You are currently viewing 4 key areas to look at for the Lions

4 key areas to look at for the Lions

A split picture of Ellis Genge and Alun Wyn Jones
Will England’s Ellis Genge and Wales’ Alun Wyn Jones be in Warren Gatland’s 2022 British and Irish Lions squad?
Dates: 6 February to twenty March
Safety: Watch dwell safety & highlights on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, Associated TV’s and on-line; hearken to match commentaries, reveals and podcasts on BBC Radio 5 Keep, Sports activities actions Extra and BBC Sounds; adjust to textual content material safety on the BBC Sport website online and cell app; extra safety on the market in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

An upcoming British and Irish Lions tour at all occasions offers a little bit of extra spice to the Six Nations.

It’s the remaining chance for players to present their value to Warren Gatland on the worldwide stage.

If the tour goes ahead as deliberate and isn’t derailed by the pandemic, about 40 British and Irish players may be heading to South Africa in 5 months’ time.

Nevertheless who may be on the airplane? Each week of the Six Nations, BBC Sport may be who may have carried out their method into, and out of, Gatland’s squad in our Lions Watch operate.

Sooner than the occasion begins, listed beneath are 4 key areas of rivals to regulate over the subsequent couple of months.

Absent props give others chance to shine

Rory Sutherland runs with the ball
Scotland’s Rory Sutherland made his return from a doubtlessly career-ending adductor hurt in 2022

Mako Vunipola – who started all three Lions Exams in 2017 – has been dominated out of England’s Six Nations opener in the direction of Scotland on Saturday due to a calf hurt.

Workforce-mate Joe Marler has withdrawn from the squad for personal causes and the pair’s absence would possibly current an opportunity for completely different props to seize Gatland’s consideration.

Leicester’s Ellis genge will definitely be England head coach Eddie Jones’ first-choice loose-head and a string of begins would give the 25-year-old the risk to point out he has what it takes to dominate a sturdy Springbok scrum as well as to set off havoc inside the free.

Once more in April 2022, legendary Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan acknowledged he would choose Scotland’s Rory Sutherland as his starting loose-head in the direction of South Africa.

Sir Ian was one amongst many hailing Sutherland’s return after a life-altering hurt and the 26-year-old lived as a lot as the hype with some eye-catching exhibits inside the 2022 Six Nations.

There’s a former vacationer inside the mix too, with Ireland’s Cian healy – part of Gatland’s 2013 squad – making an attempt to make his mark as soon as extra on the age of 33.

Youthful amenities make late price

(*4*)
Paolo Odogwu, who has carried out coronary heart, wing, prop and amount eight, would possibly make his England debut inside the 2022 Six Nations

Gatland has no shortage of experience at coronary heart, with England captain Owen Farrell and 2017 Lions participant of the sequence Jonathan Davies every available to help.

Nevertheless with so many thrilling youthful amenities buzzing about this Six Nations, the Lions head coach might presumably be tempted to make a shock inclusion.

With England’s Manu Tuilagi a doubt for the occasion due to an Achilles hurt, Ollie Lawrence and Paolo odogwu are jostling for the limelight.

After making his worldwide debut inside the autumn Worcester coronary heart Lawrence, 21, now has three England caps to his determine and has made a quiet nonetheless promising start to his Examine occupation.

An England call-up for Wasps’ 23-year-old coronary heart Odogwu – who can also play on the wing – comes all through a breakthrough premiership season throughout which he has used his explosive combination of tempo, footwork and power to make further clear breaks than anyone else.

The England pair will face opposition from north of the border, though.

Cameron redpath – son of former Scotland captain Bryan – is about to make his Scotland debut, and there has already been a great deal of focus on regarding the 21-year-old due to his performances for Bathtub.

Harlequins and England scrum-half Danny Care describes him as a “extreme participant”, together with: “He’s a sort of fellows you presumably can see that, as quickly as he’ll get his foot inside the door in a 12 shirt internationally, it ought to be very laborious to get it off him.”

Now or on no account for Jones?

Alun wyn jones
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has already been on three Lions excursions

A lions tour with out wales legend Alun wyn jones wouldn’t seem pretty correct – he has been on every one since 2009 in the end.

There are encouraging indicators that the Wales captain will return to full well being rapidly after sustaining a knee hurt in December.

Nevertheless the 35-year-old lock will not be going to welcome the uncertainty surrounding the tour due to the coronavirus pandemic, with suspending it for a 12 months one selection being thought-about.

Former lion ugo monye acknowledged on BBC Radio 5 Keep’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast: “If the Lions tour will get postponed to 2022, I really feel Alun Wyn Jones might presumably be a casualty.”

Jones acknowledged he felt it may be “greater in the long run” if the tour have been to go ahead this 12 months, providing it’d accomplish that safely.

Regardless of happens, the second-row environment is troublesome with England’s Maro Itoje and Ireland’s James Ryan two stellar selections.

Nevertheless with England’s Joe Launchbury out injured, there are nonetheless picks to be made for Gatland and Scotland’s Jonny gray is poised to present the New Zealander’s head.

The 26-year-old proved his value in enormous video video games in Exeter’s double-winning season and, if he can proceed to do the an identical with Scotland, would possibly adjust to in older brother Richie’s footsteps by incomes a Lions call-up.

Wainwright bidding for back-row spot

Aaron Wainwright evades a tackle while playing France
Aaron Wainwright obtained his first Wales call-up merely three years after taking up rugby

Opponents is solely as extreme inside the once more row nonetheless one man who would possibly work his method up the pecking order over the subsequent couple of months is Wales’ Aaron Wainwright.

Versatility is at all occasions useful on a protracted tour and it seems the 23-year-old can present that. Having carried out most of his occupation at flanker, Wainwright is now seen as a amount eight by Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.

There’s a wealth of experience for Gatland to choose from inside the once more row – England stars Tom Curry, Sam Underhill and Billy Vunipola are merely three heavyweight contenders.

Nevertheless it may not be the major time Wainwright has obtained an shocking call-up from the earlier Wales boss. The once more row was launched into the Wales squad for the 2018 summer season season tour merely three years after taking up rugby.

Since then Wainwright has established himself on the worldwide stage, with a particular highlight being a man-of-the-match present in Wales’ 2019 World Cup quarter-final.

“I really feel he’s such a dynamic ball-carrier,” Monye acknowledged. “He’s really tall and rangy and line-out selection. I really cost him.”