Schmitt and cotter interviewing for lions job

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Post by stevetynant on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 8:42 pm

First topic message reminder :

Read that John spencer has confirmed that both cotter and Schmitt will be interviewed for the lions job today.this amazes me,not that I don't think they could do the job but that Schmitt is being considered whilst not committing,publicly at least for the Ireland post. Gatland remains favourite but not a one horse race I would say.just not sure what to make of this, what do other Ireland fans think this says about joes future prospects of taking Ireland to Japan for the next World Cup now?

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Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 28 Jul 2016, 10:42 pm

Miaow,

It's interesting that you consider a sufficiency of logic to be inversely proportional to the amount of thought put into an idea...

therefore I can do nothing but respond with:

thumbsup

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 28 Jul 2016, 10:44 pm

I don't think its strange, right now, to suggest that the current England team, with its existing structures and familiarity, would do better than the Lions scratch team against whoever. This DOES NOT mean that there are not better individual players throughout GB and Ireland. It certainly doesn't mean that the Lions should be a shadow England team either.

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Post by theslosty on Thu 28 Jul 2016, 11:48 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Miaow,

It's interesting that you consider a sufficiency of logic to be inversely proportional to the amount of thought put into an idea...

therefore I can do nothing but respond with:

thumbsup
Very good Smile
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 10:18 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There's a few positions where come next year there may be a couple more serious options; I think inside centre is one of those. I would be disappointed if Roberts were 1st choice by then.

Depends on what you mean by "serious options".

From a rugby perspective if fans seriously want the Lions to win then why would there be any selections outside the England Test team?

Because despite England being the best side in the NH at the moment, they don't have the best players in each and every position. It's a bit like asking why the England test XV doesn't just take Sarries players, supplementing with players from the next most successful side where Sarries don't have an EQ option.

Worth reading Brian Moore's autobiography. Back in the 1980s and 1990s several England coaches ignored claims from players who didn't play for Bath, on the flawed logic that trying to take as many combinations from Bath as possible would replicate its club success on the international stage.

International rugby, be it England or the Lions, is and will always be best served by trying to blend together the best combinations from the players available. Clearly the top sides will likely have more representatives than the less successful sides, and I'd fully expect the representation of Scotland players to be less than England on that very basis.

There endeth the lesson.

Back in the day it should have been obvious that the Bath experiment wouldn't work because they were trying to pit a club side against Test opposition! (That contest did work for a few clubs against some scratch touring sides though.)
Choosing a Test side such as England to go against a Test side such as the All Blacks is actually playing against the same level. If anything it could be argued that the Lions are not a Test side - they don't have home games or development programmes or underage teams or training sessions and games spread throughout the year and with the same personnel playing together for years or the in depth knowledge of each player. Neither are they playing for their country so the Lions are much more akin to the B&I Barbarians than true Test sides.

So choosing an England team to be Lions is nothing like drawing exclusively on Sarries to represent England - England have an ongoing identity in their own right and can afford to gradually introduce other options over many games and training sessions and compare players from different clubs as much as they want. The modern Lions don't have several months to "blend together", unless they start playing as the Lions in the 6N 7N, in what would be effectively a series of possibles v probables games and that is something I'd hate to see.

Was that the gist of the lesson?

So I think what you're trying so say is that England would beat the Lions, because of the preparation time afforded to England. The reason I disagree is that I believe you could improve England by adding players from other 6 Nations team. For instance I don't think England could really quibble were I to suggest that George North instead of Jack Nowell would make them a better side. Once you accept a team can be improved by adding one or two players, I think it logically follows that the concept of the Lions can create a better team than the sum of its parts.

Where I think we'd agree is that England, in particular the pack, should and will form a large chunk of the Lions contingent, particularly the pack. I can't, for example, imagine a successful Lions pack not including Cole, Hartley, Itoje and Vunipola. I would also imagine that at least one of Kruis and Lawes will tour, and on current form it's hard not to find a place for at least one of Haskell and Robshaw. England have just been to Australia and completed a whitewash, which puts their players in a strong position.

If you had to choose a World XV to take on the world, would you just pick the ABs, or would you, for example, pick David Pocock in place of Sam Cane?

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Post by miaow on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 11:00 am

The Great Aukster wrote:Miaow,

It's interesting that you consider a sufficiency of logic to be inversely proportional to the amount of thought put into an idea...

therefore I can do nothing but respond with:

thumbsup

Not at all. You suggested it would take two days for you to read. The idea of you labouring over my few paragraphs would suggest a life bereft of reading, thus easy to see why you could be...blinkered, shall we say, in your selection criteria.

But anyway, look forward to your reply tomorrow, as I imagine you're halfway through by now? thumbsup

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 11:02 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:All very interesting. England backs haven't really put a foot wrong but I still believe Joseph to be just a little flaky in defence - great attacker though. I also thought the main reason for Farrell playing 12 was because of England's lack of 12 and an unfit Tuilagi. Farrell is there to look after Ford for now, Ford may soon develop to the extent where he doesn't need that, or Ford might even be dropped to bench or beyond next season with Farrell back at 10. Either way that 10/12 axis certainly worked for England, and their forwards haven't been outdone yet either.

I'm not sure why Roberts at 12 requires a more creative 15. With the Eng/Wal midfield combo someone such as Brown or Williams could slot in at full-back and do really well. I'm not getting this "we need a 10/15 player to play full-back" - just go for a full-back. Again Williams would be my choice, he has all that we need and is in great form. Furthermore if the Lions go out and lose the first test I sincerely doubt it will be due to a lack of creativity from full-back.

Not necessarily a more creative footballer at 15, but I believe you'll need that to come from somewhere in the backline to compensate for Roberts' more direct approach at 12. I don't think we can beat the All Blacks solely relying on 10 to be comfortable distributing the ball and putting others into space. If 10 is at the bottom of the ruck, we'll need someone else to step up and run the show. Doesn't really have to be 12, 15 or any other position in particular, but you need a balance between your ball carriers, footballers and strike runners, unless you have players who can do pretty much everything (which the ABs always seems to have).

Out of interest what exactly are you proposing as your Lions backline?

Fair enough. I just think that if the players are good enough you can throw them in and they'll play well together. I wouldn't overthink the combinations.

I might be a little biased but I'd go with - Murray, Biggar, Seymour, Roberts, Joseph, North, Williams. On the bench Youngs, Farrell, and going for the bolter McCloskey. Another good bolter might be Jared Payne. Last year I would have pencilled in Webb and Davies for the No.9 shirt but I haven't been as impressed with them in more recent times, but both are still likely to tour.


Not a bad side. I think Anthony Watson has to make it in there either at wing or full back, and even as a Scot I'd quibble over Tommy Seymour. He could make the tour and he is a fine finisher, but can go AWOL in defence sometimes.

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Post by BamBam on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 11:05 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
BamBam wrote:Mikey, I can't believe we're talking about the same player!

Kuridrani is usually a big line breaker for Oz, he barely got through Joseph once in all 3 tests. I haven't got the stats, but I can't remember a missed tackle, and that includes Folau coming down his channel

Well it doesn't seem like you're certain about that? Maybe it's me just remembering his errors more than other people. I seem to remember Folau causing England a lot of problems in defence too, especially in that first test.

Well I don't want to say with absolute certainty, but I'm pretty confident

As far as I remember what happened with Folau, he tended to pick off forwards wider out when he made his breaks, but our scramble defence was generally pretty good.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 11:27 am

I'd also pick Stuart Hogg at fullback, but I can't claim neutrality on that one!

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Post by lostinwales on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 12:08 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There's a few positions where come next year there may be a couple more serious options; I think inside centre is one of those. I would be disappointed if Roberts were 1st choice by then.

Depends on what you mean by "serious options".

From a rugby perspective if fans seriously want the Lions to win then why would there be any selections outside the England Test team?

Because despite England being the best side in the NH at the moment, they don't have the best players in each and every position. It's a bit like asking why the England test XV doesn't just take Sarries players, supplementing with players from the next most successful side where Sarries don't have an EQ option.

Worth reading Brian Moore's autobiography. Back in the 1980s and 1990s several England coaches ignored claims from players who didn't play for Bath, on the flawed logic that trying to take as many combinations from Bath as possible would replicate its club success on the international stage.

International rugby, be it England or the Lions, is and will always be best served by trying to blend together the best combinations from the players available. Clearly the top sides will likely have more representatives than the less successful sides, and I'd fully expect the representation of Scotland players to be less than England on that very basis.

There endeth the lesson.

Back in the day it should have been obvious that the Bath experiment wouldn't work because they were trying to pit a club side against Test opposition! (That contest did work for a few clubs against some scratch touring sides though.)
Choosing a Test side such as England to go against a Test side such as the All Blacks is actually playing against the same level. If anything it could be argued that the Lions are not a Test side - they don't have home games or development programmes or underage teams or training sessions and games spread throughout the year and with the same personnel playing together for years or the in depth knowledge of each player. Neither are they playing for their country so the Lions are much more akin to the B&I Barbarians than true Test sides.

So choosing an England team to be Lions is nothing like drawing exclusively on Sarries to represent England - England have an ongoing identity in their own right and can afford to gradually introduce other options over many games and training sessions and compare players from different clubs as much as they want. The modern Lions don't have several months to "blend together", unless they start playing as the Lions in the 6N 7N, in what would be effectively a series of possibles v probables games and that is something I'd hate to see.

Was that the gist of the lesson?

So I think what you're trying so say is that England would beat the Lions, because of the preparation time afforded to England. The reason I disagree is that I believe you could improve England by adding players from other 6 Nations team. For instance I don't think England could really quibble were I to suggest that George North instead of Jack Nowell would make them a better side. Once you accept a team can be improved by adding one or two players, I think it logically follows that the concept of the Lions can create a better team than the sum of its parts.

Where I think we'd agree is that England, in particular the pack, should and will form a large chunk of the Lions contingent, particularly the pack. I can't, for example, imagine a successful Lions pack not including Cole, Hartley, Itoje and Vunipola. I would also imagine that at least one of Kruis and Lawes will tour, and on current form it's hard not to find a place for at least one of Haskell and Robshaw. England have just been to Australia and completed a whitewash, which puts their players in a strong position.

If you had to choose a World XV to take on the world, would you just pick the ABs, or would you, for example, pick David Pocock in place of Sam Cane?

Its best team vs best individual players. In a perfect world and given enough time you can take the best individuals and form them into a better team, but the key thing is that its a team game, and at the current time the England team would probably beat a Lions team because they would simply score more points.

Look personally I am not sure if there is a place for the Lions and I resent the loss of a summer's development in what is a very promising England team. But if you are going to have a Lions team then it should properly be a combination of the four nations and it should not be overly dominated by a single nation, England or otherwise.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 12:48 pm

BamBam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
BamBam wrote:Mikey, I can't believe we're talking about the same player!

Kuridrani is usually a big line breaker for Oz, he barely got through Joseph once in all 3 tests. I haven't got the stats, but I can't remember a missed tackle, and that includes Folau coming down his channel

Well it doesn't seem like you're certain about that? Maybe it's me just remembering his errors more than other people. I seem to remember Folau causing England a lot of problems in defence too, especially in that first test.

Well I don't want to say with absolute certainty, but I'm pretty confident

As far as I remember what happened with Folau, he tended to pick off forwards wider out when he made his breaks, but our scramble defence was generally pretty good.

Agree with you Bam Bam- I thought Joseph and particularly his defence, was sublime in Australia. Generally our centres didn't give much space to Australia at all. I do agree with mikey_dragon in that Folau caused a lot of problems, but I seem to remember it was our wings giving up space. As Bam Bam said, also when forwards were found in the back line during scramble defence.

I love the idea of a Roberts & Joseph partnership. I was starting to think Roberts was passed his best, but his excellent 6 Nations was a timely reminder of what he can do. His strong carries should give Joseph more room to show off his attacking prowess too.

That being said, McCloskey (sp?) was a real handful against England in the Six Nations. I don't know why he didn't tour this summer? Anyway, he could make a real push for a starting place. Then there's the perennial very good players- Henshaw, Davies, Taylor, Scott, Farrell, Tuilagi.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:15 pm

lostinwales wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There's a few positions where come next year there may be a couple more serious options; I think inside centre is one of those. I would be disappointed if Roberts were 1st choice by then.

Depends on what you mean by "serious options".

From a rugby perspective if fans seriously want the Lions to win then why would there be any selections outside the England Test team?

Because despite England being the best side in the NH at the moment, they don't have the best players in each and every position. It's a bit like asking why the England test XV doesn't just take Sarries players, supplementing with players from the next most successful side where Sarries don't have an EQ option.

Worth reading Brian Moore's autobiography. Back in the 1980s and 1990s several England coaches ignored claims from players who didn't play for Bath, on the flawed logic that trying to take as many combinations from Bath as possible would replicate its club success on the international stage.

International rugby, be it England or the Lions, is and will always be best served by trying to blend together the best combinations from the players available. Clearly the top sides will likely have more representatives than the less successful sides, and I'd fully expect the representation of Scotland players to be less than England on that very basis.

There endeth the lesson.

Back in the day it should have been obvious that the Bath experiment wouldn't work because they were trying to pit a club side against Test opposition! (That contest did work for a few clubs against some scratch touring sides though.)
Choosing a Test side such as England to go against a Test side such as the All Blacks is actually playing against the same level. If anything it could be argued that the Lions are not a Test side - they don't have home games or development programmes or underage teams or training sessions and games spread throughout the year and with the same personnel playing together for years or the in depth knowledge of each player. Neither are they playing for their country so the Lions are much more akin to the B&I Barbarians than true Test sides.

So choosing an England team to be Lions is nothing like drawing exclusively on Sarries to represent England - England have an ongoing identity in their own right and can afford to gradually introduce other options over many games and training sessions and compare players from different clubs as much as they want. The modern Lions don't have several months to "blend together", unless they start playing as the Lions in the 6N 7N, in what would be effectively a series of possibles v probables games and that is something I'd hate to see.

Was that the gist of the lesson?

So I think what you're trying so say is that England would beat the Lions, because of the preparation time afforded to England. The reason I disagree is that I believe you could improve England by adding players from other 6 Nations team. For instance I don't think England could really quibble were I to suggest that George North instead of Jack Nowell would make them a better side. Once you accept a team can be improved by adding one or two players, I think it logically follows that the concept of the Lions can create a better team than the sum of its parts.

Where I think we'd agree is that England, in particular the pack, should and will form a large chunk of the Lions contingent, particularly the pack. I can't, for example, imagine a successful Lions pack not including Cole, Hartley, Itoje and Vunipola. I would also imagine that at least one of Kruis and Lawes will tour, and on current form it's hard not to find a place for at least one of Haskell and Robshaw. England have just been to Australia and completed a whitewash, which puts their players in a strong position.

If you had to choose a World XV to take on the world, would you just pick the ABs, or would you, for example, pick David Pocock in place of Sam Cane?

Its best team vs best individual players. In a perfect world and given enough time you can take the best individuals and form them into a better team, but the key thing is that its a team game, and at the current time the England team would probably beat a Lions team because they would simply score more points.

Look personally I am not sure if there is a place for the Lions and I resent the loss of a summer's development in what is a very promising England team. But if you are going to have a Lions team then it should properly be a combination of the four nations and it should not be overly dominated by a single nation, England or otherwise.

If you're going to have a Lions team then it should comprise the best players from the four constituent rugby nations. No other criteria are relevant. If that means 40 Englishman then I'm fine with that.

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Post by lostinwales on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 3:53 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:...
If you're going to have a Lions team then it should comprise the best players from the four constituent rugby nations. No other criteria are relevant. If that means 40 Englishman then I'm fine with that.

But what do you learn. If the 'best' party is 40 Englishmen then why not just send England on tour?

If you have a decent mix its more a challenge for the players to develop their style of play to complement each other, which will hopefully stretch and improve their normal game. It also gives players from badly performing national teams a chance to shine that they might not otherwise get.

Are results of Lions tours so important that we have to go for the best team with the price of losing diversity?

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 5:26 pm

lostinwales wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:...
If you're going to have a Lions team then it should comprise the best players from the four constituent rugby nations. No other criteria are relevant. If that means 40 Englishman then I'm fine with that.

But what do you learn. If the 'best' party is 40 Englishmen then why not just send England on tour?

If you have a decent mix its more a challenge for the players to develop their style of play to complement each other, which will hopefully stretch and improve their normal game. It also gives players from badly performing national teams a chance to shine that they might not otherwise get.

Are results of Lions tours so important that we have to go for the best team with the price of losing diversity?

The Lions isn't about "learning" anything, other than whether the 35-40 best players from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland can win a three match test series against South Africa/Australia/New Zealand, and hopefully as many tour games as possible on the way.

What would kill the Lions is a silly exercise in inclusive tokenism. Thankfully those days appear to be behind us and I don't think we've really had that since the 1993 tour.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 10:07 pm

lostinwales wrote:I don't think its strange, right now, to suggest that the current England team, with its existing structures and familiarity, would do better than the Lions scratch team against whoever. This DOES NOT mean that there are not better individual players throughout GB and Ireland. It certainly doesn't mean that the Lions should be a shadow England team either.

Very succinctly put. OK

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 11:19 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There's a few positions where come next year there may be a couple more serious options; I think inside centre is one of those. I would be disappointed if Roberts were 1st choice by then.

Depends on what you mean by "serious options".

From a rugby perspective if fans seriously want the Lions to win then why would there be any selections outside the England Test team?

Because despite England being the best side in the NH at the moment, they don't have the best players in each and every position. It's a bit like asking why the England test XV doesn't just take Sarries players, supplementing with players from the next most successful side where Sarries don't have an EQ option.

Worth reading Brian Moore's autobiography. Back in the 1980s and 1990s several England coaches ignored claims from players who didn't play for Bath, on the flawed logic that trying to take as many combinations from Bath as possible would replicate its club success on the international stage.

International rugby, be it England or the Lions, is and will always be best served by trying to blend together the best combinations from the players available. Clearly the top sides will likely have more representatives than the less successful sides, and I'd fully expect the representation of Scotland players to be less than England on that very basis.

There endeth the lesson.

Back in the day it should have been obvious that the Bath experiment wouldn't work because they were trying to pit a club side against Test opposition! (That contest did work for a few clubs against some scratch touring sides though.)
Choosing a Test side such as England to go against a Test side such as the All Blacks is actually playing against the same level. If anything it could be argued that the Lions are not a Test side - they don't have home games or development programmes or underage teams or training sessions and games spread throughout the year and with the same personnel playing together for years or the in depth knowledge of each player. Neither are they playing for their country so the Lions are much more akin to the B&I Barbarians than true Test sides.

So choosing an England team to be Lions is nothing like drawing exclusively on Sarries to represent England - England have an ongoing identity in their own right and can afford to gradually introduce other options over many games and training sessions and compare players from different clubs as much as they want. The modern Lions don't have several months to "blend together", unless they start playing as the Lions in the 6N 7N, in what would be effectively a series of possibles v probables games and that is something I'd hate to see.

Was that the gist of the lesson?

So I think what you're trying so say is that England would beat the Lions, because of the preparation time afforded to England. The reason I disagree is that I believe you could improve England by adding players from other 6 Nations team. For instance I don't think England could really quibble were I to suggest that George North instead of Jack Nowell would make them a better side. Once you accept a team can be improved by adding one or two players, I think it logically follows that the concept of the Lions can create a better team than the sum of its parts.

Where I think we'd agree is that England, in particular the pack, should and will form a large chunk of the Lions contingent, particularly the pack. I can't, for example, imagine a successful Lions pack not including Cole, Hartley, Itoje and Vunipola. I would also imagine that at least one of Kruis and Lawes will tour, and on current form it's hard not to find a place for at least one of Haskell and Robshaw. England have just been to Australia and completed a whitewash, which puts their players in a strong position.

If you had to choose a World XV to take on the world, would you just pick the ABs, or would you, for example, pick David Pocock in place of Sam Cane?

FES I agree there are better players elsewhere but familiarity is a key part of team success and the bald truth is that the Lions have no time to build familiarity. If they had the same time to gel as say the 74 Invincibles then the chances are the team would be greater than the sum of its parts - but they don't.

I'm not sure about picking a World XV to take on the world - sounds like two scratch teams?
However I have no doubt that the All Blacks on their own are superior to a SH 'Lions' side and if they had to tour say England as an eclectic mix of the SH players they would be nowhere near as strong as the ABs on their own (or maybe the Saffers or the Wallabies).

There is no science that says David Pocock is better than Sam Cane, and I would contend that Carlos Spencer was twice the rugby player of Andrew Mehrtens but won half the caps - it's just subjective opinion. What works for the team may not accommodate individual skill so what does "better" actually mean?

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 11:26 pm

miaow wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Miaow,

It's interesting that you consider a sufficiency of logic to be inversely proportional to the amount of thought put into an idea...

therefore I can do nothing but respond with:

thumbsup

Not at all. You suggested it would take two days for you to read. The idea of you labouring over my few paragraphs would suggest a life bereft of reading, thus easy to see why you could be...blinkered, shall we say, in your selection criteria.

But anyway, look forward to your reply tomorrow, as I imagine you're halfway through by now? thumbsup

thumbsup

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Post by Pot Hale on Sun 31 Jul 2016, 1:51 pm

So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC. He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 31 Jul 2016, 7:44 pm

Has Schmidt rules himself out entirely? I mean, he might not want the head coach role but would he go as an assistant coach, say a backs coach?

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Post by bedfordwelsh on Sun 31 Jul 2016, 9:15 pm

Pot Hale wrote:So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC.   He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.

Has he extended his contract then? I thought that was one of the provisos if he wanted to take the Lions role he would have to extend.
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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 31 Jul 2016, 9:19 pm

Pot Hale wrote:So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC.   He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.

Great news PH, lets hope his non-involvement will tip some 50-50 selection calls against Ireland players and so minimise the negative impact of the Lions on Irish rugby.

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 12:08 am

bedfordwelsh wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC.   He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.

Has he extended his contract then?  I thought that was one of the provisos if he wanted to take the Lions role he would have to extend.

Can't provide any more detail than that for the moment.   I'm reliably informed he's staying on in Ireland beyond next season.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 9:58 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC.   He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.

Great news PH, lets hope his non-involvement will tip some 50-50 selection calls against Ireland players and so minimise the negative impact of the Lions on Irish rugby.

For someone who detests the Lions, you don't half dedicate some time to it on these threads!

I have mixed views on the notion that the Lions has a "negative impact" on the home nations. Yes, injuries can happen as well as player burn-out needing the be managed, plus it takes up a summer which might otherwise be used to develop the national side further, but on the other hand it gives the players a unique experience and an opportunity to test themselves is a different type of environment. I've certainly seen players improve from the Lions experience and in some cases it has allowed players to taste the unique success of winning a test series against one of the Big Three on foreign soil (and let's be honest, that doesn't happen very often for us Celts (if ever!), despite numerous attempts).

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 10:21 am

Also, just on the Irish Lions, I don't actually foresee it being a particularly big contingent. I think Best and McGrath will go, and possibly Henderson as well, but that's probably it from the pack. It's a shame that Healy, Ferris and O'Brien have floundered for one reason or another, that's three forwards who you'd have nailed on starters had their careers reached true potential.

In the backs I'd expect Murray to tour, and possibly Henshaw and Payne (with McCloskey a bolter perhaps), but I doubt there will be many. That's not meant as a slight on Irish rugby (comfortably better than Scotland at the moment), more that you have young players coming through (Jackson, Olding, McCloskey and Henshaw) combined with older players (Sexton and Kearney) with a relatively small number in the prime of their careers.

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Post by eirebilly on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 12:27 pm

I am actually of the feeling that Jackson will knock Sexton out of the starting 10 position sooner rather than later so expect him to be in the mix of Lions selection. If he gets more game time at 10 for Ireland, I think he will come on very well. He does need a 9 with quicker service than Murray in order to achieve this I feel.

An inform back line of the following would be very interesting.

09 Care
10 Jackson
12 McCloskey
13 Joseph
11 Watson
14 North
15 Williams
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 12:39 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC.   He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.

Great news PH, lets hope his non-involvement will tip some 50-50 selection calls against Ireland players and so minimise the negative impact of the Lions on Irish rugby.

But you'd be seriously happy to take the entire Ireland squad should they win the Grand Slam next year. After all you are a Lions supporter.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 12:44 pm

eirebilly wrote:I am actually of the feeling that Jackson will knock Sexton out of the starting 10 position sooner rather than later so expect him to be in the mix of Lions selection. If he gets more game time at 10 for Ireland, I think he will come on very well. He does need a 9 with quicker service than Murray in order to achieve this I feel.

An inform back line of the following would be very interesting.

09 Care
10 Jackson
12 McCloskey
13 Joseph
11 Watson
14 North
15 Williams

Much as a rate him as a skilful and exciting player, I can't see Jackson making the Lions. I think they'll take Biggar, Farrell and Ford.

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Post by eirebilly on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 12:54 pm

I am just not sure we have seen the very best of Jackson yet at International level but he certainly has the makings FES. As an attacking 10, I actually rate him higher than Ford and Farrell already (not as good from the tee as Farrell).

Biggar and Sexton are still the top 2 in the NH without a doubt but time will tell. Its just a backline that would have a good attacking balance to it.

Pipe dreams and all that thumbsup
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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 1:00 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:I've certainly seen players improve from the Lions experience
I'm not as hardcore as the Aukster on the subject of the Lions but I do wonder which players you have in mind.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 1:31 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:I've certainly seen players improve from the Lions experience
I'm not as hardcore as the Aukster on the subject of the Lions but I do wonder which players you have in mind.


From a Scotland perspective I think Tom Smith gained a huge amount from participating in the Lions. It took him to a level that Scotland couldn't offer. I'd argue the same for Keith Wood. I also think Townsend matured as a stand-off on that 1997. He learned how to manage the game and it ended the debate as to his best position (fly half vs 12).

I think Martin Johnson also grew hugely during that tour, and I think it gave him an aura that greatly helped his subsequent rise as England captain through to 2003. Matt Dawson? I'd say the Lions effectively launched his international career. In fact I can't believe that the core of that 2003 side didn't, as part of its development, draw on the experience of having won that series clinching 2nd Test in 1997 (Johnson, Hill, Back, Dallaglio and Dawson were all involved).

What about BOD in 2001? That 1st Test was one of the great individual Lions performances. I don't see how you can suggest that it didn't benefit him individually.

More recently I'd argue that the Lions catapulted George North from being a good international to being a world class winger. Who will ever forget that try? Do we not think Sam Warburton is a better captain for Wales having had that Lions experience, actually leading a tour to a victory down under? What about Ryan Jones in 2005. Came away from that tour with his reputation massively enhanced. Same with SOB and Jamie Roberts in 2009.

These are all great players and it's hard to prove that they wouldn't have been great players anyway, but I do think the Lions has helped a number of players grow to the next level, or at the very least given them experience that they can't get with their nation (when did Ireland, Scotland or Wales last triumph against NZ, Aus or SA over three tests away from him?). Certainly from a Scottish perspective the Lions has shown a select small group of players exactly what it takes.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 1:55 pm

Thanks FES.

Although it might have seemed like it, my question wasn't a set-up so I could then try and shoot down all your suggestions. I'm genuinely interested in how others see the impact of the Lions. Most of the players talk up the experience but I'm not convinced they have the best perspective. I lean towards thinking the Lions has more of a negative than positive impact on players - largely through injury - so I like to hear other opinions.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:04 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:I've certainly seen players improve from the Lions experience
I'm not as hardcore as the Aukster on the subject of the Lions but I do wonder which players you have in mind.


From a Scotland perspective I think Tom Smith gained a huge amount from participating in the Lions. It took him to a level that Scotland couldn't offer. I'd argue the same for Keith Wood. I also think Townsend matured as a stand-off on that 1997. He learned how to manage the game and it ended the debate as to his best position (fly half vs 12).

I think Martin Johnson also grew hugely during that tour, and I think it gave him an aura that greatly helped his subsequent rise as England captain through to 2003. Matt Dawson? I'd say the Lions effectively launched his international career. In fact I can't believe that the core of that 2003 side didn't, as part of its development, draw on the experience of having won that series clinching 2nd Test in 1997 (Johnson, Hill, Back, Dallaglio and Dawson were all involved).

What about BOD in 2001? That 1st Test was one of the great individual Lions performances. I don't see how you can suggest that it didn't benefit him individually.

More recently I'd argue that the Lions catapulted George North from being a good international to being a world class winger. Who will ever forget that try? Do we not think Sam Warburton is a better captain for Wales having had that Lions experience, actually leading a tour to a victory down under? What about Ryan Jones in 2005. Came away from that tour with his reputation massively enhanced. Same with SOB and Jamie Roberts in 2009.

These are all great players and it's hard to prove that they wouldn't have been great players anyway, but I do think the Lions has helped a number of players grow to the next level, or at the very least given them experience that they can't get with their nation (when did Ireland, Scotland or Wales last triumph against NZ, Aus or SA over three tests away from him?). Certainly from a Scottish perspective the Lions has shown a select small group of players exactly what it takes.

You could add England's finest center of the modern era in there too. Greenwood was picked to tour before he was capped, even if (due to injury) he didn't make it to the tests. But I would argue about some of your comments above. I think the effects of touring have got less and less positive over time. As for the Oz trip from an England perspective the guy who probably came through with the greatest boost to his reputation was Corbisero, and he's barely played since.

Looking at the Wales players for instance. What did Warburton actually achieve on tour (given he got injured and missed half of it) and since captaining the Lions? I don't think North is a better player for being a Lion either, although it did help to push his profile through the roof.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:04 pm

Well you certainly can't deny the injuries, and whilst players obviously would get injured taking the alternative route and touring with their home nations, the Lions scheduling is uniquely gruelling.

This is an area where I am understandably biased, as very few Scots have toured and therefore very few have suffered bad injuries from the Lions, and burn-out has also not negatively impacted Scotland (in fact it may have helped us in the odd 6 Nations). I may feel differently should Jonny Gray and Stuart Hogg get selected for the next tour and suffer serious injury!

Last Scot that I recall to suffer serious injury on the Lions was Doddie Weir in 1997 - a Saffa deliberately broke his leg and, in my view, cost him a Test place (not that Davidson wasn't immense). However, I lay the blame for that with the Saffa, and not the Lions.

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Post by Cyril on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:11 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Last Scot that I recall to suffer serious injury on the Lions was Doddie Weir in 1997 - a Saffa deliberately broke his leg and, in my view, cost him a Test place (not that Davidson wasn't immense). However, I lay the blame for that with the Saffa, and not the Lions.
Herein lies another issue with the tours. Home players (Duncan McCrae, Burger, Nathan Grey, Mealamu, Umaga etc etc etc) either being given specific instructions to injure Lions players (or just doing it off their own bat) and facing little or no sanction. Rugby is a tough sport but it becomes Rollerball against Tokyo on the tours.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:15 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC.   He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.

Great news PH, lets hope his non-involvement will tip some 50-50 selection calls against Ireland players and so minimise the negative impact of the Lions on Irish rugby.

For someone who detests the Lions, you don't half dedicate some time to it on these threads!

I have mixed views on the notion that the Lions has a "negative impact" on the home nations. Yes, injuries can happen as well as player burn-out needing the be managed, plus it takes up a summer which might otherwise be used to develop the national side further, but on the other hand it gives the players a unique experience and an opportunity to test themselves is a different type of environment. I've certainly seen players improve from the Lions experience and in some cases it has allowed players to taste the unique success of winning a test series against one of the Big Three on foreign soil (and let's be honest, that doesn't happen very often for us Celts (if ever!), despite numerous attempts).

As I mentioned to 7&1/2 I don't detest the Lions, just how the players and fans are exploited in the name of rugby.

With regard to the experience of winning against the "Big Three", therein lies the psychology of why the concept is harmful.
If the Lions win - it will be because they needed to band together as an aggregate of four nations to beat one, so when the players return to their home nations they can take no comfort from the win because it wasn't their team that succeeded. Conversely for the SH team they can take complete consolation that it took an eclectic mix to beat them and a team they will never face again at a RWC.
While the individual countries look to the Lions as their only possibility of tasting a win, the home nations will remain at a big disadvantage when they face them in the normal Test roster.

If the Lions lose - it reinforces the (IMO mistaken) view that when four can't beat one, what chance do the teams have on their own. Conversely it boosts the confidence of the SH host that the normal order of rugby superiority is unchallenged against even the "greatest" opposition.

So win or lose the psychological effects on the NH players are likely to be harmful to their home nations. Effects made even worse when the results show that they are far more likely to lose than win and that the Lions' nations get this reality check every four years whereas the SH side only has to risk a loss every twelve years.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:17 pm

lostinwales wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:I've certainly seen players improve from the Lions experience
I'm not as hardcore as the Aukster on the subject of the Lions but I do wonder which players you have in mind.


From a Scotland perspective I think Tom Smith gained a huge amount from participating in the Lions. It took him to a level that Scotland couldn't offer. I'd argue the same for Keith Wood. I also think Townsend matured as a stand-off on that 1997. He learned how to manage the game and it ended the debate as to his best position (fly half vs 12).

I think Martin Johnson also grew hugely during that tour, and I think it gave him an aura that greatly helped his subsequent rise as England captain through to 2003. Matt Dawson? I'd say the Lions effectively launched his international career. In fact I can't believe that the core of that 2003 side didn't, as part of its development, draw on the experience of having won that series clinching 2nd Test in 1997 (Johnson, Hill, Back, Dallaglio and Dawson were all involved).

What about BOD in 2001? That 1st Test was one of the great individual Lions performances. I don't see how you can suggest that it didn't benefit him individually.

More recently I'd argue that the Lions catapulted George North from being a good international to being a world class winger. Who will ever forget that try? Do we not think Sam Warburton is a better captain for Wales having had that Lions experience, actually leading a tour to a victory down under? What about Ryan Jones in 2005. Came away from that tour with his reputation massively enhanced. Same with SOB and Jamie Roberts in 2009.

These are all great players and it's hard to prove that they wouldn't have been great players anyway, but I do think the Lions has helped a number of players grow to the next level, or at the very least given them experience that they can't get with their nation (when did Ireland, Scotland or Wales last triumph against NZ, Aus or SA over three tests away from him?). Certainly from a Scottish perspective the Lions has shown a select small group of players exactly what it takes.

You could add England's finest center of the modern era in there too. Greenwood was picked to tour before he was capped, even if (due to injury) he didn't make it to the tests. But I would argue about some of your comments above. I think the effects of touring have got less and less positive over time. As for the Oz trip from an England perspective the guy who probably came through with the greatest boost to his reputation was Corbisero, and he's barely played since.

Looking at the Wales players for instance. What did Warburton actually achieve on tour (given he got injured and missed half of it) and since captaining the Lions? I don't think North is a better player for being a Lion either, although it did help to push his profile through the roof.

I think it'll have done his confidence a huge boost, and confidence is very important for a winger.

As for Warburton, it's quite difficult to measure quality of captaincy but I'd be surprised if he were to say that the experience of captaining the Lions wasn't a useful one for him to go through (plus I disagree with the attempt to diminish his achievements on that tour just because he got injured in the 2nd Test - with the Lions winning incidentally and 14 minutes left to play). The last three 6 Nations haven't been a success for Wales by Gatland's standards (3rd, 3rd and 2nd) but I'd argue Wales did pretty well at the World Cup. Again, hard to say how much is down to Warburton, but Gatland has certainly deemed it fit to stand by his man, notwithstanding the challenge for his jersey from Justin Tipuric and others.

Still, hard to quantify whether and the unique experience of a Lions tour benefits players. I also wonder whether a victory in the next tour, which for me would be one of the greatest rugby achievements of all time, would change people's minds?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:25 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC.   He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.

Great news PH, lets hope his non-involvement will tip some 50-50 selection calls against Ireland players and so minimise the negative impact of the Lions on Irish rugby.

For someone who detests the Lions, you don't half dedicate some time to it on these threads!

I have mixed views on the notion that the Lions has a "negative impact" on the home nations. Yes, injuries can happen as well as player burn-out needing the be managed, plus it takes up a summer which might otherwise be used to develop the national side further, but on the other hand it gives the players a unique experience and an opportunity to test themselves is a different type of environment. I've certainly seen players improve from the Lions experience and in some cases it has allowed players to taste the unique success of winning a test series against one of the Big Three on foreign soil (and let's be honest, that doesn't happen very often for us Celts (if ever!), despite numerous attempts).

As I mentioned to 7&1/2 I don't detest the Lions, just how the players and fans are exploited in the name of rugby.

With regard to the experience of winning against the "Big Three", therein lies the psychology of why the concept is harmful.
If the Lions win - it will be because they needed to band together as an aggregate of four nations to beat one, so when the players return to their home nations they can take no comfort from the win because it wasn't their team that succeeded. Conversely for the SH team they can take complete consolation that it took an eclectic mix to beat them and a team they will never face again at a RWC.
While the individual countries look to the Lions as their only possibility of tasting a win, the home nations will remain at a big disadvantage when they face them in the normal Test roster.

If the Lions lose - it reinforces the (IMO mistaken) view that when four can't beat one, what chance do the teams have on their own. Conversely it boosts the confidence of the SH host that the normal order of rugby superiority is unchallenged against even the "greatest" opposition.

So win or lose the psychological effects on the NH players are likely to be harmful to their home nations. Effects made even worse when the results show that they are far more likely to lose than win and that the Lions' nations get this reality check every four years whereas the SH side only has to risk a loss every twelve years.

Cool, so what will you be looking forward to the most as you seem to be loving the whole concept so far.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:26 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC.   He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.

Great news PH, lets hope his non-involvement will tip some 50-50 selection calls against Ireland players and so minimise the negative impact of the Lions on Irish rugby.

For someone who detests the Lions, you don't half dedicate some time to it on these threads!

I have mixed views on the notion that the Lions has a "negative impact" on the home nations. Yes, injuries can happen as well as player burn-out needing the be managed, plus it takes up a summer which might otherwise be used to develop the national side further, but on the other hand it gives the players a unique experience and an opportunity to test themselves is a different type of environment. I've certainly seen players improve from the Lions experience and in some cases it has allowed players to taste the unique success of winning a test series against one of the Big Three on foreign soil (and let's be honest, that doesn't happen very often for us Celts (if ever!), despite numerous attempts).

As I mentioned to 7&1/2 I don't detest the Lions, just how the players and fans are exploited in the name of rugby.

With regard to the experience of winning against the "Big Three", therein lies the psychology of why the concept is harmful.
If the Lions win - it will be because they needed to band together as an aggregate of four nations to beat one, so when the players return to their home nations they can take no comfort from the win because it wasn't their team that succeeded. Conversely for the SH team they can take complete consolation that it took an eclectic mix to beat them and a team they will never face again at a RWC.
While the individual countries look to the Lions as their only possibility of tasting a win, the home nations will remain at a big disadvantage when they face them in the normal Test roster.

If the Lions lose - it reinforces the (IMO mistaken) view that when four can't beat one, what chance do the teams have on their own. Conversely it boosts the confidence of the SH host that the normal order of rugby superiority is unchallenged against even the "greatest" opposition.

So win or lose the psychological effects on the NH players are likely to be harmful to their home nations. Effects made even worse when the results show that they are far more likely to lose than win and that the Lions' nations get this reality check every four years whereas the SH side only has to risk a loss every twelve years.

I really don't see any logic in suggesting that there was a negative psychological effect on the Lions players after winning that 3rd Test in Australia, or the 1997 tour. You are clutching at straws to suggest that Alan Tait and Tom Smith left that tour depressed, thinking that Scotland could never replicate that sort of achievement. On the contrary I think that Scotland players not involved on the tour would see these returning heroes in training and think: they beat the World Champions, the mighty Boks, on home turf. If I match them in training I can reach that level as well.

I'd agree that 2005 was a bad year for the Lions and it's hard to argue that players took positives from that, yet Sir Clive used to refer to the "Tour of Hell" to Australia by England as being important to the development of several players (e.g. Wilkinson). Not sure I agree, but I haven't won a World Cup.

My view of the Lions is that they are not supposed to be "the greatest". In the pro era we are talking about a unique challenge, bringing together a group of players with undoubted talent, but using a touring format to blend them together into the best they can be. It's not a case of the Lions being "better" than England (an example chosen because they are currently the pick of the home nations), it's just a different concept and a unique challenge. The Lions are massive underdogs next year. No-one beats NZ on home turf over three Tests, no-one. Save for receiving a complete and utter 50-point drubbing, the Lions should not be scarred by defeat next year. If they win however, happy days!

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:34 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Also, just on the Irish Lions, I don't actually foresee it being a particularly big contingent. I think Best and McGrath will go, and possibly Henderson as well, but that's probably it from the pack. It's a shame that Healy, Ferris and O'Brien have floundered for one reason or another, that's three forwards who you'd have nailed on starters had their careers reached true potential.

In the backs I'd expect Murray to tour, and possibly Henshaw and Payne (with McCloskey a bolter perhaps), but I doubt there will be many. That's not meant as a slight on Irish rugby (comfortably better than Scotland at the moment), more that you have young players coming through (Jackson, Olding, McCloskey and Henshaw) combined with older players (Sexton and Kearney) with a relatively small number in the prime of their careers.

A smaller contingent is obviously better from my pov, but they are also the best players that will be stripped from the team, usually the leaders who are there to be the backbone of the side.

It is interesting that you mention Healy, Ferris and O'Brien.
Healy hasn't been the same player since his return, Corbisiero has now retired and the squad injury count was such that Tom Court had to be called in because he happened to be on holiday in the country!
Ferris' knee injury that took him out of the tour was the start of an injury laden decline and unsuccessful rehabilitation programme that resulted in his retirement age 28
SOB was already injured when selected and was probably still carrying it when Warburton went down.
Tommy Bowe is also brought to mind playing with a fracture and has never recovered full fitness since.

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:39 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC.   He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.

Great news PH, lets hope his non-involvement will tip some 50-50 selection calls against Ireland players and so minimise the negative impact of the Lions on Irish rugby.

For someone who detests the Lions, you don't half dedicate some time to it on these threads!

I have mixed views on the notion that the Lions has a "negative impact" on the home nations. Yes, injuries can happen as well as player burn-out needing the be managed, plus it takes up a summer which might otherwise be used to develop the national side further, but on the other hand it gives the players a unique experience and an opportunity to test themselves is a different type of environment. I've certainly seen players improve from the Lions experience and in some cases it has allowed players to taste the unique success of winning a test series against one of the Big Three on foreign soil (and let's be honest, that doesn't happen very often for us Celts (if ever!), despite numerous attempts).

As I mentioned to 7&1/2 I don't detest the Lions, just how the players and fans are exploited in the name of rugby.

With regard to the experience of winning against the "Big Three", therein lies the psychology of why the concept is harmful.
If the Lions win - it will be because they needed to band together as an aggregate of four nations to beat one, so when the players return to their home nations they can take no comfort from the win because it wasn't their team that succeeded. Conversely for the SH team they can take complete consolation that it took an eclectic mix to beat them and a team they will never face again at a RWC.
While the individual countries look to the Lions as their only possibility of tasting a win, the home nations will remain at a big disadvantage when they face them in the normal Test roster.

If the Lions lose - it reinforces the (IMO mistaken) view that when four can't beat one, what chance do the teams have on their own. Conversely it boosts the confidence of the SH host that the normal order of rugby superiority is unchallenged against even the "greatest" opposition.

So win or lose the psychological effects on the NH players are likely to be harmful to their home nations. Effects made even worse when the results show that they are far more likely to lose than win and that the Lions' nations get this reality check every four years whereas the SH side only has to risk a loss every twelve years.

Cool, so what will you be looking forward to the most as you seem to be loving the whole concept so far.

Difficult to tell if that's a question or a statement, 7.5. Very Happy

My most enjoyable moment will be Gatland picking a 60-70% English squad with a New Zealander as captain and explaining it all at the launch press conference.... Whistle
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:41 pm

Bene a while since we discussed place of birth in relation to our national teams; I've persoanlly missed the topic.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:47 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:These are all great players and it's hard to prove that they wouldn't have been great players anyway, but I do think the Lions has helped a number of players grow to the next level, or at the very least given them experience that they can't get with their nation (when did Ireland, Scotland or Wales last triumph against NZ, Aus or SA over three tests away from him?). Certainly from a Scottish perspective the Lions has shown a select small group of players exactly what it takes.

I agree that some individuals have benefited with improved confidence, but this usually comes at some other player's expense - i.e. the ones that didn't get picked especially if they had been favourites before the tour.

Players wouldn't be selected in the first place if they weren't already decent players, and the whole ethos of the selection is to pick a team for now, not to develop players. Then there is the difficulty re-integrating the returning Lions who are full of self confidence into teams of players who watched the tour on TV.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:48 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Also, just on the Irish Lions, I don't actually foresee it being a particularly big contingent. I think Best and McGrath will go, and possibly Henderson as well, but that's probably it from the pack. It's a shame that Healy, Ferris and O'Brien have floundered for one reason or another, that's three forwards who you'd have nailed on starters had their careers reached true potential.

In the backs I'd expect Murray to tour, and possibly Henshaw and Payne (with McCloskey a bolter perhaps), but I doubt there will be many. That's not meant as a slight on Irish rugby (comfortably better than Scotland at the moment), more that you have young players coming through (Jackson, Olding, McCloskey and Henshaw) combined with older players (Sexton and Kearney) with a relatively small number in the prime of their careers.

A smaller contingent is obviously better from my pov, but they are also the best players that will be stripped from the team, usually the leaders who are there to be the backbone of the side.

It is interesting that you mention Healy, Ferris and O'Brien.
Healy hasn't been the same player since his return, Corbisiero has now retired and the squad injury count was such that Tom Court had to be called in because he happened to be on holiday in the country!
Ferris' knee injury that took him out of the tour was the start of an injury laden decline and unsuccessful rehabilitation programme that resulted in his retirement age 28
SOB was already injured when selected and was probably still carrying it when Warburton went down.
Tommy Bowe is also brought to mind playing with a fracture and has never recovered full fitness since.

Hmm, whilst it serves your agenda nicely, I'm not sure it's justified to lay the blame on the Lions for these players failing to fulfil their undoubted potential.

Ferris - knee injury with the Lions. Ankle injury (against Edinburgh as it happens) effectively ended his career.
Healy - numerous injuries throughout his career. Not sure any were Lions related. Also on "hasn't been the same player since" - I'd argue his performance against the ABs in the 2013 AIs was one of his very best.
SOB - see Healy.
Bowe - I agree that the Lions probably should not have used him on that occasion, but he's played plenty rugby since and I'm not sure there's much evidence for "never recovered full fitness since". He's won quite a few caps since 2013!

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:53 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC.   He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.

Great news PH, lets hope his non-involvement will tip some 50-50 selection calls against Ireland players and so minimise the negative impact of the Lions on Irish rugby.

For someone who detests the Lions, you don't half dedicate some time to it on these threads!

I have mixed views on the notion that the Lions has a "negative impact" on the home nations. Yes, injuries can happen as well as player burn-out needing the be managed, plus it takes up a summer which might otherwise be used to develop the national side further, but on the other hand it gives the players a unique experience and an opportunity to test themselves is a different type of environment. I've certainly seen players improve from the Lions experience and in some cases it has allowed players to taste the unique success of winning a test series against one of the Big Three on foreign soil (and let's be honest, that doesn't happen very often for us Celts (if ever!), despite numerous attempts).

As I mentioned to 7&1/2 I don't detest the Lions, just how the players and fans are exploited in the name of rugby.

With regard to the experience of winning against the "Big Three", therein lies the psychology of why the concept is harmful.
If the Lions win - it will be because they needed to band together as an aggregate of four nations to beat one, so when the players return to their home nations they can take no comfort from the win because it wasn't their team that succeeded. Conversely for the SH team they can take complete consolation that it took an eclectic mix to beat them and a team they will never face again at a RWC.
While the individual countries look to the Lions as their only possibility of tasting a win, the home nations will remain at a big disadvantage when they face them in the normal Test roster.

If the Lions lose - it reinforces the (IMO mistaken) view that when four can't beat one, what chance do the teams have on their own. Conversely it boosts the confidence of the SH host that the normal order of rugby superiority is unchallenged against even the "greatest" opposition.

So win or lose the psychological effects on the NH players are likely to be harmful to their home nations. Effects made even worse when the results show that they are far more likely to lose than win and that the Lions' nations get this reality check every four years whereas the SH side only has to risk a loss every twelve years.

Cool, so what will you be looking forward to the most as you seem to be loving the whole concept so far.


Your posts of course.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:53 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:These are all great players and it's hard to prove that they wouldn't have been great players anyway, but I do think the Lions has helped a number of players grow to the next level, or at the very least given them experience that they can't get with their nation (when did Ireland, Scotland or Wales last triumph against NZ, Aus or SA over three tests away from him?). Certainly from a Scottish perspective the Lions has shown a select small group of players exactly what it takes.

I agree that some individuals have benefited with improved confidence, but this usually comes at some other player's expense - i.e. the ones that didn't get picked especially if they had been favourites before the tour.

Players wouldn't be selected in the first place if they weren't already decent players, and the whole ethos of the selection is to pick a team for now, not to develop players. Then there is the difficulty re-integrating the returning Lions who are full of self confidence into teams of players who watched the tour on TV.

I thought you said earlier that the players were psychologically damaged regardless of the outcome? Make up your mind....

If the players are so precious as to suffer a meaningful loss of confidence because they don't get picked for the Lions Test XV, then I'd tentatively suggest that they are in the wrong sport. They may be angry and hacked off, but if you're talking about a real test match animal then the correct reaction is to redouble efforts and prove the coach wrong.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:54 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So Schmidt is apparently staying put until 2019 RWC.   He's not going to do Lions tour in 2017.

Target is two more Six Nations titles, the 2018 Oz series and semis of RWC 2019.

Great news PH, lets hope his non-involvement will tip some 50-50 selection calls against Ireland players and so minimise the negative impact of the Lions on Irish rugby.

For someone who detests the Lions, you don't half dedicate some time to it on these threads!

I have mixed views on the notion that the Lions has a "negative impact" on the home nations. Yes, injuries can happen as well as player burn-out needing the be managed, plus it takes up a summer which might otherwise be used to develop the national side further, but on the other hand it gives the players a unique experience and an opportunity to test themselves is a different type of environment. I've certainly seen players improve from the Lions experience and in some cases it has allowed players to taste the unique success of winning a test series against one of the Big Three on foreign soil (and let's be honest, that doesn't happen very often for us Celts (if ever!), despite numerous attempts).

As I mentioned to 7&1/2 I don't detest the Lions, just how the players and fans are exploited in the name of rugby.

With regard to the experience of winning against the "Big Three", therein lies the psychology of why the concept is harmful.
If the Lions win - it will be because they needed to band together as an aggregate of four nations to beat one, so when the players return to their home nations they can take no comfort from the win because it wasn't their team that succeeded. Conversely for the SH team they can take complete consolation that it took an eclectic mix to beat them and a team they will never face again at a RWC.
While the individual countries look to the Lions as their only possibility of tasting a win, the home nations will remain at a big disadvantage when they face them in the normal Test roster.

If the Lions lose - it reinforces the (IMO mistaken) view that when four can't beat one, what chance do the teams have on their own. Conversely it boosts the confidence of the SH host that the normal order of rugby superiority is unchallenged against even the "greatest" opposition.

So win or lose the psychological effects on the NH players are likely to be harmful to their home nations. Effects made even worse when the results show that they are far more likely to lose than win and that the Lions' nations get this reality check every four years whereas the SH side only has to risk a loss every twelve years.

Cool, so what will you be looking forward to the most as you seem to be loving the whole concept so far.


Your posts of course.

Cheers. I'm enjoying you trying to say you love and support the Lions hwile actually hating it all!

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 3:09 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Bene a while since we discussed place of birth in relation to our national teams; I've persoanlly missed the topic.

Really? The topic bores me rigid.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 3:23 pm

Not really! I'm sure Gatland could bring something new to the table though.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 6:23 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Also, just on the Irish Lions, I don't actually foresee it being a particularly big contingent. I think Best and McGrath will go, and possibly Henderson as well, but that's probably it from the pack. It's a shame that Healy, Ferris and O'Brien have floundered for one reason or another, that's three forwards who you'd have nailed on starters had their careers reached true potential.

In the backs I'd expect Murray to tour, and possibly Henshaw and Payne (with McCloskey a bolter perhaps), but I doubt there will be many. That's not meant as a slight on Irish rugby (comfortably better than Scotland at the moment), more that you have young players coming through (Jackson, Olding, McCloskey and Henshaw) combined with older players (Sexton and Kearney) with a relatively small number in the prime of their careers.

A smaller contingent is obviously better from my pov, but they are also the best players that will be stripped from the team, usually the leaders who are there to be the backbone of the side.

It is interesting that you mention Healy, Ferris and O'Brien.
Healy hasn't been the same player since his return, Corbisiero has now retired and the squad injury count was such that Tom Court had to be called in because he happened to be on holiday in the country!
Ferris' knee injury that took him out of the tour was the start of an injury laden decline and unsuccessful rehabilitation programme that resulted in his retirement age 28
SOB was already injured when selected and was probably still carrying it when Warburton went down.
Tommy Bowe is also brought to mind playing with a fracture and has never recovered full fitness since.

Hmm, whilst it serves your agenda nicely, I'm not sure it's justified to lay the blame on the Lions for these players failing to fulfil their undoubted potential.

Ferris - knee injury with the Lions. Ankle injury (against Edinburgh as it happens) effectively ended his career.
Healy - numerous injuries throughout his career. Not sure any were Lions related. Also on "hasn't been the same player since" - I'd argue his performance against the ABs in the 2013 AIs was one of his very best.
SOB - see Healy.
Bowe - I agree that the Lions probably should not have used him on that occasion, but he's played plenty rugby since and I'm not sure there's much evidence for "never recovered full fitness since". He's won quite a few caps since 2013!

The Lions injury was an important one for Ferris because he himself said he had been unready for the rehabilitation required. Similarly Bowe has won more caps and scored more tries, but plenty of Ulster fans would say he has never fully regained his sharpness following the '13' tour. Regarding Healy it could be equally argued that the mullering Ireland took from the Wallabies in the scrum the week before was one of Healy's worst? His minutes on the pitch per season for the three seasons post Lions for Leinster are roughly half what they were for the three seasons before. SOB is closer to a third and he was injured when selected so had already lost time that season.

The debate isn't about unfulfilled potential, it's simply relating performance post Lions injury to that of before, and in each case the fulcrum is the tour.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 6:44 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:These are all great players and it's hard to prove that they wouldn't have been great players anyway, but I do think the Lions has helped a number of players grow to the next level, or at the very least given them experience that they can't get with their nation (when did Ireland, Scotland or Wales last triumph against NZ, Aus or SA over three tests away from him?). Certainly from a Scottish perspective the Lions has shown a select small group of players exactly what it takes.

I agree that some individuals have benefited with improved confidence, but this usually comes at some other player's expense - i.e. the ones that didn't get picked especially if they had been favourites before the tour.

Players wouldn't be selected in the first place if they weren't already decent players, and the whole ethos of the selection is to pick a team for now, not to develop players. Then there is the difficulty re-integrating the returning Lions who are full of self confidence into teams of players who watched the tour on TV.

I thought you said earlier that the players were psychologically damaged regardless of the outcome? Make up your mind....

If the players are so precious as to suffer a meaningful loss of confidence because they don't get picked for the Lions Test XV, then I'd tentatively suggest that they are in the wrong sport. They may be angry and hacked off, but if you're talking about a real test match animal then the correct reaction is to redouble efforts and prove the coach wrong.

Just to restate the assertion:
The Great Aukster wrote:So win or lose the psychological effects on the NH players are likely to be harmful to their home nations. Effects made even worse when the results show that they are far more likely to lose than win and that the Lions' nations get this reality check every four years whereas the SH side only has to risk a loss every twelve years.

So nothing so dramatic as players being "psychologically damaged" in some kind of PTSD way, just players being affected subliminally by the constant reinforcement of the idea that your team can't win on it's own, and can't even win by picking the best of the four nations.

It is surprising that you argue that improved confidence is a benefit of the tours but then say a lack of it means they are in the wrong sport. Most top sports people use the term 'confidence' to explain improvements or declines in form. Anything that undermines confidence would normally be seen by many coaches as undesirable and therefore harmful to the team.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 6:45 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Cheers. I'm enjoying you trying to say you love and support the Lions hwile actually hating it all!

Thanks for the endorsement, I'll do my best to keep you entertained.

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