How the 2025 Lions squad is shaping up after Six Nations

How the 2025 Lions squad is shaping up after Six Nations
How the 2025 Lions squad is shaping up after Six Nations

Following Andy Farrell’s announcement as British and Irish Lions coach in January, Telegraph Sport selected what the touring party would look like if picked then.

After a Six Nations campaign that included an English resurgence and Ireland winning once again, the squad is revisited to see who forced their way into the squad and who has fallen away:

Ellis Genge charges into Ireland tacklers
Ellis Genge was a wrecking-ball for England - Getty Images/Patrick Khachfe

Andrew Porter (Ireland), Ellis Genge (England), Pierre Schoeman (Scotland)

There is no change here from the squad selected before the Six Nations, with all three showing their might. Genge missed the opening two rounds due to injury but became a rock for England, as Porter and Schoeman were throughout the championship for Ireland and Scotland respectively.

Dewi Lake (Wales), Dan Sheehan (Ireland), Ronan Kelleher (Ireland)

Injured for the whole Six Nations, there is still plenty of time for Lake to earn a spot. If all the home nations’ hookers are fit and firing, the Welshman will be among the three best. Pre-tournament, George Turner was picked but Kelleher’s performances off the bench for Ireland have seen him usurp the Scot.

Zander Fagerson (Scotland), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Finlay Bealham (Ireland)

Pre-tournament, Fagerson and Furlong led the pack and were streets ahead of the rest. Although solid, Fagerson did not quite kick on as expected but still makes the squad. Initially, Sale prop Asher Opoku-Fordjour was selected as a bolter, which could still happen, but moving to loosehead with the Under-20s has muddied the waters.

Joe McCarthy is tackled by Wales' Dafydd Jenkins
Joe McCarthy has hit the ground running on the international stage - AP/Peter Morrison

George Martin (England), Maro Itoje (England), Joe McCarthy (Ireland), Tadhg Beirne (Ireland), Dafydd Jenkins (Wales), Scott Cummings (Scotland)

Fairly straightforward here: the two English locks, the Irish pair, plus a Welshman and a Scot. Martin and Itoje were among England’s best in the Six Nations while the same could be said of McCarthy and Beirne with Ireland. The contribution of Jenkins in a defeated cause was always notable while Cummings is in on work-rate alone, finishing among the Six Nations’ top tacklers.

Jac Morgan (Wales), Tommy Reffell (Wales), Ben Earl (England), Caelan Doris (Ireland), Josh van der Flier (Ireland), Ollie Chessum (England)

Just two switches here from the team selected before the championship, with Van der Flier rediscovering some of his best form and Chessum’s switch to blindside proving a success. Reffell was Wales’ stand-out player in the Six Nations while Earl laid down an incredibly convincing case for player of the tournament. Morgan, injured for the whole championship like Lake, remains a shoo-in if fully fit and back at his World Cup best; a captaincy candidate, too.

Jamison Gibson-Park (Ireland), Tomos Williams (Wales), Alex Mitchell (England)

Gibson-Park and Mitchell, picked before the Six Nations, did enough to maintain their positions but Gareth Davies did not after some ponderous showings off the bench. Williams looked incredibly lively around the fringes for Wales and it would be interesting to see how he flourished behind a better pack. There are a host of other candidates who could emerge, but Ben White of Scotland will push this trio, too.

Finn Russell (Scotland), George Ford (England), Jack Crowley (Ireland)

Finn Russell kicks a penalty for Scotland
Finn Russell is a shoo-in to tour with the Lions - Getty Images/Sam Barnes

The scenario which sees Marcus Smith miss out on selection is a very unlikely one. But, these three are picked on form and merit, with Smith having missed a large chunk of the tournament due to injury. Russell starred for Scotland while Crowley looked as though he had enough class to fill Johnny Sexton’s boots, even if the 24-year-old was a little overawed at Twickenham. And Ford was one of England’s best across the five games.

Bundee Aki (Ireland), Ollie Lawrence (England), Garry Ringrose (Ireland), Sione Tuipulotu (Scotland)

No change here from what was picked pre-championship. Ringrose’s injury meant that we barely saw anything of him but with still over a year to go until the Lions tour it would take a brave person to bet against him boarding the plane to Australia. Aki continued his scintillating World Cup form, Lawrence proved his class in Lyon and against Ireland, and Tuipulotu’s absence was keenly felt by Scotland. Huw Jones and Robbie Henshaw will provide more-than-able back-up.

James Lowe (Ireland), Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland), Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (England), Mack Hansen (Ireland)

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso is tackled by Bundee Aki
Immanuel Feyi-Waboso has the X-factor - Getty Images/Shaun Botterill

One change from the pre-championship selection, with one of the finds of the Six Nations, Feyi-Waboso, muscling his way in over the injured Darcy Graham. The Scot is a fabulous wing and will still push this quartet all the way for selection should he regain form and fitness, but the emergence of Feyi-Waboso has put a spanner in the works. The Exeter wing touched world class in the limited gametime he had for England and his presence was sorely missed in Lyon. Lowe and Van der Merwe are almost automatic selections at this point while Hansen established himself as one of the world’s best wings over the past two years. Despite missing the whole Six Nations due to injury, the Connacht man has enough credit in the bank.

Hugo Keenan (Ireland), Blair Kinghorn (Scotland)

Perhaps the most high-profile switch since before the Six Nations, and maybe the position the most up for grabs, too. Keenan missed two of Ireland’s matches due to injury but has proven himself a class above and retains his spot. Freddie Steward is a victim of his England dropping but, in many respects, what Andy Farrell desires from his full-back will dictate Steward’s selection. If he wants a paragon of solidity, then Steward could earn a call-up; equally, if Farrell seeks a more intrepid player, then nothing is stopping George Furbank from putting his hat in the ring. As it is, Blair Kinghorn and Keenan are the two most rounded, in-form full-backs currently available to Farrell.

Player total by nation: Ireland 16, England 9, Scotland 7, Wales 5

You’ve now seen who Charles would pick for the Lions squad, if it was named today. What do you think? Would you make any changes? Tell us in the comments section below:

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