Lions 2017

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

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 EST on Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:14 am

I went for Farrell at 12, not something I thought I would be typing 12 months ago, I was one who thought his stint at 12 would be mediocre. He isn't the quickest or strongest. He doesn't threaten the line much or put in huge destructive tackles, and sometimes he can be a bit of an arse. But he is a born winner, and he has a habit of influencing games and making very good decisions. I also think we need a distributor at 12, and his partnership with Joseph is pretty well cemented now.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:38 am

1.Mako, Marler, Jenkins
2.Hartley, George, Dacey
3.Nel, Cole, Lee
4.Itoje, J Gray, Charteris
5.AWJ, Kruis
6.Haskell, Stander, Robshaw
7.Tipuric, Warburton
8.Vunipola, Faletau

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

11.North, Seymour
12.Roberts, Davies
13.Joseph, Bennett
14.Watson, Hogg
15.1/2p, Brown

Don't reckon Sexton is fit after the 6Ns punishment to make a Lions tour. Also think that Roberts is only sticking around for the Lions tour (which must have already been promised to him) and 1/2p is only back in Wales from France because Gatland wants to protect him for 6N and the Lions. Farrells size suits Gatlandball a bit better than Fords, Youngs form puts him in the 9 jersey. I reckon AWJ is a starting Test lock if fit and will be the nominated captain, with Hartley as england captain taking the supporting role.

That squad and starting XV will be able to pick up and apply Gatlands tactics in a short period of time. Gatland is going to under immense pressure in NZ, he won't have the luxury of time to get a squad playing fancy, ornate footy..... too little time and it will be prone to errors and pick offs by NZ. I think with Gatland, this will be a relatively simple and attritional attacking strategy coupled with a high speed rush defensive setup.

He might in fact worry NZ at times, and even take the first test. I'd expect the result of the Lions tour to be that he falls out of favour with the NZ masses and brains-trust by the tactics applied and it ends up with Vern/Joe becoming more likely replacements for Hansen down the line.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:40 am

I think if, if Faletau is going to go on the Lions, he will be the number 8 As i think Bill V will not be going dur to injury ( now) and fitness ( match fitness) before the tour starts.

Youngs is a good shout for the 9 shirt. Although Ford and Farrell do well in the England set up I think Sexton/Biggar will be pushing for the 10 shirt

Watson? will he be fit enough? like Billy V.

I think the wings could well be North L williams.

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Post by Gwlad on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:05 am

Billy will go. Gats has form for taking special cases on tour (Jenkins RWC 2011) even when crocked. in the absence of any other standouts, Billy V is certain to go if fit and can pick up match fitness on tour games. If fit it will be a toss up between the 2 though since he knows Faletau's exceptionally consistent performance he may start him with billy off the bench…not a bad impact player.

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Post by Gwlad on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:14 am

Squad post autumn
Furlong, McGrath, Jenkins, Cole, Mako, Nel
Hartley, George, Best
AWJ, Gray, Henderson, Kruis, Launchbury - i expect Itoje to go too
Faletau, Tipuric, Warburton, Stander, Billy V, SOB.
Youngs, Murray, Webb
Ford, Farrell, Sexton
Henshaw, Davies, Jones, Joseph - Manu might slot in if he's had a run and is fit.
L Williams, Hogg, North, Halfpenny, May.

Test 23

Jenkins, Hartley, Cole
AWJ, Itoje
Stander, Warburton, Faletau
Murray
Sexton
Farrell
Davies
Williams, May, Hogg

Mako, Best, Furlong, Kruis, Billy V, Tipuric, Manu, Hogg.


Last edited by Gwlad on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by EST on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:18 am

Its a real shame Huw Jones was injured, he could have been a l bolter this tour. He was really excellent for Scotland, much better than anticipated.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:28 am

My shout for bolter, if he qualifies as one, is Jamie George as starting hooker. He's a better player than Hartley but being kept out due to the leadership Hartley offers England as skipper.

George is the better player now though. His set-piece is rock solid, the scrum usually improves for England when he comes on and he is an excellent carrier with very good hands.

With the shortage of standout centres Garry Ringrose is in with a chance as bolter too.

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Post by Exiledinborders on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:33 am

king_carlos wrote:My shout for bolter, if he qualifies as one, is Jamie George as starting hooker. He's a better player than Hartley but being kept out due to the leadership Hartley offers England as skipper.

George is the better player now though. His set-piece is rock solid, the scrum usually improves for England when he comes on and he is an excellent carrier with very good hands.

With the shortage of standout centres Garry Ringrose is in with a chance as bolter too.
You could be reading too much into the scrum improvement. When George comes on he is either up against a tiring opponent or a replacement and most teams are not in the fortunate position of having first rate replacements.

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Post by Exiledinborders on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:39 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:
Gatland is going to under immense pressure in NZ, he won't have the luxury of time to get a squad playing fancy, ornate footy
You could be right. He has been in charge of Wales for years and they still do not play fancy ornate footy.

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Post by EST on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:41 am

I don't think I would complain much if George started, although I think both Best and Hartley are front runners for captain alongside AWJ and Warburton. If it went to anon-hooker, I would agree he could force his way in.

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Post by wolfball on Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:39 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:1.Mako, Marler, Jenkins
2.Hartley, George, Dacey
3.Nel, Cole, Lee
4.Itoje, J Gray, Charteris
5.AWJ, Kruis

You look at the current irish tight 5 and think not a single player worth their place as a lion?

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:08 am

Exiledinborders wrote:
king_carlos wrote:My shout for bolter, if he qualifies as one, is Jamie George as starting hooker. He's a better player than Hartley but being kept out due to the leadership Hartley offers England as skipper.

George is the better player now though. His set-piece is rock solid, the scrum usually improves for England when he comes on and he is an excellent carrier with very good hands.

With the shortage of standout centres Garry Ringrose is in with a chance as bolter too.
You could be reading too much into the scrum improvement. When George comes on he is either up against a tiring opponent or a replacement and most teams are not in the fortunate position of having first rate replacements.

I dunno. Whenever he starts for Sarries their scrum looks pretty good, and it seems much weaker when Brits replaces him. OK Brits is a fairly ordinary scrummager, but I do think George is a bit of a beast in the scrum.

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:12 am

If you're the Lions coach, surely you'll for selecting existing combinations, wherever it's possible, rather than seeking the absolute top player in each position, which is well nigh on impossible to do given the welther of choice in some o those positions e.g. back row.

A front row combo might not be essential, but perhaps a playing connection between the hooker and one of the props.
The hooker knowing the players he's throwing to - the lock combination but splitting these two has regularly happened.
Backrow - just pick who's best in each position
Half-back combo - ideally an existing pairing who are familiar with each other.
Midfield and back three - maybe not so much - pick n mix.

So that might give you
Hartley/Cole or Best/McGrath
Kruis & Itoje
Murray/Sexton or Youngs/Ford
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Post by wolfball on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:17 am

Pot Hale wrote:If you're the Lions coach, surely you'll for selecting existing combinations, wherever it's possible, rather than seeking the absolute top player in each position, which is well nigh on impossible to do given the welther of choice in some o those positions e.g. back row.

A front row combo might not be essential, but perhaps a playing connection between the hooker and one of the props.
The hooker knowing the players he's throwing to - the lock combination but splitting these two has regularly happened.
Backrow - just pick who's best in each position
Half-back combo - ideally an existing pairing who are familiar with each other.
Midfield and back three - maybe not so much - pick n mix.

So that might give you
Hartley/Cole or Best/McGrath
Kruis & Itoje
Murray/Sexton or Youngs/Ford

I would go further; I have said elsewhere that all units should ideally by country units excluding backrow/back three. With that in mind,

Either irish or English front row, which ever set are most uninjured, I think they are close to par anyways.
English Second Row
Mix Welsh/English/Irish Backrow
Irish HalfBacks
English Centres
Mix Welsh/English/Scottish back three

Bench, those players best in their position (but missing from one of the above units).


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Post by Cyril on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:21 am

Gwlad wrote:Squad post autumn
Furlong, McGrath, Jenkins, Cole, Mako, Nel
Hartley, George, Best
AWJ, Gray, Henderson, Kruis, Launchbury - i expect Itoje to go too
Faletau, Tipuric, Warburton, Stander, Billy V, SOB.
Youngs, Murray, Webb
Ford, Farrell, Sexton
Henshaw, Davies, Jones, Joseph - Manu might slot in if he's had a run and is fit.
L Williams, Hogg, North, Halfpenny, May.

Test 23

Jenkins, Hartley, Cole
AWJ, Itoje
Stander, Warburton, Faletau
Murray
Sexton
Farrell
Davies
Williams, May, Hogg

Mako, Best, Furlong, Kruis, Billy V, Tipuric, Manu, Hogg.
Jenkins? f*cking hell!

That is an awful. awful XV. Mind you, I know you're wumming. Actually I hope it's picked Smile

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:53 am

wolfball wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:1.Mako, Marler, Jenkins
2.Hartley, George, Dacey
3.Nel, Cole, Lee
4.Itoje, J Gray, Charteris
5.AWJ, Kruis

You look at the current irish tight 5 and think not a single player worth their place as a lion?

The tight 5 is the single most important selection in the whole squad. In the professional era it is simply impossible to compete with a team like the All Blacks with a scratch selection. At the very least the top 10 picks should be from no more than 2 teams to stand any chance of competing. It is hard enough facing the ABs with five guys who know each other inside out never mind those who can't understand each other's accents. Picking different pieces from several jigsaws doesn't make a great picture, unless it's simply sky and the joints can be forced!

Rory is one of the best hookers in the world and outplayed Coles twice, but Gatland doesn't like him, so having other Irish players in the tight five are going to be unmatched pieces in an incoherent picture. Does Toner give you anything Charteris doesn't or Henderson more than Launchbury? Furlong is looking good in a settled team but is far too inexperienced to be exposed in a cobbled-together combination.
The only tight five representative from Ireland in the squad might be McGrath, because he has proven himself to be the match of Franks and still offer plenty in the loose.

1.McGrath, Mako, Jenkins
2.Hartley (c), George, Dacey
3.Cole, Lee, Nel
4.Itoje, JG, Charteris
5.Kruis, AWJ, Launchbury

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:40 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
wolfball wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:1.Mako, Marler, Jenkins
2.Hartley, George, Dacey
3.Nel, Cole, Lee
4.Itoje, J Gray, Charteris
5.AWJ, Kruis

You look at the current irish tight 5 and think not a single player worth their place as a lion?

The tight 5 is the single most important selection in the whole squad. In the professional era it is simply impossible to compete with a team like the All Blacks with a scratch selection. At the very least the top 10 picks should be from no more than 2 teams to stand any chance of competing. It is hard enough facing the ABs with five guys who know each other inside out never mind those who can't understand each other's accents. Picking different pieces from several jigsaws doesn't make a great picture, unless it's simply sky and the joints can be forced!

Rory is one of the best hookers in the world and outplayed Coles twice, but Gatland doesn't like him, so having other Irish players in the tight five are going to be unmatched pieces in an incoherent picture. Does Toner give you anything Charteris doesn't or Henderson more than Launchbury? Furlong is looking good in a settled team but is far too inexperienced to be exposed in a cobbled-together combination.
The only tight five representative from Ireland in the squad might be McGrath, because he has proven himself to be the match of Franks and still offer plenty in the loose.

1.McGrath, Mako, Jenkins
2.Hartley (c), George, Dacey
3.Cole, Lee, Nel
4.Itoje, JG, Charteris
5.Kruis, AWJ, Launchbury


I get your reasoning, but not your conclusion. Ireland played fantastically against the ABs, so I would go for a front row based on them (McGrath, Best, Furlong would be the most in form in each position right now anyway!). In the second row, I think that there is plenty of time to get gelling as far as teh front-second row interaction goes. Then take the other front row unit as England with Nel and maybe Jenkins and George filling the gaps
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Post by ChequeredJersey on Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:42 am

fa0019 wrote: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.


I'd consider Halfpenny at wing or FB (preferably wing, apart from Watson I think it looks less strong right now) on that basis alone, Farrell at 12 too
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Post by TJ on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:05 pm

If you want to leave out Stander and Nel on the grounds they are imports an awful lot of other players should not be going as well.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:08 pm

TJ wrote:If you want to leave out Stander and Nel on the grounds they are imports an awful lot of other players should not be going as well.  


I wouldn't leave them out, but there is a definite difference between imports like Nel/Stander/Hardie (project players or players who walked straight in without even visiting a country) and the Vunipolas/Faletau where they learnt their rugby from the very start in the UK or Ireland


Personally, if they think of themselves as British or Irish, that's enough for me
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Post by majesticimperialman on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:59 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:
TJ wrote:If you want to leave out Stander and Nel on the grounds they are imports an awful lot of other players should not be going as well.  


I wouldn't leave them out, but there is a definite difference between imports like Nel/Stander/Hardie (project players or players who walked straight in without even visiting a country) and the Vunipolas/Faletau where they learnt their rugby from the very start in the UK or Ireland


Personally, if they think of themselves as British or Irish, that's enough for me


Totally agree 100%.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:20 pm

If they think of themselves as a lion though, they may need psychological help
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Post by reallybored on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:36 pm

1 - Vunipola
2 - Hartley (c)
3 - Furlong
4 - Kruis
5 - Gray
6 - Stander
7 - Barclay
8 - Vunipola

9 - Murray
10 - Farrell
11 - North (assuming he hasn't retired)
12 - Henshaw
13 - Joseph
14 - Williams
15 - Hogg

16 - George
17 - McGrath
18 - Cole
19 - Itoje
20 - Faletau
21 - Youngs
22 - Ford
23 - Williams

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Post by marty2086 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:30 pm

1. McGrath
2.Best (c)
3. Furlong
4.Itoje
5.Toner
6. Stander
7. Haskell
8. B. Vunipola

9. Murray/Youngs
10. Sexton
11. Seymour
12. Farrell
13.Henshaw
14. Maitland
15. L. Williams/Hogg

16. Hartley
17. M. Vunipola
18. Nel
19. Kruis/Lawes/Launchberry
20. VanDer Flier
21. Murray/Youngs
22. Payne
23. Amos

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Post by uncle_nigel on Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:51 pm



5, AWJ


8, Faletau



15, Williams

You can fill in the rest, but those are the only Wales players worthy of a start. I'd be surprised if we contribute more to the overall squad, never mind the test team.

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Post by marty2086 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:54 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:

5, AWJ


8, Faletau



15, Williams

You can fill in the rest, but those are the only Wales players worthy of a start. I'd be surprised if we contribute more to the overall squad, never mind the test team.

Given the form of the English locks and Toner I think AWJ getting in would be pretty generous and take a bit of favouritism from Gatland . Faletau is just back from injury too and has Heaslip and Vunipola to compete with and they are both on a tear, well before Billy got injured.

We know North, Halfpenny, Roberts, Warburton and maybe a few others will be there or there about as Gatlands offspring cant miss out Whistle

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:11 pm

Suppose by worthy of a start you mean would be in that serious discussion of starting rather than guaranteed.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:25 pm

marty2086 wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:

5, AWJ


8, Faletau



15, Williams

You can fill in the rest, but those are the only Wales players worthy of a start. I'd be surprised if we contribute more to the overall squad, never mind the test team.

Given the form of the English locks and Toner I think AWJ getting in would be pretty generous and take a bit of favouritism from Gatland . Faletau is just back from injury too and has Heaslip and Vunipola to compete with and they are both on a tear, well before Billy got injured.

We know North, Halfpenny, Roberts, Warburton and maybe a few others will be there or there about as Gatlands offspring cant miss out Whistle

I think you have to add Johnny Gray to that list too. #750minutes
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Post by tigertattie on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:31 pm

Why are folk ruling out Billy V due to injury?

He's out for three months so he's going to be back in early March? The Jeff doesn't finish till the start of May, and then depending on progression, there's play offs and a final. So Billy will have what, 5,6 or 7 club games to prove he is fit? Surely to goodness that's enough time to prove you can play??????????
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Post by uncle_nigel on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:31 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Suppose by worthy of a start you mean would be in that serious discussion of starting rather than guaranteed.

This doesn't make sense but yeah, AWJ is probably the captain. The English chat is talking about shifting Itoje to 6, so that is another option to consider for the Lions. Toner will either go, or Charteris will go in his place - that's one I can't call.

My other selections is more me knowing (and hoping) that guys like Faletau will get back to where he was - rated as one of the best in his position in world rugby. He looked good in his reintroduction to rugby. Faletau and Vunipola are some serious options to have on board.

As much as I agree Hogg is playing well I still believe Williams is better - one of these guys shows up well against the best teams in the world and the other only shows up against the minnows in the world. If you watched a bit of rugby in the summer you'd know which is which.

Interesting call on Halfpenny. Recently he showed he can slot back into the Wales team at either wing or full-back and play well. He's playing consistently well for his club in a competitive league and is a good goal-kicker. He's likely to tour but not make the test team IMO. North on current form I wouldn't take, in fact I'd give him some time off rugby starting right now.

Warburton and Tips will be able to slot in and play well but you also have Robshaw, Haskell, Hardie, SOB, VDF among some others I'm sure I've missed. I think the Lions are well stocked up front.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:41 pm

Faletau and Williams will definitely go if fit, not sure on Jones too much competition to really guarantee any lock will go for me. Personally don't think he will go but wouldn't surprise me if he did. Still think it's nailed on for Gatland to have another first and give Itoje the Lions captaincy.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:46 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:

As much as I agree Hogg is playing well I still believe Williams is better - one of these guys shows up well against the best teams in the world and the other only shows up against the minnows in the world. If you watched a bit of rugby in the summer you'd know which is which.

yes, Ireland. Those famous minnows of world rugby...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnwxWsJd6r0

and those other minnows france....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y6A5mtIUdE

You are of course entitled to your opinion Nige. Your opinion is wrong about him only scoring against Minnows as I have proven, but nevertheless you are entitled too it.

All this talk about Hogg not being as good as Williams or Brown is utter nonsense. He is the best Fullback in the NH, and had he been playing for any other country I don't think there would be much dispute about it.
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Post by IanBru on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:04 pm

One of my public law tutors at university used to say "I'm required by this institution to respect your opinion. However, your opinion is demonstrably, conclusively wrong. So all I can say is I respect your right to know sweet F___ all."

To be clear Nigel, (and because I'm diplomatic on Tuesdays) I'm not saying this actually applies to you! Williams is a great player, and he'd be my utility back-three option in my Lions 23. He just doesn't have that X-factor that Hogg clearly has - the ability to do things that defy belief, to break a game up. Plus the scaffolders outside my work are really annoying me, so I'm taking it out on Liam.
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Post by IanBru on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:06 pm

And for that matter, Wales. Apparently minnows.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wv4GlYZlgE
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Post by uncle_nigel on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:08 pm

And Italy and Georgia. I said turn up, and by that I mean play well across the full 80 on a consistent basis.

Williams does it consistently against NZ, SA, Arg, Aus as well as the teams of the 6 Nations. He somehow alluded pro rugby after playing for our academies but got his chance with the Scarlets and through shear heart and determination has established himself as Wales' best player (or one of them at least). I think Hogg is good but a tad overrated. I'm comfortable with being in the minority if this is the case?

Interesting comparison to Brown. Jack-Russell is good at doing a specific job but outside of that pretty limited, which is why Williams and Hogg are better. I've no doubt Brown will continue to play for England for a while as he's a good fit and I don't see anyone else challenging for the 15 jersey.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:09 pm

IanBru wrote:And for that matter, Wales. Apparently minnows.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wv4GlYZlgE

Blocked at work. I'm assuming it was after that Wales error and forward pass from Gray in Murrayfield? Great try that one mind...

You Scots should calm down, you're sounding a bit English after somebody disagrees with you.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:10 pm

IanBru wrote:One of my public law tutors at university used to say "I'm required by this institution to respect your opinion. However, your opinion is demonstrably, conclusively wrong. So all I can say is I respect your right to know sweet F___ all."

To be clear Nigel, (and because I'm diplomatic on Tuesdays) I'm not saying this actually applies to you! Williams is a great player, and he'd be my utility back-three option in my Lions 23. He just doesn't have that X-factor that Hogg clearly has - the ability to do things that defy belief, to break a game up. Plus the scaffolders outside my work are really annoying me, so I'm taking it out on Liam.

Disagree totally. X-factor is what makes Williams stand out, he's probably the only Welsh player that has it. Williams is top full back for me with Hogg second Very Happy

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Post by lostinwales on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:15 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:And Italy and Georgia. I said turn up, and by that I mean play well across the full 80 on a consistent basis.

Williams does it consistently against NZ, SA, Arg, Aus as well as the teams of the 6 Nations. He somehow alluded pro rugby after playing for our academies but got his chance with the Scarlets and through shear heart and determination has established himself as Wales' best player (or one of them at least). I think Hogg is good but a tad overrated. I'm comfortable with being in the minority if this is the case?

Interesting comparison to Brown. Jack-Russell is good at doing a specific job but outside of that pretty limited, which is why Williams and Hogg are better. I've no doubt Brown will continue to play for England for a while as he's a good fit and I don't see anyone else challenging for the 15 jersey.

No complaints about Brown being down the pecking order. He arguably should have gone last time as he was very good, but not now. Right now Williams and Hogg should go. Who plays is up to them and the management

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Post by bsando on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:15 pm

Williams has definitely impressed and with a good 6N performance and probably a slight bit of favouritism from Gatland will tour in 2017. Hogg is still favourite with fans and pundits alike to start at 15 but if he has a poor 6N then everything could change. I expect Hogg, 1/2p and Williams to all go on tour.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:16 pm

I had this debate with another on here about Hogg. Yeah sure he sometimes doesn't tackle as well as he could. Same could be said for Halfpenny. Both brave, but being diplomatic, solid in the tackle is a strength neither men can claim to have.

Williams may have that claim. He probably is better defensively than Hogg and Halfpenny. In fact forget may have that claim, he is better in defence than either.

However he has nothing like the attacking Flair and pace of Hogg and has nothing like the Experience and outstanding kicking abilities of Halfpenny.

In short, the Lions IMO will not be able to shut NZ out. They will score tries. Even when Ireland beat them in Chicago the All Blacks scored tries.

So it is my belief that attack is the best form of defence. Lets attack them. When they kick the ball deep I want our Full Back to take the ball and run it back at them. If running it back is a bad option I want them to have a howitzer of a boot to return the kick with interest.

If only we had a full back in the home nations who could run it back with lethal pace and a good eye for a gap or boot it long into touch or for others to chase..............
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Post by lostinwales on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:33 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:I had this debate with another on here about Hogg. Yeah sure he sometimes doesn't tackle as well as he could. Same could be said for Halfpenny. Both brave, but being diplomatic, solid in the tackle is a strength neither men can claim to have.

Williams may have that claim. He probably is better defensively than Hogg and Halfpenny. In fact forget may have that claim, he is better in defence than either.

However he has nothing like the attacking Flair and pace of Hogg and has nothing like the Experience and outstanding kicking abilities of Halfpenny.

In short, the Lions IMO will not be able to shut NZ out. They will score tries. Even when Ireland beat them in Chicago the All Blacks scored tries.

So it is my belief that attack is the best form of defence. Lets attack them. When they kick the ball deep I want our Full Back to take the ball and run it back at them. If running it back is a bad option I want them to have a howitzer of a boot to return the kick with interest.

If only we had a full back in the home nations who could run it back with lethal pace and a good eye for a gap or boot it long into touch or for others to chase..............

You never know. If we are lucky then Daly might have sown up the England FB position by then and will be available.....

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Post by uncle_nigel on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:35 pm

Having seen Williams attack the ABs I will again have to disagree that he has little attacking flair, and given the way he chases down attackers from the other side of the field and tackles them into touch I'll also have to disagree with him lacking pace.

I do agree with your philosophy on beating the ABs though. I think the Lions, with all the players available to them can shut out NZ better than anyone else can right now and still be able to score tries. Sexton at 10 for me, fingers crossed he is fit. Williams and Hogg in the back 3 will also do some damage and I can accept Williams moving to wing to accommodate Hogg.

I'm not so sure about the rest of the backs. At No.9 we have an abundance of good players that blow hot and cold throughout the year, with Ben Youngs probably blowing hot the most right now. Nobody really stands out at centre for me. I think we need big and strong guys with good ball-playing skills and Ireland seem to have those in guys like Payne, Henshaw...

As much as I think Howley being on the coaching staff is a disaster I can't help but be optimistic again when considering the list of good players we have available this year thumbsup.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:38 pm

Joseph not standing out for the last year?

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Post by uncle_nigel on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:44 pm

I did just about remember JJ when I clicked send, so yeah, I believe he has been a standout performer. Any suggestions for wing assuming Williams and Hogg make up the rest of the back 3? I probably don't rate May as high as you...

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Post by R!skysports on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:45 pm

6 Nations player of the comp 2016

Just a lot of minnows he played against

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkDqAraIqic

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:46 pm

Don't you? I wouldn't say May is a definite to go on tour. Outside chance if he keeps it going through the 6Ns. Watson is the first choice winger once back.

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Post by R!skysports on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:46 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:
IanBru wrote:And for that matter, Wales. Apparently minnows.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wv4GlYZlgE

Blocked at work. I'm assuming it was after that Wales error and forward pass from Gray in Murrayfield? Great try that one mind...

You Scots should calm down, you're sounding a bit English after somebody disagrees with you.

It is not the disagreeing - it is the disrespect saying he only scores against minnows

Williams is a class player too BTW

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:46 pm

a reasonable backline would look something like :

9. Murray
10. Ford
11. Williams
12. Farrell
13. Joseph
14. May
15. Hogg

With instructions to go out there and play heads up rugby. Factor in another backline of:

9. Youngs
10. Sexton
11. Seymour
12. Henshaw
13. Huw Jones
14. North
15. Halfpenny

You have another decent backline especially if Sexton recovers from injury and North gets some form back.

On paper our backs look quite strong, especially considering players like Bennet, Ringrose, Watson, Yarde, Williams and Roberts are nowhere to be seen.

From a Welsh perspective one of the names that would be first on a Lions teamsheet for me would be Moriarty. In the absence of Billy V he is the best No8 at the moment. I don't think Faletau is a bad player but I dunno why he gets so much hype. Moriarty is a wrecking machine.
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Post by BamBam on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:50 pm

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

16. Best 17. Mako 18. Furlong 19. Henderson 20. Tipuric 21. Youngs 22. Farrell 23. May

Based on the summer games and the autumn ints, that would be my team

Don't think that front row would take a backward step against the ABs, and the locks are two of the best around and only getting better

Back row is a bit of a gamble on Van Der Flier, but he's put in the best performance of any 7 other than Haskell, and the Hask doesn't fit my gameplan against the ABs but will probably still tour

Halfbacks speak for themselves, I went both ways on Farrell/Henshaw but decided Sexton is easily a good enough kicker. JJ has to start without question, and I think those 3 are the best back 3 players we have available, even with Williams slightly out of position, and all have FB skills which could be crucial if NZ start Dagg and Smith as they have been

Bench is full of impact players, we have to match their intensity in the last 20 mins, Best to add the leadership off the bench and take over the captaincy

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Post by marty2086 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:52 pm

Given Paynes defensive abilities and his greater attacking threat at 15, could anyone see him getting a look in there?

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