The Reuters global sports blog
The rarity value of the Lions’ tours adds to their romance. Once every four years they travel, alternately, to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and, every four years, the temptation for pundits to choose a Lions All Time Best XV becomes irresistible.
It certainly was in my case, and here is my stab at picking the best XV.
I don’t expect anyone will agree with my choices completely, and please let me know in the comments where you think I’ve gone wrong. Anyway, here goes…
Fullback: JPR Williams (Wales). Stalwart of the 1971 side in New Zealand and a sensation in South Africa three years later, unflinching under the high ball and a fearless tackler. Took maximum advantage of the change in laws prohibiting kicking out on the full in the defenders’ 22 to become one of the game’s great counter-attackers.
Right wing: Tony O’Reilly (Ireland). Powerfully built and fast, O’Reilly scored 16 tries in South Africa in 1955 and a record 22 in Australia and New Zealand four years later. He was equally successful in business and became one of Ireland’s wealthiest men.