Sam Warburton picks three Welsh Internationals in his Lions Test XV

Sam Warburton picks three Welsh Internationals in his Lions Test XV

Although the British and Irish Lions Tour to South Africa this year is in doubt, former Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton has picked his test XV.

Warburton has named Wales centre Johnny Williams as his Lions Test bolter for the tour after the centre debuted for Wales just two months ago. Williams is born in England but qualified for Wales through his father Gareth, who hails from Rhyl.

Warburton is tipping Williams to be Warren Gatland’s surprise Lions selection. Writing in The Times said: “My bolter is Wales’s Johnny Williams at inside centre.

“He impressed me with his physicality and all-round game in the autumn and if he can build on that in the Six Nations then he has a real chance.

“Toby Flood recently told me how good he thought Williams was when they played together at Newcastle Falcons. His potential is huge.”

Selection for the Lions would be a remarkable achievement for Williams after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2019. Two other Welshman feature in Warburton's side with Liam Williams at fullback and Taulupe Faletau in the No. 8 jersey.

England internationals Mako Vunipola and Jamie George are joined in the front row by Tadgh Furlong while Maro Itoje and James Ryan make up the second row. Warburton has snubbed the likes of Justin Tipuric and Hamish Watson in picking his back row with Eddie Jones' Kamikaze twins Sam Underhill and Tom Curry starting either side of Faletau.

The English dominated side features Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell as the halfback with Henry Slade starting alongside Johnny Williams in the centres.

Finally, Anthony Watson and Jonny May start in the back three alongside Liam Williams.

Sam Warburton’s Lions Test XV

Liam Williams; Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Johnny Williams, Jonny May; Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Tadgh Furlong, Maro Itoje, James Ryan, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Taulupe Faletau


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