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 five..
Last Updated: 17/01/13 10:22am
Lions Index - 13th January
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 Healy (Leinster) Average Score 6.7
Dean Ryan says: Does Gatland go for the dynamism of Healy or the power of Sheridan? I can see both of them getting on the plane.
Second: David Kilcoyne - 6.6
Third: Andrew Sheridan - 6.5
2 - Richard Hibbard (Ospreys) Average Score 6.9
Hibbard has been in fine form for Ospreys but is an injury worry for Wales ahead of the Six Nations as he came off against Leicester with a shoulder injury.
Second: Sean Cronin - 6.6
Third: Rob Buchanan - 6.5
3 - Adam Jones (Ospreys) Average Score 6.5
Scott Quinnell says: You would expect both Adam Jones and Dan Cole to be on the plane to Australia, great players.
Second: Dan Cole - 6.4
Third: Mike Ross - 6.3
4 - Donnacha Ryan (Munster) Average Score 6.8
Dean Ryan says: He is coming through very strongly and is the new man for Ireland - a tough man doing a big job in the second row.
Second: Alun Wyn Jones - 6.7
Third: Ollie Kohn - 6.5
5 - Nathan Hines (Clermont) Average Score 7.2
Scott Quinnell says: Hines has been absolutely wonderful for Clermont and has really given them an edge and a bite.
Second: George Robson - 6.9
Third: Courtney Lawes - 6.4
6 - Sean O'Brien (Leinster) Average Score 7.1
Alan Quinlan says: For me O'Brien is the only certainty of this back row. I think he is definitely going to be on the plane. He is a strong player, a powerful player and has delivered for Ireland and for Leinster.
Second: Kelly Brown - 7
Third: David O'Callaghan - 6.8
7 - Peter O'Mahony (Munster) Average Score 7.3
Helped keep Munster's play-offs hopes alive as the Ireland province beat Edinburgh 26-17.
Second: Steffon Armitage - 7.1
Third: Willie Faloon - 7
8 - Nick Easter (Harlequins) Average Score 7.8
Not part of the England set-up but Easter continues to top the table as the best No.8 available.
Second: James Coughlan - 7.1
Third: Peter O'Mahony - 7.1
9 -Danny Care (Harlequins) Average Score 7.4
Dewi Morris says: Danny Care has become the complete scrum half and for me he should start against Scotland for England. Two tires away at Connacht in round two clinched that game and the try against London Welsh last week left their openside Mike Hill bamboozled and rooted to the spot.
Second: Isaac Boss - 7
Third: Ben Youngs - 7
10 - Johnny Sexton (Leinster) Average Score 7.4
Ieuan Evans says: One man who has really stood head and shoulders above anyone else for Leinster this season as he did for Ireland in the Autumn internationals is Jonathan Sexton. The balance in his game has been impressive, the leadership qualities- think back to that losing bonus point against Clermont- who drove Leinster back up field, Jonathan Sexton. He's been so impressive for me this season"
Second: Owen Farrell - 7.1
Third: Dan Biggar - 7
11 - Craig Gilroy (Ulster) Average Score 7
Alan Quinlan says: For me the 11 jersey looks very exciting. We have three young guys here - I don't think all three will get on the plane but certainly one of them will. if one of them has a good Six Nations then they will have a great chance.
Second: Eli Walker - 7
Third: Simon Zebo - 6.7
12 - Jamie Roberts - 6.7 (Cardiff) Average Score 7.1
Roberts has recovered sooner than expected from an elbow injury he sustained against Australia last month will be looking to perform for Wales in the Six Nations.
Jordan Turner Hall - 7
Third: Scott Williams - 6.5
13 - Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) Average Score 7
Dean Ryan Says: I know we are going to have a debate over Brian O'Driscoll when he comes back but Davies is in great form. He is not playing in a great side with the Scarlets but watch him in the Six Nations, he holds a lot of things together for Wales
Second: Keith Earls - 6.3
Third: Joel Tomkins - 6.2
14 - Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues) Average Score 7
Scott Quinnell says: That's what he's known for, finishing off tries. Great pass, head down and dive in - great finishing!
Second: Tommy Bowe - 6.2
Third: George North - 5.6
15 - Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues) Average Score 7.5
Scott Quinnell says: He's played well against Toulon despite the loss - he took his try well there, backed his pace and he was away.
Second: Delon Armitage 7.1
Third: Luke Arscott - 7.1
Heineken Cup - Round 4: Click here
Heineken Cup - Round 3: Click here
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.