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Lions team if picked today

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Post by R!skysports Tue 20 Oct 2015, 3:45 pm

First topic message reminder :

Updated this to include my team

This should be selected on World Cup form alone. So no injured people who did not play no 6 nations form - there will be a chance to choose then too


1. Dickinson (S)
2. Ford (S)
3. Nel (S)
4. Charteris (W)
5. J. Gray (S)
6. Warburton [c] (W)
7. Hardie (S)
8. Denton (S)

9. Laidlaw (S)
10. Biggar (W)
11. Watson (E)
12. Henshaw (I)
13. Bennett (S)
14. Bowe (I)
15. Brown (E)

16. Best (I)
17. Healy (I)
18. Ross (I)
19. Henderson (I)
20. Lydiate (W)
21. Murray (I)
22. Ford (E)
23. Hogg (S)





Last edited by Riskysports on Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed 21 Oct 2015, 2:51 pm

Seagultaf wrote:
Shifty wrote:15 Brown (England)
14 Bowe (Ireland)
13 Joseph (England)
12 Roberts (Wales)
11 North (Wales)
10 Biggar (Wales)
9 Webb (Wales)
8 Denton (Scotland)
7 Warburton (Wales)
6 Sean O'Brien (Ireland)
5 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
4 Richie Gray (Scotland)
3 Willem Petrus Nel (Scotland)
2 Ross Ford (Scotland)
1 Alasdair Dickinson (Scotland)

Jesus, looking at my own team, I can't believe I've gone for so many Scottish and so few Irish, though England and Wales scrums have been smashed in this world cup.  Scotland are the only ones who did well in that department, I guess Gray is next inline now POC has retired.  Denton was the best ball carrying No8 (when he

I still say Webb is number one, though Gareth Davies did brilliantly.  Full back is a bit of a toss up, I don't think Hogg handles pressure very well, and I think Brown is a complete tósser, but he did pretty well in the world cup over all.  Roberts has to go in an inside center because he is the one who organises the Welsh defense.  

This thread is about a Lions team if picked today, Webb is injured so would not be picked! Scotland gets a lot of selections based on a narrow loss to Australia (who has one good game against England), if you based the selection on Scotland's previous game against Samoa, I suspect no Scots would be picked.

My changes to your side would be; Hogg at 15, Watson at 14, Davies at 9, Faletau at 8, Best at 2 and Healy at 1. When fit: Tuilagi, Halfpenny, Davies and Webb, would press for inclusion.

I would say we played pretty well against Samoa. That was a really tough test. Disagree on Hogg. As much as I think Brown is a total fudgenut he has been by some distance the best full back from Lions nations in the RWC.

Hogg butchered a couple of crystal clear oppertunities and took a bad dive against SA, a tournament to forget for him. Still he showed glimpses of what he can do, but Brown played far better over the course of the tournament.

I would also get him to do every single Lions post match interview.
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Post by LordDowlais Wed 21 Oct 2015, 3:21 pm

George Carlin wrote:Oh feck it.

If the team was chosen tomorrow (which is what the OP said) with the limitations on form, fitness and availability that would result, I would like to see something like this:

01 Cian Healy (Ireland)
02 Rory Best (Ireland)
03 Willem Nel (Scotland)
04 Jonny Gray (Scotland)
05 Alun Wynn Jones (Wales)
06 Chris Robshaw (England)
07 Sam Warbuton (Wales)
08 Toby Faletau (Wales)

09 Gareth Davies (Wales)
10 Dan Biggar (Wales)
11 Craig Gilroy (Ireland)
12 Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
13 Jonathan Joseph (England)
14 Tommy Seymour (Scotland)
15 Mike Brown (England)

16 Alasdair Dickinson (Scotland)
17 Dylan Hartley (England)
18 Samson Lee (Wales)
19 Luke Charteris (Wales)
20 Sean O'Brien (Ireland)
21 Conor Murray (Ireland)
22 George Ford (England)
23 Henry Slade (England)

Coaching team:
Joe Schmidt - Head Coach and Backs
Vern Cotter - Forwards
Andy Robinson - Scrum
Richie Gray - Breakdown
Sean Edwards - Defence
James Robson - Doctor
Warren Gatland - Director of Communications

Injuries are a major problem - a lot of my usually preferred test starters (Rhys Webb, Peter O'Mahoney, etc) are out.

Thats pretty much the team I would pick TBH, except I would have Lydiate or SOB at 6. If everybody was fit though, I would swap the fullback for Liam Williams and I would have Rhys Webb starting and Gareth Davies on the bench. OK

Also, can we find a way of getting DTH Van De Merwe in there some way ?

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Post by George Carlin Wed 21 Oct 2015, 3:28 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Oh feck it.

If the team was chosen tomorrow (which is what the OP said) with the limitations on form, fitness and availability that would result, I would like to see something like this:

01 Cian Healy (Ireland)
02 Rory Best (Ireland)
03 Willem Nel (Scotland)
04 Jonny Gray (Scotland)
05 Alun Wynn Jones (Wales)
06 Chris Robshaw (England)
07 Sam Warbuton (Wales)
08 Toby Faletau (Wales)

09 Gareth Davies (Wales)
10 Dan Biggar (Wales)
11 Craig Gilroy (Ireland)
12 Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
13 Jonathan Joseph (England)
14 Tommy Seymour (Scotland)
15 Mike Brown (England)

16 Alasdair Dickinson (Scotland)
17 Dylan Hartley (England)
18 Samson Lee (Wales)
19 Luke Charteris (Wales)
20 Sean O'Brien (Ireland)
21 Conor Murray (Ireland)
22 George Ford (England)
23 Henry Slade (England)

Coaching team:
Joe Schmidt - Head Coach and Backs
Vern Cotter - Forwards
Andy Robinson - Scrum
Richie Gray - Breakdown
Sean Edwards - Defence
James Robson - Doctor
Warren Gatland - Director of Communications

Injuries are a major problem - a lot of my usually preferred test starters (Rhys Webb, Peter O'Mahoney, etc) are out.

Thats pretty much the team I would pick TBH, except I would have Lydiate or SOB at 6. If everybody was fit though, I would swap the fullback for Liam Williams and I would have Rhys Webb starting and Gareth Davies on the bench. OK

Also, can we find a way of getting DTH Van De Merwe in there some way ?
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:25 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Until Scotland beat teams ranked in the top ten consistently and not the odd one off every year or so, then I am sorry, they will not have more than the token player in a Lions squad.

Then it will be the Lions' loss. By the same token the Lions wouldn't be interested in Gorgodze, Goromaru, Parisse, DTH and Nakawara.

You need to look at the players, the individual skills they bring to the game and could bring to the Lions environment.

Well said. You have to look at the player, not the nationality.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:28 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Well said. You have to look at the player, not the nationality.

Yes OK that is fine, but Scotland still would not have more than two or three players in the Lions squad. If they had anymore better players then they would beat teams in the top ten more often, at the moment they beat teams in the top ten once every few years.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:30 pm

Two or three in your squad, perhaps.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:35 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Two or three in your squad, perhaps.

How many players would you say Scotland have that are better than ALL the Irish, English and Welsh counterparts ? Think about it. I have. I would suggest Johnny Grey, he would be a starter, then I am struggling. Between all the other countries at the moment, there are better alternatives. Seriously, think about it, and tell me what players are better.

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Post by R!skysports Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:38 pm

Not sure too many good tight heads around imo

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:40 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Two or three in your squad, perhaps.

How many players would you say Scotland have that are better than ALL the Irish, English and Welsh counterparts ? Think about it. I have. I would suggest Johnny Grey, he would be a starter, then I am struggling. Between all the other countries at the moment, there are better alternatives. Seriously, think about it, and tell me what players are better.

I'd have Hogg, Bennett, Russell and Laidlaw in the backs alone. Bennett would be in the Test side.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:44 pm

I'll say it again Lordy :

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
"You haven't beaten Wales or England for a wee while" isn't exactly a compelling argument. Especially when we got just as far in this RWC as Ireland and Wales and were the closest to actually going through.

I suppose from a selection perspective I look at the 1st XVs of other teams and think who would I pick to make Scotland better:

1. Dickinson (Healy)
2. Ford (Best)
3. Nel
4. J. Gray (AWJ)
5. R. Gray ( Charteris)
6. Cowan (Lydiate, POM)
7. Hardie (Warburton, SOB) (playing left and right flank not open and blind)
8. Denton (Faletau, Vunipola)

9 Laidlaw (Davies, Webb, Murray)
10. Russell (Biggar, Sexton, Ford)
11. Seymour
12. Horne (Burrell, Roberts, Henshaw)
13. Bennett (JD2, JJ)
14. Maitland (Watson)
15. Hogg (Brown)

The ones in Brackets are ones I would consider able to make Scotland a better first XV. The ones in Bold are the ones I would Actually choose. POM would waltz into the team if fit.

Also that Edinburgh/Scotland front row is one of the best in the NH. I'm surprised they haven't got more praise from posters on here. The Ozzie scrum that chewed up NZ in the rugby championship, England in the RWC, had parity with Wales was then buckled by Dickinson, Ford and Nel all game long.
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Post by LordDowlais Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:47 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I'd have Hogg, Bennett, Russell and Laidlaw in the backs alone. Bennett would be in the Test side

So just to make sure, you are saying that Finn Russell is better than Dan Biggar, Johnny Sexton, and Ford ?

You are saying that Hogg is better than Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Mike Brown and Rob Kearney ?

You are saying that Laidlaw is better than Rhys Webb, Gareth Davies, Connor Murray ?

And you are saying Mark Bennett is better than John Davies, Scott Williams, Keith Earles, Jonathan Joseph ?

I seriously think you need a re-think. Unless of course you are sure of what you are saying, then if that is the case then I respect your opinion. thumbsup

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Post by TJ Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:49 pm

Quite honestly you are both right - many of those Scots are (in many folks opinions) better players but they have yet to prove it.  This year they might.  Russell didn't really show much in The WC mind you.

Remember these guys are very young and inexperienced.  We have seen them play for their clubs a lot, folk outside of Scotland may not..

Scots front row have a good case right now as does Gray.  The backs - really have a bit more to prove yet in internationals  back row - similarly

We could of course play NFL style - In which case the welsh defence and the scots attack with Irish refs and english captaincy and coaching would be unbeatable Hug


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Post by LondonTiger Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:51 pm

Two months ago you would struggle to find a Scottish fan who wanted Laidlaw in their matchday squad, let alone starting. Suddenly he has become the best SH in Britain and Ireland. Phenomenal.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:51 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I'd have Hogg, Bennett, Russell and Laidlaw in the backs alone. Bennett would be in the Test side

So just to make sure, you are saying that Finn Russell is better than Dan Biggar, Johnny Sexton, and Ford ?

You are saying that Hogg is better than Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Mike Brown and Rob Kearney ?

You are saying that Laidlaw is better than Rhys Webb, Gareth Davies, Connor Murray  ?

And you are saying Mark Bennett is better than John Davies, Scott Williams, Keith Earles, Jonathan Joseph ?

I seriously think you need a re-think. Unless of course you are sure of what you are saying, then if that is the case then I respect your opinion. thumbsup

I'm talking about inclusion in the squad. I'd have all of them in the squad. Bennett would be in the Test side.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:52 pm

TJ wrote:Quite honestly you are both right - many of those Scots are (in many folks opinions) better players but they have yet to prove it.  This year they might.

That I will agree with, and do you know what, I hope they do, the 6N needs a strong Scotland again. I am serious when I say this, but I long for the days when a trip to Murrayfield is not taken with expectation, but with a hope that we can pull it off. I do not want Scotland to be a gimme in the 6N anymore.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:55 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Two months ago you would struggle to find a Scottish fan who wanted Laidlaw in their  matchday squad, let alone starting. Suddenly he has become the best SH in Britain and Ireland. Phenomenal.

Nothing you have said in that statement is true. Lots of Scottish posters on here have been supportive of Laidlaw. The posters you are referring to are typically ill informed drunken louts who dodge soap on a daily basis (Glasgow fans).

Furthermore Laidlaw brings a lot to the Scotland side in terms of leadership. However with guys like Warburton, AWJ's names getting banded about by myself the mock "lions tomorrow" squad wouldn't be short of on field leaders and I would prefer to take Davies and Murray instead.

LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Two or three in your squad, perhaps.

How many players would you say Scotland have that are better than ALL the Irish, English and Welsh counterparts ? Think about it. I have. I would suggest Johnny Grey, he would be a starter, then I am struggling. Between all the other countries at the moment, there are better alternatives. Seriously, think about it, and tell me what players are better.

This is the thing Lordy, a lot of the Scottish players are the current pro12 champs. Glasgow and their backline were imperious all season. A lot of those players have transferred that ability to Scotland. We were also missing our 1st choice 12 in Alex Dunbar a man described as Greenwood as "one of the finest centres in Europe". I'm an armchair fan who likes a good debate and a banter. Greenwood I'd wager knows a lot more about rugby than any of us.

Backing up our RWC performance in the 6N is important to the team. However I think untill we get one over on Wales in particular I doubt some on this board will ever respect the Scottish players despite what any of us say.
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Post by LordDowlais Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:56 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I'd have Hogg, Bennett, Russell and Laidlaw in the backs alone. Bennett would be in the Test side

So just to make sure, you are saying that Finn Russell is better than Dan Biggar, Johnny Sexton, and Ford ?

You are saying that Hogg is better than Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Mike Brown and Rob Kearney ?

You are saying that Laidlaw is better than Rhys Webb, Gareth Davies, Connor Murray  ?

And you are saying Mark Bennett is better than John Davies, Scott Williams, Keith Earles, Jonathan Joseph ?

I seriously think you need a re-think. Unless of course you are sure of what you are saying, then if that is the case then I respect your opinion. thumbsup

I'm talking about inclusion in the squad. I'd have all of them in the squad. Bennett would be in the Test side.

On what planet would the selectors take 5 fullbacks ? Or 4 scrum halves ? Or 4 outside halves ? Something would have to give somewhere, and I would think it would be the Scottish players at this present time, although all that could change in a year.

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Post by Comfort Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:01 pm

1. Dickinson
2. Best
3. Nel
4. AWJ
5. Charteris
6. Warburton
7. Hardie
8. Vunipola
9. Davies
10. Biggar
11. Seymour
12. Roberts
13. Henshaw
14. Watson
15. Brown

16. Healy
17. Ford
18. Lee
19. Henderson
20. SOB
21. Murray
22. Farrell
23. Fitzgerald


4 English
5 scots
7 irish
7 welsh

Based on the world cup alone thats my squad

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:01 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Backing up our RWC performance in the 6N is important to the team. However I think untill we get one over on Wales in particular I doubt some on this board will ever respect the Scottish players despite what any of us say.

I do respect the Scottish players, especially when they are playing in the Pro12, but at the moment the step up to international, they have not really won anything, or beaten a team ranked in the top ten for a while. that is not saying they never will though, and like I posted earlier, I hope they bring Scotland back up to where they belong.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:03 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I'd have Hogg, Bennett, Russell and Laidlaw in the backs alone. Bennett would be in the Test side

So just to make sure, you are saying that Finn Russell is better than Dan Biggar, Johnny Sexton, and Ford ?

You are saying that Hogg is better than Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Mike Brown and Rob Kearney ?

You are saying that Laidlaw is better than Rhys Webb, Gareth Davies, Connor Murray  ?

And you are saying Mark Bennett is better than John Davies, Scott Williams, Keith Earles, Jonathan Joseph ?

I seriously think you need a re-think. Unless of course you are sure of what you are saying, then if that is the case then I respect your opinion. thumbsup

I'm talking about inclusion in the squad. I'd have all of them in the squad. Bennett would be in the Test side.

On what planet would the selectors take 5 fullbacks ? Or 4 scrum halves ? Or 4 outside halves ? Something would have to give somewhere, and I would think it would be the Scottish players at this present time, although all that could change in a year.

I meant I'd take all the players I've named, not all the players you've named.

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Post by R!skysports Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:03 pm

Before the World Cup I would agree on laidlaw. Based on this World Cup I think he has been very very good.

That is what I defining the selection

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:07 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I meant I'd take all the players I've named, not all the players you've named.

Yes I get that.

So tell me, out of all the players I have named, the non Scottish ones, who would you not take so that you can fit the players YOU named, the Scottish ones, instead ?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:09 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I meant I'd take all the players I've named, not all the players you've named.

Yes I get that.

So tell me, out of all the players I have named, the non Scottish ones, who would you not take so that you can fit the players YOU named, the Scottish ones, instead ?

No offence, but I don't have to do that.

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:12 pm

1. Dickinson
2. Best
3. Nel
4. AWJ
5. J Grey
6. SOB
7. Warburton
8. Faletau
9. Murray
10. Biggar
11. Nowell
12. Joseph
13. Henshaw
14. North
15. Hogg

16. Healy
17. Baldwin
18. Lee
19. Henderson
20. Lydiate
21. Davies
22. Sexton
23. Bennett

thumbsup

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:13 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:No offence, but I don't have to do that.

If you do not want to do it, then do not worry. I was just asking which players you thought were not as good as their Scottish counterparts. Rolling Eyes

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:16 pm

It's not that I don't want to do it, it's that I'm in work, plus the OP didn't ask any of us to justify our selections.

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:18 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:It's not that I don't want to do it but they didn't ask any of us to justify our selections.

A bit like the RFU then when the team is selected

thumbsup

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Post by Cyril Wed 21 Oct 2015, 5:56 pm

Some cracking teams here, folks. I think some of them might even get within 50 points of NZ with a bit of luck!

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Post by Notch Wed 21 Oct 2015, 6:32 pm

My apathy towards the Lions at the moment couldn't be greater and I don't think that will change over the next few years. I'd rather we spent our summer test window trying to improve as a side than contributing our players to this exercise.

Not trying to make a point of being a moaner I just don't care about the Lions and its frustrating we'll be losing players and maybe even coaches to this tour. We know that these tours contribute a lot financially to the Home Unions, but do they actually make us better teams once the barely-held truce is over and we return to being four separate, competing nations? Do we learn anything from them?
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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed 21 Oct 2015, 6:38 pm

Cyril wrote:Some cracking teams here, folks. I think some of them might even get within 50 points of NZ with a bit of luck!

Considering that Scotland were within 8 points on their own last year I dare say the home nations combined could do better.
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Post by Cyril Wed 21 Oct 2015, 6:55 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Cyril wrote:Some cracking teams here, folks. I think some of them might even get within 50 points of NZ with a bit of luck!

Considering that Scotland were within 8 points on their own last year I dare say the home nations combined could do better.
That was a 2nd string NZ side though, wasn't it?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/30047670

Scotland flanker Blair Cowan says New Zealand have not disrespected Scotland by making wholesale changes for Saturday's Test at Murrayfield.

Only two players survive from New Zealand's starting XV for the 24-21 win over England at Twickenham.

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Post by HammerofThunor Wed 21 Oct 2015, 7:13 pm

Notch wrote:My apathy towards the Lions at the moment couldn't be greater and I don't think that will change over the next few years. I'd rather we spent our summer test window trying to improve as a side than contributing our players to this exercise.

Not trying to make a point of being a moaner I just don't care about the Lions and its frustrating we'll be losing players and maybe even coaches to this tour. We know that these tours contribute a lot financially to the Home Unions, but do they actually make us better teams once the barely-held truce is over and we return to being four separate, competing nations? Do we learn anything from them?

Do they actually make that much money for them? Merchandise and sponsorship perhaps. They were complaining last time about wanting more money.

Although the link below suggests they made £4M profit in 2009.  They do make much much more for the host nation.

https://www.the-newshub.com/rugby-union/the-british-and-irish-lions-must-repay-what-they-owe-before-making-money-in-america

But generally agree with your comments.

Edit: found it http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/22814824

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed 21 Oct 2015, 7:26 pm

Notch wrote:My apathy towards the Lions at the moment couldn't be greater and I don't think that will change over the next few years. I'd rather we spent our summer test window trying to improve as a side than contributing our players to this exercise.

Not trying to make a point of being a moaner I just don't care about the Lions and its frustrating we'll be losing players and maybe even coaches to this tour. We know that these tours contribute a lot financially to the Home Unions, but do they actually make us better teams once the barely-held truce is over and we return to being four separate, competing nations? Do we learn anything from them?

Depends on your position Notch. Ireland probably gain little. However from a Scottish perspective, I was delighted Gray got to room and train with guys like POC and AWJ, and Hogg with Halfpenny & Kearney etc.

The younger guys will probably have learned a lot.
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Post by IanBru Wed 21 Oct 2015, 8:25 pm


So tell me, out of all the players I have named, the non Scottish ones, who would you not take so that you can fit the players YOU named, the Scottish ones, instead ?
I'm happy to give this one a crack. Those in bold are the ones I'd give the heave-ho.
LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I'd have Hogg, Bennett, Russell and Laidlaw in the backs alone. Bennett would be in the Test side

So just to make sure, you are saying that Finn Russell is better than Dan Biggar, Johnny Sexton, and Ford ?

You are saying that Hogg is better than Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Mike Brown and Rob Kearney ?

You are saying that Laidlaw is better than Rhys Webb, Gareth Davies, Connor Murray  ?

And you are saying Mark Bennett is better than John Davies, Scott Williams, Keith Earles[sic], Jonathan Joseph ?

I seriously think you need a re-think. Unless of course you are sure of what you are saying, then if that is the case then I respect your opinion. thumbsup

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Nothing you have said in that statement is true. Lots of Scottish posters on here have been supportive of Laidlaw. The posters you are referring to are typically ill informed drunken louts who dodge soap on a daily basis (Glasgow fans).
I'm insulted by that! The very idea that someone would call me a lout... Laugh
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Post by Guest Wed 21 Oct 2015, 8:40 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Notch wrote:My apathy towards the Lions at the moment couldn't be greater and I don't think that will change over the next few years. I'd rather we spent our summer test window trying to improve as a side than contributing our players to this exercise.

Not trying to make a point of being a moaner I just don't care about the Lions and its frustrating we'll be losing players and maybe even coaches to this tour. We know that these tours contribute a lot financially to the Home Unions, but do they actually make us better teams once the barely-held truce is over and we return to being four separate, competing nations? Do we learn anything from them?

Depends on your position Notch. Ireland probably gain little. However from a Scottish perspective, I was delighted Gray got to room and train with guys like POC and AWJ, and Hogg with Halfpenny &  Kearney etc.

The younger guys will probably have learned a lot.

You both make good points, actually. I'd never thought of it that way Radge, the fact that they get to learn from the best of the U.K. & Ireland players.

But I have to say even though I've always been a huge fan of the Lions concept in my relatively short life - first got hooked during the '97 tour as a 20 year old and never looked back. Got all the DVDs, had many a bleary set of back to back weekends in the pub from 6am, look forward to each one immensely with selection and tour schedule, always wanted to do a tour, etc. But even though I've always been a fan I'm starting to think more and more like Notch. Perhaps it's been a gradual decline since the start of professionalism, and the fact that this is draws very much from the amateur game and amateur ethos? Perhaps it is outdated? And where I really agree with Notch is the disruption factor. Every 4 years our players get taught new systems, structures, moves, etc. Some of our top players get rejection which must knock confidence. Some play with players for a few weeks that they'll never ever play with again. And then they must forget it all and switch back to their home nation systems. This must impact not only the 6N each Lions year but also must hamper the 4 year World Cup cycle in some way. Wales also lost their coach for a whole year last time due to contract requirements. Ridiculous!

It doesn't explain France's fall from grace or the lack of progress of Italy in world terms, but the more I think about it the more I feel it hinders he 'home' nations, regardless of my love for the concept.

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Post by Notch Wed 21 Oct 2015, 9:09 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Notch wrote:My apathy towards the Lions at the moment couldn't be greater and I don't think that will change over the next few years. I'd rather we spent our summer test window trying to improve as a side than contributing our players to this exercise.

Not trying to make a point of being a moaner I just don't care about the Lions and its frustrating we'll be losing players and maybe even coaches to this tour. We know that these tours contribute a lot financially to the Home Unions, but do they actually make us better teams once the barely-held truce is over and we return to being four separate, competing nations? Do we learn anything from them?

Depends on your position Notch. Ireland probably gain little. However from a Scottish perspective, I was delighted Gray got to room and train with guys like POC and AWJ, and Hogg with Halfpenny &  Kearney etc.

The younger guys will probably have learned a lot.

And in times past, before this current professional era, Ireland were in that same position as Scotland with players getting to learn off the guys who were beating them in the Five Nations almost every year. It certainly is beneficial for the individuals selected.

But my real query whether it helps us close the gap with the SH sides as teams. It seems like a distraction from that aim- and on the other side of the coin, when our unions are rightly accused of not playing enough matches against the Tier 2 European sides the implicit excuse that there isn't enough space in the calendar for us to do it. And yet we're happy to send our best players around playing the second strings of Aus/SA/NZs Super Rugby teams for weeks before they even get near a test match in Lions colours.

In the wake of the SH dominating a NH World Cup, it just feels like a big distraction.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 21 Oct 2015, 9:25 pm

We could just as easily be looking forward to two North v South semi finals this weekend, Notch. I'm not saying everything is rosy in northern-hemisphere rugby, but I don't believe there's a chasm between us and the southern hemisphere.

But that's going off-topic.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Wed 21 Oct 2015, 9:59 pm

Would be very different from a Lions team picked in April 2016
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Post by lostinwales Wed 21 Oct 2015, 10:17 pm

Griff wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Notch wrote:My apathy towards the Lions at the moment couldn't be greater and I don't think that will change over the next few years. I'd rather we spent our summer test window trying to improve as a side than contributing our players to this exercise.

Not trying to make a point of being a moaner I just don't care about the Lions and its frustrating we'll be losing players and maybe even coaches to this tour. We know that these tours contribute a lot financially to the Home Unions, but do they actually make us better teams once the barely-held truce is over and we return to being four separate, competing nations? Do we learn anything from them?

Depends on your position Notch. Ireland probably gain little. However from a Scottish perspective, I was delighted Gray got to room and train with guys like POC and AWJ, and Hogg with Halfpenny &  Kearney etc.

The younger guys will probably have learned a lot.

You both make good points, actually. I'd never thought of it that way Radge, the fact that they get to learn from the best of the U.K. & Ireland players.

But I have to say even though I've always been a huge fan of the Lions concept in my relatively short life - first got hooked during the '97 tour as a 20 year old and never looked back. Got all the DVDs, had many a bleary set of back to back weekends in the pub from 6am, look forward to each one immensely with selection and tour schedule, always wanted to do a tour, etc. But even though I've always been a fan I'm starting to think more and more like Notch. Perhaps it's been a gradual decline since the start of professionalism, and the fact that this is draws very much from the amateur game and amateur ethos? Perhaps it is outdated? And where I really agree with Notch is the disruption factor. Every 4 years our players get taught new systems, structures, moves, etc. Some of our top players get rejection which must knock confidence. Some play with players for a few weeks that they'll never ever play with again. And then they must forget it all and switch back to their home nation systems. This must impact not only the 6N each Lions year but also must hamper the 4 year World Cup cycle in some way. Wales also lost their coach for a whole year last time due to contract requirements. Ridiculous!

It doesn't explain France's fall from grace or the lack of progress of Italy in world terms, but the more I think about it the more I feel it hinders he 'home' nations, regardless of my love for the concept.

All that plus the injuries. A lot of guys came back from the last Lions tour with problems that took a long time to fix, plus the lack of much of a break at all between seasons isnt great for long term health

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Post by bedfordwelsh Thu 22 Oct 2015, 6:28 am

I love the concept and going to watch them etc, I guess while it continues to be a viable commercial market it will continue.
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Post by George Carlin Thu 22 Oct 2015, 6:50 am

Can anyone who thinks that the Lions should be disbanded please confirm for the benefit of the group how long they have been in Al-Qaeda?
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Post by LondonTiger Thu 22 Oct 2015, 9:04 am

George Carlin wrote:Can anyone who thinks that the Lions should be disbanded please confirm for the benefit of the group how long they have been in Al-Qaeda?

Never. Just feel that, like me, the Lions is an outdated concept.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Thu 22 Oct 2015, 9:17 am

LondonTiger wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Can anyone who thinks that the Lions should be disbanded please confirm for the benefit of the group how long they have been in Al-Qaeda?

Never. Just feel that, like me, the Lions is an outdated concept.

I agree. It's too commercial now.

And I'm horrified that some players would see it as a bigger honour to play for the Lions than representing your own country.

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Post by RDW Thu 22 Oct 2015, 9:18 am

Anyone fancy making a stab at the likely NZ team post world cup? They are losing an incredible amount of experience.

Wales are touring there in the summer - there will never be a better chance to beat them given they will basically have to build a new team.

No doubt by 2017 they will have built said team and will still be the best in the world!

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Post by SimonofSurrey Thu 22 Oct 2015, 9:18 am

LondonTiger wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Can anyone who thinks that the Lions should be disbanded please confirm for the benefit of the group how long they have been in Al-Qaeda?

Never. Just feel that, like me, the Lions is an outdated concept.

If the B&I Lions didn't exist, I doubt few would argue for their invention. But, perhaps like the Barbarians, they are a 21st century anachronism without which the game would be poorer.

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Post by SirJohnnyEnglish Thu 22 Oct 2015, 9:23 am

I'd hazard a guess it would look something like this RDW:

1. Moody
2. Coles
3. Franks
4. Retalick
5. Whitelock
6. Kaino
7. Cane
8. Read
9. A Smith
10. Cruden
11. Savea
12. Crotty/Ngatai
13. Fekitoa
14. Milner Skudder
15. B Smith

SBW is off to play 7s in the build up to the Olympics so won't be around the full senior side. Could possibly see 6. Ardie Savea 7. Sam Cane depending on Kaino's intentions as well. Akira Ioane another who might make a play for 6

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Post by Cyril Thu 22 Oct 2015, 9:29 am

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Can anyone who thinks that the Lions should be disbanded please confirm for the benefit of the group how long they have been in Al-Qaeda?

Never. Just feel that, like me, the Lions is an outdated concept.

I agree. It's too commercial now.

And I'm horrified that some players would see it as a bigger honour to play for the Lions than representing your own country.
Agreed. I'd be happy for it to be wound down and replaced with either more rest time for players or proper tours for individual nations.

The Lions is now both too old-hat and too commercial. Like a past-it band with none of the original members, playing their greatest hits to hippies-turned-accountants wearing double-denim.

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Post by LondonTiger Thu 22 Oct 2015, 9:37 am

Cyril wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Can anyone who thinks that the Lions should be disbanded please confirm for the benefit of the group how long they have been in Al-Qaeda?

Never. Just feel that, like me, the Lions is an outdated concept.

I agree. It's too commercial now.

And I'm horrified that some players would see it as a bigger honour to play for the Lions than representing your own country.
Agreed. I'd be happy for it to be wound down and replaced with either more rest time for players or proper tours for individual nations.

The Lions is now both too old-hat and too commercial. Like a past-it band with none of the original members, playing their greatest hits to hippies-turned-accountants wearing double-denim.

Ouch that stings.

Truth hurts I guess.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 22 Oct 2015, 9:38 am

I get this feeling about the Lions as well, inbetween tours I start thinking, why is it still happening, it only suits the SH sides that they play, it should only be a three test thing, why don't the SH ever do the same to play in a NH country blah, blah, blah.

But when it is Lions time, and the tour is upon us, I get all excited and I am then glad that the Lions are still around. It's strange, because I would rather see another tournament put in place, like a European championship every 4 years. But at the same time, I would hate to see it go. Perhaps it needs to be shorter, take out all the midweek games and games against week opposition and just play three tests.

Leigh Halfpenny and Jonathan Davies look as though they are coming back after this season, because the French clubs do not want to re-new their contract because of their Lions commitments, is this a good thing ?

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Post by the-goon Thu 22 Oct 2015, 9:46 am

I would rather no Irish players get selected for the lions, and we have a proper tour to Oz or SA (and maybe playing a Tier 2 as a warm up) when the lions are getting spanked in New Zealand.

I honestly think that the way rugby has gone now, that the individual nations would prob do a better job as they are a settled team. It means so much more than individuals.

The SH are better than us up here, but not by much (bar NZ). One of their many small margin advantages is that they have a better structured season, where the internationals will play the NH in June, (some return for the SR play-offs) then the RC in July Aug Sept, and finally playing in Europe in Nov. That is basically 5 months a year the international squad is constantly training together.

I would rather Ireland beat NZ once by a point, than the Lions win 100-nil 1,000,000 times in a row.

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