Gatland to lead the Lions in 2021.......again!

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Post by TightHEAD on Fri 10 May 2019, 9:21 am

First topic message reminder :

Gatland to lead the Lions to SA in 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/48224634?filter=none


I guess this rules him out of the England job post RWC, guess he is waiting for the All Blacks, still. thumbsup


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Post by alive555 on Sat 18 May 2019, 5:46 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
alive555 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
alive555 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:There are some seriously bitter Scottish members on here, even though Gatland will go down as the best coach in BI Lions history.

But yes perhaps more Scottish players could have gone on the last tour, but not necessarily at the expense of the Welsh players.

It does seem that certain members have an axe to grind with regards to Gatland and Wales, but I suppose Warren Gatland can console himself with being one of the most successful  international coaches to coach in the NH in the modern era.

id like to see what your reaction had been if the lions coach had chosen the squad on form and results, and not favouritism, and there had been 2 or fewer welsh on the 2017 lions tour. How Gatland justified 12 is well beyond reason. It was a joke.

2017 6 Nations

England /19pts / 16 players selected
Ireland / 14 pts / 11 players selected
France
Scotland / 14 pts / 2 players selected
Wales / 10 pts/ 12 players selected

and before getting all up yourself the tour was pretty poor given the lions lost twice to provincial sides, and only won 1 of the 3 test matches.

You keep harping on about 1 6N in over a decade where you finished above Wales. It makes you sound very bitter.

Lets look at it this way, when was the last time Scotland won an away match against decent opposition ? Italy aside, I cannot remember the last time Scotland won away in the 6N. It does not happen very often.

Yet here you are asking why Warren Gatland did not take more Scottish players, away, to the hardest country to beat in the world at rugby.

whats that got to do with 2017? zero, not a thing. you came in second from last, yet got 12 players selected. suggest you stop whining about denying the obvious bias.

I think MDs post is pretty self explanatory with regards to his point. Consistency and the ability to win away from home extremely likely to be a key decision maker in close calls. Both Ireland and England had a great deal of success away from home.

it easy to make close calls when you literally ignore the 5th ranked team in the world at the time.
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Post by LordDowlais on Sat 18 May 2019, 5:59 pm

Again you keep on about this, but I am yet to see if you agree that if the Lions were picked now, it should be mostly Welsh based players due to your logic.

For the record, I do not agree.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 18 May 2019, 6:13 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Again you keep on about this, but  I am yet to see if you agree that if the Lions were picked now, it should be mostly Welsh based players due to your logic.

For the record, I do not agree.

Likewise I think if the tour was this summer not two years time we would see a squad with almost equal numbers from each nation as there is little between the teams despite Wales currently being the more consistent with their win/loss ratio.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 18 May 2019, 7:29 pm

alive555 wrote: it easy to make close calls when you literally ignore the 5th ranked team in the world at the time.

From 2015-2019 Wales finishes in the 6N are: 3rd, 2nd, 5th, 2nd, 1st. Do you notice the blip? Do you need me to tell you what was different that year?

Of the players selected in 2017 a few had championship winning experience as well as Lions winning experience. No doubt this was a deciding factor for the coaches.




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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 18 May 2019, 8:05 pm

It would be great to see all home nations fans get behind this lions tour as a fair and accurate representation of the best of Ireland and the British Isles.

But it appears some people believe there is a biased precedent set by the coach on the last two tours towards the Welsh players.

IF we are going to continue to pursue this opinion whether right or wrong, maybe we could let it go for the good nature of interesting debate about the exciting potential of what could be, rather than preemptive suppositions and rhetorical accusations.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 19 May 2019, 12:27 am

maestegmafia wrote:It would be great to see all home nations fans get behind this lions tour as a fair and accurate representation of the best of Ireland and the British Isles.
That was exactly my reaction when JPR Williams started laying into Woodward in 2005.

In retrospect, I was being naive. JPR was an early signifier that partisanship and supporters' sense of entitlement were going to dominate reactions to the Lions, and sport in general. You can see another side of the coin in the way Game of Thrones gets discussed. Fortunately, not all discussion is toxic. In pre-internet times, the only way to see or hear anything about rugby, was through sparse coverage on the Beeb, and three or four newspapers. Or by talking to people. Now, I've hardly got enough time in the week to listen to the dozen or so hour-long podcasts, watch a few YouTube channels, read rugby press from around the world, and forums like this. There's bad stuff out there, but a lot of good too.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 19 May 2019, 1:44 am

People won’t get behind the Lions unless they see only two welsh players get picked in the squad. The serial complaining on the last three tours has been aimed at Wales exclusively.

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Post by Pie on Sun 19 May 2019, 3:15 am

mikey_dragon wrote:People won’t get behind the Lions unless they see only two welsh players get picked in the squad. The serial complaining on the last three tours has been aimed at Wales exclusively.

ironic since Jenks and Half won the tours they were on and mostly Welshmen brought us a draw in NZ, meanwhile your Monye's and Vickery's and Sir Clive have cost entire tours

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 19 May 2019, 3:26 am

mikey_dragon wrote:People won’t get behind the Lions unless they see only two welsh players get picked in the squad. The serial complaining on the last three tours has been aimed at Wales exclusively.
And it was primarily the Welsh complaining in 2005, which was the first tour which really saw an open season on the head coach. Would you be confident there won't be similar Welsh complaints in the future?

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Post by Pie on Sun 19 May 2019, 3:31 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:People won’t get behind the Lions unless they see only two welsh players get picked in the squad. The serial complaining on the last three tours has been aimed at Wales exclusively.
And it was primarily the Welsh complaining in 2005, which was the first tour which really saw an open season on the head coach. Would you be confident there won't be similar Welsh complaints in the future?

Not if 2 things happen

Wales are not properly represented after winning the Slam as in 05

That idiot SCW isn't allowed anywhere near the Lions, it is the antithesis of everything he stands for and he chose his old guard from 03 over the class players of that year and it cost us the tour

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Post by alive555 on Sun 19 May 2019, 4:49 am

LordDowlais wrote:Again you keep on about this, but  I am yet to see if you agree that if the Lions were picked now, it should be mostly Welsh based players due to your logic.

For the record, I do not agree.

more english than welsh?




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Post by Pie on Sun 19 May 2019, 6:26 am

No it should all be English, they just pushed the Scots really hard and despite talking it up large they squandered another 6 Nations QED they should be the majority pick for the Lions

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 19 May 2019, 9:18 am

All tours will generally have a greater contingent of English players as they have far more players to select from.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 19 May 2019, 12:17 pm

Pie wrote:...Not if 2 things happen...
If you won't commit to unconditional support for the Lions, I presume you aren't simultaneously demanding unconditional support of the Lions from others.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 19 May 2019, 1:30 pm


Seeing how the some of the Welsh take umbridge at the least perceived slight I am not surprised. Half the post on this board are from Welsh posters and they all seem to have a problem with anyone else having an opinion that doesn't state that Wales are Gods gift to rugby.

Gatland will pick who he wants, hopefully after a break from the Wales job, he will no be so blinkered in his selections, whether intentional or not, he must have a thought in the back of his mind that I have to face that player after the tour, how can I tell him that he was the 3rd best in his position. It might not be a conscious decision but when it is nip and tuck between to players he will go for the Welshman, it is human nature.

He will be relieved of that problem after the summer so things may be a bit more balanced.

I cannot remember when we had so much attacking talent in B&I both in the forwards and the backs, it might allow him to change his game from the present defend for dear life, kick the sh!t off the ball and wait for the mistakes. Keep the defence yes, Wales England and Ireland all have games based around the defence getting up and pressuring the opposition. The amount of centres and back three players with the skill to change the game now available is unheralded in modern times. Every country has players who at the moment would be genuine contenders for a Lions shirt. Hopefully with the time he has to plan and develop he can make something of them.

One thing I would look at is taking non playing "captains" who can influence the team the likes of AJW and Hartley spring to mind probably too old to go unless it is a very big squad, but both players are admired by their colleagues for their leadership roles.


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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 19 May 2019, 6:43 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:People won’t get behind the Lions unless they see only two welsh players get picked in the squad. The serial complaining on the last three tours has been aimed at Wales exclusively.

Seeing how the Welsh take Umbridge at the least perceived slight I am not surprised. Half the post on this board are from Welsh posters and they all seem to have a problem with anyone else having an opinion that doesn't state that Wales are Gods gift to rugby.

Gatland will pick who he wants, hopefully after a break from the Wales job, he will no be so blinkered in his selections, whether intentional or not, he must have a thought in the back of his mind that I have to face that player after the tour, how can I tell him that he was the 3rd best in his position. It might not be a conscious decision but when it is nip and tuck between to players he will go for the Welshman, it is human nature.

He will be relieved of that problem after the summer so things may be a bit more balanced.

I cannot remember when we had so much attacking talent in B&I both in the forwards and the backs, it might allow him to change his game from the present defend for dear life, kick the sh!t off the ball and wait for the mistakes. Keep the defence yes, Wales England and Ireland all have games based around the defence getting up and pressuring the opposition. The amount of centres and back three players with the skill to change the game now available is unheralded in modern times. Every country has players who at the moment would be genuine contenders for a Lions shirt. Hopefully with the time he has to plan and develop he can make something of them.

One thing I would look at is taking non playing "captains" who can influence the team the likes of AJW and Hartley spring to mind probably too old to go unless it is a very big squad, but both players are admired by their colleagues for their leadership roles.


Sh*/ WUM. This forum and even this article is full of English still claiming that they’re the best in the world despite losing to Wales and drawing with Scotland. Yes we take exception to other posters continuously coming onto our match threads and blaming the ref all the time. The reaction doesn’t seem off to me but what it does do is continue to drive away welsh posters from this site so now there’s only a handful left.

I’m grateful for Gatland coming in and saving the brand. The guy is a winner. The lions following in certain factions is full of losers.


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Post by BigGee on Sun 19 May 2019, 6:57 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
After an English donkey almost killed the lions in 2005 I’m grateful for Gatland coming in and saving the brand. The guy is a winner. The lions following on here is full of losers.

I would agree with you about SCW, but I think most neutrals would say that it was Geech who saved the brand in on the SA tour in 2009, showing that it could be competitive and relevant against good Southern Hemisphere teams. Gats was an assistant on that tour and learnt a lot.

He has taken that on and put his own stamp on it no doubt and will go down as the most successful coach, but I don't think it can be claimed that he saved the brand.

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Post by Pie on Mon 20 May 2019, 6:16 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
Pie wrote:...Not if 2 things happen...
If you won't commit to unconditional support for the Lions, I presume you aren't simultaneously demanding unconditional support of the Lions from others.

There is no 'unconditional' support and I have given my conditions. Its meant to symbolize the duality of man. So why dont you accept that the Lions is a flawed but brilliant concept and get on board for the Big Push

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 20 May 2019, 6:21 pm

Can you do something about English posters abusing the complaints system? It’s quite obvious I’m being targeted. Funny that nobody complained about the obvious English WUM.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 20 May 2019, 9:03 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:People won’t get behind the Lions unless they see only two welsh players get picked in the squad. The serial complaining on the last three tours has been aimed at Wales exclusively.

Seeing how the Welsh take Umbridge at the least perceived slight I am not surprised. Half the post on this board are from Welsh posters and they all seem to have a problem with anyone else having an opinion that doesn't state that Wales are Gods gift to rugby.

Gatland will pick who he wants, hopefully after a break from the Wales job, he will no be so blinkered in his selections, whether intentional or not, he must have a thought in the back of his mind that I have to face that player after the tour, how can I tell him that he was the 3rd best in his position. It might not be a conscious decision but when it is nip and tuck between to players he will go for the Welshman, it is human nature.

He will be relieved of that problem after the summer so things may be a bit more balanced.

I cannot remember when we had so much attacking talent in B&I both in the forwards and the backs, it might allow him to change his game from the present defend for dear life, kick the sh!t off the ball and wait for the mistakes. Keep the defence yes, Wales England and Ireland all have games based around the defence getting up and pressuring the opposition. The amount of centres and back three players with the skill to change the game now available is unheralded in modern times. Every country has players who at the moment would be genuine contenders for a Lions shirt. Hopefully with the time he has to plan and develop he can make something of them.

One thing I would look at is taking non playing "captains" who can influence the team the likes of AJW and Hartley spring to mind probably too old to go unless it is a very big squad, but both players are admired by their colleagues for their leadership roles.



If AWJ is picked for 2021 this place will go into meltdown again. And if he’s taken in a non-playing role.... jeez! Good luck mods!
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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 26 May 2019, 11:49 am

Well done to Warren Gatland for landing the Lions gig again. The Lions concept should have died with the advent of professionalism and continues to damage the four NH Unions involved - however Gatland understands the difficulties of being the manager of a fantasy rugby team and knows how to make the best of a bad job.

Gatland knows he must have plenty of English players in the squad, simply because more England fans pay money into the Lions' coffers than any other country.
He also understands the importance of selecting pods of players rather than individuals because there is simply no time to coach a bunch of strangers into gelled competitive units.
When Warren has made his token political selections he has been careful to avoid characters who will gripe and whinge when not picked.
Perhaps his biggest qualification is that despite vilification in his own country he has a skin as tough as a tuatara - an essential for the most thankless job in rugby.

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Post by Pie on Sun 26 May 2019, 8:35 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Well done to Warren Gatland for landing the Lions gig again. The Lions concept should have died with the advent of professionalism and continues to damage the four NH Unions involved - however Gatland understands the difficulties of being the manager of a fantasy rugby team and knows how to make the best of a bad job.

Gatland knows he must have plenty of English players in the squad, simply because more England fans pay money into the Lions' coffers than any other country.
He also understands the importance of selecting pods of players rather than individuals because there is simply no time to coach a bunch of strangers into gelled competitive units.
When Warren has made his token political selections he has been careful to avoid characters who will gripe and whinge when not picked.
Perhaps his biggest qualification is that despite vilification in his own country he has a skin as tough as a tuatara - an essential for the most thankless job in rugby.

Not my experience at all on two tours, plenty of Irish and Welsh and 3 Scots

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 29 May 2019, 1:10 pm

Pie wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Well done to Warren Gatland for landing the Lions gig again. The Lions concept should have died with the advent of professionalism and continues to damage the four NH Unions involved - however Gatland understands the difficulties of being the manager of a fantasy rugby team and knows how to make the best of a bad job.

Gatland knows he must have plenty of English players in the squad, simply because more England fans pay money into the Lions' coffers than any other country.
He also understands the importance of selecting pods of players rather than individuals because there is simply no time to coach a bunch of strangers into gelled competitive units.
When Warren has made his token political selections he has been careful to avoid characters who will gripe and whinge when not picked.
Perhaps his biggest qualification is that despite vilification in his own country he has a skin as tough as a tuatara - an essential for the most thankless job in rugby.

Not my experience at all on two tours, plenty of Irish and Welsh and 3 Scots

Do the Lions not make their money from merchandising and rights rather than ticket sales and travel?

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 12:01 pm

Well it is now official, Gatland and his team of coaches will be hoping to become the first to play all three SH nations without losing a series.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 12:08 pm

I wonder who the coaches will be this time? You would think that Andy Farrell would not be available to reprise the defence coach position, while it is hard to predict the availability of the likes of Borthwick and Rowntree.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 1:07 pm

I would expect to see a few regular faces in the coaching team. Defence, Attack, scrum and forwards coach positions are up for grabs.

It will be interesting to see who makes it and whether they are from the Northern Hemisphere or the south?

John Mitchell has done some great work with England, as has Borthwick, maybe Gregor Townsend would be interested in becoming attack coach, or possibly Stephen Larkham?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 1:17 pm

It looks like they have already committed to Farrell leading the next tour to Australia so wouldn't be surprised if he acted in a supporting capacity to 'the world's finest coach's. As I said initially at least he's not going to be England's coach.

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 2:54 pm

Stuart Lancaster has to be a shoo-in for the coaching team.
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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 3:18 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Stuart Lancaster has to be a shoo-in for the coaching team.    

What role though?

Last tour we had:

Farrell - Defence
Howley - Attack (after Toonie turned it down)
Borthwick - Forwards
Rowntree - Scrum
Jenkins - Kicking


It would be funny if Farrell, Lancaster & Rowntree went - a group of Englishmen currently working in Ireland.

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 3:23 pm

So now it's confirmed do we all start posting potential Lions squads?

Garland said that he'll either have Wyn Jones or Owen Farrell as his captain so that's two of the slots filled.

Who else?

Prop Possibles
Mako Vunipola
Jack McGrath
Zander Fagerson
WP Nel
Tadgh Furlong
Kyle Sinckler

Hookers
Stuart McInally
Jamie George
Niall Scannell

Locks
Alun Wyn Jones
Maro Itoje
James Ryan
Iain Henderson
Joe Launchbury
Jean Kleyn

Back rows
Peter O'Mahony
Hamish Watson
Tom Curry
Sam Underhill
Toby Faletau
Jack Conan
Josh Vd Flier
Dan Leavy
Josh Navidi

No 9s
Conor Murray
Ben Spence
Tomos Williams
Gareth Davies

No 10s
Owen Farrell
Finn Russell
Adam Hastings
Joey Carbery

Centres
Henry Slade
Chris Farrell
Horne
Garry Ringrose
Manu Tuilagi

Back three
Stuart Hogg
Jordan Larmour
Anthony Watson
James Lowe
Jacob Stockdale
Liam Williams
George North
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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 3:24 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Stuart Lancaster has to be a shoo-in for the coaching team.    

What role though?

Last tour we had:

Farrell - Defence
Howley - Attack (after Toonie turned it down)
Borthwick - Forwards
Rowntree - Scrum
Jenkins - Kicking


It would be funny if Farrell, Lancaster & Rowntree went - a group of Englishmen currently working in Ireland.

Well, he could pull a surprise out of the bag and say Joe Schmidt....
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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 3:26 pm

Pot Hale wrote:So now it's confirmed do we all start posting potential Lions squads?

Garland said that he'll either have Wyn Jones or Owen Farrell as his captain so that's two of the slots filled.



He really said that?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 3:34 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Stuart Lancaster has to be a shoo-in for the coaching team.    

What role though?

Last tour we had:

Farrell - Defence
Howley - Attack (after Toonie turned it down)
Borthwick - Forwards
Rowntree - Scrum
Jenkins - Kicking


It would be funny if Farrell, Lancaster & Rowntree went - a group of Englishmen currently working in Ireland.

Well, he could pull a surprise out of the bag and say Joe Schmidt....

May as well seeing as Schmidt is Gats’ biatch more often than not Smile.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 3:42 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So now it's confirmed do we all start posting potential Lions squads?

Garland said that he'll either have Wyn Jones or Owen Farrell as his captain so that's two of the slots filled.



He really said that?

Not exactly.

Who would be captain if you were picking now?

“It’s got to be someone who has the respect of everyone in the squad.

“Ideally you want someone to be coming from a successful team. Alun Wyn Jones comes to mind at the moment, Owen Farrell too.

Potentially those two are players that you’d talk about.

But two years is a long time and you never know what’s going to happen in the game.” - Gatland

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 3:43 pm

That makes more sense, thanks.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 4:08 pm

I’d be surprised if just 7 players from the No.2 ranked team in the world were in, but saying that your list lost all credibility when you selected POM.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 4:24 pm

Daily Telegraph wrote:Warren Gatland has been named head coach of the British and Irish Lions for a record third time and will lead the Lions on their 2021 tour to South Africa.

The 55-year-old Kiwi was also in charge for the previous two Lions trips. He oversaw victory in Australia in 2013 and a drawn series in New Zealand two years ago.

He is, without question, the most qualified man for the job. And so, with that in mind, thoughts now turn to who he might pick.

I have had a crack at selecting who I think he might choose, bearing in mind it is two years down the line and everyone will therefore be two years older. Will the likes of Alun Wyn Jones, who will be 35, and Jonathan Davies, who will be 33, make the cut?


Predicted 41-man Lions squad
(Age player will be in 2021, nationality)

PROP
Loosehead

Mako Vunipola (30, England)
He is arguably the best loosehead prop in world rugby and the guaranteed starter in the No 1 jersey.

Jack McGrath (31, Ireland)
Solid, dependable; the Irishman would be the perfect back-up to Vunipola. Gets in ahead of Cian Healy and Allan Dell.

Rob Evans (29, Wales)
If you were to create a Vunipola-McGrath hybrid, Rob Evans would be the result. The man for all occasions.


Tighthead
Tadhg Furlong (27, Ireland)
The starter at tighthead. It is incredible to think that he will only be 27 when the Lions tour South Africa.

Kyle Sinckler (28, England)
Sinckler's rate of improvement has been remarkable and by 2021 he will be entering his prime. The back-up to Furlong but could easily supplant the Irishman.

Tomos Francis (29, Wales)
The Welshman would initially travel as a mid-week player because this is a position where Gatland is spoiled for choice. Ireland's Andrew Porter and Scotland's Zander Fagerson will have to wait until 2025.


HOOKER
Jamie George (30, England)
The Englishman is getting better and better and is likely to be the first-choice hooker.

Stuart McInally (30, Scotland)
During the Six Nations he established himself as Scotland's starting hooker, and will only get better.

Niall Scannell (29, Ireland)
The Irishman has had to play second fiddle to Rory Best for so long. Now he has his chance. Wales' Ken Owens will be 34 in 2021. If the Lions tour was in 2019, he would be in.


LOCK
Maro Itoje (26, England)
Guaranteed starter. Works hard, plays hard and has just the right amount of attitude to get the under the skin of the Springboks.

Alun Wyn Jones (35, Wales)
I was temped to put Jonny Gray or Courtney Lawes in this slot, not even considering that Jones, who will be 35 in 2021, would come into contention. But then Gatland told the press at his unveiling that either the veteran Welshman or Owen Farrell will probably be his captain. So...

James Ryan (24, Ireland)
The Irishman will probably be the like-for-like swap for Itoje come replacements time. If Gatland's first-choice second-row pairing is Itoje and Jones, Ryan will be the Englishman's greatest challenger for that lock jersey.

George Kruis (31, England)
Mr Lineout. And the understudy to Jones. At 35, though, Jones is unlikely to go the distance so Kruis, a master lineout technician, can expect Test game time.

Cory Hill (29, Wales)
This slot is a straight shoot-out between two Welshmen, Hill and Adam Beard, and Hill's athleticism edges it.

BACK ROW
Josh Navidi (30, Wales)
Burst onto the international scene and hasn't looked back. His all-action style of play at blindside provides vital tempo.

Peter O'Mahony (31, Ireland)
A total warrior. And what a player to have in your side. He would put his body on the line for the cause and seemingly doesn't know the meaning of pain.

Tom Curry (23, England)
Rapidly turning into a truly world-class openside. Pips his international team-mate Sam Underhill to this Lions spot. Like O'Mahony, he isn't afraid to put this face where it hurts.

Hamish Watson (29, Scotland)
A proper scavenger. And when he builds up a head of steam he's like an unstoppable cannonball.

Ellis Jenkins (28, Wales)
This is one of my wildcard selections. Tragically, Jenkins is currently out long-term with a serious knee injury, but his match-defining displays pre-injury still linger in the memory. He has two years to get back up to speed.

Billy Vunipola (28, England)
Starting No 8 for England. Starting No 8 for the Lions. He will relish going toe-to-toe with the Boks.

Taulupe Faletau (30, Wales)
The Welshman has endured a horrible run of injuries but, if fit, can be just as destructive as his cousin, Billy.

SCRUM-HALF
Conor Murray (32, Ireland)
By the 2021 Lions tour, Murray will be entering the twilight of his playing career. But his tactical awareness and game-management experience will be crucial.

Gareth Davies (30, Wales)
Will probably dovetail with Murray for the starting No 9 jersey.

Ben Spencer (28, England)
A bit of a wildcard pick, but by 2021 the Saracens No 9 could very well be England's No 9, and his box-kicking is a potent weapon.

FLY-HALF
Owen Farrell (29, England)
With Johnny Sexton too old - he will be 35 and most probably retired - Farrell should be the starting No 10. And as we know, he can also play inside centre. Also captain material.

Finn Russell (28, Scotland)
A real box of tricks. The Lions will start with Farrell for his solidity, but can bring on Russell if they need a bit of magic.

Joey Carbery (25, Ireland)
By 2021, he will have stepped out of Sexton's shadow. Just squeezes in ahead of Dan Biggar and George Ford.

CENTRE
Robbie Henshaw (28, Ireland)
His previous Lions tour - to New Zealand - was curtailed by injury. The inside center's combination of size and pace is a potent mix.

Manu Tuilagi (30, England)
To take on South Africa you need to compete physically. You need a wrecking-ball option. Bundee Aki is a possibility, but even the giant Boks won't like Manu running at them.

Sam Johnson (28, Scotland)
A bit of a wildcard pick but Johnson has impressed for Scotland. If this was a Lions squad for 2019, 31-year-old Hadleigh Parkes would be in with a shout, but not in two years time.

Garry Ringrose (26, Ireland)
The Irishman has matured into a world-class outside centre and it is highly likely that the starting Lions centre combination will be an all-Ireland one.

Henry Slade (28, England)
He can play at inside centre, outside centre and, if needs be, fly-half, and this versatility could mean he guarantees himself a place on the bench at the very least.

Elliot Daly (28, England)
The final centre spot is a tough one. Right now Jonathan Davies would be a shoo-in, but he will be 33 in 2021. There is every chance he will still be playing well enough to merit selection, but for now I have gone with the versatile Englishman, who will be 28 come Lions year.

WING
Jacob Stockdale (25, Ireland)
A try-scoring prodigy. Nailed on for the left-wing spot in the Test XV.

Jack Nowell (28, England)
The pocket-rocket. Nowell's physique makes him a nightmare for opposition defences - fast and hard to knock over. He can also play at centre and full-back.

Jonny May (31, England)
The speedster. And strong under the high ball. Chances are he will start on the opposite wing to Stockdale.

Joe Cokanasiga (23, England)
Currently full of potential. He has the pace of a back in a forward's body. If this can he honed in the next two years, the Springboks won't know what's hit them.

Josh Adams (26, Wales)
Fast and strong and fearless. Adams is the sort of player you could easily see start in the mid-week team and by the first Test be wearing the No 14 jersey.

FULL-BACK
Liam Williams (30, Wales)
What a player. Fast, strong, elusive and a total rock under the high ball. He is playing some of the best rugby of his career for Wales and Saracens and there is no reason he can't maintain this level in two years time. In pole position for the full-back jersey.

Stuart Hogg (29, Scotland)
This will be his third Lions trip, and on the 2021 tour he'll still only be 29. He could easily squeeze a fourth in. A sensational counter-attacking full-back.

Anthony Watson (27, England)
The final spot is a straight shoot-out between Watson, Leigh Halfpenny and George North, and it's Watson who gets the nod as he can cover wing and full-back equally well.

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 4:29 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I’d be surprised if just 7 players from the No.2 ranked team in the world were in, but saying that your list lost all credibility when you selected POM.

Premature on both counts there, Mikel. Is the Lions tour next week?

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 4:29 pm

Anyone who didn't think AWJ was current favourite for captain must be living under a rock or Irish. Chances are Phil Vickery will have retired by the next lions tour.

The issue is it's two years away and hes 33. Whilst theres been older captains and lock is a position many get away with lumbering around much longer at I wouldn't be nailing him on till the end of next season and seeing how much he has left in him after Wales lift the world cup.
Or indeed if Scotland win the thing then maybe whoever's is there captain will have stolen that credibility soon.

Gatlands answer was stunningly obvious really with Farrell just chucked in incase they legalise tackling off the ball with the shoulder.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 4:30 pm

Owen mentioned by Gats to try and get papa Farrell on board?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 4:39 pm

Mentioning Jones as pretty much guaranteed starter just shows the reasons why Gatalnd shouldn't be the coach.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 4:46 pm

You have to remember where they are playing, can anyone really see a 35 year old AWJ running around Ellis Park at that altitude. Any 35 year olds realistically.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 6:26 pm

English people can’t read I guess.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 7:47 pm

[quote="mikey_dragon"]English people can’t read I guess. [/quote

Context please

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 11:23 pm

Gatland was asked who he would pick as captain right now, not in 2 years time yet ya’ll fall for it and then come on here to have a cry.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 13 Jun 2019, 5:54 am

I don't think anyone is crying though can only speak for myself mikey. I'm at least beaming ear to ear that we only have to put up with gatland for the lions.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 13 Jun 2019, 6:59 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Gatland was asked who he would pick as captain right now, not in 2 years time yet ya’ll fall for it and then come on here to have a cry.

Complete misrepresentation of what happened. Only people who mentioned it so far:

Pot Hale suggests Gats names Farrell and AWJ as captains.
I query what he actually said.
Risca provides the direct quote.
I thank Risca
Goose points out why what Gats said makes sense and extrapolates two years.

Personal opinion but there really was no need to create some nationalistic outrage.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 13 Jun 2019, 7:03 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:. I'm at least beaming ear to ear that we only have to put up with gatland for the lions.

I reckon Gats would have been a highly effective head coach for us.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 13 Jun 2019, 7:16 am

Really? I think he's a way below par selector. England would pose him a similar challenge to the lions. It's not his strength.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 13 Jun 2019, 7:26 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Really? I think he's a way below par selector. England would pose him a similar challenge to the lions. It's not his strength.

Not being Scottish  Run  I have no major issues with his selections for the Lions, especially when it comes to the test sides. 

While I did not want him as England's Head Coach, I do believe he would have been effective at the top of our professional pyramid.

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