Tough choices for British & Irish Lions management

Tough choices for British & Irish Lions management

Andy Goode received 17 caps from England

The first four weeks of the domestic season in Great Britain has proved there are going to be some incredibly tough choices for the British & Irish Lions management come the end of the season.

I don’t remember a time in the history of the Lions when there were more players competing to get on the plane as preparations are made to tour Australia next May.

There is some serious strength coming out of England, Wales and Ireland and I think Scotland's resurgence in the last 12 months could lead to a good few of their boys making into Warren Gatland’s squad.

I really rate our chances this time too. Being brutally honest, Australia are traditionally the weakest of the southern hemisphere big guns and they are not playing great rugby at the minute either.

They don’t seem to know how they want to play the game, head coach Robbie Deans is under some pressure and their player pool is nowhere near as big as New Zealand or South Africa.

There are eight or nine months to go yet but I think it will be a good time to play them.

Gatland is the right man to lead the group. He has dome well with Wales and I can see him hiring the likes of Shaun Edwards and Graham Rowntree to help him out. They will make it a proper tour too. They will make sure everyone in the squad sticks together.

There will be strength in the pack and I will very surprised if Harlequins’ flanker Chris Robshaw is not being considered for the tour and potentially a captain’s arm band. He has dome a cracking job with England, is a good guy and is well-respected within the game.

Chris Robshaw must be being considered for the British & Irish Lions captain's job.

England captain Chris Robshaw could be a possible Lions skipper

I expect a couple of my team mates at Leicester to feature in the pack too with Dan Cole almost certain to go and Tom Croft a very good bet after doing so well in South Africa last time around.

The fly-half slot will be interesting and probably a shoot-out between Jonny Sexton, Rhys Priestland and Toby Flood.

But England have a very good chance of an excellent representation in the backs with Manu Tuilagi, Ben Foden and Chris Ashton very highly rated.

I also think a couple of the guys down at Gloucester could find themselves in the mix if they are consistent this season. Johnny May and Henry Trinder may be cast as outsiders but they have pace to burn and could do well on fast Aussie tracks.

It will be a fascinating selection when the time comes around.

Whatever side they pick, the British & Irish Lions continue to go from strength to strength in terms of its marketing and the amount of people that are prepared to go and watch them. That is something I can never see changing.

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