My Lions 2013 XV pre summer tour.

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Post by robshaw4england on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 12:20 pm

This would be my Lions XV based on this seasons performances both domestically and at the international level, and in some cases on their sheer class. (e.g. BOD)

A.Team

15. R.Kearney (Ire)
14. G.North (Wal)
13. B.O'Driscoll (Ire)
12. J.Roberts (Wal)
11. T.Visser (Sco)
10. J.Sexton (Ire)
09. M.Phillips (Wal)

08. T.Faletau (Wal)
07. S.Warburton (Wal)
06. C.Robshaw (Eng)
05. P.O'Connell (Ire)
04. R.Gray (Sco)
03. D.Cole (Eng)
02. D.Hartley (Eng)
01. G.Jenkins (Wal)

B.Team

15. B.Foden (Eng)
14. L.Halfpenny (Wal)
13. M.Tuilagi (Eng)
12. J.Davies (Wal)
11. T.Bowe (Ire)
10. R.Priestland (Wal)
09. D.Care (Eng)

08. S.O'Brien (Ire)
07. J.Tipuric (Wal)
06. S.Ferris (Ire)
05. G.Parling (Eng)
04. I.Evans (Wal)
03. A.Jones (Wal)
02. R.Ford (Sco)
01. C.Healy (Ire)

Obviously some controversial decisions, but that's my opinion. Thoughts?

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Post by Biltong on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 12:28 pm

Mine

15. R.Kearney (Ire)
14. G.North (Wal)
13. J Davies (Wal)
12. J.Roberts (Wal)
11. Ashton (Eng)
10. J.Sexton (Ire)
09. M.Phillips (Wal)

08. Morgan (Eng)
07. S.Warburton (Wal)
06. Croft (Eng)
05. P.O'Connell (Ire)
04. R.Gray (Sco)
03. D.Cole (Eng)
02. R Best (Ire)
01. G.Jenkins (Wal)

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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 12:33 pm

Kearney
Halfpenny
BOD
JD2
North
Sexton
Phillips
Faletau
Warburton
Lydiate
POC
Gray
Adam
Best
Gethin

Subs
James
Rees
Ryan jones
SOB
care
Flood
Hook


Mid week

Foden
Visser
Williams
Roberts
Tuilagi
Priestland
Youngs
O'Mahony(young Munster eight? Apologies for not remembering his name)
Tuperic
Wood
Charteris
AWJ
Cole
Ford
Heeley

Corbisiero
Owens
Parling
Denton
Knoyle
Priestland
Scott Williams

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Post by thomh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 12:39 pm

Were the tour against South Africa I'd be tempted to put Robshaw in there. As it is, Croft is probably a good choice. The back row is going to be ludicrously competitive though.

For what it's worth:

1. Marler (wild card, and assuming he is england first choice in the near future, having a front row used to playing together could be very valuable)
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Gray
5. Charteris
6. Croft
7. Warburton
8. Morgan/Denton/Faletau (absolutely no idea)

9. Phillips
10. Sexton
11. Visser
12. Davies
13. Tuilagi (a couple of poor games have been over exaggerated)
14. North
15. Kearney

So many of these selections are interdependent though. For example, if you were confident of making breaks through midfield and around the fringes, then Ashton would be a good choice on the wing because of his support play. Similarly, if you select Croft at 6, then you can afford to have second rows who aren't necessarily primary lineout guys, but if Ferris/O'Brien/Lydiate etc beat Croft to the 6 shirt, then you'd have to reconsider the second row partnership.

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Post by Submachine on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 12:40 pm

robshaw4england wrote:This would be my Lions XV based on this seasons performances both domestically and at the international level, and in some cases on their sheer class. (e.g. BOD)

A.Team

15. R.Kearney (Ire)
14. G.North (Wal)
13. B.O'Driscoll (Ire)
12. J.Roberts (Wal)
11. T.Visser (Sco)
10. J.Sexton (Ire)
09. M.Phillips (Wal)

08. T.Faletau (Wal)
07. S.Warburton (Wal)
06. C.Robshaw (Eng)
05. P.O'Connell (Ire)
04. R.Gray (Sco)
03. D.Cole (Eng)
02. D.Hartley (Eng)
01. G.Jenkins (Wal)

B.Team

15. B.Foden (Eng)
14. L.Halfpenny (Wal)
13. M.Tuilagi (Eng)
12. J.Davies (Wal)
11. T.Bowe (Ire)
10. R.Priestland (Wal)
09. D.Care (Eng)

08. S.O'Brien (Ire)
07. J.Tipuric (Wal)
06. S.Ferris (Ire)
05. G.Parling (Eng)
04. I.Evans (Wal)
03. A.Jones (Wal)
02. R.Ford (Sco)
01. C.Healy (Ire)

Obviously some controversial decisions, but that's my opinion. Thoughts?

Thoughts
Why no room for 6 Nations top try scorer Bowe in A team or player of the tournament Lydiate in either team, if based on this seasons performances?
Robshaw ahead of Ferris. Really?
Why S O'Brien out of position ahead of Denton or Morgan both specialist 8's
On what basis can you promote Hartley ahead of Ford and Best?

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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 12:44 pm

Submachine wrote:
robshaw4england wrote:This would be my Lions XV based on this seasons performances both domestically and at the international level, and in some cases on their sheer class. (e.g. BOD)

A.Team

15. R.Kearney (Ire)
14. G.North (Wal)
13. B.O'Driscoll (Ire)
12. J.Roberts (Wal)
11. T.Visser (Sco)
10. J.Sexton (Ire)
09. M.Phillips (Wal)

08. T.Faletau (Wal)
07. S.Warburton (Wal)
06. C.Robshaw (Eng)
05. P.O'Connell (Ire)
04. R.Gray (Sco)
03. D.Cole (Eng)
02. D.Hartley (Eng)
01. G.Jenkins (Wal)

B.Team

15. B.Foden (Eng)
14. L.Halfpenny (Wal)
13. M.Tuilagi (Eng)
12. J.Davies (Wal)
11. T.Bowe (Ire)
10. R.Priestland (Wal)
09. D.Care (Eng)

08. S.O'Brien (Ire)
07. J.Tipuric (Wal)
06. S.Ferris (Ire)
05. G.Parling (Eng)
04. I.Evans (Wal)
03. A.Jones (Wal)
02. R.Ford (Sco)
01. C.Healy (Ire)

Obviously some controversial decisions, but that's my opinion. Thoughts?

Thoughts
Why no room for 6 Nations top try scorer Bowe in A team or player of the tournament Lydiate in either team, if based on this seasons performances?
Robshaw ahead of Ferris. Really?
Why S O'Brien out of position ahead of Denton or Morgan both specialist 8's
On what basis can you promote Hartley ahead of Ford and Best?
Its just his opionion on what he thinks is the best team...you can submit your team if you want

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Post by sugarNspikes on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 12:48 pm

1. Jenkins
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Gray
5. O'Connell
6. Croft
7. Warburton
8. Morgan

9. Care
10. Sexton
11. Bowe
12. Davies
13. Tuilagi
14. North
15. Kearney

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Post by Submachine on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 12:59 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Submachine wrote:
robshaw4england wrote:This would be my Lions XV based on this seasons performances both domestically and at the international level, and in some cases on their sheer class. (e.g. BOD)

A.Team

15. R.Kearney (Ire)
14. G.North (Wal)
13. B.O'Driscoll (Ire)
12. J.Roberts (Wal)
11. T.Visser (Sco)
10. J.Sexton (Ire)
09. M.Phillips (Wal)

08. T.Faletau (Wal)
07. S.Warburton (Wal)
06. C.Robshaw (Eng)
05. P.O'Connell (Ire)
04. R.Gray (Sco)
03. D.Cole (Eng)
02. D.Hartley (Eng)
01. G.Jenkins (Wal)

B.Team

15. B.Foden (Eng)
14. L.Halfpenny (Wal)
13. M.Tuilagi (Eng)
12. J.Davies (Wal)
11. T.Bowe (Ire)
10. R.Priestland (Wal)
09. D.Care (Eng)

08. S.O'Brien (Ire)
07. J.Tipuric (Wal)
06. S.Ferris (Ire)
05. G.Parling (Eng)
04. I.Evans (Wal)
03. A.Jones (Wal)
02. R.Ford (Sco)
01. C.Healy (Ire)

Obviously some controversial decisions, but that's my opinion. Thoughts?

Thoughts
Why no room for 6 Nations top try scorer Bowe in A team or player of the tournament Lydiate in either team, if based on this seasons performances?
Robshaw ahead of Ferris. Really?
Why S O'Brien out of position ahead of Denton or Morgan both specialist 8's
On what basis can you promote Hartley ahead of Ford and Best?
Its just his opionion on what he thinks is the best team...you can submit your team if you want

True but the last line of r4e post is "Thoughts?" These are they.

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Post by bedfordwelsh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:02 pm

A.Team

15. R.Kearney (Ire)
14. G.North (Wal)
13. B.O'Driscoll (Ire)
12. J. Davies (Wal)
11. T.Bowe (Ire)
10. J.Sexton (Ire)
09. M.Phillips (Wal)

08. J Heaslip (Ire)
07. S.Warburton (Wal)
06. D. Lydiate (Wal)
05. I. Evans (Wal)
04. R.Gray (Sco)
03. A. Jones (Wa)
02. R. Best (Ire)
01. G.Jenkins (Wal)

B.Team

15. B.Foden (Eng)
14. L.Halfpenny (Wal)
13. M.Tuilagi (Eng)
12. J.Roberts (Wal)
11. A. Cuthbert (Wal)
10. R.Priestland (Wal)
09. D.Care (Eng)

08. T Faletau (Ire)
07. J.Tipuric (Wal)
06. S.Ferris (Ire)
05. L Charteris (Wal)
04. A W Jones (Wal)
03. D. Cole (Eng)
02. R.Ford (Sco)
01. A Corbisiero (Eng)
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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:14 pm

There are a cracking bunch of lads in contention at the moment, from all nations.

Reading through the suggestions above no ones team would let us down. When you look at even the mid week team suggestions with so much quality this tour could be epic.

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Post by bedfordwelsh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:18 pm

maes,

As has been said before there is a lot of rugby to go between now and then but this could be one of the strongest sides going out on tour for sometime.

I know some people have said there could be upto 15 welsh players going which would be great but when you look at the back row in particular its not a given that all out 3 would go.

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Post by wales606 on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:23 pm

1st XXIII

15. Rob Kearney (ire)
14. Tommy Bowe (ire)
13. Brian O'Driscoll (ire)
12. Jonathon Davies (wal)
11. George North (wal)
10. Jonathon Sexton (ire)
9. Mike Phillips (wal)
8. Ben Morgan (eng)
7. Sam Warburton (wal)
6. Dan Lydiate (wal)
5. Richie Gray (sco)
4. Ian Evans (wal)
3. Adam Jones (wal)
2. Rory Best (ire)
1. Cian Healy (ire)

16. Ken Owens (wal)
17. Gethin Jenkins (wal)
18. Dan Cole (eng)
19. Paul O'Connell (ire)
20. Sean O'Brien (ire)
21. Ben Youngs (eng)
22. Rhys Preistland (wal)
23. Leigh Halfpenny (wal)

2nd XXIII

1. Alex Corbisiero (eng)
2. Ross Ford (sco)
3. Mike Ross (ire)
4. Alun Wyn Jones
5. Courtney Lawes (eng)
6. Stephen Ferris (ire)
7. Justin Tipuric (wal)
8. Toby Faletau (wal)
9. Eoin Reddan (ire)
10. Toby Flood (eng)
11. Alex Cuthbert (wal)
12. Jamie Roberts (wal)
13. Manusamoa Tuilangi (eng)
14. Chris Ashton (eng)
15. Ben Foden (eng)

16. Matthew Rees (wal)
17. Paul James (wal)
18. Euan Murray (sco)
19. Luke Charteris (wal)
20. David Denton (sco)
21. Greg Laidlaw (sco)
22. Owen Farrell (eng)
23. Stuart Hogg (sco)
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Post by RubyGuby on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:26 pm

Lions on 2013 form and pure class alone

15. R.Kearney (Ire)
14. G.North (Wal)
13. B.O'Driscoll (Ire)
12. J. Davies (Wal)
11. T.Bowe (Ire)
10. J.Sexton (Ire)
09. M.Phillips (Wal)

08. B. Morgan (Eng)
07. S.Warburton (Wal)
06. S. Ferris (Ire)
05. I. Evans (Wal)
04. R.Gray (Sco)
03. A. Jones (Wa)
02. R. Best (Ire)
01. G.Jenkins (Wal)

thumbsup

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Post by Feckless Rogue on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:26 pm

1. Corbisiero
2. Best
3. Cole
4. Gray
5. O'Connell
6. Ferris
7. Warburton
8. O'Brien

9. Care
10. Sexton
11. North
12. Roberts
13. O'Driscoll
14. Cuthbert
15. Kearney
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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:36 pm

Still too early to call IMO. Let's see who is still available after the summer tours.
There are probably only 2 certain starters in the first team BOD & Warburton & they are both prone to injuries.

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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:38 pm

bedfordwelsh wrote:maes,

As has been said before there is a lot of rugby to go between now and then but this could be one of the strongest sides going out on tour for sometime.

I know some people have said there could be upto 15 welsh players going which would be great but when you look at the back row in particular its not a given that all out 3 would go.


Bedford mate you are right.

Plenty of time to go. But yes the competition, especially the backrow will be very tough, all the home nations bring a lot of quality, some not yet seen on the international pitch.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:42 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Still too early to call IMO. Let's see who is still available after the summer tours.
There are probably only 2 certain starters in the first team BOD & Warburton & they are both prone to injuries.

I'd add Richie Grey (Grey or Gray?) to that list but this will be the strongest Lions squad in the professional era and I'm expecting big things from them.

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Post by wales606 on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:42 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Still too early to call IMO. Let's see who is still available after the summer tours.
There are probably only 2 certain starters in the first team BOD & Warburton & they are both prone to injuries.

I woudn't say BOD is nailed on. He is getting on a bit, and JD2 was the best 13 in the 6N (although BOD has returned to form for Leinster)

Kearney would be nailed on if it wasn't for Halfpenny's goal kicking.

Rory Best is pretty far out ahead of anyone, as is Gray at the moment.
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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:46 pm

JD2 with bod would be a great centre partnership..

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Post by Chjw131 on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 1:46 pm

It's always difficult to pick what most would consider to be a 'fair' Lions XV as it really depends on how you see the Lions. In theory it's the best of the home nations in each position against the SH.

In practice though, as with everything in life it isn't that black and white. There are concepts to consider such as combinations as tomh points out. Also one needs to give some thought to the idea that the Lions should in some part be representative of the home nations. Controversial for some I know, but it's a position i've been more supportive of in recent times.

Hence I don't think your team Bedfordwelsh is particularly diplomatic in that regard!

Bearing in mind these points i'll list my XXII below, with players I consider nailed on first XV starters and those where there is a bit more debate and diplomacy asterisked.

1. G Jenkins (WAL)
2. D Hartley* (ENG)
3. D Cole (ENG)
4. R Gray (SCO)
5. P O'Connell (IRE)
6. T Croft* (ENG)
7. S Warburton (WAL)
8. D Denton* (SCO)
9. M Phillips (WAL)
10. J Sexton (IRE)
11. T Bowe (IRE)
12. J Davies (WAL)
13. Brian O'Driscoll* (IRE)
14. C Ashton* (ENG)
15. R Kearney (IRE)

16. R Best (IRE) 17. A Jones (WAL) 18. G Parling (ENG) 19. S'Obrien (IRE) 20. B Youngs (ENG) 21. R Priestland (WAL) 22. G North (WAL)

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Post by bedfordwelsh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 2:01 pm

CHjw,

Out of the ones with * against them then Denton could well be there on form rather than diplomacy.

The others well yeah there are currently better on form players than them about though BOD is BOD and who knows how he will last this coming season.
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Post by Chjw131 on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 2:34 pm

Just to outline the players asterisked, i've picked them firstly on merit but as a secondary weighted factor on nationality balance.

Hartley looked good against the Baa Baas and has looked revitalised for a rest. His loose play is good, he's faultless in the lineout and he's already been to OZ and won. There's little to choose between Ford, Best and Hartley for me but that combination in the scrum combined with Gethin and Cole's work in the loose could make for a deadly front row.

I chose Croft at 6 because he offers so much in the lineout and loose play that he stands above the competition in the sort of game that Australia will play. He's already a Lion, has beaten Australia twice and has the pace of a winger. Had we been facing SA I would've picked Ferris.

Denton at 8 could be superb against OZ. Heaslip I felt is out of form at present and has showed little. SOB is more a 6 for me and Morgan could easily have got the spot were there not a need for more Scottish representation.

BOD and Ashton were selected mainly for their class and established reputations. This could be BOD's swan song and he looked pretty good in the HEC run in. Ashton against OZ is a proven threat, has already beaten them and has started to show signs of regaining that sort of form. Tough on North but he does make the bench; I just don't feel we need to crash and bash completely in OZ!

In all I think it's pretty representative with Wales making up the majority as form champions. Some proven winners from 6N runners-up and former champions England combined with some new talent from Scotland and proven oldies from Ireland.


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Post by Chjw131 on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 2:35 pm

I agree on Denton bedford but the same may be said of Ben Morgan. It's not purely on diplomacy, but where there is no clear and nailed on starter such as Kearney then the diplomacy is the kicker.

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Post by bedfordwelsh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 2:43 pm

Yeah agree and Halfpenny may well get at least a bench or back three spot due to that long range ability.

You only have to look back to 97 to see how the Lions done anything to get Jinks onto the field due to his kicking.
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Post by thomh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 2:47 pm

maestegmafia wrote:JD2 with bod would be a great centre partnership..

I think you need one of Roberts or Tuilagi in there at this stage. Big hitters in defence and hard ball carriers to bring down. Manu also offers another hand at competing with Pocock, and Roberts' Lions form from last time can't really be ignored.

Not sure that trying to play the Aussies at their own game would work necessarily. O'Connor, Beale, Barnes and Cooper are probably the best there are in terms of skilful ball-playing backs. We need to outplay them physically in my view.

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Post by ultra on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 2:49 pm

I don't think this is possible really. So many folks seeing BOD for example as a nailed on cert. whereas I think it'd take a real stretch of the imagination to be able to see him still playing at any sort of level next year. Let's see how he fares this summer, both in form and in body.
If I had to pick one 'cert' from each home nation though they'd be:
Wales - (ok, we all know there's more than one but going off form, age/injuries and class), JD2
Scotland - Grey
England - Cole
Ireland - Bowe

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Post by thomh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 2:55 pm

ultra

I'd say Warburton for Wales and Kearney for Ireland. Both the outstanding players in their position out of the four countries right now. Agree on Gray.

England is a tricky one. We're at the stage in terms of squad development where we could have anywhere between 0 and 6 in the first XV. Loads of guys like Cole, Croft, Hartley, Morgan, Ashton, Foden, Robshaw, Tuilagi etc who a good case could be made for, but no-one who's the clear cut best in their position at this point. I'd arguably have a quite a few of those guys in the team, but a number of them (especially Croft and Ashton) will come down to tactical considerations.

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Post by bedfordwelsh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 2:59 pm

ultra,

If you had to pick one cert from each then for me ours (Wales) would be Adam Jones.

I know Cole has youth on his side but for me Adam is petty much up there at top of tree right now.

The Scotland cert I would agree with

Ireland for me would be Sexton

England possibly Morgan
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Post by thomh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:01 pm

bedfordwelsh

Jones obviously is outstanding and has a good shot at the first team jersey. I'd say Cole is much stronger competition for him at 3 than Warburton currently has at 7 though, so I'd still have Warburton as Wales' nailed-on starter.

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Post by ultra on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:01 pm

thomh wrote:ultra

I'd say Warburton for Wales and Kearney for Ireland. Both the outstanding players in their position out of the four countries right now. Agree on Gray.

England is a tricky one. We're at the stage in terms of squad development where we could have anywhere between 0 and 6 in the first XV. Loads of guys like Cole, Croft, Hartley, Morgan, Ashton, Foden, Robshaw, Tuilagi etc who a good case could be made for, but no-one who's the clear cut best in their position at this point. I'd arguably have a quite a few of those guys in the team, but a number of them (especially Croft and Ashton) will come down to tactical considerations.

I would have agreed with Warburton entirely but when someone takes the knocks he does I start to wonder if his body will hold up. That knocked him down a few points in my lions-o-meter. Kearney? Yeah, decent call, as a British and Irish supporter in 2013, I'd be happy to see either of them run out for us.

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Post by bedfordwelsh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:06 pm

thomh wrote:bedfordwelsh

Jones obviously is outstanding and has a good shot at the first team jersey. I'd say Cole is much stronger competition for him at 3 than Warburton currently has at 7 though, so I'd still have Warburton as Wales' nailed-on starter.

thomh,

Yeah I would agree with you there and will change my Irish one also as forgot about Kearney who has been on fire this season and would be nailed on to start at XV.
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Post by thomh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:17 pm

What would be great from the Lions point of view is if the 8 man bench is adopted permanently at international level. Even if Australia have a competent scrummaging pack at the time, it still wont be pleasant for them to see an entire first choice international front row come off at 50-60 minutes just to be replaced by another entire first choice international front row.

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Post by wales606 on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:36 pm

thomh wrote:What would be great from the Lions point of view is if the 8 man bench is adopted permanently at international level. Even if Australia have a competent scrummaging pack at the time, it still wont be pleasant for them to see an entire first choice international front row come off at 50-60 minutes just to be replaced by another entire first choice international front row.

Looks likely to happen with the new law changes.

Bored of Adam and Gethin? Here's Cian Healy and Dan Cole instead...
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Post by RubyGuby on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:42 pm

POC has had his day and was very ineffectual in the 6 Nations - Can't really understand his inclusion with so many other options out there thumbsup

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:43 pm

Another Lions article Yahoo

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Post by asoreleftshoulder on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:50 pm

RubyGuby wrote:POC has had his day and was very ineffectual in the 6 Nations - Can't really understand his inclusion with so many other options out there thumbsup

That's just wrong,after Ferris he was our best forward but he'll definitely have some huge competition next year.

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Post by ultra on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:56 pm

asoreleftshoulder wrote:
RubyGuby wrote:POC has had his day and was very ineffectual in the 6 Nations - Can't really understand his inclusion with so many other options out there thumbsup

That's just wrong,after Ferris he was our best forward but he'll definitely have some huge competition next year.

Yeah, he was far from innefectual but his star is definately on the wane. Another one who would lose out on the lions points because a year's a long time for bashed up bodies like his!

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Post by Knowsit17 on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 4:09 pm

Still wouldn't have Visser until he's shown what he can do in national colours. And even then, would people consider him to be British or Irish? Echoes of Riki Flutey controversy...

Ferris, Lydiate or Croft at blindside rather than Robshaw. That's not his natural position anyway from what people have been telling me.

The rest I can settle for.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 4:47 pm

Not sure how much this means, but here's mine:

15- Kearney
14- Halfpenny
13- BOD
12- JD2 (may switch with BOD)
11- Bowe
10- Sexton
9- Care (fingers crossed)

1-Jones
2- Best
3- Jenkins
4- Gray
5- o' Connell
6- SOB (could be any of about 10 players, frankly)
7- Warburton
8- Denton

2nd team

15- Foden
14- Cuthbert
13- Tuilagi
12- Roberts
11- North
10- Flood
9- Phillips

1- Healey
2- Ford
3- Cole
4- Evans
5- Parling
6- Croft
7- Rennie
8- Faletau

However, I wouldn't be surprised to see any of the following tour as well/instead:

15- Halfpenny, Hogg, Byrne?, Brown
Wing- Trimble, Visser, Wade, Ashton, Kearney Jr
OC- JJ (JD2, Tuilagi and BOD are going to go IMO)
IC- Cave, Barritt, Allen
FH- Farrell, Priestland, Madigan
SH- Laidlaw, Peel (I hope), Youngs, Reddan, Blair

LH- Marler, Corbisiero
HK- Hartley, Rees
TH- can't see much depth here tbh
LKs- AWJ, Bradley Davies, Hamilton, Lawes, Ryan
6- Ferris, Lydiate, Robshaw, Wood, POM, Denton, Brown, Haskell
7- Tipuric, Barclay, SOB, Robshaw, Wood
8- Morgan, Haskell, Heaslip

So basically it is pretty open!
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Post by Chjw131 on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 4:56 pm

thomh wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:JD2 with bod would be a great centre partnership..

I think you need one of Roberts or Tuilagi in there at this stage. Big hitters in defence and hard ball carriers to bring down. Manu also offers another hand at competing with Pocock, and Roberts' Lions form from last time can't really be ignored.

Not sure that trying to play the Aussies at their own game would work necessarily. O'Connor, Beale, Barnes and Cooper are probably the best there are in terms of skilful ball-playing backs. We need to outplay them physically in my view.

I think that's a pretty negative view point tomh. Everyone said that of OZ during the AI's a year or so ago but we blew them of the park with players such as Easter, Tindall and Payne in the team.... OZ are a wonderfully gifted running side but they don't surpass everyone to the point of having to play a different game. If we play SA style rugby down there we'll lose and it'll be tedious.

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Post by monwy on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 5:46 pm

North seems to be an automatic choice for many based on his first year of international rugby, but he's been pretty uninspiring this year, a bit of a nothing 6N with only 1 try to his name and he didn't score at all for his club Scarlets this season. Personally I'd select Halfpenny over him (Bowe on the other wing) and if I wanted a player of a similar physical nature Cuthbert or Visser would be the currently more demanding options.

It'll be interesting what these threads look like when they are inevitably revisited after the summer tours. Will North remain the annointed one no matter his form or will a similar set or performances to his 6N ones from Cuthbert see him become the new favourite and North drop off these starting XVs.

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Post by thomh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 5:48 pm

Chjw131

Fair response, but a couple of points on that:

Firstly, we didn't really blow them off the park. They could have won it with a late penalty in front of the posts, and we benefited from a really strong set piece platform that day. Australia's scrum has improved since then so we can't necessarily rely on such great front-foot ball. I generally like centre partnerships to have one big carrier in them just for balance's sake, and if someone like roberts or tuilagi can tie in two or three defenders it gives your players like davies and o'driscoll a great position on second and third phase.

The second is your point about Tindall and Easter. Payne dominated the scrum on that tour, so not really fair to talk about him as a weak link in that context. Tindall and Easter, as much as people like to have a go at them, are big guys who can carry well in traffic. Surely the success we had with them in the team is actually evidence in favour of my point about having a big guy in the centres?

I don't see that aiming to overpower Australia is negative. I wasn't suggesting that we play 10 man rugby at all - just have a look at the team I selected near the top of the thread - but just that having big backs can be a big factor in outplaying sides.

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Post by thomh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 6:06 pm

One further question - why do people think this Lions squad is shaping up to be so strong? Is it just a cyclical thing, with a new generation of guys emerging, or is it a sign that Northern Hemisphere academies and age group systems have finally started to kick into gear?

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 6:15 pm

More promising than so strong- England appear to be in recovery from a multiple-year slump with a change in focus, Wales' youngsters have been well-blooded, ireland are doing well at Regional level if not so much Internationally, Scotland have a lot of talent in certain places. The academies and providence have given us plenty of options
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Post by Knowsit17 on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 6:38 pm

Overall I think it's fair to say this is the most prospectively exciting tour we have had in a decent number of years. The reserves in strength in depth and the rivalry for places looks to me to be much better than in 2009 and indeed 2005. Youngsters have sprung up from all the home nations over the last two years and are already looking solid and confident in first choice roles. That's mixed in with the more seasoned likes of O'Connell, O'Driscoll, Ryan and Adam Jones, Jenkins, Blair etc.

At this stage we seem to have at least two or three stand-out candidates in most positions (LH Corbisiero, Healy, Jenkins; FB Foden, Halfpenny, Kearney) and in some areas large handfuls of players who greatly spoil us for choice (Back row Croft, Ferris, Lydiate, O'Brien, Rennie, Robshaw, Warburton, Faletau, Heaslip, Morgan Very Happy )

It'll also be interesting to see how these boys, many of them in the first half of their careers and some in the first quarter, get along and combine together. It'll probably be a learning curve for some and when you consider it's against the Aussies, one of the most formidable set of backs in the world, this tour takes on a Drool appearance.

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Post by Seagultaf on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 7:28 pm

monwy wrote:North seems to be an automatic choice for many based on his first year of international rugby, but he's been pretty uninspiring this year, a bit of a nothing 6N with only 1 try to his name and he didn't score at all for his club Scarlets this season. Personally I'd select Halfpenny over him (Bowe on the other wing) and if I wanted a player of a similar physical nature Cuthbert or Visser would be the currently more demanding options.

It'll be interesting what these threads look like when they are inevitably revisited after the summer tours. Will North remain the annointed one no matter his form or will a similar set or performances to his 6N ones from Cuthbert see him become the new favourite and North drop off these starting XVs.

North was outstanding in the World cup and again against Ireland in the 6N. Other sides then focussed their defences on containing him, this meant more room for Cuthbert and Halfpenny. He didn't score for the Scarlets because he hardly ever played for them!

Unless he has a serious drop in form he is a nailed on test starter for the Lions with Bowe on the other wing.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 7:53 pm

I dont inderstand how you can start these threads so early from the start of the Lions tour.

A lot could happen between now and then, players like Gethin Jenkins, who may look good now, but at the end of this season he is moving to France. So might not be avlable for selection.

It is ok picking a team that you would like to play. But the players that you pick now may not be avalble for selection, by injuries, loss of form. etc etc.

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Post by monwy on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 8:14 pm

The World Cup was last year though, my post doesn't dispute he was on form then, it's talking about his form since then. It was more than just defences focussing on him, he simply wasn't performing to the same standard as last year.

He played 12 games for Scarlets this season without scoring. Compare that to Bowe, who scored 5 tries in 13 games for Ospreys or Cuthbert who scored 13 tries in 18 games for Cardiff.

North may well get back to the form he showed in his first year, it would be great if he does, but there has definitely been a drop that he needs to return from before being nailed on as a starter, and at present other players are putting their hands up higher.

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Post by thomh on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 8:26 pm

majesticimperialman

I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that their selected team will be the same in a year's time. These threads are a nice way of comparing where the respective teams are at the moment, and some common ground where posters from all the four home nations get to discuss a team that we all support. I don't see a problem with it.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 8:34 pm

thomh wrote:majesticimperialman

I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that their selected team will be the same in a year's time. These threads are a nice way of comparing where the respective teams are at the moment, and some common ground where posters from all the four home nations get to discuss a team that we all support. I don't see a problem with it.

I dont realy have a problem with these sort of threads, but usaly if you are Welsh, then you will be a little bias to having more Weslh than say English, Irish, or even Scottish. it is like wise what ever team you support you are going to want the most of your players in the Lions squad.

That is why i would rather wait untill nearer the time before i start picking players for a Lions squad.

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