One Irish player in the Lions First Test team? That's according to one English newspaper
The Telegraph has predicted that only one Irish forward will make the cut10:55 Thursday 8 September 2016, 10:55 8 Sep 2016
The third test between the Lions and New Zealand in 1993, was the last time Ireland have one player in the starting XV of a test team. That run of 16 straight tests could come to an end according to one British newspaper.
Warren Gatland was named as the head coach of the team for the ten-match tour on Wednesday afternoon. Gatland's arrival has ratcheted up the predictions for the first test team, with many media outlets, beginning their predictions.
The Telegraph have predicted that prop Jack McGrath will be the only Irish player in the starting XV for the first test in Auckland on June 24th. That would be three less than the Irish players in the First Test in Australia three-years ago, and two less than the team that started the First Test in New Zealand in 2005.
Grand Slam winners England dominate the team with seven picks, followed by Wales' five and Scotland's two. Although the team selection is no way cemented, it does show the Irish players have work to do, to get into Gatland's squad and test team.
Four years ago, Tommy Bowe, Sean O'Brien and Conor Murray all failed to make the matchday 23 for the First Test, before competing in the final two. There is hope for player who dont make the first cut.
The Lions Potential First Test Team:
(15-9): Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Anthony Watson (Wales), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Manu Tuilagi (Wales), George North (Wales), Owen Farrell (England) Rhys Webb (Wales).
(1-8): Jack McGrath (Ireland), Dylan Hartley (England), WP Nel (Scotland), George Kruis (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Maro Itjoe (England), Sam Warburton (Wales), Billy Vunipola (England).
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