Who does the Lions represent for you?

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Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by cascough on Tue 21 Feb - 0:08

For you personally, are the Lions representing the British isles, or are they representing your nation whilst playing for the Lions?

This is not a question of which is more important to you. For example, I support England and if I had to choose would rather England won a world cup than the Lions win a Test series. But this does not mean that my enjoyment of or interest in the Lions is related to England's representation in the Lions. As I've said a few times, If I felt the best lions XV was all Irish, then I'd be happy with seeing that named because they are representing the British Isles. I'm not supporting England through the medium of the Lions so it makes no difference.

It's been put to me that it's easy for me to say that, because as an England fan, England have always been well represented, but I still find it curious that some fans are not bothered about the Lions unless a lot of their players are selected.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by propdavid_london on Tue 21 Feb - 0:22

For me it is a combination of all.
I am a Quins supporter - should one of the quins chaps be selected I will cheer them on probably a little more than others. Similarly I would probably cheer on the English players a little more than other nationalities involved in with the squad.
However, not to the detriment of the success of the Lions!
Should the test team be represented by 1 Englishman then I wont support them any less.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue 21 Feb - 0:26

cascough wrote:For you personally, are the Lions representing the British isles, or are they representing your nation whilst playing for the Lions?

This is not a question of which is more important to you. For example, I support England and if I had to choose would rather England won a world cup than the Lions win a Test series. But this does not mean that my enjoyment of or interest in the Lions is related to England's representation in the Lions. As I've said a few times, If I felt the best lions XV was all Irish, then I'd be happy with seeing that named because they are representing the British Isles. I'm not supporting England through the medium of the Lions so it makes no difference.

It's been put to me that it's easy for me to say that, because as an England fan, England have always been well represented, but I still find it curious that some fans are not bothered about the Lions unless a lot of their players are selected.

For me this is one of the highlights of the rugby calendar. I obviously want to see Scottish involvement. But TBH, I don't really care that some Scots don't even make the test side. The fact that they are out there playing well, driving others on to perform better is often enough for me.

I also like the fact that if our players are out there they can learn from some tremendous players. Leigh Halfpenny and Rob Kearney no doubt training with the youngest player on the Tour last year Stuart Hogg will have helped bring his game on and improved him. Same with Richie Gray, playing alongside AWJ and POC will have helped him too.

For me I don't see Irish, Scots, English or Welsh I see the Lions. I cheer on all of them to do well and it is nice to cheer for guys like Farrell, Sexton, Murray, Roberts... guys who I wouldn't imagine cheering for in a million years. That dynamic is good fun.

As I said it's nice to see the Scottish players play well, but it's also nice to see all the players play well. After all if the players play well, regardless of their nationality, the Lions will play well.


Last edited by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue 21 Feb - 0:35; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by propdavid_london on Tue 21 Feb - 0:29

Much more eloquently put than me RuggerRadge than me.
But that's what I was trying to say.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by SecretFly on Tue 21 Feb - 0:50

Having read Rugger's attitude now, I almost feel sorry for printing this.  But the topic is the topic, and you have to keep true your opinions:


The Lions means nothing to me in my heart - where all the emotion and tension and anxiety and delirious happiness and terrible week-long depressions exclusively rests.  My Nation alone is connected to my heart.  Nothing else comes even close.  

So for me, the Lions just isn't remotely in that department - ever.... doesn't matter how many Irish players are picked.  It's a 4 yearly combination outfit where you get a moment to breathe and just become an observer of some good - and occasionally not-so-good - rugby.

What is nice about the Lions is that friction and frisson that keeps the tours hot in terms of rivalry between the Nations involved  The propaganda is that we all come together in a happy soup of warmth, affection, good nature and mutual love.  I say that's claptrap and it should remain nothing but claptrap, because the very essence of the Lions is not the unity-of-purpose (for God and Country) soundbites but that very presence of hooded and thinly veiled growling and grunting for position and influence based on nothing less than the beautiful allegiance to one's own Nation.

Welsh fans don't forget they are Welsh, English fans don't forget they are English....etc, etc.  Nothing wrong with that - it's what gives the Lions tours their real sense of occasion and, of course, raises up many of the controversial (but oh so juicy) talking points.

I've openly tended to actually shout for SA or Australian or New Zealand on some of the tests.... I openly admit it with no sense of disloyalty or guilt.  Some smart ass Lions supporters/pundits might say too much about their preferred players, they might sneer some other Lions players - and BOOM!; I tend to seek plenty of egg-on-face in the next game. Wink  I love those moments.  Call me sadistic Wink

So I regard it as a party - some histrionic fun in the debating chambers; never so serious; couldn't care less about the Lions record.  
Fun.  Nation is serious - ultra serious.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Griff on Tue 21 Feb - 0:55

I think our history as nations and countries and the geopolitics are so complicated, but the Lions is a sporting representation of that complicated mess that we have! So for me it is about 4 or 5 separate nations, but also about how those separate nations come together not only on the pitch (for the Lions) but also off it. It's like a celebration of the merits of sport in a way, in that we can put our tribalism aside for a minute and come together for a common sporting goal. I know there'll always be tensions and calls for the country to break up, but as long as the UK is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and part of Ireland (from a rugby union point of view) then the Lions will always be that sporting 'thing' that represents our bond as separate nations joined together as one country. That's my own feeling on it. I know it probably seems to distance the Republic of Ireland contribution, but as they're one rugby union with the NI then by extension I see them as very much part of it, even if they are not part of the UK. Like I said, a complicated and messy history!

Just read that back to myself and thought vomit but I'll post it anyway!

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by rodders on Tue 21 Feb - 1:05

The Lions used to represent the best of Britain and Ireland coming together to face the best in the SH on their home patch.

Now all it represents is a money making scam and a recurring opportunity for Gats to get his own back on the IRFU for giving him the boot.
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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by SecretFly on Tue 21 Feb - 1:06

rodders wrote:The Lions used to represent the best of Britain and Ireland coming together to face the best in the SH on their home patch.

Now all it represents is a money making scam and a recurring opportunity for Gats to get his own back on the IRFU for giving him the boot.  

laughing Now that, folks, is the Lions in the real world. Wonderful entertaining institution.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Griff on Tue 21 Feb - 1:11

That, my friends, is the ramblings of a paranoid man.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by cascough on Tue 21 Feb - 1:11

I just don't see it as having much to do with the Home unions. The home unions provide a platform to showcase some players for selection, that's all. But once they have being selected, they're representing the British Isles, so it's irrelevant to me who they play their rugby for.

I liken it to team GB in the olympics. Except the very high profile athletes, I have no idea where they are from. It doesn't matter because that is not who they are representing. And remember, these are people that for much of the year compete for their individual nations.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by rodders on Tue 21 Feb - 1:20

Griff wrote:That, my friends, is the ramblings of a paranoid man.

Fake news.
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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Griff on Tue 21 Feb - 1:22

rodders wrote:
Griff wrote:That, my friends, is the ramblings of a paranoid man.

Fake news.


You're going to look like a right eejit when Gatland picks a load of Irish players for this tour.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Scottrf on Tue 21 Feb - 1:24

Griff wrote:
rodders wrote:
Griff wrote:That, my friends, is the ramblings of a paranoid man.

Fake news.


You're going to look like a right eejit when Gatland picks a load of Irish players for this tour.
That's his permanent state anyway isn't it?
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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by SecretFly on Tue 21 Feb - 1:32

Griff wrote:
rodders wrote:
Griff wrote:That, my friends, is the ramblings of a paranoid man.

Fake news.


You're going to look like a right eejit when Gatland picks a load of Irish players for this tour.

There is no such thing in a Lions team, Griff! Wash out your mouth with soap! They are only Lions players in a Lions team. mad

Anyway, come on everyone, let's keep it just on the general ramblings of some paranoid men rather than getting into the particular proofs that we all secretly love the bitchiness that travels with the Lions wherever they do so go.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by whocares on Tue 21 Feb - 1:51

a group of European English speaking folks touring other English speaking former colonies countries in the south hemisphere

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Cyril on Tue 21 Feb - 2:00

cascough wrote:
I liken it to team GB in the olympics.
I support Yorkshire in the Olympics. Like England in rugby, we tend to out-perform Australia.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by rodders on Tue 21 Feb - 2:39

Griff wrote:
rodders wrote:
Griff wrote:That, my friends, is the ramblings of a paranoid man.

Fake news.


You're going to look like a right eejit when Gatland picks a load of Irish players for this tour.

Of course he will, he's not going to miss the pleasure of not selecting them for the test team.
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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Pot Hale on Tue 21 Feb - 5:54

Lions tours are a thing that Irish players participate in and I enjoy watching. I've no connection with the term British Isles or feel as if it's representing me. If it included players from France and Italy I'd be just as happy and possibly more so if it was a Six Nations touring team.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by SecretFly on Tue 21 Feb - 6:06

Pot Hale wrote:Lions tours are a thing that Irish players participate in and I enjoy watching.  I've no connection with the term British Isles or feel as if it's representing me.  If it included players from France and Italy I'd be just as happy and possibly more so if it was a Six Nations touring team.    


How interesting.  My thoughts precisely.  21st Century - our French and Italian pals still left out in the cold.  Perhaps the combination of 6 International sides meeting one International side might be a little bit like over-kill - and might make the grimaces of embarrassment even more pronounced in one of those Lions series losses - but maybe a NH combo side against a SH combo side could work?  

All parties having an interest each four years.  
None of the 6N feeling left out.
None of the SH sides (including Argentina) feeling they have to wait 12 years for another crack at the thing.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Cyril on Tue 21 Feb - 6:07

Pot Hale wrote: I've no connection with the term British Isles or feel as if it's representing me.
Is Home Nations a better catch-all?

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by SecretFly on Tue 21 Feb - 6:09

'British and Irish Lions' is grand...if 'The Lions' won't suffice.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Cyril on Tue 21 Feb - 6:12

SecretFly wrote:'British and Irish Lions' is grand...if 'The Lions' won't suffice.
I feel we may need to shoehorn a sponsor's name in there somewhere.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Gwlad on Tue 21 Feb - 6:19

It's no coincidence that the shirt is red.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by SecretFly on Tue 21 Feb - 6:20

The KitKat Lions.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Cyril on Tue 21 Feb - 6:21

Gwlad wrote:It's no coincidence that the shirt is red.
Tonga?

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 21 Feb - 9:15

Pot Hale wrote:Lions tours are a thing that Irish players participate in and I enjoy watching.  I've no connection with the term British Isles or feel as if it's representing me.  If it included players from France and Italy I'd be just as happy and possibly more so if it was a Six Nations touring team.

Imagine how happy you and everyone else would be if it was extended beyond the six nations and be the pick of NH pro rugby including potentially guys like Gorgodze, Habana and Carter. That would be a far better fantasy side and get even more countries roped in to the SANZARathon. Matt Dawson and Sarra Elgan could front the show and get the public to vote for who they want subbed during a live game. The future's bright, but the PR team really needs to drop the B&I and become the Nike Santander Lions.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by SecretFly on Tue 21 Feb - 9:31

The Esportif Lions might get more Irish (well Ulster Whistle) players into the squad. It's worth a try.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Tue 21 Feb - 10:19

The Great Aukster wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Lions tours are a thing that Irish players participate in and I enjoy watching.  I've no connection with the term British Isles or feel as if it's representing me.  If it included players from France and Italy I'd be just as happy and possibly more so if it was a Six Nations touring team.

Imagine how happy you and everyone else would be if it was extended beyond the six nations and be the pick of NH pro rugby including potentially guys like Gorgodze, Habana and Carter. That would be a far better fantasy side and get even more countries roped in to the SANZARathon. Matt Dawson and Sarra Elgan could front the show and get the public to vote for who they want subbed during a live game. The future's bright, but the PR team really needs to drop the B&I and become the Nike Santander Lions.

Then rebrand the Lions to Barbarians and we're there......
Sure the Triple Crown excludes France and Italy, let's give them a chance of getting it too.....
And the 6Ns sure that should be all of Europe..... and the Middle East...... and Japan cos you know... oh and the US cos they've money
And bring super rugby into the Champions Cup...... then disband national sides..... best players into clubs in a single league.... call it the Franglo and we're done...


I'll cheer on the Lions because surprisingly I've got friends that find themselves to be Scots, Welsh and even English.  Most of the time, due to arbitary lines drawn on maps before our parents parents were even twinkles in their parents eyes those friends are in the unfortunate position of cheering on the wrong team.  But with the Lions tour, for one tour every 4 years, those unfortunate souls get to cheer on the correct team.  And we can all cheer them on together, we can even cheer on those players that we've cursed for the previous 4 years straight, because they're now on the right team.  And then once the tour is over and we're sick of the sight of each other, we can go back to being rivals!  How is that a bad thing?

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Pot Hale on Tue 21 Feb - 12:48

Cyril wrote:
Pot Hale wrote: I've no connection with the term British Isles or feel as if it's representing me.
Is Home Nations a better catch-all?
No - not really.

I know the term is used a fair bit, but I think 'Home' was intended to be a British collective a la Home Office, Home Service, etc, etc.  Which is fine - it made sense at the time and still does in some cases.     

Irish and British Lions, British and Irish Lions, or just simply the Lions is fine with me.   So would a combined Six Nations team if it ever occurred.
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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Gwlad on Tue 21 Feb - 14:54

Cyril wrote:
Pot Hale wrote: I've no connection with the term British Isles or feel as if it's representing me.
Is Home Nations a better catch-all?

Yes, redolent of the Home Guard. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 21 Feb - 19:17

SecretFly wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Lions tours are a thing that Irish players participate in and I enjoy watching.  I've no connection with the term British Isles or feel as if it's representing me.  If it included players from France and Italy I'd be just as happy and possibly more so if it was a Six Nations touring team.    


How interesting.  My thoughts precisely.  21st Century - our French and Italian pals still left out in the cold.  Perhaps the combination of 6 International sides meeting one International side might be a little bit like over-kill - and might make the grimaces of embarrassment even more pronounced in one of those Lions series losses - but maybe a NH combo side against a SH combo side could work?  

All parties having an interest each four years.  
None of the 6N feeling left out.
None of the SH sides (including Argentina) feeling they have to wait 12 years for another crack at the thing.

There you go ..excluding Georgia again

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by cascough on Tue 21 Feb - 19:36

Cyril wrote:
Pot Hale wrote: I've no connection with the term British Isles or feel as if it's representing me.
Is Home Nations a better catch-all?

But Ireland is part of the British Isles. And players born (Usually. Totally different thread) in the British Isles come together to form a touring team. I'm still finding it odd that your interest would be driven by the Irish players. They're not representing Ireland, they're representing the British Isles.

Likewise Home Nations is still looking at it from the point of view of that it is about those individual nations.

Looking at the way this thread has gone It looks like I've been living a lie with regards to the Lions. I thought it was about us all getting behind the same team, but it appears there needs to be a big caveat to that. Sad

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 21 Feb - 19:54

cascough wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Pot Hale wrote: I've no connection with the term British Isles or feel as if it's representing me.
Is Home Nations a better catch-all?

But Ireland is part of the British Isles. And players born (Usually. Totally different thread) in the British Isles come together to form a touring team. I'm still finding it odd that your interest would be driven by the Irish players. They're not representing Ireland, they're representing the British Isles.

Congratulations on offending 75% of Irish folk.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by cascough on Tue 21 Feb - 19:59

It's merely a geographical term, and that's what the team represents.

It did even used to be called the British Isles touring team!

*edit - it includes all the islands and that's pertinent when you think that not all of the islands are intrinsically linked to one of the WRU, SRU, IRFU or the RFU, Jersey for example.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by compelling and rich on Tue 21 Feb - 20:06

having grown up loving the olympics and supporting great britain in those olympics its never really crossed my mind that we should treat the british lions any different. dont get me wrong i love beating wales/scotland/ireland in the six nations as much as the next person but dont see a issue of us competing together like we do in many other sports

would also add that i always like to see the northern hemisphere sides do well against the southern hemisphere (especially Australia)

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Tue 21 Feb - 20:15

Griff wrote:
rodders wrote:
Griff wrote:That, my friends, is the ramblings of a paranoid man.

Fake news.


You're going to look like a right eejit when Gatland picks a load of Irish players for this tour.

Hopefully he doesnt. This Lions tour is unnecessary long. The players are going to come back in bits.

In the 05 tour Woodward selected Darcy to start the third test. He however told Woodward he was too tired to play. Darcy was an absolute beast of a man, he wouldnt have done that if he wasnt shattered. Cian Healy has never been the same player since he came back from Australia.

Id say there will be more Welsh and English players.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Tue 21 Feb - 20:19

cascough wrote:It's merely a geographical term, and that's what the team represents.

It did even used to be called the British Isles touring team!

*edit - it includes all the islands and that's pertinent when you think that not all of the islands are intrinsically linked to one of the WRU, SRU, IRFU or the RFU, Jersey for example.

It was obviously worded intentionally to be provocative. It doesn't bother me really but you cant claim you weren't trying to annoy people.

Sadly I fear Britain and Ireland are metaphorically going to drift further apart in the coming years making the term British isles even more redundant.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by robbo277 on Tue 21 Feb - 20:39

I love the Lions, but if there was little English representation, it would ruin it for me slightly. That's not to say I want token English players if they're not the best around, but if England players weren't good enough to make the team on merit then it would be a bit depressing as an England rugby fan.

I guess it would be the same for people who support club and country, although I don't support a specific club, so I don't get regular practice at overcoming my disappointment with representative selection.

The Olympics is slightly different for me. I don't spend 4 years devoutly following the fortunes of English sailors, swimmers or gymnasts, screaming at the TV watching them compete annually against our local rivals. So when Team GB get together it isn't a shift in my paradigm to support players from the rest of the country.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue 21 Feb - 20:41

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
cascough wrote:It's merely a geographical term, and that's what the team represents.

It did even used to be called the British Isles touring team!

*edit - it includes all the islands and that's pertinent when you think that not all of the islands are intrinsically linked to one of the WRU, SRU, IRFU or the RFU, Jersey for example.

It was obviously worded intentionally to be provocative. It doesn't bother me really but you cant claim you weren't trying to annoy people.

Sadly I fear Britain and Ireland are metaphorically going to drift further apart in the coming years making the term British isles even more redundant.

I hope not. We have more in common than what sets us apart. The Irish are very similar to the Scots in some respects. Passionate people with their own heritage, style and identity. Far stronger identities than the other countries of the British Isles. Wales also has a strong national identity with it's own beautiful version of the Gaelic language.

It saddens me that a lot of Irish people look at the UK with indifference or worse disdain. Our countries are like brothers. Brothers who squabble and bicker but shouldn't ever forget that we share the same blood. The lions is like christmas dinner, where the estranged brothers and sisters come together and for one night of the year (or a few weeks every 4 years) and we remember what makes us the same instead of what makes us different.
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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by cascough on Tue 21 Feb - 20:53

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
cascough wrote:It's merely a geographical term, and that's what the team represents.

It did even used to be called the British Isles touring team!

*edit - it includes all the islands and that's pertinent when you think that not all of the islands are intrinsically linked to one of the WRU, SRU, IRFU or the RFU, Jersey for example.

It was obviously worded intentionally to be provocative. It doesn't bother me really but you cant claim you weren't trying to annoy people.

Sadly I fear Britain and Ireland are metaphorically going to drift further apart in the coming years making the term British isles even more redundant.

It really wasn't.

I'm aware that it offends certain people (as it has been very recently pointed out to me) but i have no idea why it would be considered offensive. Secondly, not only is it geographically correct I actually feel it is the most appropriate term. We are a collection of islands. As I've said, for me the Lions is representing those islands and NOT the Welsh, Scottish, Irish or English national rugby teams.

So again, it really wasn't.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Griff on Tue 21 Feb - 21:00

cascough wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
cascough wrote:It's merely a geographical term, and that's what the team represents.

It did even used to be called the British Isles touring team!

*edit - it includes all the islands and that's pertinent when you think that not all of the islands are intrinsically linked to one of the WRU, SRU, IRFU or the RFU, Jersey for example.

It was obviously worded intentionally to be provocative. It doesn't bother me really but you cant claim you weren't trying to annoy people.

Sadly I fear Britain and Ireland are metaphorically going to drift further apart in the coming years making the term British isles even more redundant.

It really wasn't.

I'm aware that it offends certain people (as it has been very recently pointed out to me) but i have no idea why it would be considered offensive. Secondly, not only is it geographically correct I actually feel it is the most appropriate term. We are a collection of islands. As I've said, for me the Lions is representing those islands and NOT the Welsh, Scottish, Irish or English national rugby teams.

So again, it really wasn't.

It's the word 'British'. Anything with that in and it's offensive. Even if it is the correct term for the 6000+ islands in this neck of the woods.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Scottrf on Tue 21 Feb - 21:03

He can't help that the Irish are so sensitive to be offended by factually correct terms.
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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Tue 21 Feb - 21:05

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
cascough wrote:It's merely a geographical term, and that's what the team represents.

It did even used to be called the British Isles touring team!

*edit - it includes all the islands and that's pertinent when you think that not all of the islands are intrinsically linked to one of the WRU, SRU, IRFU or the RFU, Jersey for example.

It was obviously worded intentionally to be provocative. It doesn't bother me really but you cant claim you weren't trying to annoy people.

Sadly I fear Britain and Ireland are metaphorically going to drift further apart in the coming years making the term British isles even more redundant.

I hope not. We have more in common than what sets us apart. The Irish are very similar to the Scots in some respects. Passionate people with their own heritage, style and identity. Far stronger identities than the other countries of the British Isles. Wales also has a strong national identity with it's own beautiful version of the Gaelic language.

It saddens me that a lot of Irish people look at the UK with indifference or worse disdain. Our countries are like brothers. Brothers who squabble and bicker but shouldn't ever forget that we share the same blood. The lions is like christmas dinner, where the estranged brothers and sisters come together and for one night of the year (or a few weeks every 4 years) and we remember what makes us the same instead of what makes us different.

Genetically Id say Irish people are more similar to Icelanders. I agree though in general I am in favour of strong ties.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Tue 21 Feb - 21:06

cascough wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
cascough wrote:It's merely a geographical term, and that's what the team represents.

It did even used to be called the British Isles touring team!

*edit - it includes all the islands and that's pertinent when you think that not all of the islands are intrinsically linked to one of the WRU, SRU, IRFU or the RFU, Jersey for example.

It was obviously worded intentionally to be provocative. It doesn't bother me really but you cant claim you weren't trying to annoy people.

Sadly I fear Britain and Ireland are metaphorically going to drift further apart in the coming years making the term British isles even more redundant.

It really wasn't.

I'm aware that it offends certain people (as it has been very recently pointed out to me) but i have no idea why it would be considered offensive. Secondly, not only is it geographically correct I actually feel it is the most appropriate term. We are a collection of islands. As I've said, for me the Lions is representing those islands and NOT the Welsh, Scottish, Irish or English national rugby teams.

So again, it really wasn't.

I dont believe you but equally I dont care.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Tue 21 Feb - 21:22

I used to love the Lions but agree with some others that it is becoming too commercial.  I think that this tour have a really ridiculous amount of games. Where is the benefit in playing 7 matches outside of the 3 tests? IMO there should be 5 games max. The 7 games outside of the test matches is just an exercise in Lions players getting softened up in advance of the tests.

I think there is a lot of evidence that players come back from these tours fairly crocked so not sure how much they really benefit the individual unions.

I think Gatland can do Ireland a favour by not selecting too many players this time around. As Stuart Lancaster pointed out on Against the Head last night there are 14 academies in England and only 4 in Ireland. We dont have unlimited resources and players and I think a Lions tour can do more harm that good.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 21 Feb - 21:39

I enjoy the Lions, and always want them to win no matter the personnel. It is though a real struggle to fit it into the professional calendar with the 4 year WC cycle becoming so dominant. It has to fit around club rugby (both NH and SH) and 4Ns demands, while being expected to deliver ever increasing profits.

As a point of reference:

1971 - 26 matches between 12th May and 14th August
1977 - 26 matches between 18th May and 16th August (ending in Fiji)
1983 - 18 matches between 15th May and 16th July
1993 - 13 matches between 22nd May and 3rd July
2005 - 11 matches between 4th June and 9th July (plus Argentina game as MS in May)


The lengths of tours were already coming down before professionalism, but since the importance of making profit has increased.

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by TightHEAD on Tue 21 Feb - 21:42

In the past it was about us all and it gave us a chance to beat the unbeatable teams like the All Blacks and SA.

Now its about keeping sponsors happy and shirt sales. and to be honest I'd rather see England beat these guys rather than a Lions team.
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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Tue 21 Feb - 21:44

It was understandable in the 70s playing more games as Im sure logistically getting to NZ was more costly and games possibly werent as attritional. 26 games over 4 months seems a crazy amount all the same especially since the players were amateurs. How did they get the time to do that?

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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 22 Feb - 6:33

cascough wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Pot Hale wrote: I've no connection with the term British Isles or feel as if it's representing me.
Is Home Nations a better catch-all?

But Ireland is part of the British Isles. And players born (Usually. Totally different thread) in the British Isles come together to form a touring team. I'm still finding it odd that your interest would be driven by the Irish players. They're not representing Ireland, they're representing the British Isles.

Likewise Home Nations is still looking at it from the point of view of that it is about those individual nations.

Looking at the way this thread has gone It looks like I've been living a lie with regards to the Lions. I thought it was about us all getting behind the same team, but it appears there needs to be a big caveat to that. Sad

You're probably not aware that the geographical term British Isles is also viewed as anachronistic and out of date by people living in Ireland. It's not a term used in school geography books any more or used at political/government communications. Indeed, I've noticed that Stuart Barnes refers to British Isles and Ireland players in rugby commentary where applicable.

My interest is in Irish players representing Ireland as part of a team from Ireland and Britain. Hope that explains.
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Re: Who does the Lions represent for you?

Post by SecretFly on Wed 22 Feb - 7:08

Someone above - think it was Griff - said it's complicated - and it is.  

Life is complicated and politics just adds another layer.  It's simple to say it should all be much simpler but it can't be because we're a complicated species.  I'm certain I don't even believe it should be simpler.  A simpler world is simply conformity.... and my rebellious spirit would die a thousand deaths if I held my hands up to conformity and hoisted a white flag.

But when this discussion always gets to where it inevitably got to - i.e. the sameness or differences between the two north Atlantic islands of Ireland and Great Britain - I always tend to remind people that two of the Nations in that there SH are more closely linked to Great Britain than the Republic bit of Ireland.  Australia and New Zealand are in the Commonwealth and they both still hold onto the Queen of GB and Northern Ireland as their own Head of State.  And they have never, as far as I know, gone to war with the UK to gain something called Independence.
So if it's all about common pasts and 'more in common than divides' then why doesn't New Zealand and Australia join the Lions show and go whip SA every four years for the fun of it? Wink

I think another of the complexities that might not be so apparent to someone living in England of a relatively young age is the fact that rugby in Ireland has traditionally been a closely linked sport to Wales, Scotland and England - and has its joined Lions tradition - because of the fact that it was mostly Protestants with a Anglo background that engaged in the sport in Ireland.  The Catholic tradition Irish majority in the Republic are relatively new comers.  It's mostly they who would come to the Lions with the attitude of a certain acceptance of the tradition but hardly any 'familial bond' to the concept.

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