Has Scotland's poor game vs England ruined their Lions hopes?

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Has Scotland's poor game vs England ruined their Lions hopes?

Post by bsando on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 9:43 am

First topic message reminder :

Reading through all the online/newspaper articles at work this morning I couldn't help but notice Stuart Hogg was the only Scot in every pundit/writers Lions starting XV. One Pundit even had Kearney instead of Hogg and no Scot's at all (No disrespect to Kearney he is a brilliant player).

Throughout the tournament there were several Lions XV with 2 or 3 Scots starting but since Scotland's poor showing at Twickenham it feels like their 3 wins and close loss to France away count for nothing.

Has nothing changed?



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Re: Has Scotland's poor game vs England ruined their Lions hopes?

Post by beshocked on Thu 13 Apr 2017, 10:49 am

Cyril yes perhaps that's not a bad idea.

Itoje is the best example of someone who has promoted themselves. He only has 12 caps and yet he could well make the Lions tour despite lock being very competitive.

R.Gray is a veteran with 64 caps yet he's not seen by many as a likely Lions lock.

Even J.Gray though clearly talented doesn't get the same publicity as the likes of itoje and Launchbury.

Commentators fawn over Launchbury almost as much as Itoje IMO.

Launchbury seems to win MOTMs when unwarranted. Obviously perfect example was vs Australia in the RWC.

FES Scottish players perhaps unfairly are unfashionable. Last tour, Brown should have gone ahead of either Croft or Lydiate IMO. If he was Welsh he'd been on the plane.

It's an uphill battle to change perceptions.

Losing to England heavily doesn't help even though it's one game.

Gives Gatland the ammo he needs not to pick Scottish players in 50-50 situations.

Last edited by beshocked on Thu 13 Apr 2017, 10:51 am; edited 1 time in total


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Re: Has Scotland's poor game vs England ruined their Lions hopes?

Post by Poorfour on Thu 13 Apr 2017, 10:50 am

I think the Lions squad selection is going to be about units and individual players. Last time, Gatland picked a template for how he wanted to play (Wales) and then supplemented it with players who could fit into that style.

This time he's said he's looking at a different template and that it wasn't as clear cut at the start of the 6N as it was in 2013 but that he was looking mainly at the English and Irish templates. I don't think that will change, other than that I expect he will want to add something - you can beat Australia with a power game, but NZ will need some guile.

Defence will also be high on the list. NZ will score tries whatever you do, but you need to make them work harder for each score.

To Scotland's chances, I think Gatland will select individuals who complement the units rather than look at whole units. So the questions then become:
- Which units are likely in pole position?
- Which Scotland players would fit well into those units?
- Which Scotland players had a good personal tournament and didn't reveal any glaring weaknesses?

Seymour probably did himself a lot of good. Ickle Jonny has a reasonable chance because of his versatility and defence, but is up against a lot of good locks and a lot of good backrowers. Hogg has a shot at fullback despite his relative weakness in defence, as much because most of the other options have limitations. Nel is one of a bunch of players whose absence was felt and who might have a shout if they can show they're back from injury.

The other really big issue for Scotland - which Gatland highlighted when I saw him talk - is that because neither of the Scottish coaches they invited accepted, there isn't a voice at the table who has actually coached the Scottish players.

However much research you do, and however neutral you try to be, players in that position will be at a disadvantage. The Lions have to gel quickly, and there isn't much time to learn how to get the best out of individual players - so in close selection calls players who are well known to the coaches will probably win out.

That might slightly improve the chances for Scottish players who've been coached at club level by one of the Lions coaches (anyone who's been at Sarries, for instance) and those who've toured before (Hogg, Maitland, R Gray).


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Re: Has Scotland's poor game vs England ruined their Lions hopes?

Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 13 Apr 2017, 11:53 am

Agree with that Pourfour, and Maitland is a good example of a player who could make it into the touring party despite not being high up on the list of players that Scotland fans would select. He's known to and rated by Gatland, has toured with the Lions before, knows how rugby is played in NZ, played well in the 6 Nations when picked, covers fullback and wing and is well known by the Sarries contingent. Scots fans would pick Hogg and Seymour ahead of him, but I can easily see Maitland squeezing out Seymour.


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Re: Has Scotland's poor game vs England ruined their Lions hopes?

Post by cascough on Thu 13 Apr 2017, 11:58 am

I'd take Maitland personally. Big fan. His defensive work will be absolutely key, allied to the fact he's pretty hand ball in hand too, he'd be a good pick.


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Re: Has Scotland's poor game vs England ruined their Lions hopes?

Post by Ineffable on Thu 13 Apr 2017, 12:19 pm

beshocked wrote:I think it's important to come back to this thread because I think yes.

That one game vs England I feel will have an important factor on Lions selection.

Scotland still has a job to do promoting their players.

Getting smashed by England doesn't help. England are a good side but over 60 points is something that you don't even see often at club level let alone international level.

As harsh as it sounds - yes I think it deserves to hurt Scotland's chances. No side should be losing by that amount even with a bad day at the office.

Not even as if Scotland were down to 14 or 13 men as a mitigating circumstances.

When England had bad games in the 6 nations they either won or narrowly lost away by 4 points.

ruggerradge sorry but a 4 point loss isn't comparable to a 40 point one.

How about a 16 point one in Murrayfield?

As for Maitland I would take him. In fact my back three touring would be:

Hogg Maitland Seymour Williams Watson Nowell

No need for Halfpenny or Brown because Maitland and L Williams both cover FB and probably would do a better job. I'd probably start the tour with no preference for the back 3 and try them all out except I'd be assuming Hogg would win out at 15.


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Re: Has Scotland's poor game vs England ruined their Lions hopes?

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 13 Apr 2017, 1:51 pm

You are off your head if you think Gatland will take a Lions squad anywhere without halfpenny. He goes probably ahead of Seymour.

Of all the Scottish players that deserve to go, I put Hamish Watson out in front. He has been tremendous all season and will win turnovers and make hard yards, not a test starter, because personally I'd like to see Stander, Warburton (if fit) and Billy V in the backrow. However Watson will make a great addition in the dirt track games with POM on the Blindside and Faletau at no. 8

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Re: Has Scotland's poor game vs England ruined their Lions hopes?

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 15 Apr 2017, 11:36 pm

The graph in the Times today said it all and why Scotland are unlikely to have more than Gray and Hogg. They should but they won't.

The Great Aukster

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