Greatest Lions XV of Pro Era - Front Row

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Total Votes : 99

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 May 2019, 1:39 pm

As if we do not have enough arguments, time for some debate and indicative votes Very Happy

Looking purely at the professional era (1997 tour onwards), there will be a series of votes. All players with 3 starts or more will be contenders. First the front row:


Loosehead:

Tom Smith - 6 caps across the 97 & 01 tours. Few would have predicted he would make the test side in 97 ahead of Jason "Funbus" Leonard, but Geech had a plan (and unlike Baldrick's it was indeed cunning)
Gethin Jenkins - 5 caps across 05 and 09. A great player who played in some iffy Lions teams as all his caps were in defeats.
Mako Vunipola - 6 caps (4 starts) across 13 & 17 tours. Vastly improved scrummager could be a key feature of the 2021 tour. Inexperienced in 2013 was perhaps overshadowed by the stronger scrummaging of Alex Corbisiero, by 2017 he was a key member of the side that drew with the world champions.



Hooker:
Keith Wood - 5 caps across 97 & 01. A rampaging hooker in the loose and solid in the tight.
Shane Byrne - 4 caps (3 starts) in 05. Have to admit I had forgotten he was the hooker on that tour.
Jamie George - 3 caps on 13 tour. Lots of arguments on this board about his inclusion in the test side, and to be fair after a long season he was not at his best. Even so the coaches felt he was the form hooker on the tour and gave him his first starts in international rugby as he played an important part in a drawn series.



Tighthead:
Phil Vickery - 5 caps across three tours. Will hope for one tour more before he retires.
Adam Jones - 5 caps (4 starts) on 09 & 13 tours. Old fashioned prop who anchored the scrum well in SA (hard to do) and Australia (easier).
Tadgh Furlong - 3 caps in 2017. Strong all-rounder who will look to expand on his Lions achievements on future tours.
Paul Wallace - 3 caps. Part of Geech's cunning plan in 97.
Julian White - 4 caps (3 starts) in 2005.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 May 2019, 1:41 pm

While I feel the current incumbents could well surpass their predecessors after future tours, for now have gone with Smith, Wood and Jones.

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Post by rodders on Mon 20 May 2019, 1:59 pm

Gone for Furlong, wood and Vunipolo.
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Post by TightHEAD on Mon 20 May 2019, 2:05 pm

rodders wrote:Gone for Furlong, wood and Vunipolo.

Snap
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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 20 May 2019, 2:26 pm

Gethin Wood and Furlong for me

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 20 May 2019, 2:26 pm

How many tours have Vanipola and Furlong been on ?

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Post by eirebilly on Mon 20 May 2019, 2:28 pm

I went Gethin Jenkins, Keith Wood and Adam Jones.


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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 May 2019, 2:34 pm

LordDowlais wrote:How many tours have Vanipola and Furlong been on ?

As it says in the OP, Vunipola 13/17 (2), Furlong 17 (1)

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 20 May 2019, 2:45 pm

Close call on the tightheads between White, Furlong and Jones

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 20 May 2019, 3:12 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:How many tours have Vanipola and Furlong been on ?

As it says in the OP, Vunipola 13/17 (2), Furlong 17 (1)

So Furlongs been on one tour and he is up there ?

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Post by rodders on Mon 20 May 2019, 3:21 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:How many tours have Vanipola and Furlong been on ?

As it says in the OP, Vunipola 13/17 (2), Furlong 17 (1)

So Furlongs been on one tour and he is up there ?

He has 3 test starts, which is 1 short of Adam Jones and 2 less than Vickery. I think he's a better player than either.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 May 2019, 3:22 pm

Given my rugby knowledge starts too late for the full pro era I'll side step any votes but how would you want the short lists created if you don't like LTs 3 cap line? You'd be discounting a few from that list if it's 2 tours or more.
There is an argument for best lions or best players to pull on the lions shirt I'd say.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 20 May 2019, 3:30 pm

LondonTiger wrote:While I feel the current incumbents could well surpass their predecessors after future tours, for now have gone with Smith, Wood and Jones.

Ditto.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 May 2019, 3:44 pm

Think you've missed lee Mears London? 4 caps over 2 tours?

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 May 2019, 3:54 pm

Not according to this Very Happy  :

http://stats.espnscrum.com/statsguru/rugby/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=matches;position=7;spanmin1=27+Mar+1997;spanval1=span;team=32;template=results;type=player

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 May 2019, 3:55 pm

I notice that only Keith Wood and Gordon Bulloch have been on two pro tours and been capped as hookers.

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 20 May 2019, 3:59 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I notice that only Keith Wood and Gordon Bulloch have been on two pro tours and been capped as hookers.

Now there's two Lions stalwarts if I ever seen them. Two greats of the game.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 May 2019, 4:17 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I notice that only Keith Wood and Gordon Bulloch have been on two pro tours and been capped as hookers.

Now there's two Lions stalwarts if I ever seen them. Two greats of the game.

Keith Wood yes, Bulloch less so imo. In 2001 he was added to the squad mid tour and one of 6 hookers to tour!!! Oddly he was called up at the same time as Martin Corry with both making the test squad for the First test. By 2005 he was at the very back end of his career with his turn of the bench in the last test.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 20 May 2019, 4:18 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Think you've missed lee Mears London? 4 caps over 2 tours?

Yeah, Matthew Rees from 09 too?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 May 2019, 4:26 pm

I'm blaming wiki LT.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 20 May 2019, 4:38 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:How many tours have Vanipola and Furlong been on ?

As it says in the OP, Vunipola 13/17 (2), Furlong 17 (1)

So Furlongs been on one tour and he is up there ?

When you send the NZ front row backwards then why not?

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 May 2019, 4:40 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Think you've missed lee Mears London? 4 caps over 2 tours?

Yeah, Matthew Rees from 09 too?

Rees shared the 3 starts with Mears. While the 3 starts was an arbitrary qualifier, it meant to be included a player either had to dominate a single tour, or be capped across multiple tours.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 20 May 2019, 4:44 pm

Apologies, I only skim read the intro Very Happy

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 20 May 2019, 4:45 pm

It wouldn't have made a difference to my voting anyway.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 20 May 2019, 5:40 pm

Smith, Wood and Bomb for me.

Injury permitting I think that Vunipola and Furlong could retire as all time greats though.

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Post by Pie on Mon 20 May 2019, 6:19 pm

Vcikery??? Arguably cost us the 09 tour. Shocker to have him on this selection

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 May 2019, 7:28 pm

Pie wrote:Vcikery??? Arguably cost us the 09 tour. Shocker to have him on this selection

The criteria was 3 starts to make the list. He achieved that and more. 

He was excellent in 2001, and tbh past his best in 2009 with neck injuries having kicked in. He did indeed struggle with the Beast boring in during first test, but came back in the 3rd to dominate him. There is no coincidence that the Beast struggled in that series when forced to scrummage legally. 

I still voted for Jones though.

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Post by Pie on Tue 21 May 2019, 2:21 am

I wa there. At both tests. The beast consumed him in the first and didn't care by the 3rd. Vickery cost us the 09 tour. Had Bomb been picked different story.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 21 May 2019, 6:31 am

Well I suppose as long as people keep consistent when we get to the other guy dropped at the same time as Vickery.

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