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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 8:54 am

750 minutes.

That is the incredible amount of time Johnny Gray has played for Scotland without missing a tackle.

There is no real point to this post apart from getting that stat out there. According to that time scale the last time he missed a tackle in an international test match was in the 2015 Rugby world cup. It is a staggering achievement.

In a thoroughly saturated talent pool in the second row is Johnny Gray one of (if not) the best second rows in the Northern hemisphere?

If you want another interesting read check out his stats for the Australia game compared to Alun Wyn Jones in the Argentina game:

http://www.rugbyworld.com/news/analysis-mapping-the-involvements-of-jonny-gray-and-alun-wyn-jones-74309
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 8:59 am

Definitely one of and would certainly start for the Lions if I was picking it. Quality player and leader, everything you want in a lock.

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Post by Cyril on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:04 am

Is he a bit like Chris Paterson (20 metres out, in front of the posts) and only attempts easy tackles? Wink

Only kidding, pretty impressive stuff!

Him and Itoje would make a pretty formidable 2nd row for the Lions.


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Post by BamBam on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:17 am

That would be my starting pair too

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Post by RDW on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:20 am

What is more impressive is that not only has he not missed any tackles in 750 minute but he's also generally been top of the tackle charts in each one of those games - clear top in a number of games.

He is a machine.

Lock is probably the most contested position for the Lions and there will be some outstanding players left behind but I really, really, really hope he goes.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:27 am

I like the Itoje and Gray combination. Only problem is that Maro gives up 3 inches of height to Whitelock and Retalick and Johnny gives up 2 inches.

It would be a tremendously athletic, powerful and dynamic combination but they might struggle at lineout time.

Jonny Gray
Date of birth 14 March 1994 (age 22)
Place of birth Rutherglen, Scotland
Height 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Weight 119 kg (262 lb; 18 st 10 lb)

Oghenemaro Miles Itoje
Date of birth 28 October 1994 (age 22)
Place of birth Camden, London
Height 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 116 kg (256 lb; 18 st 4 lb)[1]

Brodie Allan Retallick
Date of birth 31 May 1991 (age 25)
Place of birth Rangiora, New Zealand
Height 2.04 m (6 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
Weight 120 kg (18 st 13 lb)

Samuel Lawrence Whitelock
Date of birth 12 October 1988 (age 28)
Place of birth Palmerston North, New Zealand
Height 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in)[1]
Weight 114 kg (17 st 13 lb)[1]
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Post by BamBam on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:30 am

Itoje gets about 15 foot up in the air anyway, its fine ...

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:31 am

Itoje's lineout has come on leaps and bounds and he's now extremely good especially pressuring the opposition throw. For me it would be Itoje at 6, Launchbury and Gray.

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Post by RDW on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:32 am

It is utterly terrifying that Gray and Itoje are only 22.

I see what you're saying Radge but a good lineout shouldn't have to depend on a few extra inches of height - George Kruis is 6ft 6 as well and the England lineout is just fine.

Personally I'd have Itoje at 6 with one of Wyn-Jones, Kruis, Launchbury, Henderson or even Richie Gray partnering Jonny...

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:42 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:750 minutes.

That is the incredible amount of time Johnny Gray has played for Scotland without missing a tackle.

There is no real point to this post apart from getting that stat out there. According to that time scale the last time he missed a tackle in an international test match was in the 2015 Rugby world cup. It is a staggering achievement.

In a thoroughly saturated talent pool in the second row is Johnny Gray one of (if not) the best second rows in the Northern hemisphere?

If you want another interesting read check out his stats for the Australia game compared to Alun Wyn Jones in the Argentina game:

http://www.rugbyworld.com/news/analysis-mapping-the-involvements-of-jonny-gray-and-alun-wyn-jones-74309

Firstly, I'm deffo on the Jonny Gray for the Lions side of the argument, but you can't really use stats between two games to compare players.

An example, if your team has the ball more, you end up doing less tackling!

Jonny should go as he is an absolute work horse, Across the whole year he's just been untouchable!
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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:49 am

It's not comparing the 2 against each other IMO. That article is highlighting what a world class modern lock has to do in a game of rugby.

The selection of the locks IMO is the toughest decision Gatland will have to make. Lets Presume for one minute he selects one from each home nation + one more for luck: Gray, Itoje, Henderson AWJ and Lawes (who's been great this autumn).

Left behind :Kruis, Charteris, Launchbery, Toner, R Gray to name but a few.

Some absolutely tremendous players are getting left behind.
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Post by tigertattie on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:54 am

Just play a whole team of 2nd rows! Squeeze the life out the blackness!
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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 10:10 am

So having followed Gray closely around the field* throughout the AIs, I have to say the sheer amount of work he gets through is pretty staggering. Has to be a contender for the Lions, though obviously lock is a tough position, and would be extremely disappointed if he didn't at least travel.

*no, not like that you bunch of pervs...

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Post by dummy_half on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 10:18 am

Not sure how you can state for certain Itoje should be at 6 when he's not played there in his international career (bar a few minutes late in games when replacements have been made). Yes, he may have the attributes to do a job there, but he has been outstanding in the 2nd row so far, and his (relative) lack of height hasn't shown up, indeed he has more than compensated for it through athleticism.

Johnny Gray certainly is a defensive machine and has a fantastic workrate, while being perhaps less showy than his brother and a few others. I'd be tempted to describe him as the new O'Connell - a guy with no obvious weaknesses even if his strengths are on the more defensive side of things.

RR - I think in the 6Ns, England's preferred 2nd row pairing will be Launchbury and Itoje, with Lawes and Kruis competing for the bench spot, and as such I would expect Launchbury to be more likely in the Lions squad than Lawes. I also think AWJ needs a strong 6Ns to make sure he's there; as you said, plenty of very strong options.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 10:30 am

dummy_half wrote:Not sure how you can state for certain Itoje should be at 6 when he's not played there in his international career (bar a few minutes late in games when replacements have been made). Yes, he may have the attributes to do a job there, but he has been outstanding in the 2nd row so far, and his (relative) lack of height hasn't shown up, indeed he has more than compensated for it through athleticism.

Johnny Gray certainly is a defensive machine and has a fantastic workrate, while being perhaps less showy than his brother and a few others. I'd be tempted to describe him as the new O'Connell - a guy with no obvious weaknesses even if his strengths are on the more defensive side of things.

RR - I think in the 6Ns, England's preferred 2nd row pairing will be Launchbury and Itoje, with Lawes and Kruis competing for the bench spot, and as such I would expect Launchbury to be more likely in the Lions squad than Lawes. I also think AWJ needs a strong 6Ns to make sure he's there; as you said, plenty of very strong options.

Itoje played a significant part of the last summer Oz test at 6. In a sense it doesn't really matter where he plays, you just want him on the pitch.

I do remember seeing something about him out jumping AWJ to steal a lineout when AWJ was being lifted and he wasn't. I did think his height might have been an issue when he first appeared (too big for 6 too small for lock) but that does not seem to be a problem at all. During the summer series I was watching the Green and Gold forum, and among all the standard derision of all things north of the equator they all seemed very impressed by him.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 10:34 am

Mad for Chelsea wrote:

*no, not like that you bunch of pervs...

you arent the one obsessing over his tackle and his size

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:20 am

A) Itoje and Grays height is not an issue at all.

B) Itoje should not be considered at 6 bar emergencies. He is a class and still improving Lock!
Robshaw alone in the England side is a WAY better 6...let alone the rest of the British Isles.

C) I actually wouldn't take AWJ. I think theres better more explosive younger locks.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:22 am

He's played quite extensively at Saracens at 6 as well though GF and was about to become a 7 under Jones...

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Post by RDW on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:23 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:A) Itoje and Grays height is not an issue at all.

B) Itoje should not be considered at 6 bar emergencies. He is a class and still improving Lock!
Robshaw alone in the England side is a WAY better 6...let alone the rest of the British Isles.

C) I actually wouldn't take AWJ. I think theres better more explosive younger locks.

I agree with C but didn't want a Welsh backlash!

If we were playing SA for example then I think he has a place, but most of the other locks available have a more modern skillset.

With Gatland in charge I think his place is pretty much guaranteed though.

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Post by Guest on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:38 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:A) Itoje and Grays height is not an issue at all.

B) Itoje should not be considered at 6 bar emergencies. He is a class and still improving Lock!
Robshaw alone in the England side is a WAY better 6...let alone the rest of the British Isles.

C) I actually wouldn't take AWJ. I think theres better more explosive younger locks.

I agree with C but didn't want a Welsh backlash!

If we were playing SA for example then I think he has a place, but most of the other locks available have a more modern skillset.

With Gatland in charge I think his place is pretty much guaranteed though.

I'd take AWJ. Not necessarily as a starting lock. But I personally think he's in the top 4 or 5 locks in B&I. But that's just my opinion. Which is no more or less correct than yours!

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Post by RDW on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:41 am

Griff wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:A) Itoje and Grays height is not an issue at all.

B) Itoje should not be considered at 6 bar emergencies. He is a class and still improving Lock!
Robshaw alone in the England side is a WAY better 6...let alone the rest of the British Isles.

C) I actually wouldn't take AWJ. I think theres better more explosive younger locks.

I agree with C but didn't want a Welsh backlash!

If we were playing SA for example then I think he has a place, but most of the other locks available have a more modern skillset.

With Gatland in charge I think his place is pretty much guaranteed though.

I'd take AWJ.  Not necessarily as a starting lock.  But I personally think he's in the top 4 or 5 locks in B&I.  But that's just my opinion.  Which is no more or less correct than yours!

If everyone on here had that philosophy it would be a much nicer place! Very Happy

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Post by beshocked on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:55 am

Itoje gets away from being 6,5 and not taller at lineout time because he has very long arms.

Let's not forget the Lions need a lineout general.

I would call neither J.Gray or Itoje that. Neither are primary lineout jumpers. J Gray plays 2nd fiddle to his brother and Itoje, is a secondary jumper compared to Kruis.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:58 am

Johnny calls the lineout for Glasgow and Scotland doesn't he?

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Post by RDW on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:58 am

beshocked wrote:Itoje gets away from being 6,5 and not taller at lineout time because he has very long arms.

Let's not forget the Lions need a lineout general.

I would call neither J.Gray or Itoje that. Neither are primary lineout jumpers. J Gray plays 2nd fiddle to his brother and Itoje, is a secondary jumper compared to Kruis.

Jonny calls the Scotland lineout. Richie is the front jumper because at 6ft 10 he's feckin massive!

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 12:02 pm

I think AWJ is a very good player and has a depth of experience none of the younger locks in the category possess as of yet.

We have already marveled that Itoje and J Gray are only 22, Richie Gray and Lawes are still only 27, Launchbery & Henderson only 25, Kruis 26.

Taking AWJ or Toner would not be a bad move at all in my opinion because they aren't terribly outmatched in the physical or fitness stakes by the younger contenders, and bring 4 to 5 more years test match experience.

As has been said before picking from the home nations Locks is a really difficult job since IMO all of those names mentioned would be able to compete with the 1st choice NZ players. There are not many positions across the park where we share a player depth and ability so closely with the hosts.
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Post by BamBam on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 12:03 pm

If Billy starts at 8 he isn't a jumping option, but Faletau definitely would be

POM is a great jumper if he gets the 6 shirt (a way off at the moment admittedly)

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Post by petethepete on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 12:17 pm

Another great sub plot to the 6N. For me if AWJ has a solid tournament he must at least travel. Have some outstanding locks in the home nations, but will need some experience and AWJ is a two tour vet which cant be discounted.

Plus Gats will want him in.

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Post by cascough on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 12:23 pm

This NZ pack need to be taken on physically in my view. I'll wager it's Gatland's too. Critics might say it's the only way he knows, in fact. I also think given the nature of the position and likely game plan that he will take 5 locks.

A lot of the guys being mentioned here are athletic "rangy" types. I think it's going to be crucial at least one of the pair is heavier and more abrasive. For that reason I'd be looking at AWJ/Launchbury/Henderson as absolutely key. Then it's a bun fight between the rest.

There's some brilliant talent that everyone is getting excited about, but let's get the ugly stuff done first.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 1:22 pm

cascough wrote:This NZ pack need to be taken on physically in my view. I'll wager it's Gatland's too. Critics might say it's the only way he knows, in fact. I also think given the nature of the position and likely game plan that he will take 5 locks.

A lot of the guys being mentioned here are athletic "rangy" types. I think it's going to be crucial at least one of the pair is heavier and more abrasive. For that reason I'd be looking at AWJ/Launchbury/Henderson as absolutely key. Then it's a bun fight between the rest.

There's some brilliant talent that everyone is getting excited about, but let's get the ugly stuff done first.

That's exactly what Johnny does though. He's also only 4lbs lighter than AWJ/Launchbury and 5lbs lighter than Henderson. I'll say again 750 minutes without missing a tackle. Making 21 tackles in the game against Austrlia alone, clearing out 6 rucks and scoring an ugly drive over lock try.

Picking the locks is essentially an impossible conundrum since all of us feel the same way, we know that there is very little between any of the contenders and patriotism is rightly influencing many comments including mine. I'd like to see Johnny tour with the likes of AWJ to learn from a player of his stature and experience.

It's always something that a lot of younger players will benefit from, getting the chance to play with "legendary" players from other teams and learn from them. Richie Gray for instance IMO is a far better player post lions 2013. Having played with AWJ and POC has made him less of a show pony and more of a grafter. Hogg too has imporoved since touring in 2013, playing alongside Halfpenny and Kearney will have helped him a lot too, and these are just recent Scottish examples.
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Post by RDW on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 1:24 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
cascough wrote:This NZ pack need to be taken on physically in my view. I'll wager it's Gatland's too. Critics might say it's the only way he knows, in fact. I also think given the nature of the position and likely game plan that he will take 5 locks.

A lot of the guys being mentioned here are athletic "rangy" types. I think it's going to be crucial at least one of the pair is heavier and more abrasive. For that reason I'd be looking at AWJ/Launchbury/Henderson as absolutely key. Then it's a bun fight between the rest.

There's some brilliant talent that everyone is getting excited about, but let's get the ugly stuff done first.

That's exactly what Johnny does though. He's also only 4lbs lighter than AWJ/Launchbury and 5lbs lighter than Henderson. I'll say again 750 minutes without missing a tackle. Making 21 tackles in the game against Austrlia alone, clearing out 6 rucks and scoring an ugly drive over lock try.

Picking the locks is essentially an impossible conundrum since all of us feel the same way, we know that there is very little between any of the contenders and patriotism is rightly influencing many comments including mine. I'd like to see Johnny tour with the likes of AWJ to learn from a player of his stature and experience.

It's always something that a lot of younger players will benefit from, getting the chance to play with "legendary" players from other teams and learn from them. Richie Gray for instance IMO is a far better player post lions 2013. Having played with AWJ and POC has made him less of a show pony and more of a grafter. Hogg too has imporoved since touring in 2013, playing alongside Halfpenny and Kearney will have helped him a lot too, and these are just recent Scottish examples.

*ahem*

Ryan Grant...

Whistle

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Post by R!skysports on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 1:30 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
cascough wrote:This NZ pack need to be taken on physically in my view. I'll wager it's Gatland's too. Critics might say it's the only way he knows, in fact. I also think given the nature of the position and likely game plan that he will take 5 locks.

A lot of the guys being mentioned here are athletic "rangy" types. I think it's going to be crucial at least one of the pair is heavier and more abrasive. For that reason I'd be looking at AWJ/Launchbury/Henderson as absolutely key. Then it's a bun fight between the rest.

There's some brilliant talent that everyone is getting excited about, but let's get the ugly stuff done first.

That's exactly what Johnny does though. He's also only 4lbs lighter than AWJ/Launchbury and 5lbs lighter than Henderson. I'll say again 750 minutes without missing a tackle. Making 21 tackles in the game against Austrlia alone, clearing out 6 rucks and scoring an ugly drive over lock try.

Picking the locks is essentially an impossible conundrum since all of us feel the same way, we know that there is very little between any of the contenders and patriotism is rightly influencing many comments including mine. I'd like to see Johnny tour with the likes of AWJ to learn from a player of his stature and experience.

It's always something that a lot of younger players will benefit from, getting the chance to play with "legendary" players from other teams and learn from them. Richie Gray for instance IMO is a far better player post lions 2013. Having played with AWJ and POC has made him less of a show pony and more of a grafter. Hogg too has imporoved since touring in 2013, playing alongside Halfpenny and Kearney will have helped him a lot too, and these are just recent Scottish examples.

*ahem*

Ryan Grant...

Whistle


the key word is Play

As Gatland decided not to play him, even when Vino was done and dusted - destroyed his confidence


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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 1:33 pm

I said a lot of young players. Not ALL young players.
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Post by lostinwales on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 2:43 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
cascough wrote:This NZ pack need to be taken on physically in my view. I'll wager it's Gatland's too. Critics might say it's the only way he knows, in fact. I also think given the nature of the position and likely game plan that he will take 5 locks.

A lot of the guys being mentioned here are athletic "rangy" types. I think it's going to be crucial at least one of the pair is heavier and more abrasive. For that reason I'd be looking at AWJ/Launchbury/Henderson as absolutely key. Then it's a bun fight between the rest.

There's some brilliant talent that everyone is getting excited about, but let's get the ugly stuff done first.

That's exactly what Johnny does though. He's also only 4lbs lighter than AWJ/Launchbury and 5lbs lighter than Henderson. I'll say again 750 minutes without missing a tackle. Making 21 tackles in the game against Austrlia alone, clearing out 6 rucks and scoring an ugly drive over lock try.

Picking the locks is essentially an impossible conundrum since all of us feel the same way, we know that there is very little between any of the contenders and patriotism is rightly influencing many comments including mine. I'd like to see Johnny tour with the likes of AWJ to learn from a player of his stature and experience.

It's always something that a lot of younger players will benefit from, getting the chance to play with "legendary" players from other teams and learn from them. Richie Gray for instance IMO is a far better player post lions 2013. Having played with AWJ and POC has made him less of a show pony and more of a grafter. Hogg too has imporoved since touring in 2013, playing alongside Halfpenny and Kearney will have helped him a lot too, and these are just recent Scottish examples.

Surely AWJ is a bit long in the tooth to learn much from playing with Gray and Itoje?

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Post by IanBru on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 3:09 pm

Laugh Well said, Lost.
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Post by BamBam on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 3:12 pm

Laugh

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 3:12 pm

Oh God, I hate the Lions syrupy lovey dovey stuff..... Cool Run

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 4:24 pm

SecretFly wrote:Oh God, I hate the Lions syrupy lovey dovey stuff..... Cool Run

Well I did try...I said I wouldn't take AJW....I was waiting to be hung up by my balls for saying that!

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Post by Guest on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 5:34 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Oh God, I hate the Lions syrupy lovey dovey stuff..... Cool Run

Well I did try...I said I wouldn't take AJW....I was waiting to be hung up by my balls for saying that!

But you weren't.

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Post by rodders on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 5:40 pm

Donnacha Ryan and Devin Toner are two of the most underrated forwards in the NH (along with Rory Best).

Henderson and Dillane have been getting lots of plaudits for Ireland and rightly so but the above 2 fellas have really filled O'Connell's boots this year.

Itoje is nailed on to travel but some serious competition for the rest.
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Post by Guest on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 5:47 pm

Being an armchair selector is easy. If it was me I'd probably go for Gray and Itoje too on form. But who knows what will happen on tour? What if those two instantly take a dislike to each other and can't be in the same room as each other? What if they don't hit it off and can't form a quick partnership that will benefit them on the field? What if the coaches think that will be to the detriment of the team and the ability to compete? What if Itoje, for example, gets on tour and the adulation goes to his head and he starts swanning round like a rock star, going out boozing, etc., etc. and this causes divisions in the ranks? Pretty ridiculous I'm sure. But what if?

It's these behind the scenes things that we don't see that goes into selecting a squad. If by chance Itoje and AWJ stuck up a beautiful friendship very quickly, synchronised really well in training, understood each other's strengths and weaknesses really early on, complemented each other compeletly, etc. who are we to criticise the coaches for selecting that combo?! And therein lies the difficulty in selecting teams vs appeasing the fans! Any coach worth his salt will pick who he thinks will do best, and the fans can rightly do one!!!

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Post by RDW on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 5:50 pm

Griff wrote:Being an armchair selector is easy. If it was me I'd probably go for Gray and Itoje too on form. But who knows what will happen on tour? What if those two instantly take a dislike to each other and can't be in the same room as each other? What if they don't hit it off and can't form a quick partnership that will benefit them on the field? What if the coaches think that will be to the detriment of the team and the ability to compete? What if Itoje, for example, gets on tour and the adulation goes to his head and he starts swanning round like a rock star, going out boozing, etc., etc. and this causes divisions in the ranks? Pretty ridiculous I'm sure. But what if?

It's these behind the scenes things that we don't see that goes into selecting a squad. If by chance Itoje and AWJ stuck up a beautiful friendship very quickly, synchronised really well in training, understood each other's strengths and weaknesses really early on, complemented each other compeletly, etc. who are we to criticise the coaches for selecting that combo?! And therein lies the difficulty in selecting teams vs appeasing the fans! Any coach worth his salt will pick who he thinks will do best, and the fans can rightly do one!!!

This forum would be a quiet place if we all agreed 100% with coaches decisions and accepted that they know more than us! Laugh

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 5:57 pm

Imagine a world where everyone agreed with the decisions Scott Johnson makes Shocked

Frightening thought.

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Post by Guest on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 5:59 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
Griff wrote:Being an armchair selector is easy. If it was me I'd probably go for Gray and Itoje too on form. But who knows what will happen on tour? What if those two instantly take a dislike to each other and can't be in the same room as each other? What if they don't hit it off and can't form a quick partnership that will benefit them on the field? What if the coaches think that will be to the detriment of the team and the ability to compete? What if Itoje, for example, gets on tour and the adulation goes to his head and he starts swanning round like a rock star, going out boozing, etc., etc. and this causes divisions in the ranks? Pretty ridiculous I'm sure. But what if?

It's these behind the scenes things that we don't see that goes into selecting a squad. If by chance Itoje and AWJ stuck up a beautiful friendship very quickly, synchronised really well in training, understood each other's strengths and weaknesses really early on, complemented each other compeletly, etc. who are we to criticise the coaches for selecting that combo?! And therein lies the difficulty in selecting teams vs appeasing the fans! Any coach worth his salt will pick who he thinks will do best, and the fans can rightly do one!!!

This forum would be a quiet place if we all agreed 100% with coaches decisions and accepted that they know more than us! Laugh

Definitely. We should debate the merits of player A over player B. And it's been very good and grown up on here so far. But the shear indignation, the name calling, the accusations of agendas and bias (not in this thread.... Yet!) - I find it all a bit pathetic! Coaches have a remit to select. Let 'em do it! What will be will be. Lots of players (e.g. 75% of the starting 15 players players from each nation) will miss out on a starting 15 place for the Lions. Maybe more with some 'bolsters'. But let's not get enraged about it!


Last edited by Griff on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 6:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 6:02 pm

What does Scott do these days? Has he gone into the airport business with Roger Lewis?

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Post by RDW on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 6:23 pm

SecretFly wrote:What does Scott do these days?  Has he gone into the airport business with Roger Lewis?

He is the SRU Director of Rugby believe it or not...

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 6:28 pm

Oh yeah... I remember that now. Well, I'm sad he isn't allowed to at least chat to the media before or after games - just for old time's sake. He was a character and tended to have more quotable quotes than Vern Wink

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 6:29 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:A) Itoje and Grays height is not an issue at all.

B) Itoje should not be considered at 6 bar emergencies. He is a class and still improving Lock!
Robshaw alone in the England side is a WAY better 6...let alone the rest of the British Isles.

C) I actually wouldn't take AWJ. I think theres better more explosive younger locks.

Itoje has a ridiculous leap on him, he contests oppositions line outs without being lifted.

Agree with the other two points as well; Itoje, Kruis, Gray*2 and Launchbury possibly even Lawes would all be ahead of AWJ for me, they all offer something other than hard graft.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 6:43 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:A) Itoje and Grays height is not an issue at all.

B) Itoje should not be considered at 6 bar emergencies. He is a class and still improving Lock!
Robshaw alone in the England side is a WAY better 6...let alone the rest of the British Isles.

C) I actually wouldn't take AWJ. I think theres better more explosive younger locks.

Itoje has a ridiculous leap on him, he contests oppositions line outs without being lifted.

Agree with the other two points as well; Itoje, Kruis, Gray*2 and Launchbury possibly even Lawes would all be ahead of AWJ for me, they all offer something other than hard graft.

I tend to think anybody has to be better than Launchbury to be considered and that is a very short (and arguable) list. I don't expect Lawes to go but he has had a very good few months. He wasn't starting in Oz but he was absolutely EJ's goto guy as a replacement and did a lot of good.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 8:57 pm

I think we can be civilised about this because a) no-one's actually in danger of being selected yet and b) we're spoilt for choice. In most positions, several of the home nations can put up a candidate we can all agree might make a decent fist of it.

The question is, who will make the best combination? What I really hope is that Gatland doesn't do what he appeared to do last time, which is to go in with a preset notion of the type of player he wanted in each position, rather than giving some magic a chance to happen. I think Eddie, Joe, Vern and even Howler have shown that with the right gameplan very unexpected combinations can work well.

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Post by Guest on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:15 pm

Poorfour wrote:I think we can be civilised about this because a) no-one's actually in danger of being selected yet and b) we're spoilt for choice. In most positions, several of the home nations can put up a candidate we can all agree might make a decent fist of it.

The question is, who will make the best combination? What I really hope is that Gatland doesn't do what he appeared to do last time, which is to go in with a preset notion of the type of player he wanted in each position, rather than giving some magic a chance to happen. I think Eddie, Joe, Vern and even Howler have shown that with the right gameplan very unexpected combinations can work well.


Completely agree. Here's hoping. Just wish it wasn't Gatland at the helm. My only hope is that he took lots of Welsh players last time due to them being 6N champions right before the squad was selected (as opposed to selecting them just our of familiarity or loyalty). I can't see that being the same this time (Wales being champions) so I hope that whoever wins it (Eng/Ire probably) would make up the majority of the test team.

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