British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

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British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by miaow on Tue 09 May 2017, 1:27 pm

First topic message reminder :

robbo277 wrote:
But as I said, I don't want players to water down their comments. I want to read what the players think, I don't want to read what the press officer tells them to say.

That's fair enough, and I agree with the rest of your comment on this basis. I personally don't particularly care what Mike Brown thinks, especially when it's as obvious as "experienced test player is disappointed to have not been selected for the Lions". I could have told you that without Mike Brown's public statement. The point where it deviated from him merely expressing his disappointment to one where he's put his foot in his mouth is the fact he questioned the coaches' lack of communication to him personally. Even if he's right- and I think he may well be- to publicly bring that into question in the way he has done is antithetical to the whole business of a squad as a unity, a whole above the self.

As for him being a liability, I agree to an extent, but equally he does get in his fair few verbal and physical scraps. He's clearly not a player who's particularly in control of his emotions, a bit like Biggar, in that he wants to plead his case long after it is obvious his efforts are utterly in vain. He's not a catastrophe by any means, but having played with people like him, they can be liabilities. Ticking time bomb may be the incorrect phrase, and overdoing it slightly, but that doesn't negate the point entirely. Either way, it doesn't particularly matter, as I don't think it really affects his performance or mentality, and the players around him, too much: but if it did, it's hard to quantify anyway.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Thu 18 May 2017, 8:33 am

Not an entirely unfair piece. He wasn't anything special in the Pro 12 either. Then becomes the best player in the English Premiership.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 18 May 2017, 8:59 am

Well you'd have to consider that's it's weighted in favour on non internationals as well of course and the team and players around him. Quality player. See.something similar in symonds who was a key lock in super rugby and meh in the prem. Does that mean vice versa we can walk all over the sh?

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by chris_501 on Thu 18 May 2017, 9:58 am

It doesn't really take into account that it's only being judged on one season's form and he's playing for one of the strongest teams in the league playing a brand of rugby that suits him. The award doesn't mean he's being held up as the best player ever.

You could argue that the Lions are so strong that players like Wade and Cipriani didn't even get close!

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by profitius on Thu 18 May 2017, 10:28 am

The article comes across as very immature and ignorant. I'd say the kiwi media are just getting warmed up.
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by SamTheQuin on Thu 18 May 2017, 10:38 am

[quote="Rory_Gallagher"]Not an entirely unfair piece. He wasn't anything special in the Pro 12 either. Then becomes the best player in the English Premiership.[/quote]

Could argue he was asked to play a basic game in Pro 12 and at Falcons but since joining a better team and moving mostly to no12 it has brought the best out of him. He has been good there since he joined, would love him at Quins. Anyone know how old he is as will be very difficult to replace for Wasps.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 18 May 2017, 10:41 am

I think he's a fantastic player - world class goal kicker (slotted several high pressure kicks) and is a great running 10.

He might not have made the NZ team due to their strength in depth but is certainly an international class 10 IMO.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by beshocked on Thu 18 May 2017, 10:54 am

As you say Samthequin it's just getting the best out of a player.

Wasps have done that with Gopperth.

Some players will generally be good whatever team they are in but players are different.

Marquee signings aren't always a success, I think Richie Gray in particular has made poor club choices and I think have hurt his potential. Don't know why he doesn't move back to Glasgow.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 18 May 2017, 10:58 am

beshocked wrote:As you say Samthequin it's just getting the best out of a player.

Wasps have done that with Gopperth.

Some players will generally be good whatever team they are in but players are different.

Marquee signings aren't always a success, I think Richie Gray in particular has made poor club choices and I think have hurt his potential. Don't know why he doesn't move back to Glasgow.

Sale was a bad choice but his move to Toulouse has definitely improved him - he's no longer the 'show pony' that many see him as (which I don't think has ever been a fair tag to give him) as he's massively improved his physicality from his time in France. A lot of Scots think he out performed his brother in the AIs and 6N.


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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by SamTheQuin on Thu 18 May 2017, 10:59 am

Agree with you there RDW, he's a world class goal kicker.

Will be some good games this weekend. Really tough game for Saracens away.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by beshocked on Thu 18 May 2017, 11:07 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
beshocked wrote:As you say Samthequin it's just getting the best out of a player.

Wasps have done that with Gopperth.

Some players will generally be good whatever team they are in but players are different.

Marquee signings aren't always a success, I think Richie Gray in particular has made poor club choices and I think have hurt his potential. Don't know why he doesn't move back to Glasgow.

Sale was a bad choice but his move to Toulouse has definitely improved him - he's no longer the 'show pony' that many see him as (which I don't think has ever been a fair tag to give him) as he's massively improved his physicality from his time in France. A lot of Scots think he out performed his brother in the AIs and 6N.


RDW Scotland agree to disagree.

I think R.Gray had the potential to be the best 2nd row in the NH whilst now he's probably 8th - behind Kruis,AWJ,Launchbury,Itoje,Lawes,Henderson, J.Gray.

England alone have 4 2nd rows superior to R Gray IMO.

Toulouse came 12th in the Top 14. Wouldn't say it's a great club to be at currently.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 18 May 2017, 11:16 am

Henderson has done very little this season apart from one big game against England (again Gatland's selective game choices Very Happy ) - a lot of Ulster and Ireland fans don't even know why he's been picked! And let's not bring AWJ's form back into the argument...

I've not see any of Toulouse' games to know how he's played for them but from a Scotland point of view he's put in some of his best performances in a Scotland shirt this season - he was the best lock on the pitch in our close loss to Australia in the AIs.

Also worth noting that in the modern game a lock isn't just a lock - there are still number 4 and number 5 type locks. Kruis, Lawes and J Gray aren't directly comparable with R Gray, Launchbury, Henderson etc as they perform a different function on the park.

So I'd say if you're making a ranking of number 4 locks he'd be behind Launchbury and Itoje but there or there abouts for the 3rd choice.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Scottrf on Thu 18 May 2017, 11:28 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Also worth noting that in the modern game a lock isn't just a lock - there are still number 4 and number 5 type locks. Kruis, Lawes and J Gray aren't directly comparable with R Gray, Launchbury, Henderson etc as they perform a different function on the park.
People can't come to a consensus over whether Itoje played at flank or lock because he lined up in the lock at scrum. I wonder how many can differentiate a '4 lock' from a '5 lock'.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 18 May 2017, 11:35 am

I know what you're saying - there often isn't much of a difference between a 4/5 lock (AWJ and J Gray are probably a mix of both) but if you paired Launcbury with R Gray or Kruis and Lawes together you'd probably wouldn't have the most balanced 2nd row combos for example.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by robbo277 on Thu 18 May 2017, 12:01 pm

Scottrf wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:Also worth noting that in the modern game a lock isn't just a lock - there are still number 4 and number 5 type locks. Kruis, Lawes and J Gray aren't directly comparable with R Gray, Launchbury, Henderson etc as they perform a different function on the park.
People can't come to a consensus over whether Itoje played at flank or lock because he lined up in the lock at scrum. I wonder how many can differentiate a '4 lock' from a '5 lock'.

Whether you say Itoje played flanker or Lawes played flanker, you have to concede they played more like a "4" or a "5" than a 6. We were playing with 3 second rows and 1 flanker for the tournament, and our relative success suggests it might just be more about getting your best players out than trying to create a perfect balance of playing styles with weaker players (see also: Robshaw/Haskell at 6/7, Ford/Farrell at 10/12).

If we didn't have Kruis or Lawes available, I'd rather go with Launchbury and Itoje than one or the other and an inferior player who "fits the mould".

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by beshocked on Thu 18 May 2017, 12:09 pm

RDW Scotland we can quibble about whether R Gray is 3rd choice,4th choice lock whatever.

My original point was I think R.Gray could be more highly regarded than he is if he made different choices.

I stick by that. Doesn't mean R.Gray is a bad player, I just don't think his club choices overall have helped him as much as they could. I think he could have been higher up the pecking order for the Lions in different circumstances.


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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 18 May 2017, 12:15 pm

beshocked wrote:RDW Scotland we can quibble about whether R Gray is 3rd choice,4th choice lock whatever.

My original point was I think R.Gray could be more highly regarded than he is if he made different choices.

I stick by that. Doesn't mean R.Gray is a bad player, I just don't think his club choices overall have helped him as much as they could. I think he could have been higher up the pecking order for the Lions in different circumstances.


That's fair enough. I'm only focusing on his Scotland performances and as they're up their with his best ever performances since moving to Toulouse I don't think we could class that as a bad move. Also he would never have foreseen Toulouse being so bad this year when he signed the contract and I'm sure they'll sort things out for next season.

The Sale move was a bad one though - if he'd moved somewhere that worked out better I think you're right that he would have been seen more favourable. Saying that, the competition at lock is so intense it might not have made any difference.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 18 May 2017, 1:30 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
beshocked wrote:RDW Scotland we can quibble about whether R Gray is 3rd choice,4th choice lock whatever.

My original point was I think R.Gray could be more highly regarded than he is if he made different choices.

I stick by that. Doesn't mean R.Gray is a bad player, I just don't think his club choices overall have helped him as much as they could. I think he could have been higher up the pecking order for the Lions in different circumstances.


That's fair enough.  I'm only focusing on his Scotland performances and as they're up their with his best ever performances since moving to Toulouse I don't think we could class that as a bad move. Also he would never have foreseen Toulouse being so bad this year when he signed the contract and I'm sure they'll sort things out for next season.

The Sale move was a bad one though - if he'd moved somewhere that worked out better I think you're right that he would have been seen more favourable. Saying that, the competition at lock is so intense it might not have made any difference.

I believe Leinster were in the hunt for him at the time he signed for Sale. That would have been a far smarter move.
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by SamTheQuin on Thu 18 May 2017, 2:08 pm

Money talks though...

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by beshocked on Thu 18 May 2017, 2:19 pm

Not exactly chasing the money going to Sale was he?

Saracens were also interested in R Gray too.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Scottrf on Thu 18 May 2017, 2:29 pm

beshocked wrote:Not exactly chasing the money going to Sale was he?

Maybe, if they were the only club willing to use their marquee spot on him.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 18 May 2017, 3:19 pm

beshocked wrote:Not exactly chasing the money going to Sale was he?

Saracens were also interested in R Gray too.

Sarries with a lock selection of Itoje, Kruis and Gray Shocked

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 18 May 2017, 3:21 pm

They have Skelton next season as well remember.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by BamBam on Thu 18 May 2017, 3:24 pm

Saracens would have been able to offer their own "outside of the cap" salary so he definitely didn't do it for the money

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 18 May 2017, 3:28 pm

More to do with the amazing strength they'll have at lock but who are their marquees at present. Thought it would have been burger and williams? More club section I know.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by beshocked on Thu 18 May 2017, 3:41 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
beshocked wrote:Not exactly chasing the money going to Sale was he?

Saracens were also interested in R Gray too.

Sarries with a lock selection of Itoje, Kruis and Gray Shocked


In 2012, Itoje was 17. Kruis was 22 and was well down the England lock pecking order. Kruis really started to come of age in the 2015 6 nations at international level.

If R Gray had been allowed to develop as much as them? notworthy

Of course it's a what if but it's interesting looking at how much of an improvement - Kruis has made.

To be honest I think all the English locks - Launchbury,Lawes,Itoje and Kruis have thrived from the competition from each other.

When you have positions which have been unchallenged you see less improvement - both Brown and Hartley have been put on pedestals by Jones. They don't need to fight for their positions because they are set in stone for England.

Funny isn't it? Neither of those two players picked for the Lions..... Whistle Two players first on Jones' team sheet but down the pecking order for Gatland...

I think that's 2 areas where Gatland is spot on.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Thu 18 May 2017, 3:50 pm

This is a Lions thread, not a Sarries and England thread.

What is the news on Owens ankle?

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by beshocked on Thu 18 May 2017, 3:56 pm

Gwlad wrote:This is a Lions thread, not a Sarries and England thread.

What is the news on Owens ankle?

6 of the Lions players are Sarries so yes it's relevant.... their form and fitness is important.

If Owens does miss out it means everyone's favourite bad boy will be called up I expect...... Whistle

Players who just missed out on Lions selection still have a good chance of a call up.

Will be interesting to see if there are any injuries in the next two weekends.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 18 May 2017, 3:57 pm

Until gatland picks george on the bench at least beshocked!


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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by TightHEAD on Thu 18 May 2017, 4:00 pm

Dylan Hartley has to be called up now.

Book one more flight and bed in the hotel and get him practicing with the squad now.
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by beshocked on Thu 18 May 2017, 4:12 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Dylan Hartley has to be called up now.

Book one more flight and bed in the hotel and get him practicing with the squad now.

Doesn't Hartley potentially have 2 games he needs to get through unscathed himself?

Players like North,Lawes and Hartley could be in risk of picking up knocks themselves.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Thu 18 May 2017, 4:58 pm

Harltey should be next but you just never know with Gatland!

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by aucklandlaurie on Thu 18 May 2017, 5:02 pm

Gwlad wrote:Harltey should be next but you just never know with Gatland!

 ...its only you that doesnt know..

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Thu 18 May 2017, 5:13 pm

aucklandlaurie wrote:
Gwlad wrote:Harltey should be next but you just never know with Gatland!

 ...its only you that doesnt know..

Wow, your sharp as a blade today, makes a surprising change.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Thu 18 May 2017, 5:20 pm

I think Hibbard will also be a contender.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by beshocked on Thu 18 May 2017, 5:39 pm

Gwlad wrote:I think Hibbard will also be a contender.

Of course he is, he's Welsh after all. Not enough Welsh players in the squad..... Whistle

Need more players from the country ranked 8th in the world.

More from 2nd,4th or 5th? Nah don't be silly....

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Thu 18 May 2017, 5:47 pm

It would be nice if you could all put the Welsh bias to one side but everyone seems incapable such is the bitterness

Hartley aside then who else is a contender as replacement hooker?

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by beshocked on Thu 18 May 2017, 5:55 pm

Gwlad wrote:It would be nice if you could all put the Welsh bias to one side but everyone seems incapable such is the bitterness

Hartley aside then who else is a contender as replacement hooker?

Hibbard isn't realistic, I'd pick Fraser Brown ahead of Hibbard.

Hartley then Brown. Maybe then Baldwin or Ford.

Hibbard would be far down the pecking order.

I think Owens deserves to be in the squad ahead of Hartley, that's not bitterness.

Some Welsh players are lucky to be in the squad and others deserve to be there.

Still think Welsh representation a bit high and Scottish representation too low but could be worse.


I wasn't against a higher representation of Welsh players in 2013 because you were a better side then than now. Too many over the hill English players got picked in 2005.

Needs to be the right balance.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 18 May 2017, 5:57 pm

Scott Baldwin's in no sort of form.

Is Sean Cronin injured?

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Thu 18 May 2017, 6:01 pm

Never ever Scot Baldwin and I'm saying Hibbard because he is in great form, is supremely physical, is free and has winning lions experience. He isn't even playing for Wales right now and is clearly way down the rankings having been unceremoniously dumped pre RWC 15 - still not sure why but on the back of a the probs v poss game.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Thu 18 May 2017, 6:03 pm

Fraser Brown had a solid 6 Nations yes? Clearly it will be Hartley, unless his failure to be selected the first time was about concerns for temperament/rep and the likelihood that the Kiwi pack would get into him easily. If that is the case - which is possible - then I think it would be a mistake to pick him now as for me the Best/George combo works very well.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Thu 18 May 2017, 6:04 pm

Which Welsh players do you think are lucky to be in the squad Beshocked?

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by majesticimperialman on Thu 18 May 2017, 6:35 pm

Gwlad wrote:Which Welsh players do you think are lucky to be in the squad Beshocked?

Halfpenny

JD2

AWJ

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Thu 18 May 2017, 6:36 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:
Gwlad wrote:Which Welsh players do you think are lucky to be in the squad Beshocked?

Halfpenny

JD2

AWJ

Broken Record

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by robbo277 on Fri 19 May 2017, 8:56 am

Gwlad wrote:Never ever Scot Baldwin and I'm saying Hibbard because he is in great form, is supremely physical, is free and has winning lions experience. He isn't even playing for Wales right now and is clearly way down the rankings having been unceremoniously dumped pre RWC 15 - still not sure why but on the back of a the probs v poss game.

Hibbard wouldn't be the worst shout. Again, I think he's another who you could call up later in the tour if needed to play a midweek game or two, but this early in the tour you only want real test contenders out there. I'd have Hartley as my first call and then Fraser Brown afterwards.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by RDW_Scotland on Fri 19 May 2017, 9:06 am

Is Hartley really worth everything else that would come with it? The kiwi press would have a field day and you know he will be targeted relentlessly on the pitch. Saying that, it would take all the attention away from everyone else in the squad and he's well used to it by now so it might be a good thing!

If Hibbard (old, and no longer an international) or Baldwin (no form whatsovever) were picked over Fraser Brown who (Twickenham aside) has had a fantastic season for both Glasgow and Scotland then I think it is fair to say it really won't go down well!

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 19 May 2017, 9:08 am

Hartley is a good player. Good leader. Good setpiece. Seems respected by his colleagues. The nz press are going to find something to niggle at anyway.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by TightHEAD on Fri 19 May 2017, 9:18 am

I heard Hartley will reject all call ups from the Lions unless they agree to a public apology from Gatland for not selecting BOD in the 3rd Test.
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by robbo277 on Fri 19 May 2017, 9:25 am

I can remember a Kiwi needling Hartley before a game in 2011, that one backfired, Hartley had a great game as England won.

We'll have to wait on an update on Ken Owens, but I'd have no qualms over Hartley's temperament if he gets the call. Similarly, I'm sure Brown would do well if called up, but he wouldn't be my next choice.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by beshocked on Fri 19 May 2017, 9:37 am

Gwlad wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:
Gwlad wrote:Which Welsh players do you think are lucky to be in the squad Beshocked?

Halfpenny

JD2

AWJ

Broken Record

Moriarty - seems to be one of the most overrated backrowers in the NH at the moment.

Biggar - similar to Farrell and Sexton as fly halves but not as good, Russell or Ford would have been better for a 3rd 10.

Halfpenny - one of the most overrated players in the NH at the moment.

I don't think AWJ is a bad choice, lock is very competitive and a good lock or two were always going to miss out.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by TightHEAD on Fri 19 May 2017, 9:42 am

1/2p stats are appalling for an international full back.
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TightHEAD

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

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