Five Lions with a chance to prove their Test worth - Ruck

Five Lions with a chance to prove their Test worth

Liam Williams and Elliot Daly forced their way into the Test team for the Lions with assertive performances against the Chiefs, can anyone do the same against the Hurricanes?


1. George North

In 2013, the Welsh winger was one of the first names on the team sheet. Now, he is struggling to nail down a place in the midweek team.

In truth, North has been inconsistent for the past few years, frequently mixing the bad with the good for Wales and Northampton.

He has a good relationship with Gatland though, and a powerful performance on Tuesday, which he is more than capable of, could see him come back in from the cold to start in the second Test.

2. Rory Best

The Ireland hooker will captain the British and Irish Lions for the second time in a week after Warren Gatland named his side to face the Hurricanes in Tuesday’s final mid-week match of their tour of New Zealand.

Picked up a knock midway through the first half against the Chiefs but soldiered on valiantly. His lineout throwing can be a bit wobbly but his strong carries, vicious tackles and top notch work rate puts him in the mix.

Former international teammate Stephen Ferris also told Sky Sports on Saturday that Best is the “best scrummaging hooker in the world”, something ex-Lion captain Paul O’Connell has also previously attested to.

3. Courtney Lawes

Alun Wyn Jones looked off the pace until he was replaced against the All Blacks, meaning a place in the Lions team could potentially open up for this weekend’s second Test.

Lawes well and truly threw his name in the mix with a fantastic against the Chiefs last week. His line-out work was immaculate and ensured some quick Lions ball in the first-half with some superb clearing out.

Like the previous week against the Highlanders, he underwent an HIA, but this time returned to pick up where he left off. It is a sign of the depth the Lions have at second-row that Lawes will likely miss out on the Test squad again.

4. CJ Stander

Nailed on for a Test spot before the tour, Stander has played decent but so far been unable to force his way into the reckoning, due mainly in part to the superb performances from the likes of Peter O’Mahony and Taulupe Faletau.

His appearances have largely been effective and after his best performance so far against the Chiefs last weekend, the South African- born back-rower was very unlucky not to be the bench impact for the first Test.

If he plays to his dominant best on Tuesday, Gatland may not be able to ignore him any longer.

5. Jack Nowell

Nowell bagged himself two tries against the Chiefs, the latter coming from a brilliant break from Daly down the left wing that saw the ball recycled on the 22 and fed to the Exeter Chiefs back who finished superbly.

Starting at fullback against the Hurricanes, another strong display could show a level of versatility that earns him a spot on the bench against the All Blacks.