British and Irish Lions legend Lawrence Dallaglio has named his Lions XV and has effectively written off Alun Wyn Jones’ chances of securing a starting slot on the Lions' three-Test showdown with world champions South Africa next year.
Dallaglio believes the Jones may have run his race for starting slots in 2021, tipping England's Maro Itoje and Ireland's James Ryan to fill the second-row berths with the former captaining the side.
The former loose forward didn't settle on a centre pairing or a loosehead prop but was adamant who was in the box seat for lining up at lock.
Speaking on The Ruck Podcast on The Times website, Dallaglio said: “Clearly the northern hemisphere is packed with wonderful second-row options.
“England alone has always had a galaxy of those types of players.
“Obviously we know with distinction the great Alun Wyn Jones has led previous Lions tours. But really, Maro Itoje is in one shirt I would say. Possibly with the skipper’s armband on, given the powerful antidote that would be to Siya Kolisi’s style of captaincy.
“And then even though he didn’t have his best Six Nations, James Ryan is a real leader of this Ireland side for the next three or four years moving forward.
“I think Itoje has just been so good in his position and let’s be honest whoever plays in the second row for the Lions is going to have a massive job on his hands against their opposite numbers.
“That battle will go a long way to winning the series quite frankly.”
Commenting on the back row, Dallaglio said that he "discount someone like Aaron Wainwright" coming in while also saying “I do see the seven jersey being a straight shoot-out between Tom Curry, who will go toe-to-toe with Justin Tipuric."
He also didn't rule out a call up for Gareth Anscombe saying: “At 10 I wouldn’t discount Gareth Anscombe as a bolter, he’s not played a huge amount of rugby either and Gatland never really saw the best of him in a Welsh jersey because of injury.”
Lawrence Dallaglio’s Lions XV
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