At the halfway stage of the British & Irish Lions tour, HSBC, Principal Partner of the Lions, has announced the leading contenders for the HSBC Player of the Tour.
With five games under their belts and an unbeaten record, Ian McGeechan’s Lions have seen plenty of impressive individual performances.
Ireland winger Tommy Bowe, the tour’s top try scorer with four touchdowns, is currently leading the player’s poll as voted for by members of the travelling British and Irish media.
The media have been voting for their top three Lions players after each match, with five points for first position, three for second and one point for those voted third each game.
Bowe, a key member of the Grand Slam-winning side, has started the tour in very impressive fashion, scoring four tries and creating a number of others, leading many observers to view him as a probable starter for Saturday’s first Test against the Springboks.
The Monaghan man leads the poll on 132 points, three points ahead of Cardiff Blues centre Jamie Roberts (129) and a further 22 ahead of his Ospreys colleague Lee Byrne (107).
Commenting on last Saturday’s win over Western Province in his tour blog, Bowe said the Lions had ‘made it hard work’ for themselves.
“James Hook showed real character and balls to step up and nail that kick at the end, I can only admire players that have the nerve to do that,” he said.
“I wouldn’t like to think what must go through their heads.
“Personally, I didn’t really enjoy the match as it was very stop-start but was happy getting over the line and helping out in Ugo’s try.
“The rain was very strange, it didn’t just pour for long periods like at home, just short and sharp which left us drenched – although it didn’t compare to anything I have experienced on wet nights in the Magners League.
“The supporters were brilliant at the game and certainly didn’t let the rain dampen their mood. It was hard to concentrate, they were singing so loud I had to have a laugh to myself.”
Voting for the HSBC Player of the Tour will continue throughout the rest of the tour with the winning player receiving an award, on behalf of the media, courtesy of HSBC.