The questions of British Lions selection

British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland (R) and British & Irish Lions Forwards Coach, Robin

British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland (R) and British & Irish Lions Forwards Coach, Robin McBryde (L) during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bristol Bears and Exeter Chiefs at Ashton Gate on 23 Apr. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK - Credit: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

The Lions selection has been talk of the town in rugby terms, with so many getting the chance to go down in legend, with the likes of Scott Gibbs, Brian O’Driscoll, Martin Johnson etc. 
What a week to be Sam Simmonds, Stuart Hogg, Jonny Hill or LCD, these guys must be thrilled to bits, especially the guys called up for the first time. Taking nothing away from Hoggy, but the boys called up for the first must be dreaming with their families bursting with pride. 
I’d also like to mention the number of guys who I believe have narrowly missed out or in my opinion should be in the conversation when it comes to higher honours, which is a true reflection of how strong a group we now see running out at Sandy Park regularly. 
The obvious omissions like Jonny Gray, Henry Slade, Tommy Francis, and Jack Nowell must have been at least mentioned, if not argued about when selection was finalised. Sladey, I feel for most, who must be gutted to not be included in the initial squad. 
Also, Dave Ewers, who makes into my all-time 15 every day of the week, terrorising the whole of the premiership as well as European rugby.   
Finally, Joe Simmonds (Sir Joe, as he likes to be known) who, when I see the media pump up the tyres of the likes of Marcus Smith, I simply can’t understand how such a key player at the Chiefs is consistently put in behind other young fly halves in the northern hemisphere. 
What a group of players, and it is crazy to think of the change in quality over the years, from being regarded as a bunch of misfits in the early premiership days, to having Tom Johnson, the first English international Chief in the modern era or the odd international player in the squad, like Dean Mumm or Moray Low.  
I look forward to the chance of watching these Lion Chiefs run out in South Africa, maybe with a cold beverage at the Blackmore after a tough training session or local game, cautious hugs aplenty and not so socially distanced get togethers with friends (as the rules allow). 

Phil Dollman, Chiefs favourite and Sidmouth Rugby Club player coach

Phil Dollman, Chiefs favourite and Sidmouth Rugby Club player coach - Credit: Archant

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