This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

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This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by Gwlad on Wed 29 Mar 2017, 20:45

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Betting has been suspended on Sam Warburton being selected as the 2017 Lions skipper. Apparently this may be based on insider knowledge though heaven forbid we dont want to start a new conspiracy theory, it seems likely that big Sam is our Captain again.  clap

Though the haters will not even have him touring (Robshaw is after all back to fitness etc) after a superb 6 Nations the back row has self selected the favorites. Most of us want Billy and i imagine anyone who has a clue about Gatland knows Sam will figure. His upturn in form should continue and if he remains injury free the job is his. In addition to his past glories at 7, Super Sam has now established himself as probably the best all round 6 available with Stander and POM knocking loudly, who also cuts a fine figure at 7 and it seems Sam will almost certainly start the Tests in one shirt or the other and he has therefore put himself into an interesting group of those players inked in to starting Test berths (Farrell, Billy, ?)

Gats loves a player who can cover 2 spots, and with his versatility and Captaincy credentials both in Wales and as a past winning Lion, he seems now to be heir apparent and a shoo in for the Captaincy.  Yahoo My only reservation is that having been relieved of the Wales Captaincy he has thrived, but the selection of a strong leadership group, the Lions siege mentality and its defined short period should enable him to get his head right for the duration.

Much has been said about AWJ as a potential Lions skipper, there being few other deserving candidates. Hartley anyone? Or Best?  Not likely. But his taciturn, somewhat antagonistic nature in front of the camera won't go down well in NZ. I do not believe he has thrived as Wales Captain under a disastrous Head Coach and since i accept he is by no means guaranteed a starting position and is injured, I think it is clear that he will tour if fit but has not done enough to become skipper, though will stand in admirably as he has before.

Sam it is then.  king

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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by Taylorman on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 08:56

Gwlad wrote:Nah they'll just conveniently discover some poor Tongans/Fijians/Samoans who are eligible, job done.

Still obsessed with that one. Still haven't seen any of the names you're referring to. Time to put up, or...

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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by eirebilly on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 09:08

Gwlad wrote:Betting has been suspended on Sam Warburton being selected as the 2017 Lions skipper. Apparently this may be based on insider knowledge though heaven forbid we dont want to start a new conspiracy theory, it seems likely that big Sam is our Captain again.  

Personally not against Sam being captain, he is a winning Lions captain and has the respect of the players. I think that he is a good leader and the best choice.
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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by TightHEAD on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 12:44

One of my mates mates is a photographer and last week he apparently did some photos for sponsors of potentially players going on the lions tour, and well I'm shocked if two are in the reckoning!

Roberts and JD2 were present at the shoot! - as was JJ, Zebo, Hogg and Warburton.
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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 13:20

TightHEAD wrote:One of my mates mates is a photographer and last week he apparently did some photos for sponsors of potentially players going on the lions tour, and well I'm shocked if two are in the reckoning!

Roberts and JD2 were present at the shoot!   - as was JJ, Zebo, Hogg and Warburton.

I think I heard before that they do photo shoots for players that don't make the squad too and players at the shoots dont know if they have made it yet or not.

It would be a shame if Roberts is picked but you could easily argue a case for all the others. Whether he is picked or not Roberts will be on standby for injuries and suspensions.

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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by miaow on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 13:26

JD2 could very easily be the Test 13. It would be disappointing if Roberts went, though. There are far better centres capable of similar physicality, with much better footballing ability. I wouldn't be adverse to him touring as an injury call up, as he's clearly got the right character and experience to fit into the environment, but it's worrying if he's being seen as one of the best 12s as things stand.

Can see Zebo touring, went last time, Gatland likes him (I think?), has a spark to him that goes well with the other types of wingers/three quarters that will make up most of the squad, and can play a few different positions.

Hogg, Warburton, and JJ are all nailed on.

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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by Griff on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 13:44

I agree that Roberts should be nowhere near. He can't even get into the Wales team, even when centre is not a position of strength for us at the moment. His successor, Scott Williams, has not done enough to go to NZ so Roberts certainly has not.

On JD2, I think people are looking at the past couple of years a little too much. While I am not his biggest he did have a good six nations. Not in all games, but show me a player that did? No-one, especially at centre, played a storming 5 games and guaranteed themselves a place on the plane. I know that stats are not everything but JD2 was up there near the top of the centres on most stats so did better than a lot make out.

It's still Joseph in the 13 hot seat for me. I like the look of Ringrose. I would have taken Huw Jones as his tries (but perhaps not defense) were very good against a strong England side. But after that it's up for grabs. So assuming up to 3 outside centres go then I think JD2 has a good chance of touring. That's different than starting though Wink

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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 13:53

miaow wrote:JD2 could very easily be the Test 13. It would be disappointing if Roberts went, though. There are far better centres capable of similar physicality, with much better footballing ability. I wouldn't be adverse to him touring as an injury call up, as he's clearly got the right character and experience to fit into the environment, but it's worrying if he's being seen as one of the best 12s as things stand.

Can see Zebo touring, went last time, Gatland likes him (I think?), has a spark to him that goes well with the other types of wingers/three quarters that will make up most of the squad, and can play a few different positions.

Hogg, Warburton, and JJ are all nailed on.

Pretty much how I see it too albeit not sure Davies will make the test side. High five Miaow.

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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 14:10

Huw Jones is out for 5 months.
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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by Griff on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 14:37

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Huw Jones is out for 5 months.

Was that in response to me?  If so, I know.  It's why I said 'I would have taken Jones' past tense.  Should have added in 'if not for the injury' Wink

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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 15:05

Griff wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Huw Jones is out for 5 months.

Was that in response to me?  If so, I know.  It's why I said 'I would have taken Jones' past tense.  Should have added in 'if not for the injury' Wink

Yes it was, nice recovery! thumbsup
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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by Griff on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 16:00

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Griff wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Huw Jones is out for 5 months.

Was that in response to me?  If so, I know.  It's why I said 'I would have taken Jones' past tense.  Should have added in 'if not for the injury' Wink

Yes it was, nice recovery! thumbsup

It was a genuine omission this time, Radge!  Honestly.  I'd made that mistake the other week in selecting him to tour and was rightly picked up on it.  Perhaps even by you! Laugh

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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by wayne on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 16:44

Bringing it back to the point of the topic, if Exile Jack is correct and I have no reason not to believe him, in the PS on Sunday he spoke to Eddie Jones (who he thought was a decent bloke) if Eddie was the Coach of this tour he would select Tipuric as openside. Whether Sam could be a token Captain or force himself into the 6 position ahead of some outstanding blind sides is open to question.

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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by miaow on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 18:40

I'm not surprised Eddie Jones would pick Tipuric, he's exactly what England could do with at 7! Put Tipuric on the openside of that English pack, and if they can find perhaps a slightly better option at 2 and 3 (former may well be George this time next year), I think that's the best pack in World Rugby. Wishful thinking on his part I think, influencing his statement.

Sam's much more of a 6.5 these days, but can do a good job at both 6 or 7, rather than being a poor imitation on either flank. It's a blessing, definitely. It means you can start Tipuric, or perhaps Stander/PoM, and still have Warburton starting as Test captain for the Lions.

Tipuric is so unlike anything England have, whereas some of Warburton's attributes get covered by Haskell and Robshaw, although even then, I'd say they're quite different players. However, Tipuric is a freak, and undoubtedly one of the best footballers in European Rugby. It's no surprise that- talking hypothetically, with no skin in the game- most people would look to get as many talented players on to the pitch for the Lions as possible. However, as history proves, Gatland looks for a more 'moneyball' style approach at times, with component parts that fit the job.

It's a shame Tipuric was injured/unable to Tour NZ last Summer, as that would have been a good guage of just how able he is to show his talents on the big stage. This season he's shown he can do the hard work that NH often demands, and that will sit well with Gatland, however it was so loose down in NZ, it would have been great to see him be given a chance in that environment, because he's in a fairly unique class- for the Lions, not just Wales.

In any case, I don't think that changes the captaincy debate. Warburton will have to earn a place in the side. If he's simply not good enough in the warm ups, he will sit behind Stander and Tipurc, possibly starting on the bench, or not at all. The competition is such that I don't think players will be given as much grace as they were last time in terms of lack of form/fitness, and still being selected.

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Re: This week's Lion's subject. The smart money on the Captaincy.

Post by Gwlad on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 19:06

Sam is definitely not a 6.5. He is a 7 that can do 6.

And while i agree regarding Tipuric my only concern is physicality.

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