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Dublin: 12°C Thursday 15 April 2021

"10 Welsh Lions is not enough" crows Wales Online rugby writer

Andy Howell stoked the flames of injustice over Brian O’Driscoll’s axing by declaring two more Welshmen should start in Sydney.

Alex Cuthbert and Justin Tipuric celebrate the winger's try against England.
Alex Cuthbert and Justin Tipuric celebrate the winger's try against England.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

WARREN GATLAND HAS somehow managed to unite all four of the home nations with his ruthless selection calls for the third and deciding Test against Australia.

While Ireland and, indeed, the world is up in arms over the shellshock drop of Lions legend Brian O’Driscoll, English fans are cribbing over the axings of Ben Youngs and Tom Croft. Scottish fans, meanwhile, are left in the forlorn hope that Richie Gray will be the first of their countrymen to play a minute of Test match rugby on the tour.

One would imagine that Welsh supporters would be happy with their lot, which includes 10 Wales internationals starting and recalls for Jamie Roberts, Richard Hibbard and ‘rested for the Third Test’ scrumhalf Mike Phillips. Not so.

Columnist Andy Howell used his feature piece with Wales Online today to bemoan the fact that Gatland, the country’s head coach, did not select at least two more Welshmen.

Andy Howell believes the Lions XV is weaker than the Wales team that beat England in March. [Credit: Wales Online h/t: Colm Parkinson]

Howell declared, “Alex Cuthbert and Justin Tipuric should have been in the Lions team for Saturday’s decider with Australia, simple as.

Actually, throw in Gethin Jenkins, Ian Evans and Sam Warburton, if fit, and there’s an argument for saying the Wales team which obliterated England 30-3 in March was stronger than Gatland’s Lions for Sydney.”

He added, “If Tipuric was starting ahead of Irishman Sean O’Brien at openside flanker, the back-row would be more balanced and competitive at the breakdown. But at least he’s on the replacements bench, unlike Cuthbert.

“Astonishingly, the right-wing didn’t even make the substitutes despite being one of the most lethal finishers in world rugby. He’s touched down 10 times in 19 internationals, scoring his tries against the major nations too.”

If you dare to read on and raise your hackles, click here for more >>

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Patrick McCarry

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