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 No 7&1/2 on Fri 12 May 2017, 11:47 am

Farrell s a top class ten, I'd have him at 12 but he's apparently been picked as a fly half. I don't think the choice of players 4 years ago really reflects who will get picked this time though I think England's player of the year will be on the bench. Sure I saw this on twitter but can't find link...


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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Scottrf on Fri 12 May 2017, 11:48 am

GunsGermsV2 wrote:Why would you pick Farrell at 10 when he hasnt started at 10 for about 20 tests? Also why wouldnt you pick itoje at lock when it is his best position?
Surely to be consistent you can only ask one of those questions.
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gooseberry on Fri 12 May 2017, 12:05 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:Why would you pick Farrell at 10 when he hasnt started at 10 for about 20 tests? Also why wouldnt you pick itoje at lock when it is his best position?

Why do you think Gatland doesnt rate Sexton when he already has started Sexton in three tests ahead of Farrell?

He plays the majority of his rugby at 10, including back to back HC finals. The real question would be why does Jones keep picking him at 12....the answer being he loves Ford but wont rely on him for goal kicking, and that England have lacked quality options at 12. Neither of those things are an issue for the Lions.; hence why Farrel was named as a 10 where his lack of a running game is less of a flaw.

I suspect the question you really tried to ask is why wouldnt you pick Sexton ahead of him.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 12 May 2017, 12:16 pm

Taylorman wrote:
If Read plays they'll have Whitlock and Retallick, three very good lineout exponents so they won't want to let Read go unmarked for long, plus they'll use him to steal if Lions have only got two. Still can't see Itoje at lock, in the same way I can't see anyone but Farrell at 10. I don't think Gatland thinks Sexton will handle running play from there, and he might be right.

For me Itoje, Billy and Warburton back row, Connor Farrell inside pair, North and Williams at wing, Halfpenny at FB.

Best set up for a controlled gameplan, and Gats knows nothing else. He won't take chances v the ABs. Tried and true for him.
It seems as though you're picking the team that New Zealand will want to see pick, Itoje won't be playing in the back row ahead of O'Mahony nor should he.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 12 May 2017, 12:26 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
Taylorman wrote:
If Read plays they'll have Whitlock and Retallick, three very good lineout exponents so they won't want to let Read go unmarked for long, plus they'll use him to steal if Lions have only got two. Still can't see Itoje at lock, in the same way I can't see anyone but Farrell at 10. I don't think Gatland thinks Sexton will handle running play from there, and he might be right.

For me Itoje, Billy and Warburton back row, Connor Farrell inside pair, North and Williams at wing, Halfpenny at FB.

Best set up for a controlled gameplan, and Gats knows nothing else. He won't take chances v the ABs. Tried and true for him.
It seems as though you're picking the team that New Zealand will want to see pick, Itoje won't be playing in the back row ahead of O'Mahony nor should he.

Not to mention that Sexton plays a pretty controlled game for Ireland and from 10 too

People often talk about Sexton being vulnerable to big ball carriers running down his channel, anyone ever notice how often Farrell gets sent flying back by big ball carriers? He's a tough nut but I think he'll be targeted by the ABs

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 12 May 2017, 12:29 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Why would you pick Farrell at 10 when he hasnt started at 10 for about 20 tests? Also why wouldnt you pick itoje at lock when it is his best position?

Why do you think Gatland doesnt rate Sexton when he already has started Sexton in three tests ahead of Farrell?

He plays the majority of his rugby at 10, including back to back HC finals. The real question would be why does Jones keep picking him at 12....the answer being he loves Ford but wont rely on him for goal kicking, and that England have lacked quality options at 12. Neither of those things are an issue for the Lions.; hence why Farrel was named as a 10 where his lack of a running game is less of a flaw.

I suspect the question you really tried to ask is why wouldnt you pick Sexton ahead of him.



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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 12 May 2017, 12:52 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
Taylorman wrote:
If Read plays they'll have Whitlock and Retallick, three very good lineout exponents so they won't want to let Read go unmarked for long, plus they'll use him to steal if Lions have only got two. Still can't see Itoje at lock, in the same way I can't see anyone but Farrell at 10. I don't think Gatland thinks Sexton will handle running play from there, and he might be right.

For me Itoje, Billy and Warburton back row, Connor Farrell inside pair, North and Williams at wing, Halfpenny at FB.

Best set up for a controlled gameplan, and Gats knows nothing else. He won't take chances v the ABs. Tried and true for him.
It seems as though you're picking the team that New Zealand will want to see pick, Itoje won't be playing in the back row ahead of O'Mahony nor should he.

Not to mention that Sexton plays a pretty controlled game for Ireland and from 10 too

People often talk about Sexton being vulnerable to big ball carriers running down his channel, anyone ever notice how often Farrell gets sent flying back by big ball carriers? He's a tough nut but I think he'll be targeted by the ABs
I'd be happy with either of them and whilst both can be targeted, neither of them tries to hide, that said if Murray is fit enough to play then going with Sexton makes more sense. In the France game Farrell got sent flying but a few minutes later he stopped Picamoles in his tracks with a great hit.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gooseberry on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:06 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
Taylorman wrote:
If Read plays they'll have Whitlock and Retallick, three very good lineout exponents so they won't want to let Read go unmarked for long, plus they'll use him to steal if Lions have only got two. Still can't see Itoje at lock, in the same way I can't see anyone but Farrell at 10. I don't think Gatland thinks Sexton will handle running play from there, and he might be right.

For me Itoje, Billy and Warburton back row, Connor Farrell inside pair, North and Williams at wing, Halfpenny at FB.

Best set up for a controlled gameplan, and Gats knows nothing else. He won't take chances v the ABs. Tried and true for him.
It seems as though you're picking the team that New Zealand will want to see pick, Itoje won't be playing in the back row ahead of O'Mahony nor should he.

Not to mention that Sexton plays a pretty controlled game for Ireland and from 10 too

People often talk about Sexton being vulnerable to big ball carriers running down his channel, anyone ever notice how often Farrell gets sent flying back by big ball carriers? He's a tough nut but I think he'll be targeted by the ABs

Well theres hardly any fly halves who arent, and if youre sleecting your half backs on their ability to be fat youre in danger of picking Mike Phillips again.

The real issue with Sexton is that teams target him for the rough stuff and cheap shots with the specific intent of putting him off his game or off the pitch. Hes been the fulcrum of Irelands attacking play for some years. That would be true of any fly half who gets picked because of their value to making the team tick (which really is what you should be picking your fly half for ...).

Ford gets hidden in defence for exactly the same reasons, which is perhaps why you see Farrell eating so many big hits. He is known as a physical tackler and someone who doesnt shirk from putting them in, even if he does get nailed form time to time. The downside of that being he has a habit of picking up yellow cards when getting over enthusiastic.

If you look at their comparitive injury records then Sexton doesnt stack up well, and thats partly down to him get rag dolled and not standing up to it as well as Farrell does. Its a legitimate concern that you either have to put him in harms way or chaperone him and weaken the defence elsewhere and/or ship the ball more quickly than he might like to.

But youd have a hard time sustaining an argument that Farrell is a better playmaker and running threat.

Both have the experience and ability. Sexton a little more x factor to make the impossible happen, Farrell a bit more leadership and physical presence. Do the Lions want to start with the flashier option and close the steadier hand or vice versa? If Murray starts at 9 then the familiar combo makes sense, but if hes benched do they go for that to finish out?

I dont think either starting should be massively controversial. So it will probably be Biggar

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:17 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
Taylorman wrote:
If Read plays they'll have Whitlock and Retallick, three very good lineout exponents so they won't want to let Read go unmarked for long, plus they'll use him to steal if Lions have only got two. Still can't see Itoje at lock, in the same way I can't see anyone but Farrell at 10. I don't think Gatland thinks Sexton will handle running play from there, and he might be right.

For me Itoje, Billy and Warburton back row, Connor Farrell inside pair, North and Williams at wing, Halfpenny at FB.

Best set up for a controlled gameplan, and Gats knows nothing else. He won't take chances v the ABs. Tried and true for him.
It seems as though you're picking the team that New Zealand will want to see pick, Itoje won't be playing in the back row ahead of O'Mahony nor should he.

Not to mention that Sexton plays a pretty controlled game for Ireland and from 10 too

People often talk about Sexton being vulnerable to big ball carriers running down his channel, anyone ever notice how often Farrell gets sent flying back by big ball carriers? He's a tough nut but I think he'll be targeted by the ABs

Well theres hardly any fly halves who arent, and if youre sleecting your half backs on their ability to be fat youre in danger of picking Mike Phillips again.

The real issue with Sexton is that teams target him for the rough stuff and cheap shots with the specific intent of putting him off his game or off the pitch. Hes been the fulcrum of Irelands attacking play for some years. That would be true of any fly half who gets picked because of their value to making the team tick (which really is what you should be picking your fly half for ...).

Ford gets hidden in defence for exactly the same reasons, which is perhaps why you see Farrell eating so many big hits. He is known as a physical tackler and someone who doesnt shirk from putting them in, even if he does get nailed form time to time. The downside of that being he has a habit of picking up yellow cards when getting over enthusiastic.

If you look at their comparitive injury records then Sexton doesnt stack up well, and thats partly down to him get rag dolled and not standing up to it as well as Farrell does. Its a legitimate concern that you either have to put him in harms way or chaperone him and weaken the defence elsewhere and/or ship the ball more quickly than he might like to.

But youd have a hard time sustaining an argument that Farrell is a better playmaker and running threat.

Both have the experience and ability. Sexton a little more x factor to make the impossible happen, Farrell a bit more  leadership and physical presence. Do the Lions want to start with the flashier option and close the steadier hand or vice versa? If Murray starts at 9 then the familiar combo makes sense, but if hes benched do they go for that to finish out?

I dont think either starting should be massively controversial. So it will probably be Biggar

I don't think there is any difference in their physicality to be honest, you say Farrell brings more leadership too yet Sexton is renowned for his. The two difference I see between the two is experience and as you say the X factor. Personally I'd play Farrell at 12 at utilise the kicking game of both players along with Murray

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by BamBam on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:20 pm

I'd go with starting them 10-12 and letting Henshaw/JJ fight it out to be JD2's understudy at 13

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:30 pm

I would be amazed if Gats picks Farrell at 12. Murray/Sexton 9/10, Farrell 22

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:34 pm

BamBam wrote:I'd go with starting them 10-12 and letting Henshaw/JJ fight it out to be JD2's understudy at 13

If Davies starts at 13 I'll be flying to NZ to bitch slap Gatland boxing

I do think that most are underestimating Payne at 13 and the value Gatland sees in him, the guy is a great defender and organiser, he doesn't do anything flashy in attack from 13 but what he does have is great leg strength to get the team over the gain line

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:40 pm

BamBam wrote:I'd go with starting them 10-12 and letting Henshaw/JJ fight it out to be JD2's understudy at 13
Bam I hope the JD2 remark was facetious!
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by BamBam on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:44 pm

angel me being facetious? Never


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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Griff on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:49 pm

JD2 is playing very well for the Scarlets at the moment. Played really well in the dismantling of the Ospreys last week, and with a number of Lions on the opposition. I was watching in particular for his alleged inability to pass, but I can only assume this is a myth because he did nothing but pass, offload, pop the ball inside, outside, and set up a few scores and scored himself. Perhaps it is a coaching thing (Wales instructing one way e.g. to take the contact and go to ground and Pivac/his club demanding to keep the ball alive and offload)?

I'm not advocating that he starts. Before this season I wouldn't have him anywhere near the Lions squad. But credit where it's due - he actually had a decent 6N, lots of metres made and defenders beaten (that kick v England will live long in the memory though), he's playing very well for the Scarlets and has helped them into the playoffs. He's not as bad as people make out, IMO. He's down the pecking order but not at the bottom of the B&I nations 13s, for me.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Winzer on Fri 12 May 2017, 2:08 pm

I just don't get why you'd pick players out of their usual position, when with the Lions you almost certainly have a good quality player who is a specialist in that position. Why waste Itoje as a make-do 6 when he's a great lock forward and you have some terrific specialist 6s? Especially against the best team of the lot.

For me, Sexton clearly offers more than Farrell at 10, and the Lions would offer a lot more attacking threat with him at 10. Although he's a really good player, Farrell seems ideal for the bench in the test team, covering 10 and 12.

JD2 cops some ridiculous flak. He has a bad habit of not looking where he is passing sometimes. But he's a very good player in most ways. A lot of the pundits including big-name ex-England players had him in their chosen test teams. you may disagree (I would pick Joseph, myself), but he's a quality player in the eyes of the better-informed.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 12 May 2017, 2:19 pm

Sexton will be 10 and Farrell will be 12 and Gatland will put them together as room mates too. You heard it here first.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 12 May 2017, 2:19 pm

Winzer, Itoje can play 6 or second row and is pretty damn good at either a bit like Henderson. It huge tours like this players with versatility are invaluable, I think its why maybe guys like Daly, Payne and Moriarty edged out others

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Scottrf on Fri 12 May 2017, 2:23 pm

marty2086 wrote:Winzer, Itoje can play 6 or second row and is pretty damn good at either a bit like Henderson. It huge tours like this players with versatility are invaluable, I think its why maybe guys like Daly, Payne and Moriarty edged out others
He's good 6, but excellent at lock. Versatility isn't the most important feature of a starter. He should start lock, or bench but not start 6.
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gooseberry on Fri 12 May 2017, 2:24 pm

Of course Farrells dad and his former captain/current club coach being on the staff wont influence slection at all Whistle

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Winzer on Fri 12 May 2017, 3:04 pm

On the basis of the 6N, Itoje is not a good enough 6 to play for the Lions vs NZ. Unsuprisingly, as he's played his serious rugby at lock forward. There's no need to shoe-horn him into the back row as a lineout option, there are specialist back-rowers who can do that. Apart from POM, Warburton and Tipuric took loads of line-out ball in the 6N, particularly Tipuric. He is being left out of the back-row equation by most here, and he's obviously at a disadvantage with Warburton being named captain, but if he shows in the early games of the tour that he is up to the physicality of the game in NZ, he might still be the best option depending on the balance of the back row and how they mean to play.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by BamBam on Fri 12 May 2017, 3:08 pm

Its tough on Tipuric, but that's what happens when you have to name a captain who isn't a guaranteed starter. Warbs isn't a better 6 than POM/Stander but he might be the best 7 at top form

That's not a dig at Gatland, I'd struggle to pick a guaranteed starter given the depth and quality in the side, and is also why I'd have gone with a tour captain for the pre match stuff and pick a playing captain from the best XV

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 12 May 2017, 3:32 pm

Ultimately whats needed is a team and squad loaded with leaders, it may well be the case that Warburton having the captaincy does not guarantee him a starting berth

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by king_carlos on Fri 12 May 2017, 3:57 pm

The biggest issue for Warburton will be getting fit and making it through the tour. He's an excellent player at 6 or 7 but sadly I can't see him making it through two tests let alone three.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 12 May 2017, 4:24 pm

BamBam wrote:Its tough on Tipuric, but that's what happens when you have to name a captain who isn't a guaranteed starter. Warbs isn't a better 6 than POM/Stander but he might be the best 7 at top form

That's not a dig at Gatland, I'd struggle to pick a guaranteed starter given the depth and quality in the side, and is also why I'd have gone with a tour captain for the pre match stuff and pick a playing captain from the best XV

Agree with you post - nearest to guaranteed starters are Furlong and Itoje for me

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 12 May 2017, 4:53 pm

Griff wrote:JD2 is playing very well for the Scarlets at the moment.  Played really well in the dismantling of the Ospreys last week, and with a number of Lions on the opposition.  I was watching in particular for his alleged inability to pass, but I can only assume this is a myth because he did nothing but pass, offload, pop the ball inside, outside, and set up a few scores and scored himself.  Perhaps it is a coaching thing (Wales instructing one way e.g. to take the contact and go to ground and Pivac/his club demanding to keep the ball alive and offload)?

I'm not advocating that he starts.  Before this season I wouldn't have him anywhere near the Lions squad.  But credit where it's due - he actually had a decent 6N, lots of metres made and defenders beaten (that kick v England will live long in the memory though), he's playing very well for the Scarlets and has helped them into the playoffs.  He's not as bad as people make out, IMO.  He's down the pecking order but not at the bottom of the B&I nations 13s, for me.

I think he was still the least impressive 13 in a 6N where Joseph was off form in attack. But opinions are allowed to differ
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 4:56 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
BamBam wrote:Its tough on Tipuric, but that's what happens when you have to name a captain who isn't a guaranteed starter. Warbs isn't a better 6 than POM/Stander but he might be the best 7 at top form

That's not a dig at Gatland, I'd struggle to pick a guaranteed starter given the depth and quality in the side, and is also why I'd have gone with a tour captain for the pre match stuff and pick a playing captain from the best XV

Agree with you post - nearest to guaranteed starters are Furlong and Itoje for me

Farrell and North

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 12 May 2017, 4:58 pm

Guaranteed starters for me: Furlong (and Warbs because he's captain). That's it. Murray if he makes it.

Farrell vs Sexton or Henshaw
Itoje vs AWJ (they are the same type of lock)
North vs Williams or Watson or Nowell
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 5:22 pm

North will start if fit

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 12 May 2017, 5:31 pm

I hope they're not afraid to reward form on tour. It stands to reason that they'll have an idea of the Test side before they fly out, but I'd hate to see a player find the form of his life and for it not to matter.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 5:33 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I hope they're not afraid to reward form on tour. It stands to reason that they'll have an idea of the Test side before they fly out, but I'd hate to see a player find the form of his life and for it not to matter.

So do I for Faletau's sake thumbsup

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 12 May 2017, 5:34 pm

Form on tour, as opposed to form before the tour. I'm sure you knew what I meant.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 5:39 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Form on tour, as opposed to form before the tour. I'm sure you knew what I meant.

This is getting a bit ridiculous....how about form in the changing room just before kick off?

There are insufficient games and an horrendous schedule prior to the tests to really establish Form bolters on the tour. Selection doesn't happen that way. Gats will already have a strong idea of who his test and midweek's are. Only occasionally such as with BOD will he make drastic tactical changes.

The selection of Kruis more than any other Lion , for me, is indicative of Gatalnd's belief that form is temporary and that big game players produce in big games.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 12 May 2017, 5:50 pm

Gwlad wrote:North will start if fit

Probably true, and if he clicks he will be a huge boon to the Lions.

I just worry about defending the Barrett Crossfield Kick Try (tm), but North on form could be a real danger running those back
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 5:55 pm

Yes I agree its his weakness and Barret's clear strength, but NZ will know that the risk from that kick is a rampaging 6'5 beast coming back at them.

I'd be happy with Watson but feel he is juts a little undercooked yet. Likewise novel is a superb option I just like the idea of a North Hogg Williams back 3 and what we mustn't do is be conservative because we know they'll score 25 plus points per game.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:00 pm

You mention Nowell (I assume) - this is the kind of situation I'm referring to. I think Jack Nowell's a superb player, and he's got enough about him to have an excellent tour. If he does, I'd hate to see that form effectively dismissed just because he wasn't pencilled in before the plane left Heathrow (and especially if either of the wingers that do start have looked ordinary all tour).

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:12 pm

The form v rep thing is such a huge debate in touring rugby. The players I believe are selected on reputation slightly more than form. The way I see it is that for Lions form is a given, almost a sideshow that we all get obsessed about hence my remark about the changing room. Yes if you have done a Cuthbert, ex lion who scored a superlative try last tourney, but you've clearly forgotten how to play rugby then fair enough you slide way down the rankings, night night.
But if you are a Lion your 'form' is regarded as a constant, which may fluctuate, but is of the highest level enough of the time to warrant inclusion. Gats will know that each player he has picked could at least do a job off the bench. So each player in this very high standard squad is regarded as being good enough that form takes a bit of a back seat.
Take Kruis...how is he selected on any measure of form? That kind of illustrates it, he is there because Gats knows that he will step up at the right time and I hope he does i.e. his reputation
So, though I really want to see form bolters - those lions that demonstrate they deserve a test spot that might not previously have been considered anything other than a midweeker, I think as I said, he probably largely knows his preferences. But then look at BOD, completely against the grain drops the player with a career of excellent form. Go figure!

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Taylorman on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:15 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:
Gwlad wrote:North will start if fit

Probably true, and if he clicks he will be a huge boon to the Lions.

I just worry about defending the Barrett Crossfield Kick Try (tm), but North on form could be a real danger running those back

If he gets them first, or at all. Barrett has a knack of finding his own players first. Agree North will play. One thing we've learned is Gatland is predictable, and North has been one of the most reliable wingers for years. He'll easily 'get away' with that selection, Halfpenny and JD2 not so easily.

Some good discussion around the merits of Farrell vs Sexton. I would have Sexton but Id also have a side that takes to the ABs, but Ive a feeling Gats would love to have Farrell running play for Wales, and kicking the goals, and I think he thinks against the ABs, in NZ, Sexton is brittle, and he has been in the past.

Farrell has more stubborn grit, just like Gats himself, Sexton more a confidence player.

I think he'll go Murray, Farrell, (two of Te'o, Jd2, Joseph) , North, Williams, Halfpenny if he can get away with that back three. Personally I think it's the best three, certainly the most experienced.

Experience combined with grit and speed, strong defensively through the middle, sound goalkicking and decision making at 10, X factor at 9 and typical of Gats selections.

I just don't get a Sexton, Farrell pairing. Farrell will cut off his outsides and the point of Jones playing Ford, Farrell against Oz was to play the territory game. Last thing the Lions want to do is have two players kicking the ball to the ABs. They'll run it back before you can blink.


Last edited by Taylorman on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:35 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Joseph not Watson)

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:15 pm

Nowell has been the form winger for a while now and is an excellent all round player, any other coach and I think he'd be starting.

Itoje and Kruis as the locks behind an all Irish front row is the way I'd go with a balanced back row of POM, Warburton and Stander or Vunipola.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:17 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Nowell has been the form winger for a while now and is an excellent all round player, any other coach and I think he'd be starting.

Itoje and Kruis as the locks behind an all Irish front row is the way I'd go with a balanced back row of POM, Warburton and Stander or Vunipola.

So....we use form to select Nowell and rep to select Kruis. I think I can see a pattern here. laughing

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Taylorman on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:22 pm

Gwlad wrote:The form v rep thing is such a huge debate in touring rugby. The players I believe are selected on reputation slightly more than form. The way I see it is that for Lions form is a given, almost a sideshow that we all get obsessed about hence my remark about the changing room. Yes if you have done a Cuthbert, ex lion who scored a superlative try last tourney, but you've clearly forgotten how to play rugby then fair enough you slide way down the rankings, night night.
But if you are a Lion your 'form' is regarded as a constant, which may fluctuate, but is of the highest level enough of the time to warrant inclusion. Gats will know that each player he has picked could at least do a job off the bench. So each player in this very high standard squad is regarded as being good enough that form takes a bit of a back seat.
Take Kruis...how is he selected on any measure of form? That kind of illustrates it, he is there because Gats knows that he will step up at the right time and I hope he does i.e. his reputation
So, though I really want to see form bolters - those lions that demonstrate they deserve a test spot that might not previously have been considered anything other than a midweeker, I think as I said, he probably largely knows his preferences. But then look at BOD, completely against the grain drops the player with a career of excellent form. Go figure!

Yep, agree with that. That's his conundrum, and I think Gats is more likely to go for rep than form, familiarity rather than potential, and that could be part of their undoing.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:25 pm

Farrell doesn't just have a kicking game these days, Taylorman. The main point in playing Ford-Farrell was a) a lack of options at 12 b) support for Ford at 10 in term sof kicking from hand but also from the tee c) to have 2 playmakers which was effective at Int level at that time

Out of those centres you've named, only Teo really plays 12 and he's not had a lot of time there at Int level, surely Henshaw is more likely?
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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:25 pm

Taylorman wrote:
Gwlad wrote:The form v rep thing is such a huge debate in touring rugby. The players I believe are selected on reputation slightly more than form. The way I see it is that for Lions form is a given, almost a sideshow that we all get obsessed about hence my remark about the changing room. Yes if you have done a Cuthbert, ex lion who scored a superlative try last tourney, but you've clearly forgotten how to play rugby then fair enough you slide way down the rankings, night night.
But if you are a Lion your 'form' is regarded as a constant, which may fluctuate, but is of the highest level enough of the time to warrant inclusion. Gats will know that each player he has picked could at least do a job off the bench. So each player in this very high standard squad is regarded as being good enough that form takes a bit of a back seat.
Take Kruis...how is he selected on any measure of form? That kind of illustrates it, he is there because Gats knows that he will step up at the right time and I hope he does i.e. his reputation
So, though I really want to see form bolters - those lions that demonstrate they deserve a test spot that might not previously have been considered anything other than a midweeker, I think as I said, he probably largely knows his preferences. But then look at BOD, completely against the grain drops the player with a career of excellent form. Go figure!

Yep, agree with that. That's his conundrum, and I think Gats is more likely to go for rep than form, familiarity rather than potential, and that could be part of their undoing.

Yes but dropping BOD shows he is more than capable of recognizing that and making the tough decisions to drop a player oozing with rep who is off form. People underestimate Gatland on this issue.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Taylorman on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:43 pm

Gwlad wrote:
Taylorman wrote:
Gwlad wrote:The form v rep thing is such a huge debate in touring rugby. The players I believe are selected on reputation slightly more than form. The way I see it is that for Lions form is a given, almost a sideshow that we all get obsessed about hence my remark about the changing room. Yes if you have done a Cuthbert, ex lion who scored a superlative try last tourney, but you've clearly forgotten how to play rugby then fair enough you slide way down the rankings, night night.
But if you are a Lion your 'form' is regarded as a constant, which may fluctuate, but is of the highest level enough of the time to warrant inclusion. Gats will know that each player he has picked could at least do a job off the bench. So each player in this very high standard squad is regarded as being good enough that form takes a bit of a back seat.
Take Kruis...how is he selected on any measure of form? That kind of illustrates it, he is there because Gats knows that he will step up at the right time and I hope he does i.e. his reputation
So, though I really want to see form bolters - those lions that demonstrate they deserve a test spot that might not previously have been considered anything other than a midweeker, I think as I said, he probably largely knows his preferences. But then look at BOD, completely against the grain drops the player with a career of excellent form. Go figure!

Yep, agree with that. That's his conundrum, and I think Gats is more likely to go for rep than form, familiarity rather than potential, and that could be part of their undoing.

Yes but dropping BOD shows he is more than capable of recognizing that and making the tough decisions to drop a player oozing with rep who is off form. People underestimate Gatland on this issue.

Yes that was one of his more memorable ones though I put that down to reverting to type, going with instinct and familiarity, and going with his favourite midfield, one of the best pairs in the world at the time, something I think he'll try here 'if he can get away with it'. When push comes to shove and due to the short notice,and in NZ, he'll more likely go with what he knows, and fair enough.

Players like Henshaw, Hogg might impress, but they're not in his inner circle, he's neither had them with the Lions before, though Hogg went in 13 didn't really feature, so he's got to take a leap of faith with some.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:45 pm

Gatland didn't select on tour form last time do he may not this time.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:47 pm

Taylorman there isn t a single combo from the Wales pick that I would select hands down

8 and 9 - increasingly unlikely

9 and 10 - no way

12 and 13 - impossible

2 and 4/5 - unlikely

The combo picks I 'd go for are Irish front row, English centers and Irish half backs plus English front row on the bench and Kruis to join Itoje in the pack


Last edited by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:49 pm

I disagree, he has a close affinity with Irish rugby and I believe Henshaw is firmly on the radar, likewise Hogg. I think Halfpenny is likely to be midweek kicker and possible bench back 3 cover.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Taylorman on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:50 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:Farrell doesn't just have a kicking game these days, Taylorman. The main point in playing Ford-Farrell was a) a lack of options at 12 b) support for Ford at 10 in term sof kicking from hand but also from the tee c) to have 2 playmakers which was effective at Int level at that time

Out of those centres you've named, only Teo really plays 12 and he's not had a lot of time there at Int level, surely Henshaw is more likely?

Yes I meant Joseph, not Watson.

I think Joseph and Henshaw are his 'toss up' players for 13, and due to his strong start and Oz League background, familiarity with the Southern Hemisphere, Te'o will feature at 12.

I get Farrells improved his scope, but I just see 2 10's as overkill at 10,12. Doesn't work against the ABs. You need no nonsense strong ball players and runners in midfield and Farrells for me just an extension of 10. Don't get it.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Fri 12 May 2017, 7:40 pm

Taylorman, Farrell is around 6'2" and 15st + he might not be the biggest, but is defensively sound, has good all-round skills and has been working on his speed, he may not be as quick as a winger, but he doesn't lack for pace anymore and has a subtlety in his game that was missing a couple of years ago.

I cannot think of anyone who has got the better of him in the EJ era when playing 12. The harder they run, the harder they fall.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

Post by Gwlad on Fri 12 May 2017, 7:53 pm

You seem to know an awful lot about your opposition Taylorman, hope Hansen is as clued in.

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Re: British & Irish Lions Squad 2017

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