Sky Sports rugby union writer Tony Curtis names his Lions line-up based on the second weekend in the RBS Six Nations
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC
Last Updated: 11/02/13 8:34am
And if anything, the selections for this week's line-up were all the more harder - with a number of players staking claims.
Nevertheless, skysports.com's Tony Curtis puts his neck on the line and names his Lions XV based purely on this weekend's games.
15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
Arguably the hardest of all the positions to name this week, with Alex Goode, Rob Kearney and Stuart Hogg all impressing. However it was the little livewire from the valleys that stole the show with a cool-headed display in the cauldron of the Stade de France.
14 George North (Wales)
Another to leave Paris with his reputation restored. He was busy throughout and made no mistake when his only chance came along with eight minutes left.
13 Brad Barritt (England)
The England centre does not get the plaudits he deserves. He is a defensive colossus who was vitally important in keeping wave after wave of green shirts at bay.
12 Matt Scott (Scotland)
A tough call this week between Scott and Jamie Roberts. Admittedly it is likely to be Roberts who dons the No 12 jersey in Australia, but Scott is emerging as a talented performer and deserves his place in this side for his efforts against the Azzurri. He scored one, could have had another and tackled tremendously well.
11 Tim Visser (Scotland)
For a defensive display at a wet and windy Aviva Stadium then Mike Brown certainly deserves credit, however Visser's finishing prowess is second to none. A superb jinking run saw him open the scoring, while his hunger for the ball meant he was a constant threat.
10 Owen Farrell (England)
The 21-year-old retains his place - with his defensive effort and ice-cool head when the pressure was on earning him his place this time. His game management is also coming on leaps and bounds and was shown at the death when he correctly overruled captain Chris Robshaw.
9 Greig Laidlaw (Scotland)
Another position where there were a number of contenders for the shirt, including Ben Youngs and a resurgent Mike Phillips. Laidlaw, though, slotted over 14 points and was a the heart of everything good about Scotland's play.
1 Gethin Jenkins (Wales)
With Cian Healy suffering a meltdown in Dublin, Jenkins took advantage to highlight his credentials. Stung by the criticism from the loss to Ireland, Jenkins responded with a superb display.
2 Rory Best (Ireland)
Like Farrell, Best retains his place in the Lions line-up. An all-action display ensured Ireland remained in the hunt for victory.
3 Dan Cole (England)
Came through a tough examination from Healy unscathed and just edges out Mike Ross in the battle of the tightheads. Scrummed hard and was an absolute menace at the breakdown.
4 Ian Evans (Wales)
Could have gone to either of the two Wales locks, but Evans gets the nod over Andrew Coombs. A phenomenal work-rate, with Evans tackling his heart out.
5 Donnacha Ryan (Ireland)
The lock was Ireland's enforcer and found himself involved in every scuffle. Never took a step back and is just the sort of man you want alongside you in the trenches.
6 Ryan Jones (Wales)
A superb return to form for the Wales flanker. Jones led from the front and was inspirational throughout.
7 Chris Robshaw (England)
A real captain's display from Robshaw saw him pip Sean O'Brien to the jersey. Robshaw's carried the ball hard and hit hard in the tackle.
8 Johnnie Beattie (Scotland)
He combines physicality with class. At times he was a battering ram into the heart of the Italy defence, while at others he was showcasing his skills, including one pinpoint kick to the corner.