Lions XV

Sky Sports rugby union writer Tony Curtis names his Lions line-up based on the third weekend in the RBS Six Nations

By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC.   Last Updated: 04/03/13 7:49am

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British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will have been a busy man as the RBS Six Nations reached the midway point.

While one eye will have undoubtedly been on the on-going action in the Super Rugby, Gatland's priority will have been on the performances of the home unions.

And as one or two individuals play themselves out of contention for the tour to Australia, a number continue to stake strong claims.

And once again, skysports.com's Tony Curtis puts himself into Gatland's shoes and names his Lions XV.

Remember the selections are based purely on this weekend's games...

15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)

It is going to take something pretty special to deny Halfpenny the Lions No 15 jersey come the summer. Despite the atrocious conditions in Rome, Halfpenny was safe as houses under the high ball and kept his cool to slot over 16 points.

14 Alex Cuthbert (Wales)

Scored one and was unlucky not to get another, when an ankle tap from Gonzalo Canale denied him. He looked a threat throughout and was strong in defence as well to quell Italy's early fight..

13 Manu Tuilagi (England)

The England centre was back to his human-wrecking ball best. He won his personal duel with Mathieu Bastareaud, consistently made it over the gainline and scored the game-breaking try.

12 Luke Marshall (Ireland)

A highly-impressive debut from the Ulster centre. He looked a real menace with the ball in hand - particularly in the first half - and looks to be the long-term successor to Gordon D'Arcy.

11 Craig Gilroy (Ireland)

It was a tough weekend for the wingers, however Gilroy did everything that was asked off him and scored the opening try. Ireland - and possibly the Lions - need to find a better way of making the most of his talents.

10 Dan Biggar (Wales)

This was arguably his best performance in a Wales jersey. He looked a threat in attack, had a hand in both Welsh tries and was solid in defence. Currently a big outsider to tour with the Lions but two more displays like this will do his cause no harm at all.

9 Greig Laidlaw (Scotland)

A second appearance for Laidlaw in our side, the Scotland No 9 was simply immense in the rear-guard victory over Ireland. He also landed his kicks at goal to clinch the win.

1 Gethin Jenkins (Wales)

There are signs that Jenkins is now back to his best. Played a crucial role in the dismantling of the Italian pack in the scrum and only a hamstring injury preventing him from doing more damage.

2 Ross Ford (Scotland)

Showed the sort of form that saw him tour with the Lions in the past. Worked hard in the set-piece and was a thorn in Ireland's side as they looked to claw something from the game.

3 Adam Jones (Wales)

There was some serious competition for the tighthead's jersey from Geoff Cross and Dan Cole (although largely for his work at the breakdown), but Jones edges for the way the Italy pack crumbled on home soil

4 Richie Gray (Scotland)

A superb defensive display from the Scotland lock. He got through a phenomenal amount of work, particularly at the breakdown.

5 Jim Hamilton (Scotland)

The lock was Scotland's enforcer and was involved in every flair-up and he took the fight to Ireland. He gave his all in the set-piece and was the thumping heart in the Scottish challenge.

6 Ryan Jones (Wales)

A left-field suggestion here - and I fully expect to get the usual amount of abuse - but I feel Jones is not only playing himself in to contention for the Lions but for the captaincy too. Another impressive display, particularly in defence, helped Wales to a hard-fought win, but his leadership was spot on.

7 Chris Robshaw (England)

I am running out of words of praise for Robshaw... he is in the form of his life and deserved the man-of-the-match award at Twickenham. His work-rate is something else, while he does a fair amount of the dirty work at the breakdown.

8 Tom Wood (England)

Wood was only just edged out of the man-of-the-match award by his back-row colleague. His hands were superb, he tackled his heart out and he made a timely interception. Not bad considering this isn't his favoured position.

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