second Test but they lost the series 2-1. Eleven players started all three matches, with Mike Teague in the second Test the only Lions replacement used.

AVERAGES

Previous tours since 2000:

Original squad: England 14, Ireland 10, Scotland 3, Wales 12

Test selection: England 26 appearances/16 starts, Ireland 15/12, Scotland 2/1, Wales 21/16

Last six tours:

Original squad: England 15, Ireland 8, Scotland 4, Wales 10

Test selection: England 26 appearances/20 starts, Ireland 12/10, Scotland 4/3, Wales 16/13

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.