Wales coach picked a team to play a Test the weekend after the Six Nations

Warren Gatland has named his 23-man Lions squad to play a Test straight after the conclusion of the Six Nations, but failed to include any of his own Wales players.

The Wales head coach presided over a disappointing campaign that yielded a solitary win over Italy and when writing in his Telegraph column, said: “I would not have any of my Wales players in the 23. It is simply a reflection of where we are as a team right now. I thought we improved as the Six Nations went on, but we still have a long way to go.”

Unsurprisingly, Gatland picks ten of the Grand Slam-winning Ireland side, with England duo Ellis Genge and Maro Itoje the only non-Irish forwards in the pack. In the backs, Scottish trio Sione Tuipulotu, Huw Jones and Duhan van der Merwe are the only players selected from outside of Andy Farrell’s side.

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Gatland has Dan Sheehan at hooker with Tadhg Furlong at tighthead and James Ryan in the second-row. The back-row is an all Irish affair but there is no room for Peter O’Mahony with Jack Conan, who impressed off the bench during the championship, preferred alongside Player of the Championship nominee Caelan Doris and World Rugby’s Player of the Year Josh van der Flier.

The New Zealander goes with a familiar half-back pairing of Jamison Gibson-Park and Johnny Sexton, citing Finn Russell’s current knee problem as the reason he was not considered for selection.

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Full-back Hugo Keenan is joined in the back three by compatriot James Lowe, but there is no room for fellow wing Mack Hansen, despite the Australia-born star being nominated for the Player of the Championship.

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On the bench there is room for Owen Farrell and even a surprise pick for Steve Borthwick’s replacement scrum-half Alex Mitchell. Andrew Porter and Robbie Henshaw are the only Irishmen to miss out on the starting XV with the remaining four all coming from third-place finishers Scotland.

Gatland Lions squad: Full 23

15. Hugo Keenan (Ireland)

14. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)

13. Huw Jones (Scotland)

12. Sione Tuipulotu (Scotland)

11. James Lowe (Ireland)

10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)

9. Jamison Gibson Park (Ireland)

8. Caelan Doris (Ireland)

7. Josh van der Flier (Ireland)

6. Jack Conan (Ireland)

5. James Ryan (Ireland)

4. Maro Itoje (England)

3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

2. Dan Sheehan (Ireland)

1. Ellis Genge (England)


16. George Turner (Scotland)

17. Andrew Porter (Ireland)

18. Zander Fagerson (Scotland)

19. Jonny Gray (Scotland)

20. Jamie Ritchie (Scotland)

21. Alex Mitchell (England)

22. Owen Farrell (England)

23. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)

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