Ireland young guns Jordan Larmour, Andrew Conway and Garry Ringrose are all being considered by Warren Gatland for the Lions in 2021.
The New Zealander, who has already coached the Lions on two tours, picked out a few young Irish players who could be on the plane to South Africa on Off The Ball.
“I think Larmour is pretty special for footwork and stuff. You’d like to see Joey Carbery in the next few years in terms of - I know he’s a bit injury-prone but there’s something pretty exciting about him,” Gatland said.
"I think Larmour is pretty special for footwork and stuff and you'd like to see Joey Carbery."
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) November 13, 2019
As for what position he believes suits Joey Carbery best, the former Wales coach was in no doubt - “I see him as a 10 at the moment.”
Plenty of Irish backs who have not yet featured for the Lions impressed him, with only one forward being named as a potential Lion in 2021.
“Ringrose - he’s got something about him. I don’t know about Conway. There are numerous loose forwards who can put their hands up.
“James Ryan is obviously [in consideration]. Well, there is some competition in that second row,” Gatland commented.
‘The hardest part is picking a captain’
While there are plenty of tough decisions to be made in picking the squad, the Lions coach explained that choosing a tour captain is the toughest decision to make.
The hardest thing about picking a Lions side is probably not picking the squad - it’s trying to get a captain. The stronger the side is, the stronger the team is, the harder it is to pick a captain.
“You look at the second-row and say, ‘Can you pick a captain in the second row? Can you pick an Alun-Wyn Jones?’
“Probably at the moment but in two years' time is he going to be a little bit past it?
“Then you’ve got Itoje, you’ve got James Ryan, you’ve got Courtney Lawes [all competing for places in the second-row].
“Mako Vunipola is surprisingly very, very bright and is a very good leader in the English team and within the Lions set-up… People would be really surprised.
“I haven’t really gone through that whole process that deep,” Gatland said.
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