Revisiting Greenwood’s ‘2025 British & Irish Lions XV’ from 2021 - Ruck

Revisiting Greenwood’s ‘2025 British & Irish Lions XV’ from 2021

Back in 2021, England legend Will Greenwood turned his attention to the 2025 tour to Australia, highlighting the emerging young talents poised to make the XV.

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Envisioning a dynamic starting 23 for the first Test against the Wallabies, complete with speedy backs and powerful forwards, Greenwood stressed the importance of rejuvenation following the setbacks in South Africa.

To lead the squad, Greenwood recommends Gregor Townsend as head coach, with Ronan O’Gara and Steve Borthwick as his assistants. Despite offensive challenges against the Springboks, Greenwood believes Townsend can reignite the team’s attacking flair.

Reflecting on the future, Greenwood said, “The 2021 tour was captivating, but now it’s time to focus on 2025 and the young talents who could shine in Australia.”

Below, we revisit the team he selected after the 2021 tour.

Hugo Keenan (Ireland) Greenwood praises Keenan’s potential, foreseeing growth in wisdom and composure over the next four years, establishing him as a premier European full-back. “I love Keenan,” Greenwood remarks. “After another four years of Irish rugby, he will be wiser and more composed; the leading European full-back.”

Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales) Despite limited opportunities in South Africa, Greenwood sees Rees-Zammit’s electric pace as a game-changing asset, honed through standout performances for Gloucester and Wales. “In the short periods he did feature, you could tell there was a star in the making,” Greenwood notes.

Louis Rees-Zammit of Gloucester Rugby during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Gloucester Rugby and Harlequins at Kingsholm on 17 February. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Garry Ringrose (Ireland) Highlighted for his innate class and defensive prowess, Ringrose aims to seize his last chance at Lions selection in 2025 after enduring injuries and fluctuating form. “He is an inherent class act who defends astutely and runs devilish angles,” Greenwood observes.

Cameron Redpath (Scotland) Expected to return to top form post-injury, Redpath’s standout performances for Scotland mark him as a potential key figure in the midfield. “I expect him to return to that sort of form when he returns to full fitness,” Greenwood predicts.

Adam Radwan (England) Greenwood champions Radwan’s inclusion, citing his explosive debut season and undeniable talent, suggesting that age should not hinder selection if ability shines through. “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough,” Greenwood asserts.

Marcus Smith (England) Despite limited exposure in South Africa, Smith’s flair and leadership qualities, demonstrated in Harlequins’ Premiership triumph, position him as a future elite fly-half. “By 2025, he could be one of the world’s best fly-halves,” Greenwood predicts confidently.

Last Kick Drop Goal celebrations from Marcus Smith of England to win the match during the Guinness Six Nations Match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on March 9th 2024. – PHOTO: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Tomos Williams (Wales) Williams’ commanding presence and playmaking abilities make his absence from the South Africa tour a surprise, fueling his determination to excel in 2025. “Missing out this year will spur him on tremendously,” Greenwood believes.

Ellis Genge (England) Renowned for his unique threat with the ball in hand, Genge’s absence from the Springbok series highlights his potential impact in future Lions campaigns. “With the ball in hands, Genge offers a threat that no other loosehead can match,” Greenwood highlights.

Ellis Genge, Captain of England during the Summer Nations Series Rugby match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on August 5, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Ronan Kelleher (Ireland) Emerging as a standout hooker, Kelleher’s experience in South Africa primes him for a prominent role in the forthcoming Australian tour. “After tasting the Lions environment in South Africa, he will be desperate to return for the full three courses in Australia in four years’ time,” Greenwood remarks.

Zander Fagerson (Scotland) Despite facing challenges in South Africa, Fagerson’s strength and potential offer a promising foundation for future Lions success. “Fagerson looked strong early on before fading away,” Greenwood reflects.

Maro Itoje (England, captain) Undisputed as a leader and exceptional player, Itoje’s consistency positions him as a natural choice for captaincy in the 2025 squad. “As things stand, there is simply no one else who could captain this side,” Greenwood emphasises.

Maro Itoje of England during the Six Nations Match between England and Wales at Twickenham, London on 10 February 2024 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

Adam Beard (Wales) Despite initial skepticism, Beard’s stellar performances validate his selection, hinting at a bright future in the Lions jersey. “Many were left scratching their heads when he was called up,” Greenwood acknowledges.

Jamie Ritchie (Scotland) Ritchie’s all-around skills, including lineout prowess and relentless work rate, establish him as a vital asset for Scotland and potential Lions success. “He is a pest at the breakdown, too,” Greenwood adds.

Tom Curry (England) In the absence of Jack Willis, Curry’s resilience and skill set make him a compelling choice for the back row, offering stability and dynamism. “After such a serious injury, he has to return and get a couple of seasons under his belt before he can come into realistic consideration,” Greenwood assesses.

Tom Curry of England during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Tonga at Twickenham Stoop on 6 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Caelan Doris (Ireland) Acknowledging the tough selection process, Doris emerges as a standout choice for the No. 8 position, embodying the talent pool’s depth across the UK and Ireland. “It was a tough choice,” Greenwood admits, “but Doris offers immense potential.”


16. Ewan Ashman (Scotland)

Bevan Rodd (England)

Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

Ryan Baird (Ireland)

James Botham (Wales)

Raffi Quirke (England/Ireland)

Adam Hastings (Scotland)

Ioan Lloyd (Wales)

Head Coach: Gregor Townsend Assistant Coaches: Ronan O’Gara and Steve Borthwick

The 33-man England Squad Steve Borthwick Should Select For Summer Tour

It’s been a decade since England’s last visit to New Zealand, a challenging 2014 series under Stuart Lancaster resulting in a 3-0 defeat.

The memories of the 2008 tour aren’t any sweeter, with England tasting defeat in both Tests against the All Blacks. However, a glimmer of triumph emerged in 2003, as they secured a thrilling 15-13 victory over New Zealand just before the Rugby World Cup.

In this highly anticipated tour, Borthwick’s squad will face a formidable challenge with only two tests against the All Blacks, following a clash with Japan in Tokyo.

Here is the list of our predicted squad organised by their current clubs:

RUCK’s England squad for the summer:


  • Joe Marler
  • Fin Baxter
  • Chandler Cunningham-South
  • Marcus Smith

Bristol Bears

  • Ellis Genge
  • Harry Randall
  • Gabriel Ibitoye


  • Jamie George
  • Theo Dan
  • Maro Itoje
  • Ben Earl
  • Elliot Daly