Hereâ00s what they thinkâ0¦
Richard Cockerill â00 forwards coach Leicester Tigers
â00I think itâ00s a big year for all the guys. The English guys that are in the Elite Player Squad know thereâ00s the added bonus of a Lions tour at the end of the season. The incentive to play well for your country is heightened even more. Itâ00s a four-year cycle for the Lions and, in lots of careers, you donâ00t get that opportunity.
â00Weâ00ve got eight guys in the senior EPS and three in the Saxons so weâ00ve got a great chance of having a few Lions next year. Geordan Murphy will hopefully be there or thereabouts with the Ireland squad as well.
â00Itâ00s all about who hits their straps early, whoâ00s on good form and which team is successful. If England can come through and top the Six Nations or win the Grand Slam then that will push a lot of players to the forefront of selection.
â00Itâ00s the pinnacle of a lot of Test players careers to go on a Lions tour. The World Champions versus the Lions is going to be a massive event and a lot of guys will see that as a huge incentive to get fit, stay fit and play well.â0
Steve Meehan â00 Bath Rugby
â00If the guys use the Lions tour as motivation and it works well for Bath, then terrific.
â00From Bath, theyâ00ve got to make it into their national side, though. If you make that transition, then you get the opportunity to play Test rugby, whether it be in the autumn or Six Nations. Thatâ00s where youâ00ll have to prove yourself to go on into the British and Irish Lions squad.
â00To make that step and make sure England are playing well and to give yourself the best chance of making the Lions â00 does it provide motivation â00 perhaps. For those who are in the Elite Player Squad now thereâ00s perhaps an added incentive and also for others currently outside that squad.
â00We saw on the last Lions tour that the bolter (Ryan Jones) came from Wales and ended up being probably the best performer, so anythingâ00s possible.â0
Sean Holley - Ospreys
â00Itâ00s something thatâ00s way down the line with them but will grow as the season goes on.
â00Theyâ00ve got other things on their mind with the start of the season with the Ospreys and building to the start of the international season. As theyâ00ll tell you themselves, if they donâ00t hit form with their clubs or regions, they wonâ00t hit international rugby and therefore the Lions will be something thatâ00s out of their reach.â0