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Will Greenwood in awe of ‘epic’ Liam Williams as he makes half the Lions team Welsh after Triple Crown

Psychologists warn that there can be problems with trusting the evidence of your own eyes, but if Warren Gatland needs confirmation about what unfolded before him last Saturday then Will Greenwood has provided him with a dot of help.

Writing in The Telegraph, England World Cup winner has picked seven Welsh players in his Lions team of the week, based solely on round three Six Nations performances.

Wales defeated England 40-24 at the Principality Stadium and Greenwood includes three Welsh backs in his team in Liam Williams, Josh Adams and Kieran Hardy, with half the Welsh pack also being favoured in the shape of Wyn Jones, Tomas Francis, Alun Wyn Jones and Taulupe Faletau.

It’s the third time in a row that Wyn Jones has featured in Greenwood’s XV of the week, with the ex-centre saying of him: “As well as executing all the basics to a high standard, what I like about him is his handling skills.

“He thrives in the pivot role like Kyle Sinckler does for England. Good around the park and strong in the tight. What a time to find the form of your life.”

Others are also seeing good things in the Wales loose-head prop.

For the first time, he’s become odds-on to be part of the Lions squad, with the Scarlet having performed admirably in opposition to Andrew Porter, Zander Fagerson and Kyle Sinckler this term, spending more minutes on the pitch than any other prop and racking up impressive carrying and tackling stats.

Francis, too, has been on top of his game.

The Exeter Chief has conceded only one scrum penalty in his three appearances despite facing quality starting loose-heads in Cian Healy, Rory Sutherland and Mako Vunipola.


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Greenwood calls him an excellent Test match player and is in no doubt about Taulupe Faletau’s quality, saying of the No. 8 after the England match: “When the game was tied at 24-24, he stepped up and was magnificent.

“Faletau is such a clever player, using footwork and angles to make yards and offload. A truly brilliant ball player.”

Bookmakers are now classing Hardy among the top three scrum-halves for the Lions squad — an astonishing progression for a young player who hadn’t played a single minute of Test rugby barely three months ago.

Liam Williams, meantime, seems well on his way to nailing down a Lions spot. The full-back has scored in his last two outings and also earned plaudits for his general play against England. “Quite simply epic in Cardiff,” says Greenwood. “Williams is a guy I’d like to play with just to appreciate how good he really is.”

Will Greenwood’s Lions XV after Six Nations round three : Liam Williams; Anthony Watson, Garry Ringrose, Rob Henshaw, Josh Adams; Jonathan Sexton, Kieran Hardy; Wyn Jones, Ronan Kelleher, Tomas Francis, Alun Wyn Jones, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Beirne, Will Connors, Taulupe Faletau.

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