The SANZAR Lions 2017

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Post by miaow on Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:22 pm

CJ Stander left SA because he was told he was too small to be a Springbok, yet is on the verge of being a B&I Lion, and would certainly improve the current SA side.

Considering the recent poor fortunes of South Africa, and the predilection of Northern Hemisphere sides to recruit players from SA, New Zealand, and Australia with a view to them graduating to their adopted national sides, who are the best players from SANZAR currently playing for the Home Nations? And what is the best 15/23 comprised of such players that is available to the Lions?

I'm willing to be flexible on the definition of what constitutes a SANZAR Home Nation player. For instance, I would say Billy Vunipola- despite being born in Australia- is quite evidently English (Welsh Wink ), and should be discounted. Someone like Jared Payne was brought over as a professional rugby player, with a view to serving his three year residency, and is most definitely up for selectoin. Someone like Gareth Anscombe is where the lines are blurred: he has a Welsh mother, yet was 'recruited' over to Wales whilst a professional rugby player half the world away, specifically to play for the national side. Such definitions are therefore up to you.

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Post by Golden on Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:16 pm

Taking liberties with Bleyendaal, Aki and Heenan who dont qualify until next year.

1. Bent
2. Hartley
3. Nel
4. Quinn Roux
5.
6. Stander
7. Heenan
8. Hughes
9.
10. Tyler Bleyendaal
11. Maitland
12. Aki
13. Payne
14. Rokoduguni
15. Anscombe

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Post by Cyril on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:12 pm

Shane Howarth

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Post by miaow on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:34 pm

Reckon Mouritz Botha could probably do a better job than Howarth these days.

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Post by Cyril on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:39 pm

miaow wrote:Reckon Mouritz Botha could probably do a better job than Howarth these days.
He could. He was properly qualified.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:32 am

Is this who took 3 years to qualify or who started life in SANZAR and moved north because of a grandparent?

Maitland and Hardie are both Kiwis who came through by relation.

Strauss and CDP were SA project players who could be good enough to bench for the back row. You already have Nel in there.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:43 am

Maitland and Hardie I would consider due to them representing NZ in age grade rugby; Maitland right up to U20 level.

If we're also talking about past players then Riki Flutey aka The Mus' was a good'un.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:45 am

Also, I believe I recently read (on here of course so take with a pinch of salt) claims that CJ Stander is overrated. I can't bring myself to agree with that and believe he is a good pick for the Lions. The guy is an absolute wrecking-ball and even makes Schalk Burger look a bit tame in comparison.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:47 am

Maybe Ben Toolis, a lock who should get a lot more than 1 cap for Scotland, is a candidate (the home nations seem to be quite good at producing our own locks and hookers).

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:20 pm

Surely Ben Teo deserves a mention?

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Post by Cyril on Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:39 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Surely Ben Teo deserves a mention?
Isn't his mother English?

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Post by SecretFly on Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:06 pm

Cyril wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Surely Ben Teo deserves a mention?
Isn't his mother English?

That shouldn't disqualify him. That would be discriminatory. In fact I think to suggest a Sanzar Lions team is totally discriminatory and probably racist in tone.

So I say Sexton should be allowed in as 10, Brown as 15 and Stander shouldn't be allowed play for them at all as Munster pay his wages and need him more.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:15 pm

Cyril wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Surely Ben Teo deserves a mention?
Isn't his mother English?
He's in the Maitland, Bent, Anscombe and Hardie group of Brits/Irish - about as English as a Canterbry fried Kiwi burger.

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:34 pm

If you're looking for SH connections there's a decent starter for a squad
1. Vunipola/Bent
2. Hartley/Strauss/McCartney
3. Nel/Rodney Ah You
4. Quinn Roux
5.
6. Hughes/Stander
7. Heenan/Cowan/Hardy/Harrison
8. Vunipola/Faletau/Waldrom/Diack
9. Boss
10. Tyler Bleyendaal
11. Maitland
12. Aki/Te'o
13. Payne
14. Rokoduguni
15. Anscombe/Parkes/Ludik
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Post by Cyril on Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:40 pm

Good squad.

NZ have won tournaments with their own 'poaching'

All are tainted.

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Post by chewed_mintie on Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:31 am

Cyril wrote:NZ have won tournaments with their own 'poaching'

All are tainted.

Go on then....indulge us

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:31 am

What about the Tigers quartet of Williams, Fitzgerald, O'Connor and McCaffrey - they sound like Lions already. Smile

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Post by geoff999rugby on Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:04 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:Maitland and Hardie I would consider due to them representing NZ in age grade rugby; Maitland right up to U20 level.

If we're also talking about past players then Riki Flutey aka The Mus' was a good'un.

Flutey wouldn't the team.

Nowhere near as good as Aki and Payne - not even close

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:54 pm

Really? For about 18 months he was as good as any centre in the nh

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Post by geoff999rugby on Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:02 pm

Not in my book

He was as good as anyone in England at the time - not the same thing

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:12 pm

He was much better than what we had to offer tbf! Payne and aki have a little way to go to be as good as that Lion! Not the greatest by a long shot but he'd walk into the current (pretty good) England team.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:02 pm

I go back to how the Kiwis rated them.

Payne was twice Super 15 player of the month and the AB management were seriously annoyed at him leaving as they had him lined up to be blooded as a full international.

Flutey on the other hand didn't register in fact he was known to Kiwi fans as 'flakey' Flutey.
He left with barely a whimper.

Aki is better than both

You clearly rate him higher than I do - I wouldn't have him in the current England team.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:12 pm

Meh. So did the lions.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:15 pm

Riki Flutey appeared on Scotty Stevenson's Rugby Pass podcast just the other week. It's clear from his own account that he didn't just fall into an England spot; when he realised it was a possibility, he set it as a goal and trained like never before to get the chance. The same went for the Lions.

He was just what England needed at the time, because no-one had filled Greenwood's boots, and we needed more guile and kicking options in the midfield. I believe he went to South Africa with a brief to cover 3rd choice fly-half too. Like Hogg four years later, he probably would have played a midweek match there if he hadn't been injured.

Injury stopped him having a longer Test career. Like Simpson Daniel, he kept missing key matches, and so couldn't develop the consistency he'd first shown.

At his best, he was a fine player.

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Post by miaow on Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:03 pm

The question I'd pose now is, can we come up with a best 15/23, and would they beat any of the SANZAR teams?

You probably discount the All Blacks straight away, and SA are uniquely poor, but isn't the player drain part of that?

I think it raises interesting questions. It's not just the Pacific Island teams who could comprise a 'playing abroad'/'not regularly playing for their country' XV that is as good if not better than their current Test side. When that almost seems to be the case with SA, it's surely worrying times for the notion of meritocracy in professional rugby, and the international game still being the pinnacle of the sport. It's just a shame it takes a bastion as large as SA (even with the other factors contributing to their decline) for this to become apparent.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:31 am

miaow wrote:The question I'd pose now is, can we come up with a best 15/23, and would they beat any of the SANZAR teams?

You probably discount the All Blacks straight away, and SA are uniquely poor, but isn't the player drain part of that?

I think it raises interesting questions. It's not just the Pacific Island teams who could comprise a 'playing abroad'/'not regularly playing for their country' XV that is as good if not better than their current Test side. When that almost seems to be the case with SA, it's surely worrying times for the notion of meritocracy in professional rugby, and the international game still being the pinnacle of the sport. It's just a shame it takes a bastion as large as SA (even with the other factors contributing to their decline) for this to become apparent.

Problem in SA is different to the Pacific Islands. There is less economic pressure although WP went into administration this week. There are issues with race and safety that is pushing white players out of SA (who for better or for worse make up the majority of test calibre players presently produced in SA). This will (hopefully) erode over time as more black players come through and (hopefully) a more competent political environment comes to the fore to deal with more real issues like energy, policing, education and housing.

Pacific Islands are more structural relating to a small population. More could be done to help but you can't blame Fiji players for holding out to play for England (purely an example) who pay £20k a test vs £60 a day.

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