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Wild speculation alert! Let's forecast what the next Lions squad would look like today

We will be happy if 50% of these guys end up in New Zealand.

British and Irish Lions's  Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll  lift the Tom Richards Trophy Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

THERE IS NOTHING more futile than trying to predict the Lions squad a few years in advance… but there is also nothing more fun for rugby fans to do. We are coming up towards the halfway point between the last Lions tour and the next trip to New Zealand, so we decided to take a look at what a potential touring squad might look like.

There were some great displays throughout the Six Nations and it is pretty tough to select at some positions, but we gave it our best shot.

Also, we omitted Paul O’Connell due to the fact that he is almost certainly going to be retired by then. Warren Gatland brought 37 players to Australia so we picked our squad with the same amount of guys at each position.

Props (6)

IrelandÕs   Cian Healy is tackled by Wales Luke Charteris Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Cian Healy (Ireland), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Joe Marler (England), Dan Cole (England), Samson Lee (Wales) and David Wilson (England).

(That third tighthead spot was VERY tough to fill.)

Hookers (3)

IrelandÕs  Rory Best Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Rory Best (Ireland), Dylan Hartley (England) and Scott Baldwin (Wales).

Second Rows (5)

A dejected Jonny Gray Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Luke Charteris (Wales), Jonny Gray (Scotland), Richie Gray (Scotland) and Courtney Lawes (England).

Back Row (7)

Leonardo Ghiraldini and Andrea Masi with Taulupe Faletau Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Sam Warburton (Wales), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), Sean O’Brien (Ireland), Chris Robshaw (England), James Haskell (England) and Peter O’Mahony (Ireland).

Scrum-halves (3)

Conor Murray Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Conor Murray (Ireland), Rhys Webb (Wales) and Ben Youngs (England).

Out-halves (2)

Johnny Sexton kicks a penalty Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Johnny Sexton (Ireland) and George Ford (England).

Centres (4)

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Jonathan Joseph with Maxime Mermoz Source: Andrew Fosker/INPHO

Jonathan Joseph (England), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Jamie Roberts (Wales) and Jonathan Davies (Wales).

Wings (4)

George North scores a try Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

George North (Wales), Liam Williams (Wales), Tommy Bowe (Ireland) and Jack Nowell (England).

Fullback

Leigh Halfpenny Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Mike Brown (England) and Stuart Hogg (Scotland).

Head Coach: Joe Schmidt.

Captain: Alun Wyn Jones.

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