May 11, 2021

Sports Legend

British and Irish Lions: Marcus Smith and Danny Care emerge as potential shock picks for summer tour | Rugby news


Warren Gatland to name 36 Lions squad on Thursday; Harlequins duo Marcus Smith and Danny Care are on the long list of nominees, along with Sam Simmonds and Ben Spencer; the four players are currently not part of Eddie Jones’ England squad

Last updated: 04/05/21 8:54 am

Harlequins' half-fly Marcus Smith has never been styled by England

Harlequins’ half-fly Marcus Smith has never been styled by England

Marcus Smith and Danny Care have become potential shock picks for the British and Irish Lions squad ahead of this summer’s tour of South Africa.

The Harlequins Smith and Care duo are among Lions head coach Warren Gatland’s long list of contenders, along with back rower Sam Simmonds and Bath scrum half Ben Spencer.

All four players are under consideration for the tour although they are not part of Eddie Jones’ England squad.

Danny Care is 34 and last performed in England in 2018

Danny Care is 34 and last performed in England in 2018

Smith has been named to training teams by Jones in the past, but has never been capped by his country. However, he has been in excellent form for the Harlequins – who are fourth in the Premiership – this season.

His inclusion would come as a shock, given that Gatland has Owen Farrell, Johnny Sexton, Finn Russell and Dan Biggar to consider his half-fly options.

Care, 34, has 84 caps in England, but has not played for his country since 2018. But like Smith, he has impressed at club level in recent months and could also be helped by his colleague’s move. melee Ben Youngs to exclude himself. selection of Lions for family reasons.

Sam Simmonds is the reigning European player of the year

Sam Simmonds is the reigning European player of the year

Like Care, Simmonds last played for England in 2018, but has excelled at club level since then. The 26-year-old helped Exeter win the Premiership and European Champions Cup titles in 2020, after which he was named European player of the year.

Spencer has played for England more recently, having come off the bench in their World Cup final loss to South Africa in 2019.

Bath scrum-half Ben Spencer made it into the World Cup final for England

Bath scrum-half Ben Spencer made it into the World Cup final for England

However, he was not part of the tournament’s original squad and was flown in before the final as a late addition. The 28-year-old has just four caps for his country.

Jones’ selection decisions have come under scrutiny, especially following England’s poor performances at this year’s Six Nations.

They entered the tournament as defending champions, but losses to Scotland, Wales and Ireland saw them finish fifth.