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 Guest on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 3:24 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
Griff wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
Griff wrote:
IanBru wrote:Wasn't the story that Townsend was offered the role of being an assistant to Howley and he rightly told them to 'get lost'?

It was never more than a tweet by a Daily Mail journo. The same Daily Mail that spouts hatred and lies on pretty much any topic written!

Are you suggesting that Townsend was first choice and Howley second choice?

I'm suggesting that it wasn't true at all, as it came from a newspaper that is renowned for making stuff up.  I would have expected it to come out through many more media outlets too if true.  The 'good' newspapers, the BBC, etc. would all have run with the story, surely?  One tweet does not make it true.  I want more evidence!

What wasn't true? That Townsend was offered the role of attack/coach, and to be in charge of those aspects, or that Townsend was offered the role of Howley's assistant?

It was widely reported, including by the Telegraph, BBC and Guardian, that Townsend was offered "a role" with the Lions, and that he turned it down. Gatland has done on record stating his disappointment with Townsend's decision, and that Townsend has made a mistake. I'm assuming therefore that the story you don't believe is that the role was to support Howley, and therefore by extension that Howley was Gatland's second choice for the job.

I don't believe that he was only offered assistant to Howley. I believe he was approached to be the backs coach. Gats would have come out and said it as he doesn't exactly hold back the truth. Someone would have leaked it. So for there to be nothing about it in the press then I think it was just a theory by the Scottish journo. No, for me Howley was meant to lead the Wales tour to Samoa hence why Wales announced him as interim coach. I believe the Lions wanted a Scottish coach in there. Gats said he wanted representation from all 4 nations. I feel that Howley was only chosen last minute as no-one else said yes.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 3:29 pm

Ah, that makes sense.

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Post by IanBru on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 3:56 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Ah, that makes sense.
It certainly does make sense that Howley is ranked behind Townsend, O'Halloran, Jimmy Carter and Winnie the Pooh. Make no mistake, the most promising set of Lions outside backs in a generation will pose less of a threat than a balloon at the needle factory.
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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 4:08 pm

IanBru wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Ah, that makes sense.
It certainly does make sense that Howley is ranked behind Townsend, O'Halloran, Jimmy Carter and Winnie the Pooh. Make no mistake, the most promising set of Lions outside backs in a generation will pose less of a threat than a balloon at the needle factory.

And don't tell me, it's Gatlands fault?! Or Howley's fault!  They've approached the best coaches and they've turned it down.  Someone had to go!


Last edited by Griff on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 4:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 4:08 pm

Griff wrote:For me Howley was meant to lead the Wales tour to Samoa hence why Wales announced him as interim coach. I feel that Howley was only chosen last minute as no-one else said yes.

This is why I want Gatland to stay in New Zealand this summer and for Wales to get a new coaching team. If Howley's the booby prize for the Lions, then he shouldn't be first choice for Wales. Do we have no aspirations at all?

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 4:24 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Griff wrote:For me Howley was meant to lead the Wales tour to Samoa hence why Wales announced him as interim coach. I feel that Howley was only chosen last minute as no-one else said yes.

This is why I want Gatland to stay in New Zealand this summer and for Wales to get a new coaching team. If Howley's the booby prize for the Lions, then he shouldn't be first choice for Wales. Do we have no aspirations at all?

Whilst I do rate Gatland highly, things do seem to have become rather stale with Wales. I've never been convinced that Howley knows what he's talking about. It's a real pity that the likes of Schmidt and Townsend have turned it down. I'll say it through gritted teeth, but Townsend has done an outstanding job with Glasgow, particularly the backline.

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Post by IanBru on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 4:25 pm

Griff wrote:
IanBru wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Ah, that makes sense.
It certainly does make sense that Howley is ranked behind Townsend, O'Halloran, Jimmy Carter and Winnie the Pooh. Make no mistake, the most promising set of Lions outside backs in a generation will pose less of a threat than a balloon at the needle factory.

And don't tell me, it's Gatlands fault?! Or Howley's fault!  They've approached the best coaches and they've turned it down.  Someone had to go!
You can't (and I don't) blame Gatland for being Gatland or Howley for being Howley - good and bad, they are what they are.

The people I'll blame will be those who appointed Gatland, expecting him to somehow turn away from a career-long tactical outlook that a playing bosh-merchant at 12 will win games against the All Blacks. Gatland thinks that will work, and he’s entitled to his opinion.

Everyone else knows it won’t.
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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 5:16 pm

IanBru wrote:
Griff wrote:
IanBru wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Ah, that makes sense.
It certainly does make sense that Howley is ranked behind Townsend, O'Halloran, Jimmy Carter and Winnie the Pooh. Make no mistake, the most promising set of Lions outside backs in a generation will pose less of a threat than a balloon at the needle factory.

And don't tell me, it's Gatlands fault?! Or Howley's fault!  They've approached the best coaches and they've turned it down.  Someone had to go!
You can't (and I don't) blame Gatland for being Gatland or Howley for being Howley - good and bad, they are what they are.

The people I'll blame will be those who appointed Gatland, expecting him to somehow turn away from a career-long tactical outlook that a playing bosh-merchant at 12 will win games against the All Blacks. Gatland thinks that will work, and he’s entitled to his opinion.

Everyone else knows it won’t.

Agreed. Who's the Lions selector of headcoach? McGeechan?

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Post by BamBam on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 5:27 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Griff wrote:
IanBru wrote:Wasn't the story that Townsend was offered the role of being an assistant to Howley and he rightly told them to 'get lost'?

It was never more than a tweet by a Daily Mail journo. The same Daily Mail that spouts hatred and lies on pretty much any topic written!

Daily Mail Headline (latest edition):  "Welsh buffoon and probable KKK racist womaniser, Griff, accuses Us of spouting Hatred and Lies!"

Those would be terms of endearment from the Mail

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 10:15 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Griff wrote:For me Howley was meant to lead the Wales tour to Samoa hence why Wales announced him as interim coach. I feel that Howley was only chosen last minute as no-one else said yes.

This is why I want Gatland to stay in New Zealand this summer and for Wales to get a new coaching team. If Howley's the booby prize for the Lions, then he shouldn't be first choice for Wales. Do we have no aspirations at all?

Whilst I do rate Gatland highly, things do seem to have become rather stale with Wales. I've never been convinced that Howley knows what he's talking about. It's a real pity that the likes of Schmidt and Townsend have turned it down. I'll say it through gritted teeth, but Townsend has done an outstanding job with Glasgow, particularly the backline.

It doesn't matter about the ability of the coaches as they have no time to really influence the play. Townsend and Schmidt know they can be of much more use to their national squads continuing to develop players and systems (on which they will be judged) rather than a wild goose chase in New Zealand. The squad is likely to be predominately English and Welsh so Gregor and Joe wouldn't even have a core to build on - to choose the day job must have been a no brainer. Rob Howley will be just fine and maybe better anyway considering his familiarity with the players and the Lions - exactly the sort of tourist that Gatland can rely on.

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Post by Cyril on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 11:01 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Griff wrote:For me Howley was meant to lead the Wales tour to Samoa hence why Wales announced him as interim coach. I feel that Howley was only chosen last minute as no-one else said yes.

This is why I want Gatland to stay in New Zealand this summer and for Wales to get a new coaching team. If Howley's the booby prize for the Lions, then he shouldn't be first choice for Wales. Do we have no aspirations at all?

Whilst I do rate Gatland highly, things do seem to have become rather stale with Wales. I've never been convinced that Howley knows what he's talking about. It's a real pity that the likes of Schmidt and Townsend have turned it down. I'll say it through gritted teeth, but Townsend has done an outstanding job with Glasgow, particularly the backline.

It doesn't matter about the ability of the coaches as they have no time to really influence the play. Townsend and Schmidt know they can be of much more use to their national squads continuing to develop players and systems (on which they will be judged) rather than a wild goose chase in New Zealand. The squad is likely to be predominately English and Welsh so Gregor and Joe wouldn't even have a core to build on - to choose the day job must have been a no brainer. Rob Howley will be just fine and maybe better anyway considering his familiarity with the players and the Lions - exactly the sort of tourist that Gatland can rely on.
Why is that? Surely some Irish should be considered?

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Post by George Carlin on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 7:12 am

Yes, I expect Murray, Sexton, Henshaw, McGrath and Stander to feature in the tests somewhere.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 8:38 am

Which leading Lions candidates are known to be out of the Six Nations, but would hope to be back playing again before the end of the season? Billy Vunipola and, possibly, Mako Vunipola for England. How are players in the other Home Unions doing?

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 9:01 am

George Carlin wrote:Yes, I expect Murray, Sexton, Henshaw, McGrath and Stander to feature in the tests somewhere.

Id say Furlong will start before some of those. I think Sexton will probably be injured also.

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Post by munkian on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 10:07 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Which leading Lions candidates are known to be out of the Six Nations, but would hope to be back playing again before the end of the season? Billy Vunipola and, possibly, Mako Vunipola for England. How are players in the other Home Unions doing?

Faletau currently injured and will probably miss a few 6 nations games, he's bound to tour.

Rhys Webb will be back soon too though Murray is ahead of him in the Lions stakes I reckon.

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Post by True Raven on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 10:20 am

Judging from Gatlands interview, AWJ could well be the captain as he was one fo the playeres singled out along with Hogg, Farrell, Joseph and Furlong

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 11:00 am

True Raven wrote:Judging from Gatlands interview, AWJ could well be the captain as he was one fo the playeres singled out along with Hogg, Farrell, Joseph and Furlong

I wouldnt be surprised and wouldnt mind either as AWJ is a great captain and player. However, Gatland does have a habit of keeping people guessing and sending out mixed messages. He also likes to pull a few surprises out of left field.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 11:11 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Griff wrote:For me Howley was meant to lead the Wales tour to Samoa hence why Wales announced him as interim coach. I feel that Howley was only chosen last minute as no-one else said yes.

This is why I want Gatland to stay in New Zealand this summer and for Wales to get a new coaching team. If Howley's the booby prize for the Lions, then he shouldn't be first choice for Wales. Do we have no aspirations at all?

Whilst I do rate Gatland highly, things do seem to have become rather stale with Wales. I've never been convinced that Howley knows what he's talking about. It's a real pity that the likes of Schmidt and Townsend have turned it down. I'll say it through gritted teeth, but Townsend has done an outstanding job with Glasgow, particularly the backline.

It doesn't matter about the ability of the coaches as they have no time to really influence the play.

The quality and ability of the coaches does seem to have made a difference on previous Lions tours. Sure, they don't have time to work closely with players to improve individual skill levels, but in terms of tactics, structure, team selection and tour ethos/spirit, I would argue that the coaching team have a crucial role.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 1:20 pm

38 man squad for me:

Front row - McGrath, Vunipola, Marler, George, Best, Hartley, Nel, Furlong, Sinckler as a bolter -9
Second row - J Gray, Itoje, Kruis, Henderson, AWJ - 14
Backrow -  Vunipola if fit, Faletau, CJ Stander, Robshaw, Van der Flier, O'Brien, Tipuric. Moriarity if Vunipola isn't fit - 21
SH- Youngs, Murray, Laidlaw - 24
FH- Ford, Farrell, Sexton - 27
Centres - Henshaw, Joseph, Dunbar, Daly, JD2 (very very lucky), Huw Jones
Back 3 - Hogg, Halfpenny, Watson, Zebo, L Williams, Nowell


North needs to come back non-injured and with any form to get in, right now he's nowhere near the plane except on reputation

I don't think Gatland will agree

My (admittedly a tad biased in the backrow, but I genuinely think that's teh best flanker combo to go in with) 23 for NZ:


McGrath
Best (c)
Furlong
Gray
Itoje
Robshaw
VDF
Faletau (I don't expect Billy to be ready in time)
Murray
Sexton
Watson
Henshaw
Joseph
L Williams
Hogg

Bench - Vunipola, George, Nel, Henderson, Stander, Youngs, Farrell, Daly

Midweek side

Vunipola
Hartley
Nel
Kruis
Jones
SOB
Tips
Stander
Youngs
Ford
Nowell
Dunbar
Jones
Zebo
Halfpenny

Marler, George, Sinckler, Henderson, Moriarity, Laidlaw, Farrell, Daly on the bench
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 3:21 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:38 man squad for me:

Front row - McGrath, Vunipola, Marler, George, Best, Hartley, Nel, Furlong, Sinckler as a bolter -9
Second row - J Gray, Itoje, Kruis, Henderson, AWJ - 14
Backrow -  Vunipola if fit, Faletau, CJ Stander, Robshaw, Van der Flier, O'Brien, Tipuric. Moriarity if Vunipola isn't fit - 21
SH- Youngs, Murray, Laidlaw - 24
FH- Ford, Farrell, Sexton - 27
Centres - Henshaw, Joseph, Dunbar, Daly, JD2 (very very lucky), Huw Jones
Back 3 - Hogg, Halfpenny, Watson, Zebo, L Williams, Nowell

It's a good squad. I'd be happy with that. My changes would be:

Cole instead of Nel. As an Edinburgh and Scotland fan I can tell you how very good WP Nel is, but I can also tell you that he's been injured for a long while now and even before that injury he wasn't his usual destructive self. Cole has bags of experience and can be a real asset in the loose.

Webb instead of Laidlaw. As big a fan of wee Greg as I am, his attacking game isn't at the same level as Webb, plus I don't think you need his goal kicking with the other kickers you have in your squad.

Biggar instead of JD2. I see Farrell as a genuine 10 or 12 these days, so I would sacrifice a centre for Dan Biggar. I thought long and hard about taking George Ford, but he's such a classy player on his day that I think Gatland will need that option.

Wade instead of Zebo. I know all the drawbacks of Wade and all the murmurings around his defensive game. I can already hear the naysayers telling me how Julian Savea and co will run rings around him, but I would still take him. He's the most talented attacking winger we have. Ball in hand, we have no-one more capable of scoring tries. I'd be tempted by Jonny May as well, but I think Wade is more dangerous in attack.

I see you've picked Robshaw, for obvious reasons. I don't actually have a problem with this. He's a very consistent player who just gets on with things with a terrific workrate. I think CJ Stander is the better option at 6, but a midweek side with Robshaw at 6 makes good sense to me.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 3:53 pm

I see what you mean and those would all be reasonable changes. I also find it hard to leave a lot of locks at home- Launch and Toner and Ryan are all doing very well and would tour if the position were not so strong.

Others who I think Are very close include Russell, Webb, May, and Heaslip, and I would be surprised but not unhappy to see a non Int bolter like Underwood go. There are lots of players who have a bit to do now but if they have a good 6N have the Lions experience and Int class to go- Warburton, Cole, a fit North etc

I've tried to have a good amount of experience and leadership in the squad, whilst making sure we had players suitable to the bench as I think that will be key, and flexibility in positions without loses specialist skills, flexibility in kicking options and also a mix of workrate and power
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Post by rodders on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 5:00 pm

True Raven wrote:Judging from Gatlands interview, AWJ could well be the captain as he was one fo the playeres singled out along with Hogg, Farrell, Joseph and Furlong

AWJ will be captain all right. I'd say he has most of the test side picked.

15 Halfpenny
14 North
13 Joseph
12 Davies
11 Bowe
10 Farrell
9 Webb
8 Falatau
7 Warburton
6 Lydiate
5 AWJ( C)
4 Itoje
3 Furlong
2 Hartley
1 vainapolo
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 5:03 pm

You must be on the wind-up there, Rodders.

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Post by rodders on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 5:23 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:You must be on the wind-up there, Rodders.

What do you mean LP? You think he'll leave out Bowe for Williams??
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Post by George Carlin on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 5:36 pm

Laugh Rodders, you're killing me.

You missed out Phil Vickery at 2.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 5:37 pm

There won't be eight Welshmen in the Test XV. There was some justification for there being loads of Welshmen in 2013 because we were actually quite good then, but it'll be a largely English and Irish squad this time round.

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 9:25 pm

Wait for the 6N Luckless.  Don't be so hasty.  That 2016 was a form season for both Ireland and England but nothing is written in stone and form wilts. France/Wales/even Scotland could take up the torch this year.  Stranger things have happened.  If Wales drill a hole in the 6N and claim yet another GS.... Gatland wouldn't readily start choosing Welsh again?

All it needs is passion and intensity and we all know the competition coming is the very one the Welsh do passion and intensity in... plus they'll want to prove a few points to their own coach.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 5:53 am

SecretFly wrote:Wait for the 6N Luckless.  Don't be so hasty.  That 2016 was a form season for both Ireland and England but nothing is written in stone and form wilts.  France/Wales/even Scotland could take up the torch this year...
Wonder how much form will end up playing in selection. That's one reason I was wondering which leading players will be out of the 6N. The replacement might have a blinding tournament, help his team to the title, but still be overlooked (for example, Jackson vs Sexton or Hughes vs Vunipola).

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Post by Breadvan on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 7:04 am

Depressingly I think rodders team isn't far off..
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 8:10 am

Well its still apparently all down to the 6ns. Who comes out on top will get the majority. Stupid but there we go.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 9:20 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well its still apparently all down to the 6ns. Who comes out on top will get the majority. Stupid but there we go.

Not sure that will necessarily be the case. Wales won the 6N in '05 and England made up the bulk of the squad. I think Wales had more tourists than Ireland in '09 partially down to injuries and suspensions but Ireland won a GS.

I reckon either way England will have the most tourists unless Wales win a GS.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 9:29 am

And that is stupid. Do we have to go through the whole argument of an unbalanced tournament. The fact gatland has had a year off to.do.scouting properly rather than leaving it to the 6ns?

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Post by rodders on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 9:35 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:There won't be eight Welshmen in the Test XV.

Well Gats hates the Irish, doesn't rate the Scots and isn't keen on the English too much either (although he knows what side his Lions bread is buttered on) so who else is he going to pick?
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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 9:48 am

rodders wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:There won't be eight Welshmen in the Test XV.

Well Gats hates the Irish, doesn't rate the Scots and isn't keen on the English too much either (although he knows what side his Lions bread is buttered on) so who else is he going to pick?

As a compromise he will pick anyone who has Kiwi heritage though. That means T'eo, Vunapola x2, Maitland, Payne, Hartley, Harrison and Anscome will all be picked.

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Post by rodders on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 10:09 am

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
rodders wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:There won't be eight Welshmen in the Test XV.

Well Gats hates the Irish, doesn't rate the Scots and isn't keen on the English too much either (although he knows what side his Lions bread is buttered on) so who else is he going to pick?

As a compromise he will pick anyone who has Kiwi heritage though. That means T'eo, Vunapola x2, Maitland, Payne, Hartley, Harrison and Anscome will all be picked.

I'd say the biggest dilemma Gats will have is which of Hogg or Russell will be his token Scot.
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Post by R!skysports on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 10:17 am

rodders wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
rodders wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:There won't be eight Welshmen in the Test XV.

Well Gats hates the Irish, doesn't rate the Scots and isn't keen on the English too much either (although he knows what side his Lions bread is buttered on) so who else is he going to pick?

As a compromise he will pick anyone who has Kiwi heritage though. That means T'eo, Vunapola x2, Maitland, Payne, Hartley, Harrison and Anscome will all be picked.

I'd say the biggest dilemma Gats will have is which of Hogg or Russell will be his token Scot.

That is easy, It will be Hogg, but playing as a flanker

Russell will be on the bench for the final match, but not come on, even though every player is injured or blowing

That way he can say - look I gave the Scots a chance, but they did not perform (forgetting that one was in a position he has hardly every played and one did not come off the bench)

While I would like this to be a wind up.....history proves it could happen (again)

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 10:20 am

Wasnt Hogg picked as an out half for the last tour?

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Post by rodders on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 10:42 am

Yup and given he was the only Scot named dropped that he was watching, that says a lot to me about the level of bias in Gats thinking.
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Post by Guest on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 3:03 pm

There's some paranoid schidt being spouted here men! Wait and see. I reckon you'll be surprised. Smile

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Post by IanBru on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 3:34 pm

Griff wrote:There's some paranoid schidt being spouted here men! Wait and see. I reckon you'll be surprised. Smile
Yes, he might not pick Bleddyn Williams. That would be a surprise. Smile
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Post by Guest on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 3:45 pm

IanBru wrote:
Griff wrote:There's some paranoid schidt being spouted here men! Wait and see. I reckon you'll be surprised. Smile
Yes, he might not pick Bleddyn Williams. That would be a surprise. Smile

Knew you'd chime in 'Bru. Back to your Buckfast lad!

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Post by IanBru on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 3:50 pm

It's not 5pm yet! Got to have some standards!
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Post by Guest on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 5:06 pm

Laugh

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 10:34 pm

Breadvan wrote:Depressingly I think rodders team isn't far off..
Why depressingly? It doesn't matter which team goes to NZ - they are going to get tanked. The Lions are the perfect photo opportunity for cameo outings for those players who are going to retire after the series and give a chance for the Kiwis to appreciate that there are other players worthy of applause rather than the ones wearing black. The Lions are a celebration of the quadrennial underdog so enjoy the ride and shout louder.

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Post by Cyril on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 10:49 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Breadvan wrote:Depressingly I think rodders team isn't far off..
Why depressingly? It doesn't matter which team goes to NZ - they are going to get tanked. The Lions are the perfect photo opportunity for cameo outings for those players who are going to retire after the series and give a chance for the Kiwis to appreciate that there are other players worthy of applause rather than the ones wearing black. The Lions are a celebration of the quadrennial underdog so enjoy the ride and shout louder.
I'm sure Mike Gibson et al would be offended by that.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 11:08 pm

No they wouldn't - they know the difference between the professional era and the amateur one.

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Post by Cyril on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 11:16 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:No they wouldn't - they know the difference between the professional era and the amateur one.
Ok if you can get Gibson to say the Lions is shoite i'll be impressed

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 11:44 pm

Sorry Cyril but it's just another disappointing brick in the wall.

The amateur gentlemen Lions who were able to travel for half a year down under in the amateur era is significantly different to the professional behemoth pitted against a scratch team of mercenaries looking for self promotion. If you knew anything about Gibson you'd know he has far too much class to call anything shoite.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 07 Jan 2017, 10:37 am

Yet again. We get you don't like the lions aukster. Just ignore it.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 07 Jan 2017, 11:55 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yet again.  We get you don't like the lions aukster. Just ignore it.
Woodward had an interesting conversation with Jones about the Lions. The NZ Herald carried it as well:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11778201

CLIVE: Eddie, what about the Lions? I'm a Lions fan, I was proud to play for the Lions, I coached the Lions but when I was sitting in your seat I saw them as a massive disruption and made no bones about it. We were building in 2001 and then lost a load of players to that tour and it set us back a bit. Before the tour Iain Balshaw was our No 1 go-to back, he was my superstar in the backs but after the tour he was never quite the same. The tour also affected Ben Cohen, although he was back to his best by the World Cup. The Lions can go two ways. How are you seeing it?

EDDIE: The only part of 2017 I can really control is the Six Nations, all our focus is on that. Post Six Nations we are going to lose 10 to 15 of our players to the Lions and maybe those players won't play for us in November (Autumn Internationals) because they will have played probably twice the number of post-season games they will normally have played. We don't have to rest them but speaking to a number of players who have been on Lions tours, they found those November matches to be the hardest - so I think we have to be smart about it. So, given that, I look on 2017 as a massive opportunity to increase the depth of the squad. We have the opportunity to produce great third and fourth-choice options. Our two Tests against a full-strength Pumas in Argentina will be very testing.

CLIVE: That makes sense. We were in a similar position in 2001 - two years out from a World Cup - but when they came back we continued with them and finally gave the guys some time off in the summer of 2002 when we went to Argentina with a weakened team. Your way sounds better.

EDDIE: If we can sit down in the last week of November and say we have got 45 guys who can play Test rugby at the level that will be required at the 2019 World Cup, then this year will have been an enormous year for us. And if we lose a few battles on the way, it will help us win the war.

CLIVE: Eddie, the Celts put a huge emphasis on the Lions, their big past-players are Lions legends, that's almost how they made their names. I read an article recently quoting Paul O'Connell, who I have huge respect for, saying that the Lions is bigger than playing for Ireland. I disagree. I played for the Lions and I never saw it as bigger than playing for England. I believe this is the sole reason the Celtic nations have such poor records against the Southern Hemisphere. I don't think England players think like that. Do you detect a pecking order from the guys?

EDDIE: We had a camp back in August when we interviewed all the players about their ambitions for 2017 and out of the 45 players attending, only one player spoke about the Lions. Most of the players want to play for England first but they realise that a consequence of playing well for England is that they might get to tour for the Lions.

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