Lions 2017

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Post by abarnbrook on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 7:08 pm

First topic message reminder :

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 RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 11:41 am

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Brad71090 wrote:
TJ wrote:Full back for the lions.  Want an attacking full back it has to be Hogg.  Want a defensive kicking full back its 1/2p.  Want a all rounder its Brown - altho his petulance costs penalties

I want to see the lions take on NZ by attacking and outscoring them.  However my guess is Gatland wants a solid defensive team.

I cannot recall Brown giving any penalties away due to his antics?

Brown is a red card waiting to happen.

I'm staggered he hasn't been disciplined in a test match yet considering how much of an antagonist he can be.
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Post by uncle_nigel on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 11:42 am

reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:Not right now, but I'm sure with a run of games he could get back there.

When was the last time in your opinion that he was in the top 3 open-sides in the World?

Not sure I remember rating him as 'top 3' as you put it, but when thinking about that I'd say 2011.

So half a decade ago and you still consider him a World Class player?

Class is permanent Wink.

Shock, horror, Angry Scot getting angry at someone rating a Welsh player!

Well perhaps Warburton was just form and not class?  Can't remember McCaw or George Smith having such a dry spell.

Just seems ridiculous to call a player World Class when he hasn't been (by your own admission) for 5 years.

Well seeing as you asked me when he was last rated as 'Top 3' then no, it is not by my own admission. Silly post.

You stated he was a World Class player and I disagreed.

How would you define World Class then?

Scroll up with both eyes open and you might see it. Even 7&1/2 tried to help you out.
You're quite condescending, is it deliberate or due to an inferiority complex?

Top 5 for World Class is very generous in my book, kind of cheapens it.  

How long does a player need to stay in the Top 5 to qualify as World Class?

Well those terms remind me of your posts discussing Gatland and team Wales players.

I don't think so as they're happens to be a lot of good players which make it difficult to narrow it down, but for certain positions (like fly-half) I'd say you can probably list a top 3 and be accurate.

As I said, class is permanent.

there

For certain positions it's a Top 3 but others it's a Top 5?  That sounds very wishy washy, if we can't decide lets give everyone a medal nonsense.

imo there's been a distinct lack of quality test open-sides, especially from the NH.

When was the last time Warburton turned in a run of World Class performance?

Thanks, was multi-tasking.

Well it's pretty simple, in some positions there is an abundance of good players and others not so much. I don't see what you're struggling with.

SOB, Warbs, Tips, Rennie (until an injury forced him to retire), Dusatoir, even Robshaw was a good 7; and new on the scene guys like Leavy, VDF from Ireland look very good.

Perhaps in 2013, which is when he's been injured the least since early 2012.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 11:42 am

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Brad71090 wrote:
TJ wrote:Full back for the lions.  Want an attacking full back it has to be Hogg.  Want a defensive kicking full back its 1/2p.  Want a all rounder its Brown - altho his petulance costs penalties

I want to see the lions take on NZ by attacking and outscoring them.  However my guess is Gatland wants a solid defensive team.

I cannot recall Brown giving any penalties away due to his antics?

Brown is a red card waiting to happen.

Been waiting a really long time and still yet to see an instance when he should have been sent off.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 11:47 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Brad71090 wrote:
TJ wrote:Full back for the lions.  Want an attacking full back it has to be Hogg.  Want a defensive kicking full back its 1/2p.  Want a all rounder its Brown - altho his petulance costs penalties

I want to see the lions take on NZ by attacking and outscoring them.  However my guess is Gatland wants a solid defensive team.

I cannot recall Brown giving any penalties away due to his antics?

Brown is a red card waiting to happen.

Been waiting a really long time and still yet to see an instance when he should have been sent off.

Yep. Long career never happened in internationals. I think the guys who suffer most from his 'aggression' are the rest of the back line when they feck up.

I'd add that his decision making in defense is generally very good. You don't often see tries being scored because he missed a tackle he should of made, or because he didn't catch the ball he should of caught. The main issues seem to be over decision making on the counter. He doesn't often pass when he should, and sometimes it seems that other teams work him out and he gets caught. But generally his ability to break tackles considering he's not a big guy at all is pretty damn good.

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Post by reallybored on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:04 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
When was the last time Warburton turned in a run of World Class performance?

Perhaps in 2013, which is when he's been injured the least since early 2012.

That's my issue, he hasn't been 'World Class' in performances since the last Lions tour and that's far too long for a truly World Class player to under-perform.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:21 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:Brown is a red card waiting to happen.

4,000 minutes of rugby is a looong time to wait. More like 24,000 if you count his club games.
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:30 pm

I don't see any real benefit in Halfpenny playing when one of Sexton, Biggar or Farrell will be on the pitch anyway and I'd much rather have Brown or preferably Hogg playing. He's only an option because Gatland is the coach.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:32 pm

reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
When was the last time Warburton turned in a run of World Class performance?

Perhaps in 2013, which is when he's been injured the least since early 2012.

That's my issue, he hasn't been 'World Class' in performances since the last Lions tour and that's far too long for a truly World Class player to under-perform.

He hasn't under-performed though, he just gets injured quite often and like North could do with a long rest. The rest of your viewpoint seems fair, but again it comes back to that old cliché; class is permanent Wink.

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Post by marty2086 on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:34 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
When was the last time Warburton turned in a run of World Class performance?

Perhaps in 2013, which is when he's been injured the least since early 2012.

That's my issue, he hasn't been 'World Class' in performances since the last Lions tour and that's far too long for a truly World Class player to under-perform.

He hasn't under-performed though, he just gets injured quite often and like North could do with a long rest. The rest of your viewpoint seems fair, but again it comes back to that old cliché; class is permanent Wink.

Or maybe that form was temporary?

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Post by uncle_nigel on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:35 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:I don't see any real benefit in Halfpenny playing when one of Sexton, Biggar or Farrell will be on the pitch anyway and I'd much rather have Brown or preferably Hogg playing. He's only an option because Gatland is the coach.

You don't see the benefit apart from perhaps the Lions need good back 3 players and he's a candidate? He doesn't have to be first choice kicker despite his high percentage rate. He might not even make the test team but right now he's playing consistently well, often the shining light in his team and was formerly the Lions player of the series and 6N player of the tournament; that would be a big call to leave him out entirely.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:36 pm

marty2086 wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
When was the last time Warburton turned in a run of World Class performance?

Perhaps in 2013, which is when he's been injured the least since early 2012.

That's my issue, he hasn't been 'World Class' in performances since the last Lions tour and that's far too long for a truly World Class player to under-perform.

He hasn't under-performed though, he just gets injured quite often and like North could do with a long rest. The rest of your viewpoint seems fair, but again it comes back to that old cliché; class is permanent Wink.

Or maybe that form was temporary?

Such a cliché.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:39 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:I don't see any real benefit in Halfpenny playing when one of Sexton, Biggar or Farrell will be on the pitch anyway and I'd much rather have Brown or preferably Hogg playing. He's only an option because Gatland is the coach.

You don't see the benefit apart from perhaps the Lions need good back 3 players and he's a candidate? He doesn't have to be first choice kicker despite his high percentage rate. He might not even make the test team but right now he's playing consistently well, often the shining light in his team and was formerly the Lions player of the series and 6N player of the tournament; that would be a big call to leave him out entirely.

Apart from place kicking he offers nothing over the other options and it's the only reason he was selected last time and as a single weapon I'd much rather have Daly's left boot on the bench.

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Post by marty2086 on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:40 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
reallybored wrote:
When was the last time Warburton turned in a run of World Class performance?

Perhaps in 2013, which is when he's been injured the least since early 2012.

That's my issue, he hasn't been 'World Class' in performances since the last Lions tour and that's far too long for a truly World Class player to under-perform.

He hasn't under-performed though, he just gets injured quite often and like North could do with a long rest. The rest of your viewpoint seems fair, but again it comes back to that old cliché; class is permanent Wink.

Or maybe that form was temporary?

Such a cliché.

Everyones a critic Rolling Eyes [/quote]


Last edited by marty2086 on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:42 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by uncle_nigel on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:41 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:I don't see any real benefit in Halfpenny playing when one of Sexton, Biggar or Farrell will be on the pitch anyway and I'd much rather have Brown or preferably Hogg playing. He's only an option because Gatland is the coach.

You don't see the benefit apart from perhaps the Lions need good back 3 players and he's a candidate? He doesn't have to be first choice kicker despite his high percentage rate. He might not even make the test team but right now he's playing consistently well, often the shining light in his team and was formerly the Lions player of the series and 6N player of the tournament; that would be a big call to leave him out entirely.

Apart from place kicking he offers nothing over the other options and it's the only reason he was selected last time and as a single weapon I'd much rather have Daly's left boot on the bench.

Well you haven't watched him play then, especially if you don't believe he's a candidate in his position. Ignorance is bliss.


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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:43 pm

I've watched him play plenty Mikey and don't rate him that highly, I'd rather take Kearney as he's the most secure under the high ball.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:47 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:I've watched him play plenty Mikey and don't rate him that highly, I'd rather take Kearney as he's the most secure under the high ball.

If you don't rate him then fine, but don't use an incorrect reason when he's so often a shining light for all the teams he features in. I take it you haven't seen Biggar or Liam Williams under the high ball? I was right you don't watch rugby much.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:50 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:I've watched him play plenty Mikey and don't rate him that highly, I'd rather take Kearney as he's the most secure under the high ball.

If you don't rate him then fine, but don't use an incorrect reason when he's so often a shining light for all the teams he features in. I take it you haven't seen Biggar or Liam Williams under the high ball? I was right you don't watch rugby much.

Biggar won't be in the starting XV I imagine and Williams I'd like to see play on the opposite wing to Watson, Halfpenny is a solid player but there are better options.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 12:55 pm

Is this mikey? Makes sense then.

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Post by IanBru on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 1:01 pm

Oh... it's Mikey. Hi Mikey.
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Post by uncle_nigel on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 1:09 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:I've watched him play plenty Mikey and don't rate him that highly, I'd rather take Kearney as he's the most secure under the high ball.

If you don't rate him then fine, but don't use an incorrect reason when he's so often a shining light for all the teams he features in. I take it you haven't seen Biggar or Liam Williams under the high ball? I was right you don't watch rugby much.

Biggar won't be in the starting XV I imagine and Williams I'd like to see play on the opposite wing to Watson, Halfpenny is a solid player but there are better options.

Earlier you seemed to be getting at Halfpenny being just a goal-kicker, so you wouldn't select him based on having other goal-kickers in the squad. You went on to say you would rather Kearney as he's the most secure under the high ball, which is subjective. I ask if you've seen Biggar and Williams under the high ball seeing as they're no less secure under it, so that would, by your viewpoint, negate the need for Kearney in this squad and open that space back up to someone who can run, kick, catch and tackle quite well; say someone like Halfpenny?

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 1:50 pm

Halfpenny used to be a decent winger but that was a long time ago. I think he's a very brave tackler but that can be different from actually doing it well. And he does work very hard. In the worst Wales performances he was always the one guy who never gave up, never stopped working and never let his standards drop.

He definitely has some things going for him, but I don't think its enough to get him on the plane. But its Gatland - so who knows.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 1:51 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Is this mikey? Makes sense then.

Of course it's Mikey.

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Post by Gwlad on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 3:14 pm

No to Warburton, Best unlikely, Hartley maybe but is he the best hooker... QED AWJ is the best bet. These people who think AWJ is unlikely to be picked are failing to appreciate his experience as a winning Lion skipper, his form, his work rate, his experience in general and his relationship with Gatland.
And Itoje is not Jonno.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 3:16 pm

People just dislike AWJ because he's welsh. Doesn't alter the fact that he's class and probably the captain for this tour.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 3:18 pm

Gwlad wrote:Hartley maybe but is he the best hooker.

It's far from established that Alun Wyn is one of the two best locks.

Gwlad wrote:These people who think AWJ is unlikely to be picked are failing to appreciate his relationship with Gatland.

Quite.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 4:22 pm

I do think/believe that if Warburton goes on the Lions tour He will be captain.

Gatland love's him.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 4:27 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I do think/believe that if Warburton goes on the Lions tour He will be captain.

Gatland love's him.

I agree plus he is quite media friendly.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 4:29 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I do think/believe that if Warburton goes on the Lions tour He will be captain.

Gatland love's him.

If he does go it will ruin the 'who is going to go home with an injury' sweepstake.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 4:40 pm

Realistically it boils down to two players, AWJ and Rory Best. One of those will be captain...

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Post by reallybored on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 5:11 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:Realistically it boils down to two players, AWJ and Rory Best. One of those will be captain...

Are either guaranteed their place in the side?


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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 5:14 pm

reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:Realistically it boils down to two players, AWJ and Rory Best. One of those will be captain...

Are either guaranteed their place in the side?


Cant think of any player right now that is guaranteed a place on the starting team. Can you?

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Post by BamBam on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 5:14 pm

JJ, Itoje

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 5:19 pm

BamBam wrote:JJ, Itoje

Joseph is definitely not going to be captain but is probably going to start unless he gets injured.

Itoje isnt a guaranteed test starter IMO because there is so much competition at lock and 7. He is probably guaranteed to be in the squad but is never going to be picked as captain anyway.

Two good shouts all the same.

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Post by BamBam on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 5:32 pm

They wouldnt be my choices for captain either, just naming two guaranteed starters Wink

I'd have either Hartley or Best, whichever one starts. AWJ is behind 3 or 4 locks for me, so no way would I make him captain

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Post by reallybored on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 5:43 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:Realistically it boils down to two players, AWJ and Rory Best. One of those will be captain...

Are either guaranteed their place in the side?


Cant think of any player right now that is guaranteed a place on the starting team. Can you?

Owen Farrell

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Post by Exiledinborders on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 10:25 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
BamBam wrote:JJ, Itoje

Joseph is definitely not going to be captain but is probably going to start unless he gets injured.

Itoje isnt a guaranteed test starter IMO because there is so much competition at lock and 7. He is probably guaranteed to be in the squad but is never going to be picked as captain anyway.

Two good shouts all the same.
I thought he played at lock or six.

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Post by Exiledinborders on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 10:31 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:People just dislike AWJ because he's welsh. Doesn't alter the fact that he's class and probably the captain for this tour.
Who does not like AWJ?

I think most people think he is a very good player. A lot question if he is still one of the two top locks in the Lions countries. That has nothing to do with him being Welsh.

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Post by emack2 on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 11:25 pm

How big is the Lions Squad?the schedule a Heartlands team[tier 2 provincial]
5 super sides many a full or near full strength ,Nz Maori,and 3 tests.
That is one hell of an ask a rested NZ side with probably many players carrying
injuries or injured back for NZ.
IF people think the AI`s are where Nz is at should ponder these stats 37 losses
at home since 1903,last home losses 2009[2],45 home wins on the bounce.
Most of the Lions tours they have won 1 out of 3 or 4 only 1971 2-1-1 have
they won the series.
The players under threat won`t be out of contract till AFTER the Lions tour
so B. Smith,Dagg,et al will probably start.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 12:33 am

It was a 37 man squad initially last time around, emack. That usually grows as the tour goes on with guys called up as injury cover and then staying with the squad once the guy he replaced is fit due to injuries elsewhere in the squad.

Breakdown of players in the initial squad for the last couple of tours has been:

3 LH
3 Hooker
3 TH
5 Lock
7 Back Row

3 Scrum-half
2/3 Fly-half
4 Centre
4 Winger
2/3 Full back

Re the 2/3 at fly half and full back - that last back spot on the 2013 tour was given to Hogg with him being the 3rd fly half and utility back. I.e. only 2 10s were on tour.

In '09 originally there were only 2 fly halves as well with Riki Flutey able to cover 10. The final back spot was used to take 5 wingers. Halfpenny was injured before the tour and flew out to join the squad late though, hence James Hook was called up from the start of the tour as an injury replacement. Hook then stayed on after Halfpenny joined and acted as 3rd fly half for the tour.

With several strong fly halves around I hope that Gatland takes 3 out and out fly halves. The versatility of the back 3 options with guys such as Anthony Watson and Liam Williams able to cover full back and wing can make up for only taking 2 full backs. Farrell being able to cover 12 gives options as well, for the tour games if not the tests.

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Post by Exiledinborders on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 8:22 am

king_carlos wrote:It was a 37 man squad initially last time around, emack. That usually grows as the tour goes on with guys called up as injury cover and then staying with the squad once the guy he replaced is fit due to injuries elsewhere in the squad.

Breakdown of players in the initial squad for the last couple of tours has been:

3 LH
3 Hooker
3 TH
5 Lock
7 Back Row

3 Scrum-half
2/3 Fly-half
4 Centre
4 Winger
2/3 Full back

Re the 2/3 at fly half and full back - that last back spot on the 2013 tour was given to Hogg with him being the 3rd fly half and utility back. I.e. only 2 10s were on tour.

In '09 originally there were only 2 fly halves as well with Riki Flutey able to cover 10. The final back spot was used to take 5 wingers. Halfpenny was injured before the tour and flew out to join the squad late though, hence James Hook was called up from the start of the tour as an injury replacement. Hook then stayed on after Halfpenny joined and acted as 3rd fly half for the tour.

With several strong fly halves around I hope that Gatland takes 3 out and out fly halves. The versatility of the back 3 options with guys such as Anthony Watson and Liam Williams able to cover full back and wing can make up for only taking 2 full backs. Farrell being able to cover 12 gives options as well, for the tour games if not the tests.
Riki Flutey a Lion. Desperate times!

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 8:32 am

Exiledinborders wrote:

...
Riki Flutey a Lion. Desperate times!

Yeah - we'd never pick a whole bunch of time qualified players this time around would we? Oh....

(For an all too brief period he was a good player. )

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Post by TJ on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 8:42 am

uncle_nigel wrote:People just dislike AWJ because he's welsh. Doesn't alter the fact that he's class and probably the captain for this tour.

We really need an emoticon for " chip on shoulder"

this is such arrant nonsense. AJW is a fine player but there are quite a few better in the NH. Stating this opinion does not mean you hate the welsh.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 8:57 am

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:Realistically it boils down to two players, AWJ and Rory Best. One of those will be captain...

Are either guaranteed their place in the side?


Cant think of any player right now that is guaranteed a place on the starting team. Can you?

Well I don't know about Best... Wink

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Post by True Raven on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:02 am

TJ wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:People just dislike AWJ because he's welsh. Doesn't alter the fact that he's class and probably the captain for this tour.

We really need an emoticon for " chip on shoulder"

this is such arrant nonsense.  AJW is a fine player but there are quite a few better in the NH.  Stating this opinion does not mean you hate the welsh.

It's funny how different people perceive things and i think it depends on who you watch often. I understand AWJ might not seem as flashy as Lawes or Itoje and doesnt have the unbeaten tackles stat that J Gray has (although Lloyd Ashley went through a whole season with the Ospreys without missing a tackle, so its really not that great a stat) but at the Ospreys and Wales hes a leader first and foremost and someone who is sorely missed when hes not available.

All clubs and nations have players like these and i guess its why the welsh like AWJ because they see how he brings the team together. He's often viewed as the best lock Wales have ever produced so he cant be that bad

Although I do take exception when I read that Devin Toner is better than AWJ Rolling Eyes

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Post by TJ on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:04 am

I must agree with you about toner.

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Post by carpet baboon on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:16 am

I think the question as to who tours comes down to how gatland wants them to play.
I like AWJ and rate him, the only issue is rate quite a few second rows at the moment.
Personally I would go for two who can match up to retalick and Whitlock in the mobility stakes. Not saying AWJ aint mobile, but I think a few are ahead of him in that department.
But he does bring a lot of leadership and seems well respected by all the other countries players.
But for me he wouldn't start.
And do we see Farrell going as a ten who covers 12 or a genuine option at 12?

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:23 am

TJ wrote:I must agree with you about toner.

AWJ is a better captain and therefore more valuable to Wales than toner would be however, Toner is probably better lock at this stage and better around the park.

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Post by Cyril on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:27 am

Toner has longer arms.

AWJ has the advantage of being known by his initials.

It's a tricky one.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:33 am

Cyril wrote:Toner has longer arms.

AWJ has the advantage of being known by his initials.

It's a tricky one.

Toner also has shovels for hands and size 17 feet.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:33 am

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
TJ wrote:I must agree with you about toner.

AWJ is a better captain and therefore more valuable to Wales than toner would be however, Toner is probably  better lock at this stage and better around the park.

Very doubtful.
Toner does seem a bit underrated outside of Ireland though. I think only one of Toner or Charteris will tour, going there with the intention of wrecking the ABs lineout/driving maul. I'd be surprised if both went. It's 50/50, and with that Gatland will likely select Charteris, allowing him to go on his first Lions tour before retirement.

I don't really see who's miles better than AWJ which is what all the AWJ-haters keep making out. The only time you'd leave him out of the starting test team is if you opted for the lock combo of Itoje and Kruis.

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