Warren Gatland announced as Lions coach

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Warren Gatland announced as Lions coach Empty Warren Gatland announced as Lions coach

Post by GunsGerms on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 11:52 am

Apparently, according to Ian McGeechan anyway Gatland has been given the job again.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 12:38 pm

Great choice for the job thumbsup.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 12:42 pm

Expecting a tweet from BOD anytime now...

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 1:20 pm

Hopefully he's learnt something from last time.

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Post by GunsGerms on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 1:25 pm

He is the best guy for the job. The simplicity of his game plans lend themselves to a Lions tour. He also has a great track record albeit not against Sanzar sides.

I just hope he isn't as biased towards Kiwi and Welsh players this time. I think we have the makings of an amazing side this time around.

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 2:17 pm

Well, one can hope that he's learned the lesson of the 3rd test and will be a bit more open to looking at the available talent rather than a "Wales plus" strategy.

Be interesting to see who he selects as assistants. At one level, I think Gustard's defensive system would give the best chance of success, but at another much more selfish one I'd rather England kept that to themselves.
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Post by international198 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 2:37 pm

Wales pushed New Zealand close this summer. I would take lots of Welsh players on the tour because they did very well in reality.

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Post by George Carlin on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 2:41 pm

Warren Gatland announced as Lions coach Ray_ch10
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 2:51 pm

It's the right appointment. Who he selects as his assistants will be crucial though, as will be the tour strategy (i.e. number of players selected, back-up player contingencies and game plan).

This is the toughest of all the tours by a country mile, and NZ are in outstanding form.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 2:54 pm

international198 wrote:Wales pushed New Zealand close this summer. I would take lots of Welsh players on the tour because they did very well in reality.

Not really all that close though, not over all 240 minutes of the series. Wales did well to be competitive for the first 60 minutes of T1 and first 40 of T2, but in the end two defeats by margins in the teens and one thrashing is a fair reflection on the two sides.

It could be argued that England ran them closer in 2014.



There was no-one else really in the running for Head Coach - will be interesting to see who the other coaches are.

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Post by fa0019 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 2:55 pm

bad news for wales going into the world cup seeding year. He needs to take a sabbatical like in 2012/3 right?

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 2:56 pm

They won the 6Ns last time he took a sabbatical

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Post by fa0019 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 2:58 pm

LondonTiger wrote:They won the 6Ns last time he took a sabbatical

What happened to their ranking though?

Were smashed in the AIs of 2012 right and never recovered. Were in the 3rd pot no?

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:04 pm

fa0019 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:They won the 6Ns last time he took a sabbatical

What happened to their ranking though?

Were smashed in the AIs of 2012 right and never recovered. Were in the 3rd pot no?

Main difference though is that the seedings last time were done straight after those AIs, whereas this time they happen after the 6Ns. If that had occurred for RWC 2015 England would have been 4th seeds, and Wales 5th seeds (with Ireland becoming the dangerous 9th seed).

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Post by fa0019 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:06 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
fa0019 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:They won the 6Ns last time he took a sabbatical

What happened to their ranking though?

Were smashed in the AIs of 2012 right and never recovered. Were in the 3rd pot no?

Main difference though is that the seedings last time were done straight after those AIs, whereas this time they happen after the 6Ns. If that had occurred for RWC 2015 England would have been 4th seeds, and Wales 5th seeds (with Ireland becoming the dangerous 9th seed).

Although he has to take a leave of absence immediately right. Depends who takes over I guess but I don't think its overtly positive for the welsh national side.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:08 pm

international198 wrote:Wales pushed New Zealand close this summer. I would take lots of Welsh players on the tour because they did very well in reality.
39-21
36-22
46-6

An average loss of 24 points per game. If that's close then I'd hate to see a hiding!

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Post by munkian on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:14 pm

Cyril wrote:
international198 wrote:Wales pushed New Zealand close this summer. I would take lots of Welsh players on the tour because they did very well in reality.
39-21
36-22
46-6

An average loss of 24 points per game. If that's close then I'd hate to see a hiding!

33 -3 counts as a hiding, right ?
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Post by munkian on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:15 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Hopefully he's learnt something from last time.

By winning the series ?
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Post by Cyril on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:17 pm

munkian wrote:
Cyril wrote:
international198 wrote:Wales pushed New Zealand close this summer. I would take lots of Welsh players on the tour because they did very well in reality.
39-21
36-22
46-6

An average loss of 24 points per game. If that's close then I'd hate to see a hiding!

33 -3 counts as a hiding, right ?  
It sure does Smile Just like 62-5, 47-13, 43-9, 50-10, 46-12, 60-26 etc, etc

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:19 pm

No much like Poorfour said, I think given Gatland was on sabbatical we started to much like Wales plus. Maybe the learning is that his whole team need more time together as what was it he was doing? There was also too much reliance on Welsh players with the excuse they knew each others games and cherry picking games like the 33 3 as the reason behind some of them.

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Post by George Carlin on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:22 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:It's the right appointment. Who he selects as his assistants will be crucial though, as will be the tour strategy (i.e. number of players selected, back-up player contingencies and game plan).

This is the toughest of all the tours by a country mile, and NZ are in outstanding form.
Yes. Views on assistants will vary wildly but I would love to see Cotter as forwards coach, Gustard as defence coach and my wife as attack coach.

She likes a good attack.
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Post by Cyril on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:24 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
international198 wrote:Wales pushed New Zealand close this summer. I would take lots of Welsh players on the tour because they did very well in reality.

Not really all that close though, not over all 240 minutes of the series. Wales did well to be competitive for the first 60 minutes of T1 and first 40 of T2, but in the end two defeats by margins in the teens and one thrashing is a fair reflection on the two sides.

It could be argued that England ran them closer in 2014.



There was no-one else really in the running for Head Coach - will be interesting to see who the other coaches are.
There's no question. England pushed them much closer, for much longer, in 2014. I'm happy for the Welsh 'Lions' to push them really close again though and maybe get within 20 points. Maybe. Or probably not.

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Post by munkian on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:26 pm

And the BS has started already Rolling Eyes
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:28 pm

Whats up munkian?

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Post by Cyril on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:30 pm

munkian wrote:And the BS has started already Rolling Eyes
Which you added to in your posts above!

It's the Lions, it's what happens. Time for a few threads on 'Best XV if chosen now'. Surely somebody has cemented their place after 1 week of the season...

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:31 pm

munkian wrote:
Cyril wrote:
international198 wrote:Wales pushed New Zealand close this summer. I would take lots of Welsh players on the tour because they did very well in reality.
39-21
36-22
46-6

An average loss of 24 points per game. If that's close then I'd hate to see a hiding!

33 -3 counts as a hiding, right ?  

It does. Who won against whom by that margin?

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:50 pm

Poorfour wrote:Well, one can hope that he's learned the lesson of the 3rd test and will be a bit more open to looking at the available talent rather than a "Wales plus" strategy.

What the 3rd test where the B&I Lions put 41 points on Australia ? Well, I do not know what lessons you are wanting him to learn but I will be happy with the same again.

In saying that, I really think it should have been Eddie Jones who took control of the Lions this time around.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:52 pm

Play the players in form with a suitable game plan I think. Don't go in with set in stone ideas.

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Post by munkian on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:56 pm

He did pick the players in form - he picked most of the 6 nations champions and then a load of grief for not picking a semi retired Irish player.

After all the BS before/during/after the last winning Lions tour I hope he picks very few Welsh Lions players to be honest, most of our team came back broken.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 3:59 pm

Right. I'd contest that that would show the players in form to be honest but it does demonstrate that thoguht that as Wales finished top it gives the go ahead to play Wales plus. But there were a few areas where the combos etc from Wales were taken as they knew each other etc. We were fortunate for example that Warburton was injured.

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Post by munkian on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:00 pm

Fortunate that the Lions Captain was injured during the 2nd Test match where he played his socks off ? Riight.
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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:01 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:We were fortunate for example that Warburton was injured.

What a pathetic thing to say.

Warburton is probably one of the best opensides in the world, yet we were fortunate he was injured ? Why ? Because it meant less Welsh players ?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:03 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:We were fortunate for example that Warburton was injured.

What a pathetic thing to say.

Warburton is probably one of the best opensides in the world, yet we were fortunate he was injured ? Why ? Because it meant less Welsh players ?

Pathetic as hell isn't it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:04 pm

Yup very. Good player but picked on rep not performance at the time or what was best for the team. Thought that 3rd test was a real step up. Led by Corbs and SOB. Pack really on top enabled us to win handsomely ignoring the fact that in midfield (avoiding it as it'll lead to a load of waffle) that Roberts was coming back from injuryand BOD outplayed Davies in the 1st and 2nd tests (return of the national combo sillyness).

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:06 pm

There it is anyway. Tipuric and SOB were on better form together as well over Warburton who was 'nailed on captain' since coming through to the Welsh first team and nothing like form or what was best for the team was getting in the way. Maybe its the coaches under Gatland that need to challenge more.


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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:07 pm

There must have been just two forwards starting for the Lions in the third test, as least you'd think that when you read this forum... May as well just put up an anti-Wales thread right now where you can all slag off team Wales players while the rest of us disucss the Lions.

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Post by munkian on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:09 pm

Completely ignoring the fact that it was Faletau's turn over that got us back in control of that game..

Weren't you like 10 in 2013 anyway ? Might explain your analysis of it..


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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:09 pm

George Carlin wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:It's the right appointment. Who he selects as his assistants will be crucial though, as will be the tour strategy (i.e. number of players selected, back-up player contingencies and game plan).

This is the toughest of all the tours by a country mile, and NZ are in outstanding form.
Yes. Views on assistants will vary wildly but I would love to see Cotter as forwards coach, Gustard as defence coach and my wife as attack coach.

She likes a good attack.

Cotter, Gustard and Schmidt would be a dream team for my money - no offence to your wife. Not sure they'd sign-up though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:09 pm

Dummy out then. I do think there should be representation across the 4 teams, said that last time which we didn't get, have no issue on Welsh players but it did benefit us when Warburton was injured and the return of Corbs over Mako. And to be fair for the scrum Hibbard coming in with him.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:10 pm

munkian wrote:Completely ignoring the fact that it was Faletau's turn over that got us back in control of that game..


Why is it always about the Welsh with some of you. It's the Lions.

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:12 pm

international198 wrote:Wales pushed New Zealand close this summer. I would take lots of Welsh players on the tour because they did very well in reality.

Oh my. Looking through your posts you either genuinely believe that or are hitting levels of irony so heavy that they register on seismographs. For the record, losing a three test series by an aggregate of over 70 points is neither pushing the All Blacks close nor is it doing very well.

Wales did play well for parts of the series and clearly posed the ABs some problems early on when Wales were still fairly fresh and the ABs still a bit rusty. However, the NZ dominance of the last quarter is a pretty clear indicator that Wales aren't able to maintain the intensity to stay with them late in the game.

That suggests that the best shot at a winning strategy is to base the squad around players who can match that intensity for 80 minutes, plus a bench designed to change things up in a structured way. On the evidence of the summer tours, there are more players fitting that mould in the English and Irish squads than the Welsh one, though we'll be in a better place to judge after the AIs.

Will Gatland think that way? I hope so but the evidence isn't promising.
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Post by munkian on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:12 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Dummy out then. I do think there should be representation across the 4 teams, said that last time which we didn't get, have no issue on Welsh players but it did benefit us when Warburton was injured and the return of Corbs over Mako. And to be fair for the scrum Hibbard coming in with him.

There WAS representation from the 4 teams - or do mean EQUAL representation ? As in a quota system ?

I think you need to re-watch the series.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:14 pm

No but I don't think the Scottish representation was fair and at the time basically taking out their best player from competing at full back was for me a mistake. Grant was pretty harshly overlooked from the bench in the 2nd as well.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:14 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
munkian wrote:Completely ignoring the fact that it was Faletau's turn over that got us back in control of that game..


Why is it always about the Welsh with some of you. It's the Lions.

It's always about the Welsh because evidently some English, Scottish and plenty of Irish are still bitter over the make-up of the team in the third test.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:15 pm

3rd test was the one where it was better for me mikey, bar the midfield.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:16 pm

Poorfour wrote:
international198 wrote:Wales pushed New Zealand close this summer. I would take lots of Welsh players on the tour because they did very well in reality.

Oh my. Looking through your posts you either genuinely believe that or are hitting levels of irony so heavy that they register on seismographs. For the record, losing a three test series by an aggregate of over 70 points is neither pushing the All Blacks close nor is it doing very well.

Wales did play well for parts of the series and clearly posed the ABs some problems early on when Wales were still fairly fresh and the ABs still a bit rusty. However, the NZ dominance of the last quarter is a pretty clear indicator that Wales aren't able to maintain the intensity to stay with them late in the game.

That suggests that the best shot at a winning strategy is to base the squad around players who can match that intensity for 80 minutes, plus a bench designed to change things up in a structured way. On the evidence of the summer tours, there are more players fitting that mould in the English and Irish squads than the Welsh one, though we'll be in a better place to judge after the AIs.

Will Gatland think that way? I hope so but the evidence isn't promising.

Not sure if 198 is all there myself, but I think he's best ignored.

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Post by munkian on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:17 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
munkian wrote:Completely ignoring the fact that it was Faletau's turn over that got us back in control of that game..


Why is it always about the Welsh with some of you. It's the Lions.

It's always about the Welsh because evidently some English, Scottish and plenty of Irish are still bitter over the make-up of the team in the third test.

I was countering your point that the Lions won the last test because some non Welsh players came in ? WTF are you on about ?
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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:20 pm

Who has the popcorn?

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Post by munkian on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:23 pm

I think 7 1/2 is possibly too young for pop corn...
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:25 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:There it is anyway. Tipuric  and SOB were on better form together as well over Warburton who was 'nailed on captain' since coming through to the Welsh first team and nothing like form or what was best for the team was getting in the way. Maybe its the coaches under Gatland that need to challenge more.


Picking captains for the Lions is only easy when you have a stand-out World Class player in a position, so good that you can't challenge. There have been a few (Hastings in 1993, Johnson in 2001 (I'd argue that he was debatable in 1997 at the start of the tour) and BOD in 2005). But in reality, more often than not, you always run the risk of form stepping in and causing selection issues. Even POC in 2009, a fine player, probably wouldn't have made the Test XV purely on form during the tour (AWJ and Shaw) and whilst Warburton went into 2013 on a run of great form, I'd pick a fully fit SOB over him every time (but who would you have picked for captain).

This tour is equally tricky, with no stand-out candidate. Perhaps the right thing to do is select a tour captain, but just accept that his place isn't guaranteed in the Test XV. It would be odd, and obviously undermine the individual's authority with the squad come the Test match part of the tour, but for the Lions to have a sniff they'll need to be at 100% for this Test series.

Just looking at the options based on country captains:

England - Dylan Hartley - strong start for England but does he have the right temperament, and is he the best hooker?
Scotland - Greg Laidlaw - not the best scrum half, will do well to make the tour
Wales - Sam Warburton - probably the favourite having captained a successful tour, but is he the best 7 we have? Faces a challenge from Haskell, Hardie, Tipuric, SOB, Clifford and, in my opinion come the time, James Davies
Ireland - Rory Best - will surely tour, but faces a stiff challenge from Hartley and George

Other options:

AWJ - very experienced, but very strong options at lock competing with him
Sexton - will he be fit, and will he start?
Roberts - very experienced, but little leadership experience and his position will be contested
Heaslip - another big on experience, but I actually think he'll miss the tour

I think this is a really tough decision, and I wouldn't blame Gatland were he to go with his Welsh right hand man again. There's no standout for me.
Cole - little captaincy experience but a likely Test starter

funnyExiledScot

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