England legend Will Carling has named his dream Lions midfield for the three-Test showdown with world champions South Africa next year.
The 54-year-old, who toured New Zealand with the Lions in 1993, made his selection based on players form during the 2020 Six Nations.
“I’d go with Manu and Slade, not that I’m bias” said the former England captain, who was speaking on the The Tap And Go Podcast.
“I think Manu is just exceptional, and I think Slade is a really clever footballer,
“If Jonathan Davies is back and fit, I’d also expect him to make the squad. Those three would give us a good basis to work off.
Carling, who played for Rosslyn Park, Harlequins and England, winning 72 caps from 1988 to 1996, and captaining England 59 times, also backed Maro Itoje to lead the Lions.
- Sir Ian McGeechan picks his all-time dream team
- 5 awesome pubs owned by rugby players
- How the BBC rated England’s players in 2003 final
- RANKED | The 5 Dirtiest Rugby Players in History
- England Players Who Started With a Bang But Faded Fast
“Maro is a very intelligent guy,” added Carling
“He’s got a great rugby brain, he’s an incredible athlete and he will be in the second-row with a other so I can understand why people are talking about him being a potential captain,
“When he plays well, he has huge effect and I think he could definitely deal with that responsibility.
“There are plenty of other candidates, Owen (Farrell) being one of them, but Maro would be one of the first names on the team sheet for sure.”
JOIN THE RUCK:
Sir Ian McGeechan selects his all-time Lions dream team
15. Gavin Hastings (Scotland)
“He was strong under the high ball, could kick the ball a mile and was really strong in the contract, where you could play off him.”
14. Ieuan Evans (Wales)
“A favourite of mine who went on three Lions tours in 1989, 1993 and 1997. He was a lethal finisher.”
13. Jeremy Guscott (England)
“He was the runner but had the toughness too,”
12. Scott Gibbs (Wales)
“There are not too many backs who have total respect from the forwards, but Gibbsy was one of them. His physical work was huge.”
11. Tommy Bowe (Ireland)
“His influence on the games in 2009 was massive. He has speed and power, and of all the wingers I have seen he cuts the best lines and he does it so late, too,”