British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

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British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by munkian on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 12:19 pm

First topic message reminder :

Scottrf wrote:Lawes was better than AWJ every week in the 6 Nations and isn't injured yet he's the strange call Rolling Eyes

AWJ is a leader and well respected by his peers as well as being a former winning Lions test captain.

Lions players aren't just based on how well they did in the six nations, they are picked on how well the coaches think they will gel into the squad.

You need leaders on and off the pitch.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by miaow on Mon 08 May 2017, 11:27 pm

He seems to have a bit of a distorted view of his own abilities. He's a decent international full back, but he's never been outstanding, nor is he in particularly good form. Haskell was in good form, albeit was less effective this Six Nations (no real surprise) behind a less dominant pack, but, again, he's not a standout international forward, and although he'd be a good selection, and seems to be a decent person as far as I can tell to have around the squad, the competition in the back row is so intense he didn't ever really come under serious consideration I don't think. Hartley can feel most aggrieved, he was probably good enough to make the tour, but we all know his failings and why he hasn't been selected.

Aside from that, the worst thing you can do is run your mouth to the media, for all sorts of reasons, not least it makes you feel like a efin bitter little child. Gatland's quip about selection "not always being about the rugby content" is the perfect come back, shows Brown up for lacking the nous to keep his mouth shut. I hope Brown doesn't retire and become an 'outspoken' pundit, he has all the hallmarks of a sensationalist media's dream.

It may well be that his quotes look worse taken out of context, but the man has been around long enough to know that you don't give the media the opportunity to do that, even if it means holding your tongue when you don't want to.

As it is, it just looks dreadful. I'd have Kearney as a replacement before Brown, anyway.


Last edited by miaow on Mon 08 May 2017, 11:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Mon 08 May 2017, 11:29 pm

Cyril wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:Brown really is as moany as he looks:

http://www.the42.ie/warren-gatland-mike-brown-lions-3379608-May2017/
as moany as BOD?

Haha I was counting down until you would be fished out with that exact comeback. Just slightly different scenarios. Wink


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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Cyril on Mon 08 May 2017, 11:30 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:Brown really is as moany as he looks:

http://www.the42.ie/warren-gatland-mike-brown-lions-3379608-May2017/
as moany as BOD?

Haha I was counting down until you would be fished out with that exact comeback. Just slightly different scenarios. Wink

Heh Smile True. They're both moany gits. Competitive nature I guess.

Luckily we've got the likes of Warbs for drab soundbites when the going gets tough. If only Borthwick was still available Laugh

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Cyril on Mon 08 May 2017, 11:34 pm

miaow wrote:He seems to have a bit of a distorted view of his own abilities. He's a decent international fly half, but he's never been outstanding, nor is he in particularly good form.
I know you've edited it now, but I've left it as is.

Describes Biggar pretty well, no?

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Mon 08 May 2017, 11:36 pm

Hey 123456789 do you own any cats?

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by miaow on Mon 08 May 2017, 11:41 pm

Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:He seems to have a bit of a distorted view of his own abilities. He's a decent international fly half, but he's never been outstanding, nor is he in particularly good form.
I know you've edited it now, but I've left it as is.

Describes Biggar pretty well, no?

Haha, sneaky.

No, I don't think so. I think Biggar's made the best of his limitations and actually become a very competent test fly half. I think his RWC '15 performances in and around that time surpassed anything Brown's done at test level. But it's not a completely ridiculous statement to attribute to Biggar, just a bit unfair I think. He's been a stalwart for the Ospreys since he was 19, and probably should have a few more caps had he not been a bit immature/Gatland didn't select him for 3 years due to a poor performance against Fiji. He's not in particularly good form, but not in bad form, either, so that's where Brown and Biggar are alike.

I don't think he has a distorted view of his own abilities, either. Quite the opposite. He's worked unbelievably hard on his shortcomings, and his period away from Welsh selection actually made him a much better player. What he does have is a distorted view of his own authority on a rugby field, perhaps. Brown- in moaning about not getting selected for the pinnacle of NH rugby- definitely has a distorted view of his abilities if he thinks an injustice has been done in not being selected/spoken to.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Cyril on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:04 am

miaow wrote:
Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:He seems to have a bit of a distorted view of his own abilities. He's a decent international fly half, but he's never been outstanding, nor is he in particularly good form.
I know you've edited it now, but I've left it as is.

Describes Biggar pretty well, no?

Haha, sneaky.

No, I don't think so. I think Biggar's made the best of his limitations and actually become a very competent test fly half. I think his RWC '15 performances in and around that time surpassed anything Brown's done at test level. But it's not a completely ridiculous statement to attribute to Biggar, just a bit unfair I think. He's been a stalwart for the Ospreys since he was 19, and probably should have a few more caps had he not been a bit immature/Gatland didn't select him for 3 years due to a poor performance against Fiji. He's not in particularly good form, but not in bad form, either, so that's where Brown and Biggar are alike.

I don't think he has a distorted view of his own abilities, either. Quite the opposite. He's worked unbelievably hard on his shortcomings, and his period away from Welsh selection actually made him a much better player. What he does have is a distorted view of his own authority on a rugby field, perhaps. Brown- in moaning about not getting selected for the pinnacle of NH rugby- definitely has a distorted view of his abilities if he thinks an injustice has been done in not being selected/spoken to.
I agree with some of that. I think, however, the difference being that Biggar was selected and Brown wasn't (different circumstances, sure) I think that Biggar may have stayed quiet in that circumstance though as he's got more to lose with Gatland still being his international boss for the foreseeable future (Gats will probably get another contract with Wales when this one expires). Brown has nothing to lose. I think you can compare Biggar more with Farrell. Both players suffered from stroppiness in their early years and grew out of it. Biggar seems to have fallen back a bit that way, whereas Farrell is a proper leader now. Come the next Lions tour I think Farrell could be tour captain.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by 123456789 on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:10 am

Gwlad wrote:Hey 123456789 do you own any cats?

No just have a lot of work on that I like to distract myself from.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by miaow on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:12 am

I disagree massively. I think Farrell still has a petulant and dirty streak in him, and you see it come out when things aren't going well- which is rarely the case these days for Saracens and England. But it's still there, and I still don't quite understand the 'ice man' tag Sky gives him, because he's not that at all. I don't disagree that he's a lot better than he was though, but he's a vice captain for me, and a good one at that, but not captain material.

Not sure whether having something to lose is relevant here. I just don't think you should shout your mouth off in the media. Not only does it mean Kearney is now guaranteed to go ahead of you should injury occur, but also it's just ridiculously self centred. It's a really strange thing to do in my book, and the actions of a hot headed individual, someone who cannot channel their disappointment into positive and constructive action, and feels the need to run down Gatland/the Lions in public because he can't control his emotions. Very poor.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by miaow on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:17 am

It's just so strange that it's Mike Brown of all people to come out and say they're aggrieved.

What about Jonny Gray? Dylan Hartley? Chris Robshaw? Sean Maitland? George Ford?

There's probably about 20 or more players who are so obviously ahead of Brown in terms of 'deserving'/being close to selection that it just makes a mockery of what he's done. He has almost no authority because he was never seriously in contention for the squad. So strange.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Cyril on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:18 am

miaow wrote:Not sure whether having something to lose is relevant here. I just don't think you should shout your mouth off in the media. Not only does it mean Kearney is now guaranteed to go ahead of you should injury occur, but also it's just ridiculously self centred. It's a really strange thing to do in my book, and the actions of a hot headed individual, someone who cannot channel their disappointment into positive and constructive action, and feels the need to run down Gatland/the Lions in public because he can't control his emotions. Very poor.
I don't disagree that Brown was wrong to say it. Sure, it sound bad and doesn't reflect well. Better than doing it during a tour like Henson, but not good.

So-called Lions 'heroes' like O'Connell don't mind besmirching the tours though (even when they are selected).

I think we sometimes ask too much of our players.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Cyril on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:21 am

miaow wrote:It's just so strange that it's Mike Brown of all people to come out and say they're aggrieved.

What about Jonny Gray? Dylan Hartley? Chris Robshaw? Sean Maitland? George Ford?

There's probably about 20 or more players who are so obviously ahead of Brown in terms of 'deserving'/being close to selection that it just makes a mockery of what he's done. He has almost no authority because he was never seriously in contention for the squad. So strange.
This would never have happened under Sir Clive.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:31 am

Disgraceful behavior by Brown. Shows just how highly he rates himself but for. a FB who simply cannot pass the ball and is the definition of 1 trick pony I just cannot understand why he thinks he deserves a Lions shot or indeed somehow deserves to be called to be told he is on standby. I imagine he is now on standby for not much at all and EJ will probably be unimpressed. Just shows what a prima donna he would have been on tour and perhaps that more than anything else is why he has been left out. What, do England player s think they have some god given right to eb picked as Lions?

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:31 am

Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:It's just so strange that it's Mike Brown of all people to come out and say they're aggrieved.

What about Jonny Gray? Dylan Hartley? Chris Robshaw? Sean Maitland? George Ford?

There's probably about 20 or more players who are so obviously ahead of Brown in terms of 'deserving'/being close to selection that it just makes a mockery of what he's done. He has almost no authority because he was never seriously in contention for the squad. So strange.
This would never have happened under Sir Clive.

No he made sure to take all his chums.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Cyril on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:38 am

Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:It's just so strange that it's Mike Brown of all people to come out and say they're aggrieved.

What about Jonny Gray? Dylan Hartley? Chris Robshaw? Sean Maitland? George Ford?

There's probably about 20 or more players who are so obviously ahead of Brown in terms of 'deserving'/being close to selection that it just makes a mockery of what he's done. He has almost no authority because he was never seriously in contention for the squad. So strange.
This would never have happened under Sir Clive.

No he made sure to take all his chums.
Gats is a disciple of that then. It's going to end way, way worse. Well done Wales Sad I'm going to blame Gatland but it's not the fault of the Welsh players not worthy of selection.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by 123456789 on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:40 am

I don't think he's said anything too controversial.

"I didn't take it well. I was gutted. I feel I've played really well from 2015 onwards so it was really disappointing to not get the call, but you can't let one man's decision define you"

He's obviously going to be disappointed, but at least he's honest. Every player on the tour says it's the greatest honour as a rugby player; there's obviously going to be a flip side.

"It's really disappointing for guys like myself, James Haskell and Dylan Hartley because we probably won't get another opportunity. I've had no feedback about being on standby either, which is also disappointing, so I'm not going to keep up false hopes."

This is all just obvious, the comment about being on standby is arguably a bit sulky but we don't know the tone, whether he means he's disappointed not to be on standby or disappointed by the actions of the Lions coaching staff.

"Instead I'll reset my goals and concentrate fully on England and the excitement of going on a tough Argentina tour."

I think this is pretty much what every non selected player will say.

In terms of his ability I don't think he was in contention as such, certainly didn't feature in many pundits selection etc. But when you consider there are 4 nations selected from and he starts for one of them and the likelihood is that at least 2 full-backs will travel he was obviously not a million miles away. And the fact that 15 England players are going on tour. He's obviously in a position whereby he has a right to feel he's not a million miles away. Brown has always come across as someone who maybe feels he's a wee bit better than he is but I think that adds in many respects to his game. However I feel a lot of the reports are unnecessary sensationalist, I don't think he has hit out as such.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Cyril on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:42 am

123456789

You're spoiling the Wums' party. For shame! Wink

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:44 am

Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:It's just so strange that it's Mike Brown of all people to come out and say they're aggrieved.

What about Jonny Gray? Dylan Hartley? Chris Robshaw? Sean Maitland? George Ford?

There's probably about 20 or more players who are so obviously ahead of Brown in terms of 'deserving'/being close to selection that it just makes a mockery of what he's done. He has almost no authority because he was never seriously in contention for the squad. So strange.
This would never have happened under Sir Clive.

No he made sure to take all his chums.
Gats is a disciple of that then. It's going to end way, way worse. Well done Wales Sad

Gats is a disciple of no one, he's his own man, doesn't follow the lead like you Cyril with your intrinsic negativity about the lions chances....why bother even posting you are so down on them, or, more likely, any Welsh aspects of them. Rolling Eyes

Gats is having to put up with disgraceful behavior and nagging from English clubs and players because their little noses are out of joint and also fair weather fans like you. Ah we didnt get picked Diddums. Boo you schedule a lions camp. Its laughable.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Cyril on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:53 am

Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:It's just so strange that it's Mike Brown of all people to come out and say they're aggrieved.

What about Jonny Gray? Dylan Hartley? Chris Robshaw? Sean Maitland? George Ford?

There's probably about 20 or more players who are so obviously ahead of Brown in terms of 'deserving'/being close to selection that it just makes a mockery of what he's done. He has almost no authority because he was never seriously in contention for the squad. So strange.
This would never have happened under Sir Clive.

No he made sure to take all his chums.
Gats is a disciple of that then. It's going to end way, way worse. Well done Wales Sad

Gats is a disciple of no one, he's his own man, doesn't follow the lead like you Cyril with your intrinsic negativity about the lions chances....why bother even posting you are so down on them, or, more likely, any Welsh aspects of them. Rolling Eyes

Gats is having to put up with disgraceful behavior and nagging from English clubs and players because their little noses are out of joint and also fair weather fans like you. Ah we didnt get picked Diddums. Boo you schedule a lions camp. Its laughable.
It's good that you can follow a kiwi versus the kiwis. Better then your own team i guess.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:57 am

Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:It's just so strange that it's Mike Brown of all people to come out and say they're aggrieved.

What about Jonny Gray? Dylan Hartley? Chris Robshaw? Sean Maitland? George Ford?

There's probably about 20 or more players who are so obviously ahead of Brown in terms of 'deserving'/being close to selection that it just makes a mockery of what he's done. He has almost no authority because he was never seriously in contention for the squad. So strange.
This would never have happened under Sir Clive.

No he made sure to take all his chums.
Gats is a disciple of that then. It's going to end way, way worse. Well done Wales Sad

Gats is a disciple of no one, he's his own man, doesn't follow the lead like you Cyril with your intrinsic negativity about the lions chances....why bother even posting you are so down on them, or, more likely, any Welsh aspects of them. Rolling Eyes

Gats is having to put up with disgraceful behavior and nagging from English clubs and players because their little noses are out of joint and also fair weather fans like you. Ah we didnt get picked Diddums. Boo you schedule a lions camp. Its laughable.
It's good that you can follow a kiwi versus the kiwis. Better then your own team i guess.

Its good that you can follow a Kiwi lead some Welshmen against the All Blacks, gives you something to sulk about.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Cyril on Tue 09 May 2017, 1:01 am

Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:It's just so strange that it's Mike Brown of all people to come out and say they're aggrieved.

What about Jonny Gray? Dylan Hartley? Chris Robshaw? Sean Maitland? George Ford?

There's probably about 20 or more players who are so obviously ahead of Brown in terms of 'deserving'/being close to selection that it just makes a mockery of what he's done. He has almost no authority because he was never seriously in contention for the squad. So strange.
This would never have happened under Sir Clive.

No he made sure to take all his chums.
Gats is a disciple of that then. It's going to end way, way worse. Well done Wales Sad

Gats is a disciple of no one, he's his own man, doesn't follow the lead like you Cyril with your intrinsic negativity about the lions chances....why bother even posting you are so down on them, or, more likely, any Welsh aspects of them. Rolling Eyes

Gats is having to put up with disgraceful behavior and nagging from English clubs and players because their little noses are out of joint and also fair weather fans like you. Ah we didnt get picked Diddums. Boo you schedule a lions camp. Its laughable.
It's good that you can follow a kiwi versus the kiwis. Better then your own team i guess.

Its good that you can follow a Kiwi lead some Welshmen against the All Blacks, gives you something to sulk about.
I'll be watching proper tours, like when we won away in the SH. Come back when you can do it on your own, you annoying little squirt.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Tue 09 May 2017, 1:03 am

Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:It's just so strange that it's Mike Brown of all people to come out and say they're aggrieved.

What about Jonny Gray? Dylan Hartley? Chris Robshaw? Sean Maitland? George Ford?

There's probably about 20 or more players who are so obviously ahead of Brown in terms of 'deserving'/being close to selection that it just makes a mockery of what he's done. He has almost no authority because he was never seriously in contention for the squad. So strange.
This would never have happened under Sir Clive.

No he made sure to take all his chums.
Gats is a disciple of that then. It's going to end way, way worse. Well done Wales Sad

Gats is a disciple of no one, he's his own man, doesn't follow the lead like you Cyril with your intrinsic negativity about the lions chances....why bother even posting you are so down on them, or, more likely, any Welsh aspects of them. Rolling Eyes

Gats is having to put up with disgraceful behavior and nagging from English clubs and players because their little noses are out of joint and also fair weather fans like you. Ah we didnt get picked Diddums. Boo you schedule a lions camp. Its laughable.
It's good that you can follow a kiwi versus the kiwis. Better then your own team i guess.

Its good that you can follow a Kiwi lead some Welshmen against the All Blacks, gives you something to sulk about.
I'll be watching proper tours, like when we won away in the SH. Come back when you can do it on your own, you annoying little squirt.

laughing laughing Yahoo


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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Tue 09 May 2017, 1:05 am

I've just realized Cyril

YOU'RE MIKE BROWN!! Shocked

From now on I will address you appropriately

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Cyril on Tue 09 May 2017, 1:07 am

Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:It's just so strange that it's Mike Brown of all people to come out and say they're aggrieved.

What about Jonny Gray? Dylan Hartley? Chris Robshaw? Sean Maitland? George Ford?

There's probably about 20 or more players who are so obviously ahead of Brown in terms of 'deserving'/being close to selection that it just makes a mockery of what he's done. He has almost no authority because he was never seriously in contention for the squad. So strange.
This would never have happened under Sir Clive.

No he made sure to take all his chums.
Gats is a disciple of that then. It's going to end way, way worse. Well done Wales Sad

Gats is a disciple of no one, he's his own man, doesn't follow the lead like you Cyril with your intrinsic negativity about the lions chances....why bother even posting you are so down on them, or, more likely, any Welsh aspects of them. Rolling Eyes

Gats is having to put up with disgraceful behavior and nagging from English clubs and players because their little noses are out of joint and also fair weather fans like you. Ah we didnt get picked Diddums. Boo you schedule a lions camp. Its laughable.
It's good that you can follow a kiwi versus the kiwis. Better then your own team i guess.

Its good that you can follow a Kiwi lead some Welshmen against the All Blacks, gives you something to sulk about.
I'll be watching proper tours, like when we won away in the SH. Come back when you can do it on your own, you annoying little squirt.

laughing laughing Yahoo

Yep. I'm convinced you're Irish anyway and trying to give the Welsh a bad name.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Tue 09 May 2017, 1:09 am

Don't worry Mike you can keep on sulking at will, I'll let you now if you're needed as back up mascot kiss

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Cyril on Tue 09 May 2017, 1:12 am

Laugh

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Tue 09 May 2017, 1:17 am

Well, he wants to be a lion right

Joking aside his problem is temperament

My fave Mike Brown moment is when he got caught holding on on half way at RWC and got a pat on the back from St George. He stepped towards him, thought better of it and then stood - and this is the best bit - hands on hips as if someone had just said yes your butt does look big in that dress.

A B and I Lion with that sort of tantrum potential? No way.... and frankly I expect someone to have a quiet word with Bigger because I don't think we'll see the same sort of cry baby tactics from him this tour.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Taylorman on Tue 09 May 2017, 1:44 am

miaow wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:To beat the all blacks, you need to score 30+ points.

Yes and no. I think the Lions is strange in that you're better comparing it to a World Cup than you are to Autumn Internationals, which are friendlies after all. The Lions will absolutely have to score more than 15 points to win the game, but look at some of NZ's competitive victories in the latter stages of World Cups (20-18 vs SA in '15, 20-6 vs Aus in '11, 8-7 vs France in '11) and I think you get a better picture.

Yes, they have the capability of cutting loose and scoring 40+ points. That may well happen, irrespective of anything the Lions do, because they're that good, and they're at home. However, I don't really like the mode of thought can accepts they're going to score X number of points. It's almost defeatist, accepting a certain concession before a ball has been kicked. In understand why coaches do it for players- it demystifies the game as one overwhelming 80 minute task, in compartmentalising the game, and setting targets within targets etc- but I also can't help but feel the psychology is perhaps one of allowing your oppoenents and edge. You're expecting them score X number of points, even if only subliminally. The Lions have to go in with an ethos of giving them nothing. Not a scrap. Make them work for every single point. Don't accept they will score a try, even if they probably will. You have to be reasonable- i.e. don't expect to win the game through 3 pointers alone- but I don't think 30 points is the right margin to say "we have to score at least this to win". I'd cut that number in half.

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Do you really want to leave out arguably your best attacking weapon to have a steady defender?

I disagree with this logic. Not only would I contest that, atlhough very good, Hogg isn't necessarily the best open play attacker the Lions have, but I'd also say that's a simple binary that misses the key part of winning rugby games: scoring points. In that sense, Halfpenny is exceptional in a an attacking sense, able to convert almost impossible scoring positions into points with a regularity that is pretty much unmatched in the world.

On top of that, scoring points is only as good as your ability to keep them out. Whilst this too is a sort of oversimplification of the two players' abilities, Hogg is a fair bit off Halfpenny's level as a defender- not just as a tackler- and that has to be taken into account.

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Hogg is not a bad defender either. His tackle completion rate is pretty high, although not as high as Halfpenny, however he isn't this saloon door that people suggest.


Yeah, I agree. I'd say his biggest defensive weakness, much like Liam Williams, is due to his positioning. Both players are liabilities when the ball gets turned over, as their first instinct is to go wondering in attack. This makes them very good attacking players, but of course, they're often then having to race back into position to cover a turnover attack, and often miss a tackle because of running at pace/left in a poor position that Halfpenny almost never is at 15. In fact, I'd scratch the almost, I genuinely don't think I've ever seen such a scenario with him.

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Halfpenny had a bit of a stormer at the weekend and appears to be peaking at the right time, but hogg was terrific against Edinburgh . It is a good dilemma to have and both are great players, sadly Smith is a bit of a distance better than all of our options.

Good to hear both players are in good form. Whoever makes it, I hope it's the case of being a marginal call based on two players pushing each other, rather than a race to the bottom.

Had Halfpenny not kicked 6 from 6 against France, I wouldn't expect him to make the team, as his kicking hadn't been the same since his return from injury. But that was a reminder of just how important he can be, and how truly sublime his goalkicking is.

You may think I'm coming off as overly critical of Hogg, and I don't mean to be, but I do think there's an aura around him that- through no fault of his own- isn't entirely accurate or fair. I'm happy to discuss that if you like? He's a very good player, but he'd be #23 for me, to come off the bench if and when the Lions need him.

Good points, I wouldnt agree with this though:

In that sense, Halfpenny is exceptional in a an attacking sense, able to convert almost impossible scoring positions into points with a regularity that is pretty much unmatched in the world.


We've got and had many better attackers from Fullback than Halfpenny, Ben Smith is one of them. Trouble with Halfpenny is he rarely does attack. He can, and hes very good at it, but doesnt. Smith takes every single scrap of opportunity to attack so it's not just about ability its as much about opportinuty and taking your chances.

Many a test Ive watch Halfpenny just stay at the back and never get involved much at all.

But in saying that I think he'll go for Halfpenny as well. As good as the team may appear they dont have enough attacking qualities to take the game to the AB's, in NZ.

Its very rare NH teams come here and win with all out attack as their gameplan. In 03 England definitely went 10 man and only France has won since then- they have won attacking the Abs several times- Ive yet to see a Home unions or Lions side do it- even the 71 Lions tied the game up in the forwards for most of it.

Halfpenny for me, partially because he's Welsh as well, and is familiar to Gatland.

Williams may have defensive frailties but he's the best NH back to consistently perform against the AB's and after last years tour- where he stood out as the best player, hes a certainty in a Gats side, with good reason.

Good points though Miaow thumbsup

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Tue 09 May 2017, 2:08 am

Maybe the Lions should have picked Mike Brown who always attacks; here he is on the veldt pretending to be a Lion Laugh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuSQEsVgnWE

OR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_xW8sXt5jk



Last edited by Gwlad on Tue 09 May 2017, 3:41 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by kingelderfield on Tue 09 May 2017, 2:32 am

Please take Brown.

Realistically my concern is solely with the effects, good/bad this tour will have on the travelling england players. The majority of our best forwards are touring and it will be crucial to most arguments that they return in the credit margin, be that with or without game/tour success. The last thing we need is for players to return in bits, physically or mentally broken. However as others have pointed out, these tours are carless towards player welfare.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Tue 09 May 2017, 4:10 am

Scottrf wrote:
munkian wrote:I love that you are so bitter you are actually sticking up for Hartley...

Double 6 Nations and 18 straight game winning captain.

Need more winners in the team.

But fewer thugs

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 May 2017, 5:35 am

The Lions have three genuine options in most positions but that can strain resources during a tour.

It's normal to have two hookers, scrum halves and fly halves in every match 23, so that will mean one of the three options does double duty in a midweek & weekend squad. It only takes one of the three players to pick up a niggle to see two of them doing double duty.

Sure, you can sit on the bench and never need to come on, but you also don't get the same rest as when you aren't involved at all.

In Australia, Gatland had only two primary fly halves. Farrell and Sexton switched round for the first three games before both got rested for the fourth, with Hogg taking the 10 shirt. We had no formal fly half cover in that match but it's hard to see Gatland getting away with that against midweek NZ teams.

It's a curious feature of Lions tours that, on the one hand, there aren't enough games for everyone to get an equal chance to make their case. And yet, once the tour is under way, the schedule can come at you like a freight train, and you can end up scrabbling around to field a decent match 23.

Gatland resorted to calling up Shane Williams for the Brumbies game because it let him save Cuthbert, North and Maitland for the first Test at the weekend. Five bench players for the Brumbies match were also in the Test 23 four days later, and all came on midweek as the Brumbies proved a handful (they won). Players get injured, but coaches are reluctant to send key men home if they might make a recovery. Tommy Bowe was a case in point last time.

It does make me wonder how Gatland will react in NZ. If he decides he needs to preserve as many of the Test 23 as possible, he might look around for a Shane Williams/Tom Court selection to be short-term fodder.

If you want a long-shot bet, then you could do worse than predict Mike Phillips will get a surprise call-up for one midweek match. He's been a Lion twice, Gatland knows him, he probably knows a few of the calls and he's not so out of shape, since he's been playing for Sale. He's far from being the next choice (Davies, Marmion, Care, Price, Wigglesworth, Robson, Simpson etc would surely rank higher) but I wouldn't rule it out.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by George Carlin on Tue 09 May 2017, 5:57 am

Are any of the other home nations going to have players in the proximity of New Zealand or it is just Scotland during their Australia tour?

Must be a big comfort for Gatland knowing that the likes of Gray, Watson, Russell and Maitland are only 3 hours away if needed.

So that's Dane Coles, Ben Smith and now Sonny Bill Williams with possible concussion problems, Kaino on a knee surgery and both Liam Squire and Kieren Read with a broken thumb (probably not the same one). This is all very interesting, so let's see what instructions the Super Rugby franchises are given to protect their All Blacks. They aren't supposed to and are meant to play them during the dirttracker games but if this continues I just cannot see that happening.
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by kingelderfield on Tue 09 May 2017, 6:42 am

Injuries can happen at anytime, but I suspect the increased number of high quality derby games has taken its toll. And there are more to come up to the 3rd. June.
Of course it does not compare to a NH season, but that's nothing to boast about.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Tue 09 May 2017, 7:59 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:The Hogg/Halfpenny debate will rumble on no doubt, it's just a question of what you want from your full back. I personally would like to see a back line of:

Murray, Sexton, North, Farrell, JJ, Williams and Hogg with a carte blanche to attack. However I have a feeling that Gatland will play conservatively. I do feel that the midweek fixtures will have a huge impact on the test matches themselves.

We're not going to beat the All Blacks playing Halfpenny at full back, he's been in terrible form of late and aside from defensively he offers very little, we'll only win by scoring tries so Hogg is the obvious and only choice. Sexton and Farrell are both international level kickers so it's not as if we need him for that and I'd expext Daly to be on the bench as a utility back and he's got 10 metres on Halfpenny.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 09 May 2017, 8:32 am

miaow wrote:
123456789 wrote:
In response to Miaow I think Hogg will start the first test but Halfpenny will be hot on his heels, I think whilst defensively Halfpenny is ahead of Hogg and Williams, his attack is significantly worse than theirs. His goalkicking is very good but Sexton's goalkicking is significantly better than it was 4 years ago, furthermore Farrell and Laidlaw are both very good goalkickers who can be shoehorned in if necessary. Hogg is also very good from distance. Put simply with the number of top class goalkickers on this tour a specialist goalkicker in the style of Halfpenny 4 years ago or Jenkins in 1997 is probably not necessary.

That's all fine, but it reminds me of the England dilemma a few years ago. It's all well and good having 4-5 similarly good players in one position (or in this case, in one skill area). But you can't pick them all at once.

The Lions will have on frontline goalkicker, and then probably at least another on the pitch at all times who is world class in their own right.

Wales have Dan Biggar, possibly the second best goalkicker in the NH behind Halfpenny. But he hasn't taken the kicks at goal since Halfpenny has returned to the side. His value, in that sense, is not being used. It's great to have him as a back up, and as someone who can score drop goals. But for the Lions, if Halfpenny is better- even marginally so- than Farrell and Sexton (which, when all players are at their best, he is), then his inclusion is worth it.

The Lions have to make those calls, in terms of how to make the distinction between the options they have. And in almost every sense, those options are so tight, it's a very difficult job all the coaching/selection team have, it could go many different ways. That's why form in the warm ups may well play a big part. If Halfpenny has a few off games with the boot in particular, he'll probably miss out. However, there's also the benefit of taking the pressure off either Sexton or Farrell- both of who will be targeted mercilessly, as the Lions will try to negate Barrett's strengths. In the same way goalkicking could affect Barrett's direction of his team, the same could happen to either 10 for the Lions. There's so many pros and cons there's no 'wrong' answer, or perhaps there's no 'right' answer, depends on perspective.

I'd approach it as saying Halfpenny might be worth an extra 3-5 points a game in terms of landed goal kicks over Farrell/Sexton. So if Hogg can set up/score 1 try a game that Halfpenny couldn't then he's worth the start.
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Scottrf on Tue 09 May 2017, 8:36 am

Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:I'd approach it as saying Halfpenny might be worth an extra 3-5 points a game in terms of landed goal kicks over Farrell/Sexton. So if Hogg can set up/score 1 try a game that Halfpenny couldn't then he's worth the start.
There's no evidence his kicking is better than theirs since his return, infact he's had some shocking performances from the boot. Maybe at his best he has a 1-2% advantage over those guys but not significant.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 09 May 2017, 8:39 am

Scottrf wrote:
Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:I'd approach it as saying Halfpenny might be worth an extra 3-5 points a game in terms of landed goal kicks over Farrell/Sexton. So if Hogg can set up/score 1 try a game that Halfpenny couldn't then he's worth the start.
There's no evidence his kicking is better than theirs since his return, infact he's had some shocking performances from the boot. Maybe at his best he has a 1-2% advantage over those guys but not significant.

I did say "might be" Smile


Someone on another site yesterday asked me who out of Hogg, Halfpenny, Kearney, Williams, Zebo and Brown worried me the most as a NZ fan. My response was Hogg, then Williams, then a load of daylight. The rest would struggle to get a start for an NZ Super Rugby franchise
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Griff on Tue 09 May 2017, 8:43 am

George Carlin wrote:Are any of the other home nations going to have players in the proximity of New Zealand or it is just Scotland during their Australia tour?

Must be a big comfort for Gatland knowing that the likes of Gray, Watson, Russell and Maitland are only 3 hours away if needed.

So that's Dane Coles, Ben Smith and now Sonny Bill Williams with possible concussion problems, Kaino on a knee surgery and both Liam Squire and Kieren Read with a broken thumb (probably not the same one). This is all very interesting, so let's see what instructions the Super Rugby franchises are given to protect their All Blacks. They aren't supposed to and are meant to play them during the dirttracker games but if this continues I just cannot see that happening.


Wales are touring at the Pacific Islands at same time, and are playing some games in NZ Shocked

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by propdavid_london on Tue 09 May 2017, 8:45 am

Where are Ireland touring?

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 09 May 2017, 8:46 am

Griff wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Are any of the other home nations going to have players in the proximity of New Zealand or it is just Scotland during their Australia tour?

Must be a big comfort for Gatland knowing that the likes of Gray, Watson, Russell and Maitland are only 3 hours away if needed.

So that's Dane Coles, Ben Smith and now Sonny Bill Williams with possible concussion problems, Kaino on a knee surgery and both Liam Squire and Kieren Read with a broken thumb (probably not the same one). This is all very interesting, so let's see what instructions the Super Rugby franchises are given to protect their All Blacks. They aren't supposed to and are meant to play them during the dirttracker games but if this continues I just cannot see that happening.


Wales are touring at the Pacific Islands at  same time, and are playing some games in NZ Shocked

Yep. Tonga vs Wales is the curtain raiser for NZ vs Samoa at Eden Park the week before the first Lions test.

Incidentally, there's still 10k seats available for the Blues vs the Lions - it appears that Eden Park hosting NZ/Samoa/Tonga/Wales plus the 1st and 3rd Lions tests plus that match has saturated the local market.
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by George Carlin on Tue 09 May 2017, 8:46 am

Griff wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Are any of the other home nations going to have players in the proximity of New Zealand or it is just Scotland during their Australia tour?

Must be a big comfort for Gatland knowing that the likes of Gray, Watson, Russell and Maitland are only 3 hours away if needed.

So that's Dane Coles, Ben Smith and now Sonny Bill Williams with possible concussion problems, Kaino on a knee surgery and both Liam Squire and Kieren Read with a broken thumb (probably not the same one). This is all very interesting, so let's see what instructions the Super Rugby franchises are given to protect their All Blacks. They aren't supposed to and are meant to play them during the dirttracker games but if this continues I just cannot see that happening.


Wales are touring at the Pacific Islands at  same time, and are playing some games in NZ Shocked
So the thing to do would have been to answer my first question. Whistle
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by robbo277 on Tue 09 May 2017, 9:09 am

Rory_Gallagher wrote:Brown really is as moany as he looks:

http://www.the42.ie/warren-gatland-mike-brown-lions-3379608-May2017/

Is it moany? To give Brown the right of reply: https://twitter.com/mikebrown_15/status/861535813078843397

All he said was he was disappointed not to be picked, doubly so as he won't get another shot, which is understandable. The initial sentiment, that he "slammed" Gatland, was blown out of proportion by headline writers.

He gave an honest interview about how he felt about missing out, it got blown up and then journalists pressed Gatland on it. Both were fairly measured in my opinion.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 May 2017, 9:22 am

Always read past the headline.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by R!skysports on Tue 09 May 2017, 9:44 am

“I didn’t take it well. I was gutted. I feel I’ve played really well from 2015 onwards so it was really disappointing to get the call, but you can’t let one man’s decision define you.

I think that bit is where he goes too far.

“It’s really disappointing for guys like myself, James Haskell and Dylan Hartley because we probably won’t get another opportunity. I’ve had no feedback about being on standby either, which is also disappointing, so I’m not going to keep up false hopes.



most others would have said something like......but I will continue to focus on playing as well as I can and will be available if needed.



headline a bit ott, but it does come across as a bit petulant....IMO

See Launchbury lack of headlines as an example

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 May 2017, 9:49 am

Honest.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by TightHEAD on Tue 09 May 2017, 9:52 am

Well done to Mike Brown for speaking out, he spoke what he was feeling, such a refreshing change for a player to give a non-media trained answer.

To be honest I think his performances have dropped off this season for England despite still putting up impressive stats, but when a player like 1/2p has been awful for 3 years you can see where he is coming from.
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 09 May 2017, 9:54 am

Rowntree is involved with Harlequins and Lions, and I guess Brown feels if he had a chance of being called up as a replacement then the former Tiger would have mentioned it.

I know Brown was not happy with the article that was produced, and felt it did not provide a fair representation of what he was trying to say with quotes moved around and edited for the sake of the article. However he does come across as a man who desperately wanted to go, and is struggling to come to terms with the fact that he is not.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by miaow on Tue 09 May 2017, 10:02 am

Taylorman wrote:Good points, I wouldnt agree with this though:

In that sense, Halfpenny is exceptional in a an attacking sense, able to convert almost impossible scoring positions into points with a regularity that is pretty much unmatched in the world.


We've got and had many better attackers from Fullback than Halfpenny, Ben Smith is one of them. Trouble with Halfpenny is he rarely does attack. He can, and hes very good at it, but doesnt. Smith takes every single scrap of opportunity to attack so it's not just about ability its as much about opportinuty and taking your chances.

Many a test Ive watch Halfpenny just stay at the back and never get involved much at all.

But in saying that I think he'll go for Halfpenny as well. As good as the team may appear they dont have enough attacking qualities to take the game to the AB's, in NZ.

Its very rare NH teams come here and win with all out attack as their gameplan. In 03 England definitely went 10 man and only France has won since then- they have won attacking the Abs several times- Ive yet to see a Home unions or Lions side do it- even the 71 Lions tied the game up in the forwards for most of it.

Halfpenny for me, partially because he's Welsh as well, and is familiar to Gatland.

Williams may have defensive frailties but he's the best NH back to consistently perform against the AB's and after last years tour- where he stood out as the best player, hes a certainty in a Gats side, with good reason.

Good points though Miaow thumbsup

Thanks Taylor.

It's worth me just clarifying that when I say attacking in this sense, I mean scoring points. Of course Halfpenny isn't an attacking full back in that sense, but it's just a kind of reductive way of painting two players in a binary- Halfpenny defensive, Hogg attacking- that misses the point. How is scoring points from the boot in incredibly difficult positions not attacking? I think it's a flaw we as fans slip in to sometimes, missing the 'net result' in order to construct our own narratives to understand/stereotype players.

I also agree about Liam Williams. It becomes a bit tricky when people are so invested in the various national contributions towards the Lions, but I think he's actually a better player than Hogg. One thing I find interesting about sport in general is how players have their 'levels'- you can have one player who is absolutely dominant at a certain level of the game, and yet one rung up, and they lose almost all their effectiveness. Generally speaking, I find that interesting. However, Liam Williams for me is world class- one of the few Welsh players who is- because, as you say, he consistently plays well at the highest level: against the All Blacks.

One of my issues, I suppose, with Hogg is that I'm just not quite sure about him yet at this level, which is perfectly natural, and the question will apply to most players on tour. What makes him effective for Scotland will have far less space, far less opportunity, and be far less effective when playing the ABs in a Lions shirt. Likewise, his deficiencies will be amplified. I'll reiterate, this is true for all players, but this is partly why you start with solidity first and foremost in more positions, because if your 'attacking' (contradicting what I said earlier, but just to make things easier) players don't perform/aren't able to perform, then you're left with someone who isn't as effective at the 'basics' as someone who you've decided to leave on the bench/out of the 23.

I hope he does perform, and step up to the level, because quite clearly he's got talent. But in some ways, we'll never know until the Test matches. As I've said with Joseph and the 13 position, Hogg is damned somewhat in that he's in a very specific defensive position, and one where there are certain positional and disciplinary expectations that flair alone cannot compensate, particularly in a 'Gatlandball' team. It's much more likely that flair will be 'accepted' on the wing, than it is at 15. Looking at the back 3 as a whole, for me, North is nearly nailed on, as the Lions don't have anyone similar. If he's injured or not playing well, then Seymour or Watson comes on to the right wing. For the left wing, I think this is where they'll look to have someone with a bit of trickery. That means Liam Williams, Jack Nowell, and Watson again are in consideration. Zebo's a midweek player at best, I think. Nowell could surprise people, he's a very awkward player to come up against. As for those other two- and Seymour in fact- they're all excellent under the high ball, something you mentioned Barrett (and the All Blacks generally to be honest) use effectively. Out of those three, on the left wing I think Nowell could make it, as could Watson, but I think Liam Williams is the pick there.

Which, of course, leaves 15, and I think- much to the annoyance of 606v2 and just about everyone who isn't Welsh- I can see a Welsh back 3 being selected quite easily, and on merit.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Barney McGrew did it on Tue 09 May 2017, 10:06 am

You hear what you wanna hear I guess. Everything I’ve heard MB say describes exactly how I’d expect him to feel (and say, if questioned). He’s a disappointed guy who’s basically said he’s disappointed - because he believed he had a decent shout. I don’t get this desire for the bland ‘role model’ stuff, it's just disingenuous – I want a rugby player to be feisty on the pitch and just honest off it.
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