Sean O'Brien on the Lions

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Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Rugby Fan on Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:53 pm

Although there might now be some headlines saying "O'Brien Blasts Lions Coaches", I don't think there's anything bitter or malicious about what he's saying. Off the Ball has audio here:

http://www.offtheball.com/Sean-OBrien-The-Lions-should-have-beaten-the-All-Blacks-comfortably-enough-new-zealand

He clearly has mixed feeling about how the tour turned out, and is trying identify where things might have gone better. His comments about over training before the first Test echo the criticism made about Graham Henry's tour in 2001.

“The first week, we definitely over-trained on the Thursday and maybe the coaches were panicking a little bit about getting the information into us. On the first week [of the first Test], we had a triple [session] day, [the] lads’ legs were heavy on the Thursday and we were playing the All Blacks on Saturday.

“We did nearly a similar thing in the last week. So maybe it’s more [from] a coaching point of view, in terms of taking lessons. Less is more sometimes on a tour like that, rather than trying to pick things up at the end of the week.

“There was probably no need for that but it’s just the way it was managed. We had said it, at the time, and they pulled back a bit. But it’s just about getting that fine balance between players and coaches and making sure the group is ready to rock.”

O'Brien says Rob Howley was unable to impose himself on the squad, and he thinks the backs were guided instead by Sexton and Farrell. If so, then that may be one factor behind Gatland's eventual decision to play both men together.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/09/20/lions-coaching-staff-blame-new-zealand-series-defeat-says-sean/

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Cyril on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:15 am

O'Brien is pretty overrated by some though and a bit of a luxury player.

He squeaks a lot at the breakdown.

I'd say he's a less than reliable witness. The Irish have it in for Gatland and the Lions in general. Ok, it's not Wales Online, but I'd but sceptical.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by wolfball on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:25 am

Cyril wrote:O'Brien is pretty overrated by some though and a bit of a luxury player.

He squeaks a lot at the breakdown.

I'd say he's a less than reliable witness. The Irish have it in for Gatland and the Lions in general. Ok, it's not Wales Online, but I'd but sceptical.

Completely right; I mean an over-rated player is by definition a less than reliable witness. Its right there in the law books. Those things definitely have something to do with each other and I don't care who denies it because, you know, logic.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Cyril on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:36 am

wolfball wrote:
Cyril wrote:O'Brien is pretty overrated by some though and a bit of a luxury player.

He squeaks a lot at the breakdown.

I'd say he's a less than reliable witness. The Irish have it in for Gatland and the Lions in general. Ok, it's not Wales Online, but I'd but sceptical.

Completely right; I mean an over-rated player is by definition a less than reliable witness. Its right there in the law books. Those things definitely have something to do with each other and I don't care who denies it because, you know, logic.
Two different things.

He's overrated. Come on, he really is.

He's a little bitter against the Lions management.

Ok, I admit, the first bit was me just putting in a bit of context and not strictly relevant. But it was.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Taylorman on Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:19 am

Geez what is it about these BODs and SOBs having a post Lions series SOB about the coach when they don't even lose?  SOB's lucky he didnt march himself and lose the series for them.

If I were him I'd be more concerned about his next match with the AB's where I'd say payback is on the cards, not that I wouldn't encourage that of course. boxing


Last edited by Taylorman on Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:59 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by aucklandlaurie on Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:35 am

Its very rare that we see instances of Rugby players criticizing their coaches/coaching staff. Guess its the various ethics taught in Rugby education from one country to another.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Rugby Fan on Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:56 am

aucklandlaurie wrote:Its very rare that we see instances of Rugby players criticizing their coaches/coaching staff
It's not at all rare with the Lions. Even well-regarded tours like 2009 saw criticism of tactics and selection. In some cases (1993, 2001 and 2005 in particular) the criticisms are aired while the tour is still on.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Taylorman on Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:01 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
aucklandlaurie wrote:Its very rare that we see instances of Rugby players criticizing their coaches/coaching staff
It's not at all rare with the Lions. Even well-regarded tours like 2009 saw criticism of tactics and selection. In some cases (1993, 2001 and 2005 in particular) the criticisms are aired while the tour is still on.

Its going to go with the territory. If Schmidt had done the same thing would SOB be saying these things...nooooo...because he still needs to get selected, and is unlikely to ever be coached by Gatland again.

Poor taste.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by rapidsnowman on Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:25 am

aucklandlaurie wrote:Guess its the various ethics taught in Rugby education from one country to another.

Sean could learn a lot about ethics from New Zealand

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by munkian on Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:26 am

Squeaky is talking out of his hole.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:56 am

If SoB had been overlooked for selection or treated badly on the tour his claims may have carried less weight, so I'm not sure how strongly people can claim he has an agenda behind his comments (acknowledging he probably isn't the biggest fan of Gatland).

Also, none of us were there to know what happened - he may be exaggerating, he may be telling the truth. Who knows!

Finally, is anyone really surprised to hear that Howley's coaching wasn't very good and that Sexton and Farrell would have been happy playing his style??

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by LordDowlais on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:08 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Also, is anyone really surprised to hear that Howley's coaching wasn't very good and that Sexton and Farrell would have been happy playing his style??

This 100%. I can fully understand this comment. But Howley probably had nothing to do with SOB whilst coaching the backs. So why make the comment ? But at the same time I agree, Howley is useless.

The thing for me though is the continuing trend of Irish players and ex players being bitter towards the Lions. Why ?

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Rugby Fan on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:12 am

rapidsnowman wrote:
aucklandlaurie wrote:Guess its the various ethics taught in Rugby education from one country to another.

Sean could learn a lot about ethics from New Zealand
You would never see a leading All Black criticize the coach after a high profile series. While it's on, though...

Coach John Mitchell, under fire for his leadership of an injury-hit All Blacks rugby team, came under fresh attack Sunday from New Zealand's top try scorer Christian Cullen.

http://www.news24.com/xArchive/Archive/Cullen-attacks-Mitchell-20031019

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:12 am

LordDowlais wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:Also, is anyone really surprised to hear that Howley's coaching wasn't very good and that Sexton and Farrell would have been happy playing his style??

This 100%. I can fully understand this comment. But Howley probably had nothing to do with SOB whilst coaching the backs. So why make the comment ? But at the same time I agree, Howley is useless.

The thing for me though is the continuing trend of Irish players and ex players being bitter towards the Lions. Why ?

I know what you're saying, but gone are the days when the attack coach just coaches backs moves - the attack coach shapes the attack for the entire team so the forwards would have been coached by Howley too. And it's not as if players wouldn't talk to each other - if Farrell and Sexton were taking on the attack planning then the whole team would have known about it.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by LordDowlais on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:21 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:I know what you're saying, but gone are the days when the attack coach just coaches backs moves - the attack coach shapes the attack for the entire team so the forwards would have been coached by Howley too.

Yes you are right, and all this does is proves how inept a coach Howley actually is.

RDW_Scotland wrote:And it's not as if players wouldn't talk to each other - if Farrell and Sexton were taking on the attack planning then the whole team would have known about it.

This is more of a concern, if this is what has happened, as it shows a distinct lack of respect to your coaches. It's borderline insubordination, has unlikely as it may seem, the fact that this might have been going on could have been the difference between a series draw and a series win.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:22 am

Or indeed a series loss and a series drawn.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:25 am

LordDowlais wrote:
This is more of a concern, if this is what has happened, as it shows a distinct lack of respect to your coaches. It's borderline insubordination, has unlikely as it may seem, the fact that this might have been going on could have been the difference between a series draw and a series win.

By contrast if they hadn't done it we may have been looking at a 3-0 defeat.

Do you really blame them? They are both world class players who have had great success in their careers, and obviously wanted the Lions to win. If they felt that the attack coaching was poor and wasn't going to get the victory should they really have just said nothing and blindly followed the coaches?

And I highly doubt both players just leave their coaches to it at their clubs and countries either - I'm sure both are heavily involved in developing the game plan given their pivotal role on the pitch.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by BamBam on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:26 am

Thankfully we had some international quality and experience in Farrell and Sexton, I'm glad they took it upon themselves to sideline the useless idiot

I don't see it as being bitter from SOB either. I see a player with a winner's mentality having the knowledge and experience of the international game to be able to pick out the areas that could have been improved on that could/should have led to a series win

I expect he'll be blasted as being bitter for not celebrating a draw like our friends across the Severn bridge

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by BamBam on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:29 am

Insubordination Laugh

Do you honestly think we would have won the series had they just listed to Howley's run into the nearest man game plan? More likely we would have been whitewashed

Top quality sportsmen who are used to winning are not the type to follow idiots blindly

If Howler's "game plan" wasn't in force for the first Test, we might have won that one too

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by LordDowlais on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:32 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Do you really blame them?

No I don't. Howley is not good enough to coach a semi pro Welsh prem side in my books, never mind the Lions.

RDW_Scotland wrote:They are both world class players who have had great success in their careers, and obviously wanted the Lions to win. If they felt that the attack coaching was poor and wasn't going to get the victory should they really have just said nothing and blindly followed the coaches?

No I do not think they should have blindly followed the coaches, but if what we are reading is accurate, then it's a concern. Yes they should raise their concerns with the coaches, yes they should offer ideas, yes they should support, but if as we are reading, that Howley could not impose himself on the squad, then players taking the lead should not be the answer.

One of two things should have been done if this was the case, Howley should have been put on the first flight bake to Wales. Secondly, the players should have been told that they are welcome to give all the input they can, but ultimately it is up to the coaches to take the lead, and it is on the coaches head if it all goes jubblies up.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by LordDowlais on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:33 am

And here is BamBam, right on que to troll me. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by BamBam on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:34 am

You troll yourself with statements like "insubordination"

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:37 am

Sounds like ld is blaming gatland for his coaching selection and leadership then.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by marty2086 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:39 am

I said prior to the series the ABs were there for the taking and I still think its the case and the rumblings post tour seem to indicate that the Lions could have done better

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by bsando on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:40 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:Also, is anyone really surprised to hear that Howley's coaching wasn't very good and that Sexton and Farrell would have been happy playing his style??

This 100%. I can fully understand this comment. But Howley probably had nothing to do with SOB whilst coaching the backs. So why make the comment ? But at the same time I agree, Howley is useless.

The thing for me though is the continuing trend of Irish players and ex players being bitter towards the Lions. Why ?

I know what you're saying, but gone are the days when the attack coach just coaches backs moves - the attack coach shapes the attack for the entire team so the forwards would have been coached by Howley too. And it's not as if players wouldn't talk to each other - if Farrell and Sexton were taking on the attack planning then the whole team would have known about it.

Yeah without being too Hello magazine about it all, SOB must have been reflecting his team mates opinions in his interview as well as his own. I think he has a point about getting the best coaches for the job in 4 years time. Asking both Townsend and O'hallaran to join the tour after they had both recently committed to new jobs was rushed and a bit sloppy. I didn't really know what to make of that at the time. I do feel as though he is hinting at a different group of coaches for the next tour though which I would agree with, especially if you want to breathe new life into the Lions Tour. No offence to the coaches who are all very good at what they do.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by LordDowlais on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:41 am

Yep, I have No 7&1/2 on ignore, but no doubt he's joining in on the trolling as well. Rolling Eyes

It's always the same one's.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:46 am

I don't troll. You still have the errors in your other thread as well ld.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by the-goon on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:04 am

Well this makes the Ireland v Wales game even more spicy.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by BamBam on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:05 am

the-goon wrote:Well this makes the Ireland v Wales game even more spicy.

Good, hope the Welsh will decide the Irish game is their world cup final rather than England every year Wink

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by rodders on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:09 am

I think the issue is the Irish, Scottish and English generally don't like being told what to do whereas people from the principality are a bit more comfortable with it, so Gats autocratic style doesn't go down too well outside of Wales.

Not sure I entirely agree with O'Brien though about the Lions winning 3-0 sans Gats but training hard on the Thursday before the test and not taking players input is a bit boneheaded to be honest.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by LordDowlais on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:13 am

BamBam wrote:You troll yourself with statements like "insubordination"

Just noticed this. FFS.

Read it back, then try again. OK

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:18 am

You troll yourself with statements like 'borderline insubordination'.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by BamBam on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:30 am

rodders wrote:I think the issue is the Irish, Scottish and English generally don't like being told what to do whereas people from the principality are a bit more comfortable with it, so Gats autocratic style doesn't go down too well outside of Wales.

Not sure I entirely agree with O'Brien though about the Lions winning 3-0 sans Gats but training hard on the Thursday before the test and not taking players input is a bit boneheaded to be honest.

Some would say its the sheep mentality in Wales


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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by BamBam on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:31 am

LordDowlais wrote:
BamBam wrote:You troll yourself with statements like "insubordination"

Just noticed this. FFS.

Read it back, then try again. OK

Apologies for misquoting you

Thanks 7.5, "borderline insubordination" is just as ridiculous

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Rugby Fan on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:55 am

rodders wrote:...training hard on the Thursday before the test and not taking players input is a bit boneheaded to be honest.
Henry did that with the Lion in 2001. Martin Johnson said Clive Woodward wanted to do it at the World Cup in 2003, but senior players talked him out of it.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by eirebilly on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:25 am

Never been a fan of players criticising tours and the coaches after the event. Much prefer they keep things in house and discuss like men at the time instead of dredging up ills after a series.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Pot Hale on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:27 am

Out of curiosity, has everyone commenting listened to the interview linked in the OP?
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by LordDowlais on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:27 am

eirebilly wrote:Never been a fan of players criticising tours and the coaches after the event. Much prefer they keep things in house and discuss like men at the time instead of dredging up ills after a series.

Well said that man. clap

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by BamBam on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:30 am

They probably did discuss how much of a useless twonk Howley was at the time, hence why he got shoved off to clean the bogs

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by eirebilly on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:39 am

BamBam wrote:They probably did discuss how much of a useless twonk Howley was at the time, hence why he got shoved off to clean the bogs

Then why air it now, what is to gain from this? It was a drawn series against the best team in the world so regardless of the fact SOB may not like the approach the coaches took, it did lead to this series draw.

I am not Howley's biggest fan but he must be doing something right to get these positions...
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Scottrf on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:41 am

eirebilly wrote:Then why air it now

Because he got asked/paid?

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by LordDowlais on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:45 am

BBC Sport are now running with this:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/41342719

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by eirebilly on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:50 am

Scottrf wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Then why air it now

Because he got asked/paid?
Well if I were his current boss I would certainly be having word with him if he feels the need to air these views at a simple request or offer of money. I would not be very trusting of him.

As I said, I am not a great fan of air dirty laundry in public, much rather things kept in house and solved like men. I am not seeing Gatland or Howley come out with negative comments about players on the tour...
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by LordDowlais on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:53 am

Billy Vunipola is wading in as well now, he is saying the Lions would have won 3-0 with Eddie Jones in charge.

Well considering England and Eddie Jones have not played New Zealand for 4 years, that's a very bold statement to make.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by BamBam on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:02 pm

Well if Blockhead managed 1-1, it's probably a fair bet

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by lostinwales on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:06 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Billy Vunipola is wading in as well now, he is saying the Lions would have won 3-0 with Eddie Jones in charge.

Well considering England and Eddie Jones have not played New Zealand for 4 years, that's a very bold statement to make.

LD getting back on to comfortable and familiar territory?

I did just see the article on the Beeb. Where is a grenade emoji when you need one

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Scottrf on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:06 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Scottrf wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Then why air it now

Because he got asked/paid?
Well if I were his current boss I would certainly be having word with him if he feels the need to air these views at a simple request or offer of money. I would not be very trusting of him.

As I said, I am not a great fan of air dirty laundry in public, much rather things kept in house and solved like men. I am not seeing Gatland or Howley come out with negative comments about players on the tour...
Agreed. He's really stitched up Howley. Wonder if it will create doubt or desire for the 6N.

That's got to be the last Gatland tour now.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Rugby Fan on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:14 pm

Billy's comments sound more like a vote of confidence in Jones, than sticking the boot into Gatland. Still, he's a bit unlucky to be on a radio show when this is the topic of the day.

“I wasn’t there on tour but I guess if he (O’Brien) is saying it and the authority he said it with, he’s probably right.

"For me to sit here and say the Lions would have probably won is wrong. But personally my opinion is that if Eddie Jones went as coach they would have won 3-0. He is that good.

“I don’t know how he would have done it, but Eddie would have found a way. Eddie has changed our mindset at England from always accepting we can’t always be too outspoken and confident and he’s really helped us a team to kick on.”

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by BamBam on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:31 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Billy's comments sound more like a vote of confidence in Jones, than sticking the boot into Gatland. Still, he's a bit unlucky to be on a radio show when this is the topic of the day.

“I wasn’t there on tour but I guess if he (O’Brien) is saying it and the authority he said it with, he’s probably right.

"For me to sit here and say the Lions would have probably won is wrong. But personally my opinion is that if Eddie Jones went as coach they would have won 3-0. He is that good.

“I don’t know how he would have done it, but Eddie would have found a way. Eddie has changed our mindset at England from always accepting we can’t always be too outspoken and confident and he’s really helped us a team to kick on.”

In completely shocking and unexpected breaking news - Dowlais talks utter bollox

BamBam

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by LordDowlais on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:35 pm

BamBam wrote:In completely shocking and unexpected breaking news - Dowlais talks utter bollox

OK. Now listen. I am getting quite fed up with you following me around this forum and trolling me. It is getting very tiresome. Stop being a keyboard warrior.

Stay well away from me on here, and I will stay well away from you.

LordDowlais

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

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