Four British and Irish Lions Bolters - Backs

Four British and Irish Lions Bolters - Backs

A left-field pick. British and Irish legend Sir Ian McGeechan was well known for making surprising picks when it came to announcing his British and Irish Lions squads with the likes of Will Greenwood and Jeremy Guscott being selected as bolters in his squads with Greenwood being uncapped and Guscott with just one cap when they received the call.

While it is unlikely for an uncapped botler to make the Lions squad in the modern era, there is certainly a case for a relatively unknown or inexperienced player to picked under current Lions head coach Warren Gatland for the tour to South Africa.


Gatland surprised many with the selections of Jared Payne and Ben Te’o for the 2017 tour to New Zealand. 

We have picked a potential bolter from each of the Nations that make up the Lions (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) with the only restriction being that they must have 10 test cap or less and play in the backline.

Joe Marchant - (England, 3 test caps)


At 23, Joe Marchant is certainly a player for the future but his recent form for the Harlequins and even more recent form for the Blues in Super Rugby suggest he is the real deal.


Eddie Jones suggested to the youngster that he should try a stint in Super Rugby and he ultimately joined the Blues having made his test debut in 2019 and missed out on a place in Jones' Rugby World Cup squad.

Marchant is certainly on the brink of breaking into the England squad permanently and shows all the attributes to be a top test centre. Marchant's stint at the Blues saw him tour to South Africa and performed at both centre and wing with the Auckland-based side. 

His versatility could give him an edge as too could his recent experience in the Republic. He could find himself in the reckoning for a place while the likes of Garry Ringrose and Jonathan Joseph will certainly give him a run for a spot. 

 

James Lowe - Ireland, uncapped

James Lowe got a small taste of test rugby with the Maori All Blacks and could follow the likes of Jared Payne who played against and for the Lions.

By the time Warren Gatland names his side to tour to South Africa, Lowe will have qualified to represent Ireland and in turn the British and Irish Lions through residency laws.

The strong running winger has starred for Leinster since joining from Gatland's current Super Rugby side, The Chiefs.

A dynamic player, Lowe has pace, power and a brilliant offloading game to offer the Lions and although him being included in the squad might be controversial to some, the controversy wouldn't be down to his lack of ability. 

Kyle Steyn - Scotland, 1 test cap

Many outside of Glasgow may not too much about recently capped Scotland International Kyle Steyn.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa Steyn qualified for Scotland through a parent and made his test debut against France in the Six Nations before the competition was put on ice.

 

Another dynamic runner, Steyn catapulted into the starting line up at Glasgow after securing a move from South African Currie Cup side the Griquas.

A handy defender and an excellent runner, Steyn could be a real bolter for Gatland who could use his knowledge of the conditions as well as his key eye for the try line.

After arriving at Glasgow in 2019, Steyn went on to start the PRO14 semi-final and final with Huw Jones dropping below him in the pecking order. Steyn produced scoring a try in the semi final and assited one of Glasgow's two tries in the final loss to Leinster.

Louis Rees-Zammit - Wales, uncapped

Louis Rees-Zammit was the talk of the Premiership before the season was put on ice after he burst onto the scene with Gloucester making a massive impact on the side.

Now a somewhat regular starter for the West Country club, Rees-Zammit earned a call up to the Welsh squad for the Six Nations and could have may his debut had the competition not been put off.

An electric runner, Rees-Zammitt is yet another player on this list that has shown a key eye for the tryline and with Warren Gatland enjoying success with Welsh wingers in his Lions squad, it wouldn't be too surprising if the teenager is called into the squad.

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