Lions 2017

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Post by abarnbrook on Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:08 am

Looking at the recent internationals and to beat allblack you need pace and vision so this is my team so far! 1.m.vunipola 2.hartley 3.furlong 4.itoje 5.kruis 6.faletau 7.stander 8. B.vunipola 9. Youngs 10.ford 11.watson 12.farrell 13.joseph 14.l.williams 15. Hogg 16.best 17.mcgrath 18.lee 19 .henderson 20.o'brien 21.murray 22.henshaw 23.north

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Post by majesticimperialman on Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:14 am

NO SEXTON?

Being an England fan i like the fact that you picked Ford for the ten shirt. But in all honesty i think SEXTON would be a better option.

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Post by abarnbrook on Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:23 am

Ford and Farrell understanding is the reason I picked ford if Farrell not at 12 then sexton would be at 10

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Post by Mr Bounce on Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:35 am

abarnbrook - Why did you pick a specialist number 8 at 6? It makes no sense. Great player Faletau is, he's not a better 6 than a lot of those who ply their trade on the blindside. Robshaw is a shoe-in there right now, with Stander a more than capable back up. Like your back three though.

Mine would be as follows:

1.  McGrath
2.  Hartley
3.  Furlong
4.  Itoje
5.  Gray (J)
6.  Robshaw
7.  Murphy
8.  Vunipola
9.  Youngs
10. Sexton
11. Williams
12. Farrell
13. Joseph
14. Watson
15. Hogg

16. Best
17. M Vunipola
18. Cole/Lee
19. Henderson
20. Stander
21. Murray
22. Biggar
23. Daly

The one thing that I am worried about is the selectors picking anyone based on past glories or coming back from injury (I am aware Billy is currently injured along with Murphy). Gatland has shown that he's got the gent's veg to drop someone with the class of BOD for who he assumes is better at the time, but I am worried that he will pick out of form Wales players over a more deserving English, Irish or Scottish player. SCW did that on the 2005 tour with Jonny Wilkinson amongst others and we all know how that turned out... I also don't see the point in playing specialist out of position just to shoe-horn them into the team. Sure, they might do a job, but as well as a specialist? Nope.


Last edited by Mr Bounce on Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by abarnbrook on Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:44 am

Picked a back row based on pace and power you can't beat all blacks without that robshaw good all round player but don't have that yard off pace.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:40 am

abarnbrook wrote:Picked a back row based on pace and power you can't beat all blacks without that robshaw good all round player but don't have that yard off pace.

Anticipation, work rate. He's played the AB's as much as anyone in the NH too. He has skills that make up for lack of pace. I don't think he's been embarrassed either

Robshaw may or may not go and I can understand why he might not, especially if the Lions management want an explosive carrier at 6, but he is a phenomenal player and he wouldn't let anyone down if he did.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:16 am

abarnbrook wrote:Picked a back row based on pace and power you can't beat all blacks without that robshaw good all round player but don't have that yard off pace.

Not very balanced though and relatively weak at the breakdown
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Post by rapidsnowman on Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:16 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:7.  Murphy

Excuse my ignorance, who is Murphy?

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Post by Allty on Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:36 pm

Everyone knows Spud

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Post by petethepete on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:14 pm

1. McGrath
2. Hartley
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. Kruis
6. Stander
7. O'Brien
8. Vunipola
9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Williams
12. Henshaw
13. Joseph
14. Watson
15. Hogg

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Post by IanBru on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:48 pm

rapidsnowman wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:7.  Murphy

Excuse my ignorance, who is Murphy?
That guy from RoboCop, before he was RoboCop obviously.
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Post by IanBru on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:54 pm

Well done for kicking off the Lions chat for the next six months. The time is right - let's do this.

1. McGrath
2. Hartley (c)
3. Nel
4. Itoje
5. Gray, J
6. Stander
7. Warburton
8. Vunipola, V

9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Seymour
12. Farrell
13. Ringrose
14. Watson
15. Hogg

16. George
17. Vunipola, M
18. Cole
19. Jones, AW
20. Hardie
21. Care
22. Bennett
23. Williams, L
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Post by EST on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:54 pm

1. McGrath
2. Hartley (C)
3. Furlong
4. Gray
5. Launchbury
6. Itoje
7. O'Brien
8. Vunipola
9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Williams
12. Farrell
13. Joseph
14. Watson
15. Hogg

16. Vunipola
17. Best
18. Cole
19. Henderson
20. Haskell
21. Youngs
22. Ford
23. Henshaw

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Post by True Raven on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:56 pm

Tipuric is easily one of the finest players atm and would walk into any team in Europe at 7

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Post by abarnbrook on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:01 am

Wales should have the least players for the lions because they can't adapt there style Ireland Scotland England scoring tries and look good in attack

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Post by IanBru on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:04 am

Tipuric is a great player, and a distinctly average openside.
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Post by Cyril on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:05 am

IanBru wrote:Well done for kicking off the Lions chat for the next six months. The time is right - let's do this.

1. McGrath
2. Hartley (c)
3. Nel
4. Itoje
5. Gray, J
6. Stander
7. Warburton
8. Vunipola, V

9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Seymour
12. Farrell
13. Ringrose
14. Watson
15. Hogg

16. George
17. Vunipola, M
18. Cole
19. Jones, AW
20. Hardie
21. Care
22. Bennett
23. Williams, L
Warburton is an interesting choice, but he does have the experience and Gats like him. Would need to improve his form to be a starter.

Ringrose over Joseph? Hmmm.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:06 am

McGrath
Hartley
Nel
Itoje
Gray
Robshaw
Stander
Vunipola
Murray
Sexton
Williams
Henshaw
Joseph
Watson
Hogg

Vunipola
George
Furlong
Henderson
Tipuric
Youngs
Ford
Daly/Ringrose

I think Stander could well do the Haskell job of smashing everything, so have picked him in that role (plus, excellent carrier). For the bench I have basically gone for big impact players, guys who could come on and change the game.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:22 am

Mr Bounce wrote:abarnbrook - Why did you pick a specialist number 8 at 6? It makes no sense. Great player Faletau is, he's not a better 6 than a lot of those who ply their trade on the blindside. Robshaw is a shoe-in there right now, with Stander a more than capable back up. Like your back three though.

Mine would be as follows:

1.  McGrath
2.  Hartley
3.  Furlong
4.  Itoje
5.  Gray (J)
6.  Robshaw
7.  Murphy
8.  Vunipola
9.  Youngs
10. Sexton
11. Williams
12. Farrell
13. Joseph
14. Watson
15. Hogg

16. Best
17. M Vunipola
18. Cole/Lee
19. Henderson
20. Stander
21. Murray
22. Biggar
23. Daly

The one thing that I am worried about is the selectors picking anyone based on past glories or coming back from injury (I am aware Billy is currently injured along with Murphy). Gatland has shown that he's got the gent's veg to drop someone with the class of BOD for who he assumes is better at the time, but I am worried that he will pick out of form Wales players over a more deserving English, Irish or Scottish player. SCW did that on the 2005 tour with Jonny Wilkinson amongst others and we all know how that turned out... I also don't see the point in playing specialist out of position just to shoe-horn them into the team. Sure, they might do a job, but as well as a specialist? Nope.

In which case you have fly half playing at 12.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:24 am

There's currently only a couple of players I'd say are nailed on to start if fit. very strong competition everywhere. Confident that Itoje will start somewhere, Murray, Watson and Joseph. Outside of that I think it's very much open.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:35 am

Itoje hasn't been playing much rugby recently, certainly not at test match level. Hence despite his incredible ability I wouldn't be picking him at the moment. Same for Nel at tight head.

1. McGrath .
2. Best (C)
3. Furlong
4. Kruis
5. Gray, J
6. Robshaw
7. Warburton
8. Moriarty

9. Murray
10. Ford
11. Seymour
12. Jones (HUW)
13. Joseph
14. May
15. Hogg

16. Hartley
17. Cole
18. Mako V
19. Henderson
20. Watson
21. Youngs
22. Farrell
23. Halfpenny

Not considered due to not playing a lot of rugby but who I'd expect to be playing : Itoje, Nel, Sexton, Billy V and a whole host of others I can't be bothered going into.

Onto Tipuric, great player yes, but he is noticable. Warburton does just as much work, has a huge workrate but he doesn't get noticed as much due to not having an electric blue scrum cap.
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Post by Poorfour on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:43 am

Billy is potentially out until after the 6N. Not convinced he will be fully fit before the Lions tour; he'd need to play very well in the AP/ECC knockout rounds to secure a place.

Itoje is already back and playing and has the 6N to show that he's ready.
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Post by lostinwales on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:02 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Itoje hasn't been playing much rugby recently, certainly not at test match level. Hence despite his incredible ability I wouldn't be picking him at the moment. Same for Nel at tight head.
...

Not considered due to not playing a lot of rugby but who I'd expect to be playing : Itoje, Nel, Sexton, Billy V and a whole host of others I can't be bothered going into.

Onto Tipuric, great player yes, but he is noticable. Warburton does just as much work, has a huge workrate but he doesn't get noticed as much due to not having an electric blue scrum cap.

Wouldn't say Warburton has been playing much either recently

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:07 am

He was tremendous against Japan and Argentina. He did not play against South Africa though.
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Post by ChequeredJersey on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:10 am

Based on what we know right now:

15 Hogg
14  Seymour (Watson when fit)
13 Joseph
12 Farrell (hopefully Henshaw if fit)
11 L Williams
10 Ford
9 Youngs 
8 Faletau (possibly Billy when fit)
7 Van Der Flier
6 Robshaw
5 J Gray
4 Kruis 
3 Furlong
2 Best
1 McGrath

Vunipola, Hartley, Nel when fit, Itoje, Stander, Murray, Sexton, Bennett
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Post by ChequeredJersey on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:12 am

True Raven wrote:Tipuric is easily one of the finest players atm and would walk into any team in Europe at 7

Except England, Scotland and Ireland and several club sides? Wink
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Post by lostinwales on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:15 am

ChequeredJersey wrote:
True Raven wrote:Tipuric is easily one of the finest players atm and would walk into any team in Europe at 7

Except England, Scotland and Ireland and several club sides? Wink

To be honest he might if we wanted to play a light weight hooperesque super rapid open side. But we don't

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Post by IanBru on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:21 am

IanBru wrote:Well done for kicking off the Lions chat for the next six months. The time is right - let's do this.

1. McGrath
2. Hartley (c)
3. Nel Lee
4. Itoje
5. Gray, J
6. Stander
7. Warburton
8. Vunipola, V

9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Seymour
12. Farrell
13. Ringrose
14. Watson
15. Hogg

16. George
17. Vunipola, M
18. Cole
19. Jones, AW
20. Hardie
21. Care
22. Bennett
23. Williams, L

Also to tour: Best, Healy, Lee, Kruis, Henderson, Haskell, Faletau, Robshaw, Laidlaw, Biggar, Huw Jones, Joseph, Daly, North, Goode


Last edited by IanBru on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by TJ on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:23 am

As it stands right now there are not many players who have a hand on a matchday shirt.

Murray and Sexton clearly the best around. Joseph I really rate.  Hogg. thats it. I would say Jonny Gray as well but others would disagree.

Itoje needs a decent 6N but for sure he is good.  Nel in the same boat as is Billy V.  they need to prove themselves in the 6N

IMO all other places are up for grabs after seeing performances in the 6N

But I bet Gatland goes with his tried and trusted Welshmen.

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Post by BamBam on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:25 am

Billy will miss the 6N, but I'd bet he makes it on to the plane

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Post by TJ on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:35 am

He shouldn't be then. How can he prove himself? Need to be utter outstanding in any club games he plays

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:49 am

It comes back to how much credit people have in the bank. Vunipola would have been on the plane and in the starting lineup. It's going to be tough for him now but with Saracens expected form he may get chance to play in some top club games and be relatively fresh.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:52 am

TJ wrote:He shouldn't be then.  How can he prove himself?  Need to be utter outstanding in any club games he plays

I think he has to prove he's fit. I don't think he has to prove his ability.

There is no guarantee he will be fit enough though, and I'd rather he missed the summer to be fit for the future if there was any doubt.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:52 am

Will Billy V be fit enough for selection? Rumours are he will not make the 6 nations?

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Post by lostinwales on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:59 am

majesticimperialman wrote:Will Billy V be fit enough for selection?  Rumours are he will not make  the 6 nations?

He won't make the 6 nations. He's out 'for at least 3 months'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/38125158

Will be hard for him to maintain fitness in that time also.

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Post by TJ on Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:05 am

Its not as if there is any shortage of top notch back row players to get on the plane. Its probably the area where we have most strength

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Post by lostinwales on Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:10 am

TJ wrote:Its not as if there is any shortage of top notch back row players to get on the plane.  Its probably the area where we have most strength

Yep. But none of them can do what he can (even if many of them can do stuff he can't)

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:20 am

Here it comes, the official squad:

Test XV

1.McGrath 2.Hartley 3.Cole 4.Itoje 5.J Gray 6.Stander 7.Haskell 8.Vunipola 9.Murray 10.Sexton 11.L Williams 12.Henshaw 13.Joseph 14.Watson 15.Hogg

Bench

16.Furlong 17.George 18.M Vunipola 19.Launchbury 20.Faletau 21.Youngs 22.Farrell 23.North

Midweek

1.Marler 2.Best 3.WP Nel 4.AWJ 5.Kruis 6.Henderson 7.Warburton(c) 8.Hughes 9.Webb 10.Biggar 11.May 12.S Williams 13.JD2 14.Seymour 15.Brown

On stand-bye

1.Dickinson 2.Ford 3.Lee 4.Lawes 5.R Gray 6.Robshaw 7.O'Brien 8.Heaslip 9.Davies 10.Ford 11.Zebo 12.Dunbar 13.Daly 14.Maitland 15.Halfpenny

Done.

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Post by True Raven on Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:58 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:He was tremendous against Japan and Argentina. He did not play against South Africa though.

Which Tips was MOTM in and was probably Wales best player against Aussie (although not that hard).  There is no way Warburton is a better 7 than Tipuric.

The problem with Tips is because hes got good 'footballing skills' people think hes not great over the ball or not a great defensive player or even strong enough to hold up an attacker but the reality is he has all those abilities (not too mention an intelligent player) and he is by far the best attacking forward in Europe.  He's outshone Warburton at regional level for years now but the captaincy means Warburton keeps his place.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:06 am

True Raven wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:He was tremendous against Japan and Argentina. He did not play against South Africa though.

Which Tips was MOTM in and was probably Wales best player against Aussie (although not that hard).  There is no way Warburton is a better 7 than Tipuric.

The problem with Tips is because hes got good 'footballing skills' people think hes not great over the ball or not a great defensive player or even strong enough to hold up an attacker but the reality is he has all those abilities (not too mention an intelligent player) and he is by far the best attacking forward in Europe.  He's outshone Warburton at regional level for years now but the captaincy means Warburton keeps his place.

see my point about being noticed more. I think Warburton is a better player than Tipuric. I haven't always had this belief but I do now. The amount of rubbish that Warburton cleans up at the back of rucks is crazy. He makes his yardage around the fringes normally and doesn't show up as much in the backline as often as Tipuric.

I think Tipuric is a great rugby player but I'm not convinced he is a better 7 than Warburton. I think Tips skill set isn't maximised in the backrow. I dunno what the answer is and TBH I wouldn't stick him in the backline either despite probably having better pace, vision and distribution skills than Roberts.

It's a conundrum, because for me a fully fit and wales backrow would consist of some kind of combination of Warburton, Moriarty and Faletau with Tipuric providing the impact from the bench.

It's a nice selection headache to have but I do feel Tipuric's skills are wasted in the pack. It's probably too late to change positions too so I reiterate I dunno what the answer is.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:17 am

Interesting that Jones rates Lawes as one of the players of the tournament, (assumption that he means England player) i.e. above Launchbury and Kruis, but no one has mentioned him on here.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:23 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Interesting that Jones rates Lawes as one of the players of the tournament, (assumption that he means England player) i.e. above Launchbury and Kruis, but no one has mentioned him on here.

He made my "stand-bye" XV.

Lock is incredibly difficult and massively competitive. In truth I'd probably pick him over AWJ but I'm scared of the "Welsh back-lash"....

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Post by fa0019 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:28 am

The thing is especially with the lions its not about picking the best players... its about choosing the best team to best attempt to win a test series/be competitive.
If we picked the "best" 15 players I think we would lose heavily. Like in 1997, choices such as Townsend at 10 and Jenkins at 15 to offer greater fluidity worked.

It could, could justify a selection of say Ford at 10 to run the backline as long as their is another goal kicker in the team (and lets be honest I think I'd prefer Gethin to kick the points over Ford.... the worst English kicker since Jon Webb).

Guys like Tommy Seymour, Ross Moriarty and a Ford-Farrell 10-12 combo may not be the best wing, flank and 10-12 but they may be the best suit to playing NZ. I would say though that I think with Farrell at 12 you need serious wheels at 13 mind.

I'd be tempted to look at Maro as a blindside and a lock combo of JC and Kruis.

Perhaps

McGrath, Hartley, Cole, Gray, Kruis, Itoje, Moriarty, Faletau, Murray, Ford, North, Farrell, Williams, Seymour, Watson.

Can't believe I'd seriously consider Ford but then again you have to acknowledge part of England's success has been down to his running of the backline. I mean he can't be trusted with the tee and that's a big worry if there was an injury to Farrell, Sexton, Biggar etc.

Then again do you scrap a Ford-Farrell combo and go for say a Biggar, Henderson option? Playing Jenks at 15 was a gamble and lets be honest it almost became the worst decision in lions history...but it worked. It doesn't mean you always have to look outside of the norm but I do think its far more complicated than simply who is the best at the moment.

I'd leave out guys like Stander and Nel even though they may qualify both on merit and on a legal sense.. a snob, a purist I know whilst sure the coach is foreign, sbut I do think things like the Lions should be a little above those who are the most astute bargain shoppers in the game.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:02 am

Picking an intitial 37 man squad.

1.Mako, McGrath, Marler
2.George, Best, Hartley
3.Nel, Cole, Furlong
4.Itoje, J Gray, Henderson
5.Kruis, AWJ
6.Stander, Robshaw, Haskell
7.Tipuric, Warburton
8.Vunipola, Faletau

9.Murray, Youngs, Webb
10.Sexton, Farrell, Ford

11.Seymour, North
12.Henshaw, Davies
13.Joseph, Bennett
14.Watson, Williams
15.Hogg, Brown

Centres are the biggest struggle but wings didn't jump out at me either so I picked more full backs for cover. The pack and half backs are strongest area by far - should at least play into Gatlands game plans.

1.M Vunipola 2.George 3.Nel 4.Itoje 5.Kruis 6.Stander 7.Tipuric 8.B Vunipola
9.Murray 10.Sexton 11.North 12.Henshaw 13.Joseph 14.Watson 15.Hogg

16.Best 17.McGrath 18.Cole 19.J Gray 20.Faletau 21.Youngs 22.Farrell 23.Bennett

Centres really are thin on the ground. Roberts and Davies will likely both travel in Gatlands squad. If Manu Tuilagi stays fit for the 6 Nations then I'd expect him to get on the plane.

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Post by wayne on Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:35 am

Didn't want to comment about my 2 players, but I couldn't help laughing when all the talk on here that both AWJ and Justin Tipuric are overrated, when in that very Welsh paper The Sunday Times, had the 2 biased Welshmen Lawrence Dallaglio and Stuart Barnes BOTH picking AWJ in their Team if the Lions were playing tomorrow, and Dallaglio also picking Tips at openside, they had Devon Toner and Maro Itoje as AWJs partner.

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Post by TJ on Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:48 am

Centres - have a look at the scottish lads.  Dunbar, Jones, Bennett. Need a good 6N tho.  I'd have Joseph at 13 as one of the few players that right now I would say in the team.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:01 am

TJ wrote:Centres - have a look at the scottish lads.  Dunbar, Jones, Bennett.  Need a good 6N tho.  I'd have Joseph at 13 as one of the few players that right now I would say in the team.

Henshaw and Joseph would by my starting pair by a distance at current.

After that there's a queue of Roberts, Williams, JD2, Dunbar, Jones, Bennett, Manu and Daly who all have their strengths and weaknesses.

Dunbar is an excellent defensive leader though which will always be valuable for a Lions tour. Also something that Roberts adds.

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Post by TJ on Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:06 am

Dunbar and Joseph might be a very good combo. The rapier and the bludgeon.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:11 am

Can't believe anyone is looking at North on current form. He is living on past glories at 24, massively behind where he was a couple of years ago. May is a far better alternative at the moment.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:13 am

I also suspect that EJ may be thinking of Daly at 15 for the 6N, if he does and it works we could have another Hogg without the defensive frailties.

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