With the British & Irish Lions squad announcement, we bring you the second part of World Rugby Shop’s Lions. Last time we looked at the forward pack, and now we’re looking at the glory boys – our fleet-footed, skillful backs. Let’s dive in!


9) Scrum half – Conor Murray (Ireland)


The Munster scrum-half saw his Six Nations ended prematurely after picking up an injury against Wales, but before that he’s demonstrated both for Munster and Ireland that he’s perhaps the best scrum half in Europe. Combative, physical and a superb organiser of his forwards, Murray is also a classic try poacher – using his side and speed of thought to plunder 10 test tries, many from close range.

Boots worn – adidas Adizero Malice
Murray joins his club and country teammate CJ Stander in opting for the Adizero Malice boot – unusually however, Murray opted for the white and orange colourway worn by players at the Rio Olympic 7s during the Six Nations. Lucky charms?

Related: World Rugby Shop’s Lions XV Pt 2 – The Forwards


Fly-half Jonathan Sexton in his adidas Predator Malice rugby boots


10) Fly-half – Jonathan Sexton (Ireland)


The Lions 2013 pivot has endured an injury-blighted four years since guiding the tourists to victory over Australia, but as he demonstrated during the Six Nations, when he’s fit and firing, there are few better outside halves on the planet than the Leinsterman. With an attacking game that offers a wonderful and unique balance of running, passing and kicking threat, Sexton also deserves plaudits for his tenacious, committed defence, and the remarkable way he seems to soak up punishment without shirking any of his duties.

Boots worn – adidas Predator Malice
Sexton kicks like he has the ball on a string both from the tee and in open play, so it’s no surprise he’s opted for the latest iteration of Adidas’ legendary Predator silo, complete with the trademark Predator kicking surface in the forefoot to better enable precision kicking.


11) Left wing – Elliot Daly (England)


The jet-heeled Wasps centre had been on the fringes of the England team for some time, but it was Eddie Jones’ unexpected decision to shift him out to the wing that has truly ignited his test career, and rocketed him into Lions contention. With pace, agility and footwork to terrify any defender, he demonstrated his lethal finishing prowess with a dramatic last-minute winning try against Wales.

Boots worn – adidas CrazyQuick Malice
Daly’s varied skills require a versatile boot, and the lightweight Crazyquick Malice offers Flexzones to mix stability and rigidity with explosive acceleration and agility for enhanced speed and control.


Inside centre Owen Farrell in his Nike Tiempo Legend VI rugby boots


12) Inside centre – Owen Farrell (England)


He plays 10 for the reigning European and English champions, and while Farrell is a very worthy deputy to Sexton at 10, he has truly shone in the 12 jersey since being shifted out there by Eddie Jones last year. With tenacious defense, physical carrying, and a rapidly improving passing game from second receiver, the Saracens pivot is also a dead-eyed goal kicker who will punish any infringement.

Boots worn – Nike Tiempo Legend VI
Nike boots are still hugely popular with outside backs, and the king of the castle is probably the sixth iteration of the hugely popular Tiempo Legend silo. As popular in soccer as it is in rugby, the premium leather Tiempo offers stability and snug fit, and Farrell has shown a fondness for them in the striking Radiation Flare colourway in recent months.


13) Outside center – Garry Ringrose (Ireland)


High expectations can destroy the confidence of even the most talented player, and so it’s all the more remarkable that the young centre is continuing to build his reputation as a star in the making despite the near-constant comparisons to the greatest player to ever wear the 13 shirt for Leinster and Ireland – Brian O’Driscoll. There’s no escaping there’s something of the young BOD about Ringrose, however – the electric pace, the deceptive physicality, the rounded game and the intelligent attacking play were all hallmarks of the former Ireland captain’s game when he went on his first of four Lions tours in 2001. Ringrose could have a similar impact in NZ.

Boots worn – Nike Mercurial Vapor XI
Completing our all-Nike midfield partnership, it’s fitting that Ringrose opts for a cleat silo that was designed for fleet-footed soccer players. The Mercurial Vapor XI is designed for increased traction and acceleration.
Right wing George North in his adidas CrazyQuick Malice rugby boots


14) Right wing – George North (Wales)


The most iconic image of the Lions victorious 2013 tour to Australia was the giant Wales winger lifting up Israel Folau as the Wallaby superstar tried to tackle him and carry him back on his shoulders, and despite a four years of injuries and struggles with form, North reminded us in the Six Nations that given a chance, he is the most lethal and talented finisher in the Northern Hemisphere. His touchdowns against Ireland and Italy demonstrated that his unmatched blend of pace, power and agility haven’t eluded him, and it’s a mix that will frighten even the mighty All Blacks.

Boots worn – adidas CrazyQuick Malice
North is one of Adidas’ most prominent rugby endorsers and he’s been the longtime face of the CrazyQuick Malice silo, meaning both our Lions wingers have opted for the speed and agility-optimising boot.


15) Full back – Stuart Hogg (Scotland)


The loan Scotsman in our Lions 15 he may be, but there’s an argument to be made that the men in blue have provided the Lions with their best player. With ball in hand, Hogg is one of the most dangerous and exciting attacking players in all of world rugby. With next level pace and acceleration and the vision to spot a gap in any defence, Hogg is a genuine threat to score from anywhere on the field.

Boots worn – Nike Tiempo Legend VI
Hogg has been a longtime aficionado of Nike boots, but he swapped from the Magista silo, which he was wearing as recently as the autumn, for the more classic Tiempo Legend boot. With Hogg being on call as Scotland’s long-range goal kicker, perhaps he favours the control of the more kicker-focused silo?

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