YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

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YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 2:49 pm

Name the best XV comprising players you have seen playing for the Lions. You should base it on performances purely for the Lions and only include players from tours you can judge - so no picking Gareth Edwards unless you are old enough to have your own opinion on the Lions series in the 70s.

Just for info, the composite XV below are the guys who started the most tests since the 1980 series in South Africa (the first I can judge on). I will be thinking of my own selection.

15 Gavin Hastings (6)
14 Ieuan Evans (7)
13 Brian O'Driscoll (8)
12 Jerry Guscott (8)
11 Rory Underwood (6)
10 Ollie Campbell (7)
9 Matt Dawson (4)
8 Dean Richards (6)
7 Peter Winterbottom (7)
6 John O'Driscoll (6)
5 Martin Johnson (8)
4 Maurice Colclough (8)
3 Graham Price (8)
2 Keith Wood/Brian Moore (5)
1 Tom Smith (6)

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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 3:01 pm

No Scott Gibbs LT?

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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by Gwlad on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 3:13 pm

Underwood? Shocked

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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 3:16 pm

interesting idea:

1. Dave Sole
2. Brian Moore
3. Dai Young

According to Moore, he felt that this was the strongest front row he has ever played in. Also it's the front row that hammered the Ozzie pack in 89. I was 5 and it is one of my earliest memories of rugby.

4. POC
5. Johnson
I think this one is fairly self explanatory.

6. Hill
7. Calder
8. Heaslip
Was tempted to go Hill/Back/Dayglow because of what they offered as a unit but Calder is one of my favourite Scottish and Lions players. A captain made of granite who much like Warburton, leads by example and never gives an inch. Healsip in there again on the back of the 2009 tour and Richard Hill is just a player I would never want to face, hence he's in there at 6.

9. Phillips (sigh)
10. Townsend
This one might be contraversial. However Phillips in the 2009 tour was IMO one of the players of the series. The guy is a walloper, but he was tremendous in the test matches in south africa. The mercurial Townsend is IMO one of the best rugby players Scotland has ever produced. When on song he was virtually unplayable. His only downfall was his teammates being unable to keep up.

11. North
It's a big call after just one tour, but the sight of him running with Izzy Folou on his back is a rugby moment that will forever be etched in my memory.

12. Roberts
13. BOD
The 2009 Lions class IMO was exactly the tonic after Woodward's disasterous engagement 4 years prior. Dr Roberts and BOD exemplified the Lions could be. 2 nations players, 2 different styles and a tremendous partnership. Such a shame they were both ruled out of the 3rd test in 2009 with injury.

14. Evans
Another lions Legend, I toyed with Robinson and Tommy Bowe in here, but went back to Evans.

15. Hastings
Big Gav, what can I say. Scotland has a long tradition of supplying quality full backs to the Lions. Andy Irvine, Gavin Hastings and now Stuart Hogg. Hastings was captain the last time we won test match in NZ so was hard to ignore. Solid under the highball, an impecable kicker from the Tee or from hand and a powerful strike runner. Everything you want from a full back.

It was hard to pick players from games I remember. Hard to leave out players like Andy Irvine/JPR/Willie John McBride and Gordon Brown, since I grew up hearing about their exploits!
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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 3:46 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:No Scott Gibbs LT?

Have not done my team yet, that was just teh most capped XV from teh tours I can remember.

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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 4:04 pm

Ah sorry didn't read that

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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 4:12 pm

I am limited to tours from 1997 onwards:

1.Smith 2.Wood 3.Jones 4.Johnson 5.AWJ 6.Hill 7.Back 8.Quinnell 9.Dawson 10.Jones 11.Robinson 12.Gibbs 13.Guscott 14.North 15.Halfpenny

I'm basing this on actual performances for the Lions, and not reputations. For example I think AWJ has done more in a Lions shirt than Paul O'Connell, despite my belief that O'Connell is/was the better player overall. Same with Guscott over BOD. Yes, BOD was immense in 2001 and overall the better player, but I believe Guscott's iconic contribution in 1997 (not to completely discount his heroics on prior Lions tours) to just tip him over the edge. I rate Lewsey a better fullback than Halfpenny, but Halfpenny was immense on the last tour. Number 8 was really tricky, but I thought Quinnell was at his peak on the 2001 tour, despite Dallaglio being the better player overall.

Tough calls, and only room for one Scot.....

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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by Gwlad on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 5:02 pm

1. Smith - a Scottish lions legend. There are few but this guy formed part of one of the greatest Lions front rows.
2. Wood. Epitomizes the Lions spirit.
3. Jones - came on in 09 after vickery capitulated and was superb in the remainder of the series until injured
4. Jonno. Double skipper and arguably the greatest Lion of the pro era.
5. AWJ - stepped up in 2013 to bring the series home
6. Hill - his lions career was as unsung but just as crucial as his England performances
7. Calder - Captained Lions to victory in 89
8. Richards - Winner in 89 and toured in 93.
9. Philipps exceptional in 09, Dawson close behind.
10. Townsend. wish he was playing today to be honest.
11. North Matched and dominated Folau, hope he finds that form again
12. Gibbs 50/50 with Roberts a tank of man and superb tourist who apparently lived on baked beans in 97
13. Guscott Without match IMO toured 3 times and was the difference in 89
14  Evans - like Wood and Jonno understood the spirit of the Lions.
15. Jenkins - kicked the 97 Lions to victory.

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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 5:38 pm

15 Gavin Hastings
14 Ieuan Evans
13 Scott Gibbs - as brilliant as O'Driscoll was, in 2001 especially, I've gone with Gibbs for his Os du Randt-flooring ferocity in 1997
12 Jeremy Guscott - not many players can say they made the crucial score in two Lions Tests
11 George North
10 Stephen Jones - Townsend was the more mercurial, but Jones was so committed. Kicked superbly under pressure too
9 Robert Jones - mainly because of the banner in the crowd in '89 that said 'Robert Jones is Farr superior'
8 Scott Quinnell - for the nodding after his try in 2001
7 Sam Warburton - for leading the Lions to an against-all-odds series win in 2017  Wink
6 Richard Hill
5 Simon Shaw
4 Martin Johnson
3 Dai Young
2 Keith Wood
1 Alex Corbisiero - because he's pretty


Last edited by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 5:52 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : never mind)

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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by Sin é on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 5:51 pm

Tony O'Reilly needs to be in there - all-time Lions top try scorer (37 tries).

On SA Tour 1955 he scored 16 tries in 15 games. The Lions drew the series.

https://www.joe.ie/sport/lions-legends-tony-oreilly-349885
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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by Griff on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 7:15 pm

Sin é wrote:Tony O'Reilly needs to be in there - all-time Lions top try scorer (37 tries).

On SA Tour 1955 he scored 16 tries in 15 games. The Lions drew the series.

https://www.joe.ie/sport/lions-legends-tony-oreilly-349885

Fine if you're that old, but as the OP says this has to be Lions players/tours that you've actually seen!

I'd have the likes of Gerald Davies and JJ Williams in for sure, but didn't start watching the Lions til 1997 so I can't pick them.

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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by Gwlad on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 7:52 pm

Best tourists ever would have to include Shawsy (Bruce)

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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by Shifty on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 8:47 pm

15 JPR Williams / Gavin Hastings
14 Gerald Davies / Ieuan Evans
13 Mike Gibson / Jeremy Gusgott
12 Phil Bennett (Bennett did play 12 outside Barry John in the late 60's and early 70's) / Scott Gibbs
11 Jason Robinson
10 Barry John / Neil Jenkins
9 Gareth Edwards / Matt Dawson
8 Lawrence Dallagio
7 Finley Calder
6 Richard Hill
5 Paul O'Connell
4 Martin Johnson
3 Paul Wallace
2 Keith Wood
1 Jason Leonard
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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by Taylorman on Sat 29 Apr 2017, 11:02 am

Shifty wrote:15 JPR Williams / Gavin Hastings
14 Gerald Davies / Ieuan Evans
13 Mike Gibson / Jeremy Gusgott
12 Phil Bennett  (Bennett did play 12 outside Barry John in the late 60's and early 70's) / Scott Gibbs
11 Jason Robinson
10 Barry John / Neil Jenkins
9 Gareth Edwards / Matt Dawson
8 Lawrence Dallagio
7 Finley Calder
6  Richard Hill
5 Paul O'Connell
4 Martin Johnson
3 Paul Wallace
2 Keith Wood
1 Jason Leonard

Great side. Fact that you have Gibson in there takes us back a while, which means I'd add Willie John McBride as the all time greatest captain of the Lions. He has no peer.

I would add Gordon Brown of Scotland and Graham Price of Wales to a very exciting and hugely nostalgic side.

British rugby at its best. Love it!

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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Sat 29 Apr 2017, 6:22 pm

Taylorman wrote:
Shifty wrote:15 JPR Williams / Gavin Hastings
14 Gerald Davies / Ieuan Evans
13 Mike Gibson / Jeremy Gusgott
12 Phil Bennett  (Bennett did play 12 outside Barry John in the late 60's and early 70's) / Scott Gibbs
11 Jason Robinson
10 Barry John / Neil Jenkins
9 Gareth Edwards / Matt Dawson
8 Lawrence Dallagio
7 Finley Calder
6  Richard Hill
5 Paul O'Connell
4 Martin Johnson
3 Paul Wallace
2 Keith Wood
1 Jason Leonard

Great side. Fact that you have Gibson in there takes us back a while, which means I'd add Willie John McBride as the all time greatest captain of the Lions. He has no peer.

I would add Gordon Brown of Scotland and Graham Price of Wales to a very exciting and hugely nostalgic side.

British rugby at its best. Love it!

I always love the story McBride told about his Lions friend Gordon Brown.

Gordon Brown or Boon Fae Troon, sadly no longer with us, was good pals with Willie John McBride. Willie visited him on his death bed in the late stages of the cancer he was bravely fighting.

He said to him "Broonie, every time we played together we won." Broonie reached up and ruffled McBrides hair.

This is why the Lions matters to me, stories like that. Yes it's a game, but the friendships formed last forever.
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Re: YOUR Best Ever Lions XV

Post by MacKnocked-on on Sat 29 Apr 2017, 7:49 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:interesting idea:

1. Dave Sole
2. Brian Moore
3. Dai Young

According to Moore, he felt that this was the strongest front row he has ever played in. Also it's the front row that hammered the Ozzie pack in 89. I was 5 and it is one of my earliest memories of rugby.

4. POC
5. Johnson
I think this one is fairly self explanatory.

6. Hill
7. Calder
8. Heaslip
Was tempted to go Hill/Back/Dayglow because of what they offered as a unit but Calder is one of my favourite Scottish and Lions players. A captain made of granite who much like Warburton, leads by example and never gives an inch. Healsip in there again on the back of the 2009 tour and Richard Hill is just a player I would never want to face, hence he's in there at 6.

9. Phillips (sigh)
10. Townsend
This one might be contraversial. However Phillips in the 2009 tour was IMO one of the players of the series. The guy is a walloper, but he was tremendous in the test matches in south africa. The mercurial Townsend is IMO one of the best rugby players Scotland has ever produced. When on song he was virtually unplayable. His only downfall was his teammates being unable to keep up.

11. North
It's a big call after just one tour, but the sight of him running with Izzy Folou on his back is a rugby moment that will forever be etched in my memory.

12. Roberts
13. BOD
The 2009 Lions class IMO was exactly the tonic after Woodward's disasterous engagement 4 years prior. Dr Roberts and BOD exemplified the Lions could be. 2 nations players, 2 different styles and a tremendous partnership. Such a shame they were both ruled out of the 3rd test in 2009 with injury.

14. Evans
Another lions Legend, I toyed with Robinson and Tommy Bowe in here, but went back to Evans.

15. Hastings
Big Gav, what can I say. Scotland has a long tradition of supplying quality full backs to the Lions. Andy Irvine, Gavin Hastings and now Stuart Hogg. Hastings was captain the last time we won test match in NZ so was hard to ignore. Solid under the highball, an impecable kicker from the Tee or from hand and a powerful strike runner. Everything you want from a full back.

It was hard to pick players from games I remember. Hard to leave out players like Andy Irvine/JPR/Willie John McBride and Gordon Brown, since I grew up hearing about their exploits!

Not to mention Ken Scotland, by all accounts the man who pioneered the idea of the attacking full back, according to my dad a great player to watch.

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