"No Finn Russell" - Warren Gatland selects his 2023 Lions squad, also picks no Welshman - Ruck

“No Finn Russell” – Warren Gatland selects his 2023 Lions squad, also picks no Welshman

Ireland and Scotland dominate Warren Gatland’s British & Irish Lions selection after an excellent 2023 Six Nations campaign.

He wrote in his column for The Telegraph: “I would not have any of my Wales players in the 23. It is simply a reflection of where we are as a team right now. I thought we improved as the Six Nations went on, but we still have a long way to go.

“I am confident that we will get better, and it would be interesting to see if we do this exercise again after the World Cup warm-up games and the World Cup itself, how much it would change. I have set some parameters in picking my 23.

“I have not included any player who was injured ahead of the final round of matches, which has ruled out the likes of Garry Ringrose, who probably would have been in my starting XV, and Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg.”


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Warren Gatland’s 2023 Lions XV:


15. Hugo Keenan – Ireland

14. Duhan van der Merwe – Scotland

He wrote: “Mack Hansen is very unlucky here but I’m switching Duhan to the right wing. I think he is in much better shape physically than he was when he was with the Lions a couple of years ago. He caused defenders all sorts of problems, carried well and scored some outstanding tries. He has also definitely improved his aerial game, which was something he had to work on.”

11. James Lowe – Ireland


13. Huw Jones – Scotland

12. Sione Tuipulotu – Scotland

He wrote: “I was also impressed with the impact Bundee Aki made for Ireland, but Sione has a superb all-around game. He does not just give you good go-forward ball but can make the pass and offload as well.”