2017 Lions Player Retrospective: Jonathan Davies
Jonathan Davies left the Land of the Long White Cloud as the third Welshman in a row to be named Player of the Series after a stunning Tour in New Zealand.
Following on from Jamie Roberts in 2009 and Leigh Halfpenny in 2013, the centre played every minute of the three Tests, producing outstanding displays both in defence and attack, as the Lions secured a 1-1 series draw.
Davies has now been an integral part of Warren Gatland’s plans for two successive Series, having also started all three Tests in Australia four years ago.
— British&Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) July 8, 2017
His stellar Test Series in New Zeaalnd got off to the perfect start when he received a pass from fly half Jonathan Sexton in the midfield, turned on the afterburners and powered his way through the All Blacks midfield.
Davies scampered 45 metres alone in that stunning burst in an impressive start to the Series.
In the 15-15 draw in Auckland, Davies showed his defensive prowess with a crucial covering tackle as he raced back to tackle Ngani Laumape when the All Black centre looked to be away.
And he was at it again the final Test when the Scarlets star showed all his grit to make a huge tackle on full back Jordie Barrett midway through the first half.
Davies would also play a part in one the great Lions tries in the opening Test as he showed great composure and awareness to spot winger Elliot Daly and then danced past a defender once receiving the ball back before off-loading to Sean O’Brien to do the rest.
Following his colossal performances Davies was named Player of the Series, something he felt very humbled by.
He said: “I’m very humble, chuffed to bits to get the award, voted by your peers. But you look back and it’s a team effort, with 40-odd players and we dug in and achieved something very special. I’m chuffed to bits.”
Everywhere on the field, Davies also took time away from the pitch to get involved in the Tour, joining Dan Cole and CJ Stander on a visit to Northcross Intermediate School where they were bombarded with questions and showered in gifts by the pupils.
In total, the classy centre played 348 minutes for Gatland’s Lions, gaining a total of 220 metres and beating 10 defenders in what was a memorable Tour.