“If you get it right today, your lives will be different from this point on.”
— Sir Ian McGeechan
Being a British and Irish Lion is the pinnacle for a Northern Hemisphere rugby player; the ultimate honour, and reward to a player’s service to the game. As McGeechan said, winning a series puts you in the history books; changing your life forever.
The Lions is a unique squad for a number of reasons; mainly because those lucky enough to be selected usually resent one another, be it at international or domestic level.
This is why the cohesion and the togetherness of Lions’ squads over the years is so fascinating to observe. Intricacies on and off the field more interesting to follow than any other sporting team. And, over the years, some of Lions have got it absolutely bang on; the 1971 New Zealand, and 1974 South Africa winning series standing out over the Lions’ history more than any other.
It’s therefore no surprise that a lot of the players from those tours make the greatest Lions XV of all-time; who else joins the elite XV?
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Chef Curry is not only the best shooter on the planet, he's the best shooter to ever walk the planet. During his first of two straight NBA MVP seasons, he set the record for most 3 pointers in a regular season with 286. He then broke that record the following season with 402, while winning a second straight MVP. I love Curry, and hope he whoops on Lebron in the Finals this year. (Source: Twitter)
Lowry getting hurt is a pretty big blow to the Raptors, as well as a blow to anyone holding out hope of someone taking down the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Another smaller guard, Lowry 185 had 3-pointers before getting hurt, which was good for 5th best in the league. Hopefully he comes back for a full playoff run, and can take down Cleveland. (Source: Twitter)
Lefty shooters always throw me for a loop, but with Harden it just works. While I think his beard may annoy the hell out of me, I can get past it while he drains 3s in defenders' eyeballs. If he keeps it up this year, he'll probably be putting an MVP award on his mantle by seasons end. (Source: Twitter)
I'm pumped that Beal has finally been able to stay healthy this year, because he is so much fun to watch. Ever since his days at Florida, Beal has been an awesome shooter from long distance, and that hasn't changed since he's been in the NBA. Him and Wall make for one of the best backcourts in the league, and he is most certainly one of the game's best shooters. (Source: Twitter)
Harden's running mate is fresh off a victory in this year's 3-Point Contest, and his currently tied for the second most 3 pointers made in the league this year with 193. Oh yeah, he's doing it all from coming off the bench. Do I see a 6th Man of the Year Award headed his way at the end of the season? To be honest I actually have no idea, but I've loved his game since he was at Indiana, and it's good to see him staying healthy. (Source: Twitter)
Korver is my favorite player to play with in NBA 2K, strictly for the fact that he hits just about any shot you take with him. That isn't much different from his game in real life, because the guy is lights out from long range. The only good thing about the Cavs winning the title this year would be Korver getting a ring, which I'd be cool with. (Source: Twitter)
Let me make this clear for all of you, I love Isaiah Thomas, absolutely love him. He went from being the last pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, to a 2-time All Star who's one of the most exciting players in the league. An undersized point guard who may not be the best of passers, but man can that dude put the ball in the hoop, especially from three point range. He's also friends with Floyd Mayweather, so that's pretty cool. (Source: Twitter)
McCollum's NBA career got off to a real slow start, but since winning the Most Improved Player last year in just his third year in the league, he's really starting to turn some heads. He's been able to improve his game with his lethal long range shooting ability, and has been over a 40% shooter from 3 point range over the last two seasons. I expect him to only get better from here on out. (Source: Twitter)
If Curry is the best shooter on the planet, Klay Thompson is the second best. The other "Splash Brother" to go along with Curry is one of the funnest players in the league to watch when he gets going. When he's on, like he was in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals last year, he may even be better than Curry. When the two of them get going, the Warriors are virtually unbeatable. (Source: Twitter)
I liked Kyrie way more before Lebron went back to Cleveland. I was pissed they beat the Warriors in the Finals last year, but his game winning three over Curry in Game 7 was the most cold blooded shot I've ever seen, and I can't even say I was surprised by it. He's been a lethal shooter since he's been in the league, and I don't see that changing any time soon. (Source: Twitter)
Noticeable mentions should go to the likes of Lawrence Dallaglio, Paul O’Connell and Gavin Hastings; the Northern Hemisphere may be regarded as being behind the Southern Hemisphere, but it’s produced some of the best players to grace the game.
Although this year’s touring team has started slowly, there is still enough quality in the side to test the All Blacks; however, only North is worthy of a slot in the greatest Lions team of all-time.