Lions Index

Each week after the Heineken Cup the Sky Sports experts will rate every player eligible to play for the British and Irish Lions and pull together a starting XV. Find out who impressed after round three...

Last Updated: 11/12/12 6:56am

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Each week after the Heineken Cup our experts will rate every player eligible to play for the British and Irish Lions.

The likes of Stuart Barnes, Dewi Morris, Scott Quinnell, Ieuan Evans, Tyrone Howe, Scott Hastings, Paul Wallace and Will Greenwood are all in prime positions to see how each player is performing and the results will throw up some interesting selections that are sure to get you clapping in agreement or totally disagreeing.

Our experts will rate each player who is eligible to play for the British and Irish Lions out of ten - the highest and lowest scores will be removed to give us an average score that will decide where that player sits in our Lions Index.

The players in our Lions Index may appear a mile away from the touring party but a good performance in the Heineken Cup could see them creeping into our index and reminding us that our Lions heroes come from the unlikeliest of places!

Our pundits have been at pains to point out that this is not their selection for the first Test against Australia, but rather highlights who has been performing well in the Heineken Cup!

1 - Cian Healey (Leinster) Average Score 6.8

Dean Ryan says: Leinster went down to Clermont and gave it a real shot - I think they played as good as rugby as I have seen in the last year or so.


Second: David Kilcoyne - 6.7
Third: Andrew Sheridan - 6.5


2 - Rob Buchanan (Harlequins) Average Score 6.9

Paul wallace says: Rory Best may be third on the list but he has been out with injury for some time - he looks to be getting back to his best, he had a big performance against Northampton.
Second: Richardt Strauss - 6.5
Third: Rory Best - 6.2


3 - Mike Ross (Leinster) Average Score 6.8

Paul Wallace says: I was really impressed with the way the scrum came back - that really got them back in the game against Clermont.
Second: Adam Jones - 6.6
Third: Scott Andrews - 6



4 - Donnacha Ryan (Munster) Average Score 7

Ieuan Evans says: Ryan has impressed me. The loss of Paul O'Connell was a blow for Irealnd but Ryan has really taken up the slack.
Second: Alun Wyn Jones - 6.7
Third:Steve Borthwick- 6.3



5 - Mike McCarthy (Connacht) Average Score 7.2

McCarthy led his pack with distinction as Connacht shocked Biarritz and led the way as his forwards got the better of their vaunted opponents.
Second: George Robson - 7
Third: Geoff Parling - 6.1



6 - Peter O'Mahony (Munster) Average Score 7.4

Made some clean breaks and managed to offload the ball as Munster beat Saracens 15-9 in their Pool 1 clash.
Second: James Gaskell - 7
Third: Iain Henderson- 6.2



7 - Steffon Armitage (Toulon) Average Score 7.2

Scott Quinnell says: I just love watching him play. Yes he plays a lot of his rugby on the front foot but he is almost another back, he is just superb.
Second: Chris Henry - 7.1
Third: Chris Robshaw - 6.8



8 - Nick Easter (Harlequins) Average Score 8.1

No part of the England set-up but Easter continues to top the table as the best No.8 available.
Second: Thomas Waldrom - 7
Third: Jamie Heaslip- 6.6


9 -Danny Care (Harlequins) Average Score 7.5

Care helped Harlequins record their biggest ever victory in the Heineken Cup as they beat Zebre 57-14 to get maximum points on the road and take control of Pool 3.
Second: Conor Murray - 6
Third: Ben Youngs - 5.9



10 - Dan Parks (Connacht) Average Score 8.3

Parks delighted the Sportsground faithful with a 17-point kicking contribution as Connacht saw off Biarritz 22-14 in Galway.
Second: Jonathan Sexton - 7.4
Third: Danny Cipriani - 7.3



11 - Craig Gilroy (Ulster) Average Score 8

Frankie Sheehan says: Craig Gilroy has done a tremendous job for Ireland. He is a really exciting player. I compared him to Shane Williams; he seems to be able to move without losing pace.
Second: Smith - 7
Third: Simon Zebo 6.7



12 - David McSharry (Connacht) Average Score 7.8

Connacht boosted their hopes of a maiden Heineken Cup quarter-final appearance with a 22-14 win over Biarritz. And it was McSharry who intercepted Biarritz centre Marcelo Bosch's pass and offloaded to Vainikolo on his right shoulder for a run to the line which gave Connacht a 7-3 lead.
Second: Jordan Turner Hall - 7
Third: Jamie Roberts - 6.7



13 - Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) Average Score 7.4

Davies is still in the mix after his performance in round one of the Heineken Cup - he will be looking to get the Scarlets back in the game next week after they lost 16-22 to Exeter.
Second: Eoin Griffin - 7
Third: Keith Earls - 6.4



14 - Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues) Average Score 7.1

Did not get as many chances against Montpellier as he would have liked but still remains at the top after the scores were in for round three of the Heineken Cup.
Second: Tiernan O'Halloran - 7
Third: Tommy Bowe - 6.3



15 - Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff) Average Score 7.5

Halfpenny did not play this week but his previous scores keep him ahead of the chasing pack. Lee Byrne reminded us as to why he was a Lion in 2009.
Second: Robbie Henshaw - 7.5
Third: Lee Byrne - 7.3



Previous form....

Autumn internationals: Click here

Heineken Cup - Round 2: Click here

Heineken Cup - Round 1: Click here

So what do you think the panel's selections? Let us know your thoughts using the form below.

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