British and Irish Lions 2017: Our experts pick their XV following squad announcement - now choose yours

Telegraph Sport
Who do you think Warren Gatland will name in his Test starting XV?

Warren Gatland has announced his 41-man British and Irish Lions squad for this summer's tour to New Zealand.

Now everyone knows the names, we asked our experts to pick their starting XV for the first Test on June 24. 

Here's who they chose:

Sir Ian McGeechan
Captain Sam Warburton poses for the cameras flanked by Warren Gatland and John Spencer  Credit: Getty Images
  • 15. Williams
  • 14. Watson
  • 13. Davies
  • 12. Farrell
  • 11. North
  • 10. Sexton
  • 9. Murray
  • 1. M Vunipola
  • 2. Best
  • 3. Furlong
  • 4. Itoje
  • 5. Kruis
  • 6. CJ Stander
  • 7. Warburton
  • 8. B Vunipola

 

Everyone in this pack would be comfortable taking the ball into contact. There is control from nine, 10 and 12 and a mix of power and speed out wide to from when they get on the front foot. 

Will Greenwood

Lions squad: Will Greenwood's verdict

  • 15. Hogg 
  • 14. Watson
  • 13. Joseph
  • 12. Farrell
  • 11. North 
  • 10. Sexton
  • 9. Murray 
  • 1. M Vunipola 
  • 2. Owens 
  • 3. Furlong
  • 4. Itoje 
  • 5. Wyn Jones
  • 6. Stander 
  • 7. Warburton
  • 8. B Vunipola 

Starting XV represents a mix of long term form along with certain players who can find brilliance when they need it. There is power up front to dominate the set piece, huge back row carriers, precision and control from half back and 12. This team features pace, particularly the back three, and defensive excellence across the park. Every single one of them would stop a tank if they had to.

Paul Hayward
Elliot Daly would be in Paul Hayward's starting XV Credit: Rex
  • 15. Hogg
  • 14. North
  • 13. J Davies
  • 12. Farrell
  • 11. Daly
  • 10. Sexton
  • 9. Murray
  • 1. M Vunipola
  • 2. Best
  • 3. Furlong
  • 4. Kruis
  • 5. Wyn Jones
  • 6. Itoje
  • 7. Warburton
  • 8. B Vunipola

Only two Scots in the squad - but at least one should play: Stuart Hogg. Otherwise Murray and Sexton an obvious half-back partnership, Rory Best deserves the hooker's place and Itoje needs to be in somewhere, so that it's not all about power. Daly the wildcard - but could be special.

Daniel Schofield
Alun Wyn Jones would be Dan Schofield's captain Credit: Getty Images
  • 15. Hogg
  • 14. North
  • 13. Joseph
  • 12. Henshaw
  • 11. Williams
  • 10. Farrell
  • 9. Murray
  • 1. M Vunipola
  • 2. George
  • 3. Furlong
  • 4. AW Jones
  • 5. Itoje
  • 6. O'Mahony
  • 7. O'Brien
  • 8. B Vunipola 

Captaincy falls to Alun Wyn Jones with Warburton edged out by the twin Irish terrors of O'Mahony and O'Brien. Farrell ahead of Sexton at fly half with Henshaw and Joseph offering power and pace in the midfield. 

Charlie Morgan
Joe Marler with his Lions shirt Credit: Getty Images
  • 15. Hogg
  • 14. North
  • 13. Joseph
  • 12. Henshaw
  • 11. Williams
  • 10. Farrell
  • 9. Murray
  • 1. Marler
  • 2. George
  • 3. Furlong
  • 4. Itoje
  • 5. Wyn Jones
  • 6. O'Mahony
  • 7. Warburton
  • 8. B Vunipola

Joe Marler will will thrive on this tour, as will Peter O'Mahony and Owen Farrell. A bench featuring Mako Vunipola and Taulupe Faletau can trouble New Zealand in the final quarter, when they typically hit another gear. Watch out for Jack Nowell, who could sneak in. 

Tom Cary
It's Sexton at 10 for Tom Cary Credit: Rex
  • 15. Daly
  • 14. North
  • 13. Joseph
  • 12. Farrell
  • 11. Watson
  • 10. Sexton
  • 9. Murray
  • 1. M Vunipola
  • 2. George
  • 3. Furlong
  • 4. Itoje
  • 5. Wyn Jones
  • 6. O'Mahony
  • 7. Warburton
  • 8. B Vunipola

Almost went Farrell-Henshaw at 10-12 but finally stuck with Sexton at 10. Big game player (as long as his body holds up). Daly at 15 a gamble but one I'd like to see Gatland take. Second row an embarrassment of riches. 

Now pick your XV here

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