We have created a combined XV of British & Irish Lions and All Blacks players following the conclusion of the 2017 Test series.
Fullback: Liam Williams (Lions)
Ben Smith is the best fullback in the world but with the All Black absent Williams really shone. He will forever be remembered for his part in possibly the best try ever scored by the Lions. Jordie Barrett was good on his first start in the third Test but didn’t do enough to displace Williams.
Wing: Anthony Watson (Lions)
Withstood Sonny Bill Williams’ forearm in Wellington and looked lively with every touch. Solid defensively. Didn’t see enough of Waisake Naholo.
Centre: Jonathan Davies (Lions)
The Welsh centre played every minute of all three Tests and was in world-class form throughout. He deserved his players’ player of the tour award. Anton Lienert-Brown was in good form but wasn’t on the same level as his opposite number.
Centre: Owen Farrell (Lions)
Ben Te’o was outstanding in the first Test but his impact was limited after while Sonny Bill Williams red card ultimately ruled him out. Farrell had an average game in the opening Test by his high standards but commanded and bossed in the two following games.
Wing: Rieko Ioane (All Blacks)
Elliot Daly was close to this team but the young All Black winger was just too good. Scoring two tries for the Blues against Warren Gatland’s men early in the tour, he returned to punish the Lions again with a fantastic try in the first Test.
Fly-half: Beauden Barrett (All Blacks)
Despite a few wayward kicks, Barrett is still the best 10 in the game right now. Would be mouth-watering to see him linking up with Owen Farrell.
Scrum-half: Conor Murray (Lions)
Pinpoint box kicks and scored the winning try in the second Test. Aaron Smith also had strong series, but Murray at present is the best in the world in the nine jersey.
Prop: Joe Moody (All Blacks)
The former wrestler scrummaged fantastically and appears set for a long tenure in the black jersey. Vunipola was also colossal but got a yellow card in the second Test.
Hooker: Codie Taylor (All Blacks)
A few blemishes in the lineouts, but steady in the scrums and dynamic around the field. Jamie George had a really good tour to. We’re already excited to see the two hookers duel again in the future.
Prop: Tadhg Furlong (Lions)
He was immense in all three Tests. Strong scrummager but mobile and strong in the loose with good skills too. Could have easily picked Owen Franks, both are world-class.
Lock: Brodie Retallick (All Blacks)
Alun Wyn Jones for all his brilliance is not quite as good as the Kiwi. Retallick does more link-work around the field. It’s tight though.
Lock: Maro Itoje (Lions)
A sensational rugby talent. Probably the man of the match in the second Test.
Flanker: Sam Warburton (Lions)
Once he was fully fit again, he proved what a sensational player he is. Jerome Kaino was close to this team but his yellow card for a swinging arm in the third Test was out of character.
Flanker: Sean O’Brien (Lions)
A really tough one. Sam Cane has been a standout for the All Blacks but the Irish powerhouse edges it for his relentless physicality and superb breakdown pilfering.
Number 8: Kieran Read (All Blacks)
The best in the world in his position. Taulupe Faletau has had a great tour but Read is still the king at the moment.