A call up to the British and Irish Lions squad is the pinnacle of a rugby career for many, even eclipsing the incredible honour of playing for England.
But Eddie Jones’ loyalty – or stubbornness in the view of some – has seen him select largely similar England squads during his tenure. He has even kept faith with Saracens stars Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje despite them not playing a minute of club rugby since last year.
Jones has also not given a fly half debut for England in a number of years.
So here are three stars who we think Lions boss Warren Gatland could call upon, despite not being favoured by Eddie Jones’ England.
At the ripe age of 34, Danny Care continues to excel with Harlequins, who he has represented since 2006.
But the Leeds-born half hasn’t enjoyed much of a look in internationally during Eddie Jones’ time in charge.
He hasn’t played for the national team since a 35-15 win over Japan in November 2018 – a game he scored in – but his international career was infamously ended due to an off the field disagreement Jones that day.
He was once again overlooked for the 2021 Six Nations squad after Harry Randall’s withdrawal through injury despite his near impeccable club form.
Given that backdrop, his age, and with eyes on the upcoming 2023 Rugby World Cup, it seems unlikely the Care will get an England recall despite any clamour for one.
However, if you want the best Lions squad in 2021, picking on form is the way to go and Care’s recent form will undoubtedly have caught the attention of Warren Gatland.
He has never been called up for a Lions squad, with many feeling he was unfortunate not to get a look in for either of the 2009 and 2013 tours. Will 2021 finally be his time to shine in the famous red jersey?