Greatest Lions XV of Pro Era - Back Row

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 22 May 2019, 8:21 am

Time for the back row. Remember the criteria for making the shortlist is 3 starts in the pro era in the playing area being voted on.

Currently the front two rows look like:

Smith Wood Furlong
Johnson O'Connell

Voting still open at:

http://www.606v2.com/t68778-greatest-lions-xv-of-pro-era-second-row#3808994
http://www.606v2.com/t68776-greatest-lions-xv-of-pro-era-front-row


Back row Candidates

Richard Hill - 5 starts across 97, 01 & 05 Tours. It is argued that his injury on the 01 tour was main reason for losing the series.
Neil Back - 5 caps (4 starts) across 97, 01 & 05. Would have met the criteria even without the farcical selection for 1 test in 05.
Laurence Dallaglio - 3 tests in 97. Injury ruined his chances of adding to those caps in 01 and 05.
Scott Quinnell - 3 tests in 01. Injury ruined his chance on 97 tour.
Martin Corry - 6 caps (4 starts) in 01 & 05. A mid tour call-up to Aus, he impressed enough to play in all 3 tests. Played all 4 tests in 05 including one as a lock replacement.
Lewis Moody - 3 tests in 05. OK daring someone to vote for Mad-Dog and admit it.
Jamie Heaslip - 5 starts on 09 & 13 Tours. A player who has tended to receive a lot of rather unfair criticism. Was an outstanding Lion.
Tom Croft - 5 tests (3 starts) on 09 & 13 tours. Very much a marmite player.
Taulupe Faletau - 4 starts on 13 & 17 tours. Only injury stopped this being 6 starts.
Sean O'Brien - 5 tests (4 starts) on 13 & 17 tours. Has somehow become a hate figure for som B&I fans. Scored the Try of the tour against NZ.
Sam Warburton - 5 tests (4 starts) on 13 & 17 tours. Along with MJ captained two pro tours. Fitting that his final test appearance was against NZ, and last action was persuading Poite to change a penalty decision.


Do not make the cut:

Dan Lydiate & David Wallace (3 tests but just 2 starts)
Simon Easterby, Ryan Jones, Tim Rodber - 2 tests

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 22 May 2019, 8:25 am

I have gone for Richard Hill, Scott Quinnell & Warburton.

I admit that Quinnell is a nostalgia pick as I feel he was past his best once capped, but hey we can all be sentimental.
Warburton was often not the best in his position in Wales let alone B&I, but his cool leadership means he fully deserves to be here.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 22 May 2019, 8:59 am

I can't disagree more with your last comment LT! It does appear that leadership is thrown around too much these days. He was a quality player but underperformed in both tours he was involved with due to coming back from injury etc.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 22 May 2019, 9:07 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I can't disagree more with your last comment LT! It does appear that leadership is thrown around too much these days. He was a quality player but underperformed in both tours he was involved with due to coming back from injury etc.

You are entitled to your opinion, even if it is wrong  Cool. I feel that without Warburton on the pitch we would have lost the 3rd test in NZ, and maybe the 2nd too.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 22 May 2019, 9:09 am

I would be interested in hearing from the two people who went with the English holy trinity of Hill, Back and Dayglo.

Purely my opinion of course, but as Lions I feel Back and Dayglo were underwhelming, so interested to hear the argument in their defence.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 22 May 2019, 9:12 am

Not when you had Tipuric out playing him consistently on that tour though LT. And arguably it was his injury which open the door for a better balanced unit in Aus.
I haven't voted in any of these as didn't watch the ones prior to 09.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 22 May 2019, 9:46 am

No Martyn Williams on that list, three Lions Tours, four Lions caps, and an MBE.

Just saying like. Very Happy

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Post by wayne on Wed 22 May 2019, 10:05 am

I found this as the easiest to select of the 3 units so far, especially the 2 flanker positions, it has to be Hill and Warburton even though I think Tipuric is a better 7 overall than Warburton, the 8 was much harder and any 1 of 3 could be selected, Quinnell, Dayglo or Faletau would do it justice, in order to not show nationalistic bias I've gone for Dayglo.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed 22 May 2019, 10:16 am

LordDowlais wrote:No Martyn Williams on that list, three Lions Tours, four Lions caps, and an MBE.

Just saying like. Very Happy

Was he not a winger?

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 22 May 2019, 10:20 am

LordDowlais wrote:No Martyn Williams on that list, three Lions Tours, four Lions caps, and an MBE.

Just saying like. Very Happy

Only one start for the Lions though. Sorry you do not like the criteria I set but a minimum of 3 starts to make the shortlist does not, to me, seem unreasonable.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 22 May 2019, 10:27 am

wayne wrote:I found this as the easiest to select of the 3 units so far, especially the 2 flanker positions, it has to be Hill and Warburton even though I think Tipuric is a better 7 overall than Warburton, the 8 was much harder and any 1 of 3 could be selected, Quinnell, Dayglo or Faletau would do it justice, in order to not show nationalistic bias I've gone for Dayglo.  

I feel Dayglo was one of the guys who never quite got to show what he was all about in the red of the Lions, mainly due to injury. He was OK in 97, but was at his peak in 2001 as a player with injury preventing him making an impact on the tour. If I was going purely with who I felt performed the best I would have selected Faletau, but there is something about Quinnell that just somes up what the Lions are all about.


PS if selecting bench back rower would have gone with Corry. In part due to club bias I guess, but do feel that as a Lion he really shone. Playing in all 3 tests in 2001 and having only been added to the squad during the tour was a fantastic achievement  with his midweek game just after landing in Australia being a real tour de force. I also feel he was one of the few players on the 05 tour who could hold their head up high.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 22 May 2019, 10:56 am

LondonTiger wrote:I have gone for Richard Hill, Scott Quinnell  & Warburton.

I admit that Quinnell is a nostalgia pick as I feel he was past his best once capped, but hey we can all be sentimental.
Warburton was often not the best in his position in Wales let alone B&I, but his cool leadership means he fully deserves to be here.

Me too tough call, Neil Back and SOB were immense players

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 22 May 2019, 11:11 am

Expectation vs reality is interesting, as at first glance nobody would vote for Corry, and yet he really stepped up and was very good for the Lions, where as has been pointed out many more celebrated players did not.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 22 May 2019, 11:26 am

Hill, Back and Dallaglio, you will not see a better back row, when they were in their pomp circa 1999-2003. The whole English pack of that era are the best I have ever seen, and I still have not seen better.

For me though, those players had no right being on the 2005 Lions tour, and were only picked because Clive Woodward was a fraud, it was sad to see some true legends of the game, getting whipped by a much younger New Zealand side.


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Post by tigertattie on Wed 22 May 2019, 11:35 am

LordDowlais wrote:Hill, Back and Dallaglio, you will not see a better back row, when they were in their pomp circa 1999-2003. The whole English pack of that era are the best I have ever seen, and I still have not seen better.

For me though, those players had no right being on the 2005 Lions tour, and were only picked because Clive Woodward was a fraud, it was sad to see some true legends of the game, getting whipped by a much younger New Zealand side.


Wowsers. This is a complete mirror image of Gatland and his picking of injured Welsh players in 2017
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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 22 May 2019, 11:37 am

I went Hill, Warburton and Faletau.

Faletau was probably the one who I considered the hardest call, but because of that try in the 2017 second test being a pretty huge momentum shifter and a key turnover in the third test v Aus, I have gone for him.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 22 May 2019, 11:40 am

tigertattie wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Hill, Back and Dallaglio, you will not see a better back row, when they were in their pomp circa 1999-2003. The whole English pack of that era are the best I have ever seen, and I still have not seen better.

For me though, those players had no right being on the 2005 Lions tour, and were only picked because Clive Woodward was a fraud, it was sad to see some true legends of the game, getting whipped by a much younger New Zealand side.


Wowsers. This is a complete mirror image of Gatland and his picking of injured Welsh players in 2017

Really? Not wanting to open old wounds, but who 'had no right being on tour' in 2017. And who got whipped? I seem to remember marginal calls. And a drawn series.
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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 22 May 2019, 11:45 am

tigertattie wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Hill, Back and Dallaglio, you will not see a better back row, when they were in their pomp circa 1999-2003. The whole English pack of that era are the best I have ever seen, and I still have not seen better.

For me though, those players had no right being on the 2005 Lions tour, and were only picked because Clive Woodward was a fraud, it was sad to see some true legends of the game, getting whipped by a much younger New Zealand side.


Wowsers. This is a complete mirror image of Gatland and his picking of injured Welsh players in 2017

Christ, there are some seriously bitter Scotts on here, I do not see them having a go about the English and Irish players picked ahead of the Scottish ones. Rolling Eyes

Anyway, back to my point, even though certain English players on the 2005 tour, whilst could still do a very good job, and were rightly legends of the game, I think that tour, against probably the best All Black team we are likely to see in a very long time, was a bridge to far for them, and Clive Woodward should have never allowed them to be put into that position.


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Post by alive555 on Wed 22 May 2019, 12:08 pm

tigertattie wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Hill, Back and Dallaglio, you will not see a better back row, when they were in their pomp circa 1999-2003. The whole English pack of that era are the best I have ever seen, and I still have not seen better.

For me though, those players had no right being on the 2005 Lions tour, and were only picked because Clive Woodward was a fraud, it was sad to see some true legends of the game, getting whipped by a much younger New Zealand side.


Wowsers. This is a complete mirror image of Gatland and his picking of injured Welsh players in 2017

exactly correct. pathetic really.
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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 22 May 2019, 12:11 pm

Gents,

These discussions have been done to death on another thread. If they continue here I shall just shut this thread down, and end the process.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 22 May 2019, 12:21 pm

What is it with the constant locking of threads all the time ? I am seeing a lot more of this, strangely straight after one of the powers to be has his last word.

I was going to ask this question on the future of the rugby forum thread, but guess what, it's locked. Laugh

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 22 May 2019, 12:33 pm

The last word is usually to explain why it is being closed. It is usually clear why threads are closed and reasons are usually given. Not sure why the Future thread was locked - may have been an accident.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 22 May 2019, 1:49 pm

LondonTiger wrote:...I feel Dayglo was one of the guys who never quite got to show what he was all about in the red of the Lions, mainly due to injury. He was OK in 97, but was at his peak in 2001 as a player with injury preventing him making an impact on the tour. If I was going purely with who I felt performed the best I would have selected Faletau, but there is something about Quinnell that just somes up what the Lions are all about...
I automatically voted for Dallaglio without thinking it through, but you are right about his contribution to the Lions. Only Hill of that famous English back row had a chance to really make a mark.

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Post by Mr Bounce on Wed 22 May 2019, 3:50 pm

I actually went for Dallaglio at 6 rather than 8 as that's where he played for the first 2 tests in 97. My reasons for leaving out Richard Hill were two-fold. One was my 7 HAD to be Sam Warburton (Hill played 2 tests in 97 at 7 and 1 in 01, the other being a 6) and 2 was that I thought he was actually at his destructive best as a 6. Obviously once Back was introduced into the back row, it meant a move for both Hill and Dallaglio, and most may well argue that those positions were ideal.

I also went for Heaslip at 8 - he was very underrated. For me, Quinnell was past his best, but it was a close-run thing between Heaslip and Faletau.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 22 May 2019, 4:41 pm

The thing about the holy trinity was that they were all great players in their own right, but as a trio they were even more than the sum of their parts, I may be thinking of what they were like for England rather than the lions though.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 22 May 2019, 6:44 pm



Croft, Warburton, Heaslip. Just going with what I've seen the most of and that goes back to Lions 2005 where the back-row wasn't great. I feel the home nations were a little weak in the open-side position up until the 2009 tour - a stark contrast to now where everybody has two or more great options. It might not be the best ever but it's among the best I've seen. Heaslip is probably the most consistent No.8 of the pro era and just shades Faletau for selection. Warburton was a great 7, leader and champ on two record-breaking tours and I believe he made a positive difference so I went for him ahead of O'Brien.

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Post by rodders on Thu 23 May 2019, 9:55 am

This is a tricky one. I've gone for Hill, Quinnell and O'Brien but was a close call with Heaslip and Warburton.

Hill is a no brainer at 6. O'Brien was a standout player in the test series in both 13 and 17, Sam was tremendous in the final 2 tests in NZ but on both tours he didn't do much outside the test series.

At 8 there is no outstanding option. Dallagio played 6 in 1997 so that rules him out, Heaslip was excellent in 2009 but Quinnell was also a shoe in for the tests in 1997 before injury so just went for him.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 23 May 2019, 10:04 am

rodders wrote:This is a tricky one. I've gone for Hill, Quinnell and O'Brien but was a close call with Heaslip and Warburton.

Hill is a no brainer at 6. O'Brien was a standout player in the test series in both 13 and 17, Sam was tremendous in the final 2 tests in NZ but on both tours he didn't do much outside the test series.

At 8 there is no outstanding option. Dallagio played 6 in 1997 so that rules him out, Heaslip was excellent in 2009 but Quinnell was also a shoe in for the tests in 1997 before injury so just went for him.    

Good summary. I voted for Dallagio because I loved him as a player but its true he didn't have great Lions tours.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 23 May 2019, 9:40 pm

Croft on hard ground was immense, his speed and engine made him truly exceptional, but when it got dirty, he did not have the build to really get into the game.

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