British & Irish Lions: Sir Clive Woodward picks his star players

England’s Rugby World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward has named his five top performers from the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.


Sam Warburton

“He was always my nominated captain,” wrote Woodward

“Once he was fully fit again, he proved what a sensational player he is.

“But much more than that, he is a special leader on and off the field.

“Warburton is one of the all-time great Lions for me.”

Maro Itoje

“A sensational rugby talent,” wrote Woodward.

Probably the man of the match in the second Test and the efforts of Itoje helped keep heads above water.

Sean O’Brien

“I was full of admiration for the way O’Brien always fronted up and took them on with an almost reckless regard for his own safety.”

Tadhg Furlong

“He was immense in all three Tests,” wrote the former Lions boss.

“Strong scrummager but mobile and strong in the loose with good skills too.”

Jonathan Davies 

“Played every minute of all three Tests and was world class,” wrote Woodward.

“He was always a starter for me, even early last season when his form had dipped.

“Superb in attack and defence with an underrated kicking game.


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