Alternative Lions XV: We pick a team from players unlucky to miss out...
Last Updated: 20/04/17 10:36am
Here is our alternative Lions XV made up from players who were unlucky to miss out on the British and Irish Lions squad.
Warren Gatland has finally confirmed his British and Irish Lions squad selecting 41 players to fly the Lions flag as they prepare to take on New Zealand.
There were always going to be some tough calls and with competition for places fiercer than ever before, a number of classy players have been left disappointment.
We pick a team out of those players unlucky to miss out and you can vote below as to who you think was the most unlucky man to be staying at home.
15. Mike Brown (England)
Brown played every minute of England's successful Six Nations campaign, making 432 metres from 62 carries, but his two line breaks was the lowest of all the full-backs in the Championship and his last try was against Australia last summer.
Harlequins' poor season hasn't helped Brown's cause but still he leads the way with 50 defenders beaten, scoring two tries and four try assists, and is expected to travel to Argentina in June.
14. Christian Wade (England)
Wade has scored 18 tries in 25 appearances for Wasps this season but he has yet to add to the one England cap he won in Argentina in 2013 prior to his Lions call-up.
The 25-year-old leads the Premiership for defenders beaten (74) and is second for line breaks with 34. He will hope to make another trip to Argentina with England and reproduce that form against the Pumas.
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
Ringrose's rise through the Ireland ranks has been highly impressive. He was drafted in early than planned due to injuries but looks completely at home at Test level, even slotting in at 12 on occasion.
Ringrose's first try for Ireland was a memorable one, dancing through the Wallabies defence last November, and he played every minute of the Six Nations.
"The Lions has maybe come a year too soon but what a great talent this fella has," said Brian O'Driscoll.
12. Scott Williams (Wales)
Williams replaced Jamie Roberts in the Wales midfield under Rob Howley and seized his chance, replicating his partnership with fellow Scarlet Jonathan Davies on the international stage.
Williams was second in the Six Nations centres charts for defenders beaten (10) and tackles made (45), and his familiarity of playing under Gatland gives him an advantage should any injuries occur.
11. Simon Zebo (Ireland)
It was not a vintage Six Nations for wingers and although Zebo was given little opportunity to shine in an Ireland side that struggled to cross the whitewash, he still managed to beat 11 defenders.
The Munster star is comfortable in any position across the back three and often slots into first receiver. He can continue to put himself in the shop window as Munster chase a Champions Cup and Pro12 double.
10. Finn Russell (Scotland)
George Ford is also unfortunate to miss out but the final fly-half spot looked to be an extremely close call between Russell and Dan Biggar.
Russell was inspirational as Scotland won all three of their Six Nations home fixtures but a horror showing by Scotland at Twickenham, coupled with Glasgow's Champions Cup quarter-final hiding at Saracens, hurt his chances.
9. Greig Laidlaw (Scotland)
Laidlaw has been sidelined since suffering ligament damage in Scotland's defeat to France in February but he could make his return for Gloucester in Saturday's Challenge Cup semi-final against La Rochelle.
The Scotland skipper is a fantastic place-kicker and boasts plenty of big-game experience. He will hope for a big finish to the season with the Cherry and Whites and Scotland, who play Italy, Australia and Fiji in June.
1. Cian Healy (Ireland)
Healy has won 67 caps for Ireland, but the 29-year-old has recently struggled for a starting berth due to the form of Jack McGrath - in his last 20 appearances under Joe Schmidt, Healy has started just six times.
One thing the Leinster player has in his favour is experience of the Lions after touring in 2013, so he could be the first to get a call in the event of an injury to a loosehead prop.
2. Dylan Hartley (England)
Hartley captained England to successive Six Nations titles, but the impact of Jamie George from the bench was enough to get the Saracens man into the squad ahead of his skipper.
The pair squared off on Sunday when Northampton hosted the defending Premiership champions in Milton Keynes, and though Hartley appeared to win that particular battle, it was not enough to get the nod.
3. Tomas Francis (Wales)
Francis started in four of Wales' five games in this year's Six Nations, and following the injury to WP Nel it looked as though the Welshman may have an opportunity to travel to New Zealand. However Gatland and his coaches opted to pick Kyle Sinckler as their third prop behind Dan Cole and the impressive Tadhg Furlong.
It's a big call from the coaches as the 24-year-old Quins front rower has played just eight Tests for England, and all of them from the bench.
4. Joe Launchbury (England)
Two man-of-the-match performances were obviously not enough for Launchbury, who was one of England's best players in this year's Six Nations.
Launchbury seems to tick all the boxes that Gatland is looking for - a big strong ball carrier, a great scrummager and lineout operator, plus one heck of an engine and is prepared to do the hard graft.
During the Six Nations, Launchbury made 52 carries with 121 metres made and also topped the tackles made list with a mammoth 85.
Competition in the second row is fierce and Launchbury had a rare off day against Ireland, especially in the lineout, which probably cost him his place.
5. Jonny Gray (Scotland)
A regular in our Team of the Week, Gray was a standout player for Scotland with his carries and his impressive defence.
Gray regularly topped the charts in carries and tackles for Scotland - against Ireland he carried 14 times and made an unbelievable 27 tackles. His work in the lineout also unsettled Ireland as Scotland beat Ireland 27-22 in the opening match of the 2017 Six Nations Championship.
Gray's Lions stocks looked pretty solid, however they plummeted drastically after England routed Scotland 61-21 and then Saracens beating Glasgow 38-13 with both the Scotland and the Glasgow pack coming off second best.
6. Chris Robshaw (England)
Robshaw's England career began to flourish when Eddie Jones took the captaincy away from him and moved him into the No 6 jersey. The Quins loose forward then picked up an injury that ruled him out of this year's Six Nations defence, and though he has featured three times for Harlequins in recent weeks, those 240 minutes were not enough to convince Gatland to put him in his squad.
7. James Haskell (England)
Flanker was one of the most eagerly-contested position in the squad, and with Gatland able to play Sam Warburton on either side of the scrum, as well as the inclusion of big ball-carriers in the form of Sean O'Brien and CJ Stander, it was always going to be a tall ask for Haskell to muscle his way into the squad.
Still, with the experience of back-to-back Six Nations titles under his belt, Haskell could be a good man for Gatland to call in an emergency.
8. Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
Heaslip is another who performs a ball-carrying role for Ireland. However with Stander and O'Brien the current stand-out players in Joe Schmidt's side, and the fact that there are four players in the squad with international experience at No 8, Heaslip's lack of versatility looks to have cost him a place in the squad.
All 10 games of the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand will be shown live on Sky Sports, starting June 3.