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My take on the Lions squad.

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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 2:55 pm

Missed the chat as I had to work (Yeah I know that is unbelieveable), so I had a quick squiz over the selections.

Not surprised at seeing the Welsh starters there, but two ommssions glares at you from the monitor.

NO Rory Best, I would love to know how he is overlooked. a 67 match veteran and Gatland decides to leave him at home?

You can almost bet your bottom dollar that Stephen Moore will be the Wallalby hooker, so you want an experienced campaigner to take him on, and when you consider Healy who in my book is the best loose head prop in the home nations is in the squad you would think that it is only common sense to pair him up with Best. Hibbard has not been a regular starter for Wales and has a third of the test experience Best has, Hartley has discipline problems half the time and isn't even in the class of Best.


I think Robshaw is rather unlucky as well.

It is understandable that Gatland has decided to focus most of his squad on Welsh players, in fact most coaches will go with the players they know best and beleive in the most.

Depending on selection it seems the starting 15 might be heavily weighted towards wales which in my humble opinion will not be the way to go.

Wales have had more than enough shots at australia without success, at this point in time I can really only see 4 or so players that Gatland is going to put in his starting XV that will not be welsh.

I don't know we'll have to wait for the first test match.

The only two that are not welsh that I can see Gatland will select at this point in time is Jonny Sexton and Cian Healy.

I definitely think Gatland has misses a trick with making Warburton captain, I don't think he is one of the better back rowers in the home unions and being captain means he must play.

weird.
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Post by gowershowerpower Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:01 pm

did you need a new thread when your opinion is the same as every non-welshman?

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Post by Pal Joey Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:13 pm

My thoughts are very similar, Biltong.

A Wales+ selection - it could backfire; if, as you say he goes down that same path. The Wallabies more than held their own last year in the forward tussle and have gone up a notch this year with players returning from injuries / forced to step up to fill the voids last year.

The other option - bringing in some English/Irish players in the front 5 (which I think he will do + SOB) could also unbalance a confident Welsh working combination which started to bear fruit late in the 6N. Or they could click...


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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:15 pm

gowershowerpower wrote:did you need a new thread when your opinion is the same as every non-welshman?

Yes flowerpower.

You'll find plenty of them over the upcoming weeks..

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Post by Pal Joey Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:17 pm

Biltong wrote:
gowershowerpower wrote:did you need a new thread when your opinion is the same as every non-welshman?

Yes flowerpower.

You'll find plenty of them over the upcoming weeks..


Besides, your take is always different. No floss... just the bare hard facts. OK

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Post by gowershowerpower Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:17 pm

and no doubt from you mr ego...

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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:22 pm

gowershowerpower wrote:and no doubt from you mr ego...
flower, go pull your little petals elsewhere, I am in no mood for your ignorance.
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Post by Pal Joey Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:24 pm

Yeah, go pick on some weeds, flower.

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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:24 pm

Linebreaker wrote:My thoughts are very similar, Biltong.

A Wales+ selection - it could backfire; if, as you say he goes down that same path. The Wallabies more than held their own last year in the forward tussle and have gone up a notch this year with players returning from injuries / forced to step up to fill the voids last year.

The other option - bringing in some English/Irish players in the front 5 (which I think he will do + SOB) could also unbalance a confident Welsh working combination which started to bear fruit late in the 6N. Or they could click...

yeah LB, I reckon you guys got this one.

Your players are gaining good form in the Super XV , you have three forward packs that have been impressive enough, and there are a few surprises that will hang around in your backline.
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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:26 pm

Linebreaker wrote:Yeah, go pick on some weeds, flower.


My take on the Lions squad. Smiley-laughing021

.... Weeds, I think weeds are perhaps a tad to tough. Whistle
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Post by Pal Joey Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:27 pm

Well spring is on it's way there apparently.

He knows what I mean.

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Post by SecretFly Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:28 pm

A wandering saddletramp Bible-Preacher scours the old West looking for sinners.............

watch out Biltong, he draws with his right hand but he has another gun in his slicker pocket......

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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:30 pm

......but I am not afraid, cause flowerpower died in the seventies. Laugh
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Post by gowershowerpower Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:31 pm

petals, flowers, weeds...amazing. you guys are a great double act...

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Post by Pal Joey Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:33 pm

Biltong wrote:
Linebreaker wrote:Yeah, go pick on some weeds, flower.


My take on the Lions squad. Smiley-laughing021

.... Weeds, I think weeds are perhaps a tad to tough. Whistle

He's quite welcome to come over to my place if he wants... but he'd need to be careful. I've got a few drums of insecticide lying around.

We wouldn't want a little unfortunate accident, now would we? Whistle

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Post by fa0019 Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:34 pm

I think you're right BB... I'm not as confident as I was 4 years ago.

The lions squad is strong... but AUS look very impressive this season, they have near all their players available and just when you cheer that Pocock is injured Smith pops up and continues to play like a 23yr old yet with 100 caps!

I think the RC trophy will be heading their way too... the momentum of a Lions series win will push them through.. esp. with NZ at home first.

I think the Lions lack a bit at 12. Roberts was great vs. SA 4 years ago.... but you always play big in their faces centres vs. SA... you need to match them man for man... against AUS I think he could be found out... I think he's quite lucky to be tour... another coach may not have chosen him.

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Post by Pal Joey Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:35 pm

Biltong wrote:......but I am not afraid, cause flowerpower died in the seventies. Laugh

Some flowerpower experts even say it was on the closing night of Woodstock... August 18, 1969.

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Post by gowershowerpower Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:35 pm

lived in Sydney for about 7 years mate....nice place....curl curl and narraweena.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:37 pm

If anybody has watched the six nations and they know what they are watching when it comes to rugby, which is probably most of the people on this forum, you would have noticed that the Welsh pack were soundly better than their counterparts in every game, how can anybody make a comment about Richard Hibbard not being a regular starter for Wales when he started everygame bar the first one, which we lost, in the six nations ? After that first game our scrum went from strength to stregngth with Richard Hibbard at the helm, also his work in the loose and in defence is second to none. I am a bit surprised over Rory Best, but he does have a tendancy to struggle in high paced games and he gives away a lot of penalties, so perhaps this was WG thinking. We will not see a Wales + 1 or 2 for the tests we will see at most 6 or 7 Welsh players in my opinion, and it will be the LIONS first fifteen nothing else.

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Post by Pal Joey Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:37 pm

Yes, nice places. Although prone to the odd coastal shower. Powerful surf at times too!

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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:38 pm

Linebreaker wrote:
Biltong wrote:......but I am not afraid, cause flowerpower died in the seventies. Laugh

Some flowerpower experts even say it was on the closing night of Woodstock... August 18, 1969.
knew it was somehwere around then, ah well, it isn't like our double act is going to perform anytime else but now.
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Post by gowershowerpower Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:39 pm

powerful! feck me, could only manage Dee Why point when small....sadly.

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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:39 pm

Lordowlais, surely Best doesn't give away as many penalties as Hartley?
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Post by gowershowerpower Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:41 pm

well best does because he plays more.

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Post by Shifty Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:44 pm

Love the sly anti Welsh bashing that's going on here.

Truth be told Wales were the best home Nations team at the World Cup, and only Ireland have beaten Wales once in the last 2 years, otherwise Wales have beaten every other European team. Including winning both 6 Nations titles since.

There are a few suprises in the selection I'll admit, Biggar should of been in ahead of Farrell. Farrell was soundly beaten by him in the Cardiff game. Farrell couldn't kick simply penalties in front of the posts, and came off a poor second best to Wilko a few weeks ago. Though maybe as Farells Dad is the defense coach, Gatland thought maybe it wasn't worth upsetting his defense coach over a tight (ish) selection.

Lydiate did suprise me though, personally I think Ryan Jones should of got in ahead of him.

Rory Best didn't deserve to go, he's been píss poor all season.
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Post by fa0019 Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:46 pm

If I recall Best was heavily penalised during the 6N.

Rowntree had a big say in the front five thats for sure, made Best's task that much more difficult.

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Post by gowershowerpower Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:47 pm

eggusackly shifty....and my point earlier was that it could have just been kept to one thread, but egomandriedmeat has too start his own like innit.

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Post by fa0019 Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:50 pm

Shifty wrote:Love the sly anti Welsh bashing that's going on here.

Truth be told Wales were the best home Nations team at the World Cup, and only Ireland have beaten Wales once in the last 2 years, otherwise Wales have beaten every other European team. Including winning both 6 Nations titles since.

There are a few suprises in the selection I'll admit, Biggar should of been in ahead of Farrell. Farrell was soundly beaten by him in the Cardiff game. Farrell couldn't kick simply penalties in front of the posts, and came off a poor second best to Wilko a few weeks ago. Though maybe as Farells Dad is the defense coach, Gatland thought maybe it wasn't worth upsetting his defense coach over a tight (ish) selection.

Lydiate did suprise me though, personally I think Ryan Jones should of got in ahead of him.

Rory Best didn't deserve to go, he's been píss poor all season.

I agree Farrell was lucky esp. given his Da is a coach. Rowntree got a few of his favourites in too.... but Gatland took Warburton as captain which no other coach would have done and Lydiate who has played 2 games all season. Roberts also probably would have struggled had he not had Gatland et al in his corner. Even if England had won the GS match I don't think the team wouldn't have been that much different.

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Post by Newsilure Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:51 pm

Biltong wrote:
Depending on selection it seems the starting 15 might be heavily weighted towards wales which in my humble opinion will not be the way to go.

Wales have had more than enough shots at australia without success, at this point in time I can really only see 4 or so players that Gatland is going to put in his starting XV that will not be welsh.

I definitely think Gatland has misses a trick with making Warburton captain, I don't think he is one of the better back rowers in the home unions and being captain means he must play.

weird.


Biltong although I understand your concern about Wales loosing so frequentley to Australia the average number of points they have lost the last 3 games by is 1.66! I think that suggests that a core of Welsh players reenforced by some of the most experienced and talented players from the other 3 nations must stand a very good chance.

The Welsh Team is a young one and adding all those O's from Ireland to it - O'Driscoll, O'Connell and O'Brien is going to significantly boost its mental toughness, added to that the outside half is critical to a team and Wales have been nearly beating Australia without a top class outside half, introducing Sexton into the mix will get the Welsh power backs and Tuilagi moving with greater incision and speed

You will gather that I see a starting line up of mainly Welsh and Irish players but I think the English and maybe the odd Scot will make a significant impact off the bench, we are going to have a lot more quality reserves to bring on than they will.

I agree with you about the captaincy I would have had POC

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:55 pm

Best and Robshaw are the two obvious surprise omissions IMO. Both without doubt deserved to go and both may still because there are always injuries before the plane departs.

Hartley for me is the only guy who really isn't good enough to be a Lion. No idea why he is there. Is it to bite people? Is there going to be a biting call in the rucks? I'm not sure.

Not worried about Warburton as captain. I'm sure he will do just fine. Plenty of experienced heads around him.

That said I hope your wrong Billtongbek re selecting almost a full Welsh team. They are of course the best team in the NH but they don't have all the best players so I hope a sensible approach is taken.

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Post by fa0019 Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:55 pm

Last 8 matches in a row isn't luck. AUS are a better side then Wales... and for most of last year they had terrible injuries all over the park... probably the worst out of all the major unions... yet they still managed 4-0 vs. Wales (the 2012 & 2013 6N winners).

A couple of players here and there from other nations doesn't make things easier... it takes years for combinations to mould.. these guys have 1 month and a couple of games.

Its a real up hill task.

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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:57 pm

Newsilure wrote:
Biltong wrote:
Depending on selection it seems the starting 15 might be heavily weighted towards wales which in my humble opinion will not be the way to go.

Wales have had more than enough shots at australia without success, at this point in time I can really only see 4 or so players that Gatland is going to put in his starting XV that will not be welsh.

I definitely think Gatland has misses a trick with making Warburton captain, I don't think he is one of the better back rowers in the home unions and being captain means he must play.

weird.


Biltong although I understand your concern about Wales loosing so frequentley to Australia the average number of points they have lost the last 3 games by is 1.66! I think that suggests that a core of Welsh players reenforced by some of the most experienced and talented players from the other 3 nations must stand a very good chance.

The Welsh Team is a young one and adding all those O's from Ireland to it - O'Driscoll, O'Connell and O'Brien is going to significantly boost its mental toughness, added to that the outside half is critical to a team and Wales have been nearly beating Australia without a top class outside half, introducing Sexton into the mix will get the Welsh power backs and Tuilagi moving with greater incision and speed

You will gather that I see a starting line up of mainly Welsh and Irish players but I think the English and maybe the odd Scot will make a significant impact off the bench, we are going to have a lot more quality reserves to bring on than they will.

I agree with you about the captaincy I would have had POC
newsilure, it isn't the margins that is concerning to me, it is the menatl aspect, it is said when you keep on winning you make a habit of it, but the opposite is also true, if you keep on losing against an opponent it also becomes a habit.

That is why especially the captain should in my view have been the player with the most success against Australia as that leadership and influence can lead the right winning mentality, if a player has any doubt he shouldn't lead.
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Post by GunsGerms Tue 30 Apr 2013, 3:57 pm

fa0019 wrote:If I recall Best was heavily penalised during the 6N.

Rowntree had a big say in the front five thats for sure, made Best's task that much more difficult.

Ireland were the most penalised team in the 6N because they spent most games on the back foot. Best also does a lot of scavenging on the deck so picking up a few penalties was inevitable.

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Post by fa0019 Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:00 pm

I think we should also acknowledge that Hartley and Youngs both had a man on their shoulder putting in a good word.
Farrell I think also rates Hartley for his defence.

Best is just unlucky.

Its politics but generally, the coaching staff have a big sway.

Had it been someone independent like Nick Mallett I think you would have seen a completely different side. Perhaps 10+ players different.

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Post by Scrumpy Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:01 pm

I lost interest when Stevens was named a player who has quit International rugby for two reasons

1- he wasn't going to get picked
2-he isn't good enough anymore.


Robshaw should have gone shown great form all year and was the only player not to let himself down on the day in Cardiff. plus he would have played his heart out in the mid week games. and he could have covered several positions. I can see Lydiate and Croft returning home early as they just haven't played enough rugby this year.

I hope he has a rest this summer.
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Post by GunsGerms Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:01 pm

fa0019 wrote:Last 8 matches in a row isn't luck. AUS are a better side then Wales... and for most of last year they had terrible injuries all over the park... probably the worst out of all the major unions... yet they still managed 4-0 vs. Wales (the 2012 & 2013 6N winners).

A couple of players here and there from other nations doesn't make things easier... it takes years for combinations to mould.. these guys have 1 month and a couple of games.

Its a real up hill task.

Yes but equally the other three nations have much better stats v Australia so you could argue that logically the sum of all four parts should be too much for the Aussies. In reality it doesn't work like that and Wales' record isn't that relevan either because lets not forget Australia were world champions before the last tour and the Lions blew them apart in the first test. The Lions will gel or they wont. If they do I reckon the Aussies will get blitzed.

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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:05 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
fa0019 wrote:Last 8 matches in a row isn't luck. AUS are a better side then Wales... and for most of last year they had terrible injuries all over the park... probably the worst out of all the major unions... yet they still managed 4-0 vs. Wales (the 2012 & 2013 6N winners).

A couple of players here and there from other nations doesn't make things easier... it takes years for combinations to mould.. these guys have 1 month and a couple of games.

Its a real up hill task.

Yes but equally the other three nations have much better stats v Australia so you could argue that logically the sum of all four parts should be too much for the Aussies. In reality it doesn't work like that and Wales' record isn't that relevan either because lets not forget Australia were world champions before the last tour and the Lions blew them apart in the first test. The Lions will gel or they wont. If they do I reckon the Aussies will get blitzed.
guns, I agree with you about the sum of the parts, but that is exactly my concern, if most of those parts are swayed towards Wales, and the captaincy is also the Welsh coatain and the Lions with but a few players are led by the Captain who has not been successful then it is is pretty much the same thing as buying a Touyota but serivicing it with pirate parts.
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Post by gowershowerpower Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:08 pm

why is it your concern then bilt? just stop sticking your beak in.

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:11 pm

Not really Bill because most matches Aus v Wales have been close enough haven't they? The last 6 were all won by Aus by no more than 1 score. 4 of those games played in the SH.

Surely if you add players such as Sexton, Healy, SOB, Tuilagi, etc. guys that Australia have struggled to contain in the past then you have a much stronger outfit.

To add to that the Lions will have some very strong impact subs that Wales would not have.

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Post by Pal Joey Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:12 pm

Still banging on about that losing series. Load of tosh there GG.

Only tiny bit I agree with is the "if the Lions gel" bit. At present it's all ahead of them. Not sure about any blitzing. The Wallabies are more likely to do some of that. It's more our style after all.

The only way for the Lions to prevail, imo, is if they try to emulate the Ireland RWC group match. Brisbane won't suit them... best chance is in Melbourne perhaps (if they lose the 1st). Either way, Australia will respond accordingly (this time) and it may be a case of "shut the gate..." early on in the series.

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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:12 pm

My dear little flower, this is an opinion site, therefor we can provide our opinions.

Now run along, the irrigation system is about to turn on and you look a tad dehydrated
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Post by gowershowerpower Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:13 pm

isn't biltong dehydrated?

opinions are different to concerns.

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Post by gregortree Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:13 pm

Biltong wrote:
gowershowerpower wrote:did you need a new thread when your opinion is the same as every non-welshman?

Yes flowerpower. Laugh

You'll find plenty of them over the upcoming weeks..

Laugh yes please Bilt. Will be refreshing to see some non partisan opinions on this tour.

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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:14 pm

GunsGerms wrote:Not really Bill because most matches Aus v Wales have been close enough haven't they? The last 6 were all won by Aus by no more than 1 score. 4 of those games played in the SH.

Surely if you add players such as Sexton, Healy, SOB, Tuilagi, etc. guys that Australia have struggled to contain in the past then you have a much stronger outfit.

To add to that the Lions will have some very strong impact subs that Wales would not have.
well let's hope Gatland does a good blend.
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Post by gowershowerpower Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:14 pm

or even non-partisan concerns...

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Post by Biltong Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:15 pm

gowershowerpower wrote:isn't biltong dehydrated?

opinions are different to concerns.
it is in fact cured meat.
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:15 pm

Guns you need to remember that was an Aus team that had 20+ injuries to contend with. Its going to be a different Aus team with a lot better dept and quality to spring from the bench.

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Post by gowershowerpower Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:16 pm

cured by dehydration.

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Post by Pal Joey Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:18 pm

At last... a proper Leinster fan. thumbsup

Neither team can afford to get carried away just yet. Lots of work (obviously) in the coming weeks. Australia has selection problems of it's own but I still feel a lot better now compared to a year ago.

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Post by SecretFly Tue 30 Apr 2013, 4:19 pm

gowers you're going to have a busy time catching all these grumbling asides on The Great Lions Jaunt. You're going to be run off your feet policing opinions.

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