Warren Gatland chooses his team of 23 Lions

Only two players received unanimous votes from Telegraph Sport readers, but that’s no surprise given the form they’ve shown over the past month and they were also among the top names on my sheet. of team. Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong starts at right support, while England full-back Freddie Steward takes the No.15 shirt.

Much like my selection, your squad is filled with Irish and English players – nine from the former and five from the latter. One player who received an overwhelming majority of your vote is Ellis Genge, who joins Furlong in the front row either side of Irish hooker Dan Sheehan.

With more than 80% of the vote, Tadhg Beirne is off to a great start, with Maro Itoje at his side. In fact, those of you who didn’t choose Beirne to start have named him among the substitutes, showing the level at which he has taken his game. The back row unsurprisingly includes Courtney Lawes, Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris, the same unit as my selection.

However, while readers agreed Jamison Gibson-Park deserved the No.9 jersey, you were divided on who should start at fly-half with Johnny Sexton, Marcus Smith, Finn Russell, Dan Biggar and Owen Farrell all selected. In the end, Smith emerged as the favorite, but it was a hotly contested competition.

The center pairing wasn’t, however, as half of you selected Robbie Henshaw at inside center and the other half selected him at outside center. Obviously Henshaw has to be part of the team in some capacity, and I also opted for the outside center role, and as Bundee Aki received more votes than fellow Irishman Garry Ringrose – just – he takes the No. 12 shirt with Henshaw on the outside of it.

Joining Steward in the bottom three are James Lowe and Louis Rees-Zammit by quite a considerable margin.

Andrew Porter, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Zander Fagerson move up to the front row from the bench, while James Ryan and Peter O’Mahony join them in a five-three split. Jack van Poortvliet, fresh off his England debut this summer, covers scrum-half, with Farrell and Ringrose rounding out your squad.

Charles P. Patton