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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 RDW Thu 22 Oct 2015, 9:48 am

SirJohnnyEnglish wrote: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

Not too shabby with some real exciting young players coming through.

The midfield needs completely rebuilt - incredible amount of experience being lost.

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Post by SimonofSurrey Thu 22 Oct 2015, 10:51 am

the-goon wrote:I would rather no Irish players get selected for the lions,

If there were a Lions tour now, it could well be a party without any Englishmen, not without Irishmen. It's too depressing to me, but can anyone else come up with an England-free Lions squad where no English omissions stood out?

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Post by fa0019 Thu 22 Oct 2015, 11:04 am

SimonofSurrey wrote:
the-goon wrote:I would rather no Irish players get selected for the lions,

If there were a Lions tour now, it could well be a party without any Englishmen, not without Irishmen. It's too depressing to me, but can anyone else come up with an England-free Lions squad where no English omissions stood out?

Squad no, probably even team. England aren't bad player wise, they still have good individuals. Hartley is still the best hooker in the UK without a doubt. He's standout.  Brown probably the best 15, Watson probably the form 14 and guys like Corbisiero, Tuilagi and Launchbury would tour, can't think of any others though.  But no team is that standout at the moment anyhow. No one is head and shoulders above the rest.

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Post by George Carlin Thu 22 Oct 2015, 11:05 am

SimonofSurrey wrote:
the-goon wrote:I would rather no Irish players get selected for the lions,

If there were a Lions tour now, it could well be a party without any Englishmen, not without Irishmen. It's too depressing to me, but can anyone else come up with an England-free Lions squad where no English omissions stood out?

I can do it, but only if I can make some assumptions that certain players who are currently broken would be fit:

01 Cian Healy (Ireland)
02 Rory Best (Ireland)
03 Willem Nel (Scotland)
04 Jonny Gray (Scotland)
05 Alun Wynn Jones (Wales)
06 Peter O'Mahony (Ireland)
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 Davies (Wales)
14 Tommy Seymour (Scotland)
15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)

16 Alasdair Dickinson (Scotland)
17 Richard Hibbard (Wales)
18 Samson Lee (Wales)
19 Luke Charteris (Wales)
20 Sean O'Brien (Ireland)
21 Conor Murray (Ireland)
22 Jonathan Sexton (Ireland)
23 Alex Dunbar (Scotland)

Mike Brown (England's stand out player) and Jonathan Joseph (more clean line breaks than any other player in this RWC) are the two that it looks quite odd to leave out of a test 23. There is also a case to be made that Dylan Harley would start a Lions test match.
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Post by LondonTiger Thu 22 Oct 2015, 11:12 am

Where has the support for Gilroy come from?

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Post by R!skysports Thu 22 Oct 2015, 12:06 pm

I have to say, Ross Ford had an awesome WC - very high line out % - lots of tackles and a lot of runs and part of a front row that dominated!!!!!!

Best I have seen him play for a very long tim

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Post by George Carlin Thu 22 Oct 2015, 12:12 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Where has the support for Gilroy come from?
I think that you may have been reading my own personal preferences in 2 separate posts but I think that Gilroy is one of the best 3 wingers in the Pro 12 (the others being DTH VDM and Tommy Seymour). He was the top try scorer in the league last season as I recall.
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Post by the-goon Thu 22 Oct 2015, 12:38 pm

SimonofSurrey wrote:
the-goon wrote:I would rather no Irish players get selected for the lions,

If there were a Lions tour now, it could well be a party without any Englishmen, not without Irishmen. It's too depressing to me, but can anyone else come up with an England-free Lions squad where no English omissions stood out?

I'm Irish, so my reasons are selfish. I'd rather win a tour alone than together. I would still support the lions if it became truly the British Lions, as they are NH and I like the romance of the concept. But I think it is holding back Irish rugby therefore I don't want Ireland to be a part of it.

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Post by little_badger Thu 22 Oct 2015, 12:47 pm

Question: Does the lions team need a country quota?

I think yes, my suggestion is that the starting test team should have at least one player from each nation? Additionally perhaps one from each nation on the bench too.

Gatland was vindicated because he won but there was some bad feeling about the selection at the time, let's not forget that in the joy of winning.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Thu 22 Oct 2015, 12:50 pm

the-goon wrote:
SimonofSurrey wrote:
the-goon wrote:I would rather no Irish players get selected for the lions,

If there were a Lions tour now, it could well be a party without any Englishmen, not without Irishmen. It's too depressing to me, but can anyone else come up with an England-free Lions squad where no English omissions stood out?

I'm Irish, so my reasons are selfish. I'd rather win a tour alone than together. I would still support the lions if it became truly the British Lions, as they are NH and I like the romance of the concept. But I think it is holding back Irish rugby therefore I don't want Ireland to be a part of it.

Wow...

How is it holding back Irish rugby?

Ireland and Irish teams have won numerous pro12, ERC and 6N titles in the last decade so how can a tradition going back several decades hold back Irish rugby? You aren't seriously using the Lions as an excuse for an early world cup exit?

I wonder if POC, BOD, McBride and other famous Irish Lions share your opinions?
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Post by George Carlin Thu 22 Oct 2015, 1:56 pm

little_badger wrote:Question: Does the lions team need a country quota?

I think yes, my suggestion is that the starting test team should have at least one player from each nation? Additionally perhaps one from each nation on the bench too.
I absolutely think (and have always thought) that any test 23 should contain at least one member from each nation.

Surely no international team could be so abject as to offer nobody whatsoever as an arguable test participant. That's never happened in my memory of tours.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 22 Oct 2015, 2:08 pm

I disagree with quotas. No player should get into a team unless his ability merits it.

That said, no player should miss out on selection just because his club (on when it comes to the Lions, his national team) is underperforming.

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Post by 123456789 Thu 22 Oct 2015, 2:18 pm

Right now I'd pick:

15. Hogg
14. Watson
13. Bennett
12. Dunbar
11. North
10. Sexton
9. Webb
8. Faletau
7. Warburton
6. Denton
5. Alun Wyn Jones
4. O'Connell
3. Nel  
2. Ford
1. Healy

16. Dickinson
17. Hartley
18. Lee
19. Gray (either)
20. Vunipola
21. Youngs
22. Biggar
23. Joseph

I'd also not let Gatland near the team, Warrenball simply put will never beat the All Blacks we need to try to play a more subtle style, I'd perhaps put Hardie at 6 and play with 2 opensides. We've also got to remember that there will be a veritable exodus from New Zealand after the world cup, whilst the All Blacks will always be exceptional they may not match up to the current team which I believe are probably the best side in the history of team sports.

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Post by the-goon Thu 22 Oct 2015, 2:33 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
the-goon wrote:
SimonofSurrey wrote:
the-goon wrote:I would rather no Irish players get selected for the lions,

If there were a Lions tour now, it could well be a party without any Englishmen, not without Irishmen. It's too depressing to me, but can anyone else come up with an England-free Lions squad where no English omissions stood out?

I'm Irish, so my reasons are selfish. I'd rather win a tour alone than together. I would still support the lions if it became truly the British Lions, as they are NH and I like the romance of the concept. But I think it is holding back Irish rugby therefore I don't want Ireland to be a part of it.

Wow...

How is it holding back Irish rugby?

Ireland and Irish teams have won numerous pro12, ERC and 6N titles in the last decade so how can a tradition going back several decades hold back Irish rugby? You aren't seriously using the Lions as an excuse for an early world cup exit?

I wonder if POC, BOD, McBride and other famous Irish Lions share your opinions?

It is holding the 4 home nations back. I can't understand how you don't see that?

1. It is in the middle of a RWC cycle, and means that each nation has effectively one less summer to tour the SH, and you know test yourself against the best in the World (and maybe beat them) on their patch. You only have 3 summers between WC to travel there, why lose 1 that gains nothing?
2. Due to the length of the tour, it provides more injuries than usual, this impacts the following season. See Wales in the 2013/2014 season.
3. You may lose coaches to the lions as well.
4. You learn far less about your national team or the opposition during the tour, it's scratch team that never plays again.

Look at Argentina, Ireland last lost to them in 2007. Since 2011 they have played the top 3 teams home and away 6 times each year. Look at the improvements they made, they may have beaten us without being in the RC, but it would be less likely.

I'm not saying if we toured NZ or SA in 2013 with a 1st string team we defo would have beaten Argentina. But the more times you play the best, the better you get. Top level rugby is all about fine margins, and leaving the Lions and playing more matches against the best is one of many tiny improvements Ireland can make to increase their chance of success in World Cups.

I would also like to re-structure the NH season, and ensure top players play less, but that is a different topic.

If you asked POC, BOD or whomever what they rather, a WC Semi or and Lions tour win. Or a victory over ABs with Ireland or a Lions tour win. You'd get the former every time.

Ireland trumps the Lions every single time.

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Post by Seagultaf Thu 22 Oct 2015, 2:55 pm

123456789 wrote:Right now I'd pick:

15. Hogg
14. Watson
13. Bennett
12. Dunbar
11. North
10. Sexton
9. Webb
8. Faletau
7. Warburton
6. Denton
5. Alun Wyn Jones
4. O'Connell
3. Nel  
2. Ford
1. Healy

16. Dickinson
17. Hartley
18. Lee
19. Gray (either)
20. Vunipola
21. Youngs
22. Biggar
23. Joseph

I'd also not let Gatland near the team, Warrenball simply put will never beat the All Blacks we need to try to play a more subtle style, I'd perhaps put Hardie at 6 and play with 2 opensides. We've also got to remember that there will be a veritable exodus from New Zealand after the world cup, whilst the All Blacks will always be exceptional they may not match up to the current team which I believe are probably the best side in the history of team sports.

This thread is about a Lions side picked today: Webb, Dunbar, Sexton and O'Connell are injured so cannot be selected. How about replacing them with: Davies, Henshaw, Biggar and Launchberry?

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Post by IanBru Thu 22 Oct 2015, 3:22 pm

Seagultaf, Dunbar's fit again - started last week for Glasgow and won man of the match.

Fair point on the others though, so I'd drop in Laidlaw, Russell and the other Gray.

Otherwise, I'm in agreement with Numbers.
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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 22 Oct 2015, 3:52 pm

The B&I Lions tour is an anachronism that is holding NH rugby back in the professional era. The original altruistic reason for staging such a tour has long since been ditched in favour of the current money making juggernaut that exploits fans and adds nothing to the game. The idea of pitting a scratch team of tired players (some probably injured) at the end of a long season with an unfamiliar coach against a fresh professionally proven SH Test side in their own back yard is ridiculous from the outset. It is an unfair contest with no benefits for the home Unions.

For those well-heeled fans who can afford several thousand quid to follow the Lions - it is undoubtedly a great tour, but at what cost?
1. The home test sides lose a summer tour. Sure they get the chance to send a B team somewhere but the real Test team-building two years from the next RWC is lost.
2. It affects the season on either side of it. Players are either trying to stay injury free in the season before or recovering from their injuries in the season after.
3. It divides Test teams into players who are in the L club and those who aren't. This is very poor for team spirit especially if someone 'should' have been selected and wasn't.
4. Some mainstay players are picked for the Lions when they would have been rested by their Union.
5. In the professional game players learn nothing technical that they don't already know, but if they have personal secrets or foibles these are shared with 'team mates' who will also be opponents more often than not afterwards.
6. Given the enormity of the actual mismatch, the NH players suffer psychological fallout. If the Lions happen to win - it is only because they were a blend of several nations and achieved something their own Test side could not emulate. If they lose - it shows them that even the "best" selection of players aren't as good as their SH equivalents and therefore their national Test sides would have even less chance. In either case it is bad for the NH players' psyche and boosts the SH players.
7. Players are individually representing their home nations and don't know what other team mates will do so they are forced to "put their bodies on the line" more often, which inevitably leads to more injuries.
8. The warm-up matches are often one-sided extended training runs where the Lion's learn nothing against weak opposition that disrespects the whole brand.
9. Alternatively the warm-up matches are an ideal opportunity for home teams to "tickle up" the Lions players. Like a piccador sent out to weaken the bull they tip the balance further in favour of their Test side by fatiguing or significantly increasing the risk of injury to Lions players.
10. Politically the Lions tours affirms that there are three elite Test teams head and shoulders above everyone else in the world and the implication is that it takes an amalgam of players from elsewhere to stand any chance against them. When the RWC came into being it should have been the pinnacle of the rugby world - but it's not. It has to share that accolade with the Lions tours which for many is the real elite summit of the sport. It would be interesting if Argentina won the RWC how they are viewed in comparison to a tour that they can never be a part of?

The Lion's concept in the modern era is flawed and to some extent is holding everyone but the Tri-nations back. On the plus side a Lion's tour is still a blast for those that can afford it. Fair trade!

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Thu 22 Oct 2015, 4:30 pm

Gotta say I don't really see the point of it now individual NH teams play the SH home and away so often.

I'd rather see more games involving A sides. Or games vs the PI sides. Or invitational sides aiming to develop the game more globally....
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Post by RDW Thu 22 Oct 2015, 4:33 pm

Given that the Lions is such a commercial success, and the players still want to play for them (you’ll never see a player turn the Lions down to go and tour Argentina with their country), I can’t see it ending any time soon.

Just playing Devil’s Advocate here, are we really saying that a summer tour 2 years away from a world cup would really make that much of a difference? A lot of players are injured for those tours anyway – Scotland had to put a complete scratch team out against SA at the end of last summer tour.

Between the 2013 summer tours and the current world cup most NH teams will have played at least 3 autumn tests x2, 5 Six Nations games x 2 and had another summer tour – 3 games. So that makes at least 19 tests between the recent Lions tour and the world cup.

Also figure in the fact that every nation will have had key players playing in the world cup that weren’t even playing for their country 2 years ago. 2 years ago Ireland’s midfield would probably have been D’Arcy and BoD – that wouldn’t have helped Henshaw and Earls prepare for the world cup quarter final last week!

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Post by LondonTiger Thu 22 Oct 2015, 4:38 pm

Well, I am one of the minority who feel there is too much international rugby anyway.

But from a player welfare pov the Lions tour is a disaster. Such a long tour with far too little rest leads to major issues. These are exacerbated when the coach is also the coach of a country and rests his players to protecty a knock - but plays guys from other countries who also have a knock - causing them to miss months of the new season.

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Post by RubyGuby Thu 22 Oct 2015, 4:43 pm

I don't think its a particularly good time to ask this question. After the 6 Nations I'm sure some will be more inclined to see it as a positive thing.

thumbsup

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Post by nathan Thu 22 Oct 2015, 4:44 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Well, I am one of the minority who feel there is too much international rugby anyway.

But from a player welfare pov the Lions tour is a disaster. Such a long tour with far too little rest leads to major issues. These are exacerbated when the coach is also the coach of a country and rests his players to protecty a knock - but plays guys from other countries who also have a knock - causing them to miss months of the new season.

Like Ben youngs...

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Post by rodders Thu 22 Oct 2015, 4:54 pm

15 Brown
14 North
13 Joseph
12 Henshaw
11 Seymour
10 Ford
9 Murray
8 Faletau
6 POM
7 Warburton
5 AWJ (c)
4 Henderson
3 Ross
2 Best
1 McGrath

Seems a bit harsh on the scots but I'd have plenty of them in my dirt trackers..... Run
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Post by GunsGerms Thu 22 Oct 2015, 4:59 pm

I think Paul O'Connell will make the squad.

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Post by little_badger Thu 22 Oct 2015, 5:12 pm

I don't think the person in charge of the Lions team should be a current national coach, they just aren't objective enough. SCW was a disaster, he took out of form English players (and I'm English).

By all means have coaches from the national team but the overall selector should be at least a bit neutral. So basically we need to find a younger Geech for the next one.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 22 Oct 2015, 5:26 pm

Tommy Bowe Erm

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Post by RubyGuby Thu 22 Oct 2015, 5:44 pm

I think Tommy was on the Bow

thumbsup

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 22 Oct 2015, 5:45 pm

I think he had one good game.

Seymour, May, Earls (maybe), Watson, North all outplayed him imo

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Post by BamBam Thu 22 Oct 2015, 7:15 pm

Pooly rating May Shocked

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 22 Oct 2015, 7:25 pm

Higher than Bowe at least mate....that's not much Wink

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Post by Seagultaf Thu 22 Oct 2015, 9:47 pm

IanBru wrote:Seagultaf, Dunbar's fit again - started last week for Glasgow and won man of the match.

Fair point on the others though, so I'd drop in Laidlaw, Russell and the other Gray.

Otherwise, I'm in agreement with Numbers.

I saw that he played last week but according to the bbc he not picked this weekend as he is injured again.

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Post by brennomac Fri 23 Oct 2015, 3:48 pm

the-goon wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
the-goon wrote:
SimonofSurrey wrote:
the-goon wrote:I would rather no Irish players get selected for the lions,

If there were a Lions tour now, it could well be a party without any Englishmen, not without Irishmen. It's too depressing to me, but can anyone else come up with an England-free Lions squad where no English omissions stood out?

I'm Irish, so my reasons are selfish. I'd rather win a tour alone than together. I would still support the lions if it became truly the British Lions, as they are NH and I like the romance of the concept. But I think it is holding back Irish rugby therefore I don't want Ireland to be a part of it.

Wow...

How is it holding back Irish rugby?

Ireland and Irish teams have won numerous pro12, ERC and 6N titles in the last decade so how can a tradition going back several decades hold back Irish rugby? You aren't seriously using the Lions as an excuse for an early world cup exit?

I wonder if POC, BOD, McBride and other famous Irish Lions share your opinions?

It is holding the 4 home nations back. I can't understand how you don't see that?

1. It is in the middle of a RWC cycle, and means that each nation has effectively one less summer to tour the SH, and you know test yourself against the best in the World (and maybe beat them) on their patch. You only have 3 summers between WC to travel there, why lose 1 that gains nothing?
2. Due to the length of the tour, it provides more injuries than usual, this impacts the following season. See Wales in the 2013/2014 season.
3. You may lose coaches to the lions as well.
4. You learn far less about your national team or the opposition during the tour, it's scratch team that never plays again.

Look at Argentina, Ireland last lost to them in 2007. Since 2011 they have played the top 3 teams home and away 6 times each year. Look at the improvements they made, they may have beaten us without being in the RC, but it would be less likely.

I'm not saying if we toured NZ or SA in 2013 with a 1st string team we defo would have beaten Argentina. But the more times you play the best, the better you get. Top level rugby is all about fine margins, and leaving the Lions and playing more matches against the best is one of many tiny improvements Ireland can make to increase their chance of success in World Cups.

I would also like to re-structure the NH season, and ensure top players play less, but that is a different topic.

If you asked POC, BOD or whomever what they rather, a WC Semi or and Lions tour win. Or a victory over ABs with Ireland or a Lions tour win. You'd get the former every time.

Ireland trumps the Lions every single time.

+1 goon

I can't get my head around the view from some players that getting a lions spot is the ultimate accolade. For me the ultimate accolade for any player should be to wear his national colours. Before the last tour I think I heard Heaslip come out with this "ultimate accolade" bs and it made me want to weep.

Whatever about NH countries, Ireland would be better served by more contact with the SH countries that are now so far ahead of us.

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Post by gavstar Mon 26 Oct 2015, 11:43 pm

someone said on here biggar is overrated what cr**think it was wrfc. think who was outside him, think of the two centres who would have made a difference. Think of his performance Not in an armchair ride with slow or no ball . his tackle count in one game was second highest with the no. 8. he was under pressure every game .the 10 channel was a nightmare in defence. he survived. and his kicking accuracy was no way overrated. what utter rubbish. this guy with a lions team around him would be a revelation.

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Post by gavstar Mon 26 Oct 2015, 11:43 pm

someone said on here biggar is overrated what cr**think it was wrfc. think who was outside him, think of the two centres who would have made a difference. Think of his performance Not in an armchair ride with slow or no ball . his tackle count in one game was second highest with the no. 8. he was under pressure every game .the 10 channel was a nightmare in defence. he survived. and his kicking accuracy was no way overrated. what utter rubbish. this guy with a lions team around him would be a revelation.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 27 Oct 2015, 12:01 am

Hartley

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Post by George Carlin Tue 27 Oct 2015, 5:28 am

gavstar wrote:someone said on here biggar is overrated  what cr**think it was wrfc.    think who was outside him, think  of the two centres who would have made a difference. Think of his performance Not in an armchair ride with slow or no ball . his tackle count in one game was second highest with the no. 8. he was under pressure every game .the 10 channel was a nightmare in defence. he survived. and his kicking accuracy was no way overrated. what utter rubbish.  this guy with a lions team  around him would be a revelation.
Agreed. If we were picking a Lions side tomorrow, Biggar would start as my 10.
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Post by offload Tue 27 Oct 2015, 9:02 am

The Great Aukster wrote:The B&I Lions tour is an anachronism that is holding NH rugby back in the professional era. The original altruistic reason for staging such a tour has long since been ditched in favour of the current money making juggernaut that exploits fans and adds nothing to the game. The idea of pitting a scratch team of tired players (some probably injured) at the end of a long season with an unfamiliar coach against a fresh professionally proven SH Test side in their own back yard is ridiculous from the outset. It is an unfair contest with no benefits for the home Unions.

For those well-heeled fans who can afford several thousand quid to follow the Lions - it is undoubtedly a great tour, but at what cost?
1. The home test sides lose a summer tour. Sure they get the chance to send a B team somewhere but the real Test team-building two years from the next RWC is lost.
2. It affects the season on either side of it. Players are either trying to stay injury free in the season before or recovering from their injuries in the season after.
3. It divides Test teams into players who are in the L club and those who aren't. This is very poor for team spirit especially if someone 'should' have been selected and wasn't.
4. Some mainstay players are picked for the Lions when they would have been rested by their Union.
5. In the professional game players learn nothing technical that they don't already know, but if they have personal secrets or foibles these are shared with 'team mates' who will also be opponents more often than not afterwards.
6. Given the enormity of the actual mismatch, the NH players suffer psychological fallout. If the Lions happen to win - it is only because they were a blend of several nations and achieved something their own Test side could not emulate. If they lose - it shows them that even the "best" selection of players aren't as good as their SH equivalents and therefore their national Test sides would have even less chance. In either case it is bad for the NH players' psyche and boosts the SH players.
7. Players are individually representing their home nations and don't know what other team mates will do so they are forced to "put their bodies on the line" more often, which inevitably leads to more injuries.
8. The warm-up matches are often one-sided extended training runs where the Lion's learn nothing against weak opposition that disrespects the whole brand.
9. Alternatively the warm-up matches are an ideal opportunity for home teams to "tickle up" the Lions players. Like a piccador sent out to weaken the bull they tip the balance further in favour of their Test side by fatiguing or significantly increasing the risk of injury to Lions players.
10. Politically the Lions tours affirms that there are three elite Test teams head and shoulders above everyone else in the world and the implication is that it takes an amalgam of players from elsewhere to stand any chance against them. When the RWC came into being it should have been the pinnacle of the rugby world - but it's not. It has to share that accolade with the Lions tours which for many is the real elite summit of the sport. It would be interesting if Argentina won the RWC how they are viewed in comparison to a tour that they can never be a part of?

The Lion's concept in the modern era is flawed and to some extent is holding everyone but the Tri-nations back. On the plus side a Lion's tour is still a blast for those that can afford it. Fair trade!


I wouldn't argue with any of these well made points.

For some of us though, the Lions hits all the right emotional notes and is a classic case of heart over head. I guess it will continue for as long as players aspire to tour. We should also acknowledge that many SH professionals aspire to play against the Lions - often a once in career opportunity. Oh, and of course, it makes money!
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Post by doctor_grey Tue 27 Oct 2015, 9:50 am

offload wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:The B&I Lions tour is an anachronism that is holding NH rugby back in the professional era. The original altruistic reason for staging such a tour has long since been ditched in favour of the current money making juggernaut that exploits fans and adds nothing to the game. The idea of pitting a scratch team of tired players (some probably injured) at the end of a long season with an unfamiliar coach against a fresh professionally proven SH Test side in their own back yard is ridiculous from the outset. It is an unfair contest with no benefits for the home Unions.

For those well-heeled fans who can afford several thousand quid to follow the Lions - it is undoubtedly a great tour, but at what cost?
1. The home test sides lose a summer tour. Sure they get the chance to send a B team somewhere but the real Test team-building two years from the next RWC is lost.
2. It affects the season on either side of it. Players are either trying to stay injury free in the season before or recovering from their injuries in the season after.
3. It divides Test teams into players who are in the L club and those who aren't. This is very poor for team spirit especially if someone 'should' have been selected and wasn't.
4. Some mainstay players are picked for the Lions when they would have been rested by their Union.
5. In the professional game players learn nothing technical that they don't already know, but if they have personal secrets or foibles these are shared with 'team mates' who will also be opponents more often than not afterwards.
6. Given the enormity of the actual mismatch, the NH players suffer psychological fallout. If the Lions happen to win - it is only because they were a blend of several nations and achieved something their own Test side could not emulate. If they lose - it shows them that even the "best" selection of players aren't as good as their SH equivalents and therefore their national Test sides would have even less chance. In either case it is bad for the NH players' psyche and boosts the SH players.
7. Players are individually representing their home nations and don't know what other team mates will do so they are forced to "put their bodies on the line" more often, which inevitably leads to more injuries.
8. The warm-up matches are often one-sided extended training runs where the Lion's learn nothing against weak opposition that disrespects the whole brand.
9. Alternatively the warm-up matches are an ideal opportunity for home teams to "tickle up" the Lions players. Like a piccador sent out to weaken the bull they tip the balance further in favour of their Test side by fatiguing or significantly increasing the risk of injury to Lions players.
10. Politically the Lions tours affirms that there are three elite Test teams head and shoulders above everyone else in the world and the implication is that it takes an amalgam of players from elsewhere to stand any chance against them. When the RWC came into being it should have been the pinnacle of the rugby world - but it's not. It has to share that accolade with the Lions tours which for many is the real elite summit of the sport. It would be interesting if Argentina won the RWC how they are viewed in comparison to a tour that they can never be a part of?

The Lion's concept in the modern era is flawed and to some extent is holding everyone but the Tri-nations back. On the plus side a Lion's tour is still a blast for those that can afford it. Fair trade!


I wouldn't argue with any of these well made points.

For some of us though, the Lions hits all the right emotional notes and is a classic case of heart over head. I guess it will continue for as long as players aspire to tour.  We should also acknowledge that many SH professionals aspire to play against the Lions - often a once in career opportunity.  Oh, and of course, it makes money!
I might be reading too much into this, but it seems  the presumption here is the rest of the Rugby seasonal/annual structure is acceptable.  I admit I like the Lions, anachronism that it is.  I know the distraction and injuries it causes. But it could be possible to fit in a Lions tour if there was a rational and reasonable annual Rugby schedule.  Which as we know is a near a possibility as me landing a roll in the hay loft with Halle Berry.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 27 Oct 2015, 5:11 pm

I think the Lions are awesome and I love every minute of it. I can't afford to go either - money or time - but still love watching the tour and the selections unfold.

I don't think it's an anachromism either. I think it's more popular and more exciting now than it's ever been.

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Post by HammerofThunor Tue 27 Oct 2015, 5:58 pm

Unfortunately the Lions as it is now is a very modern concept. Massive revenue generator for the big international unions. That's why it'll stay.

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Post by robbo277 Tue 27 Oct 2015, 7:33 pm

I think Gatland has set the template for a successful Lions tour, in that you pick one team (in his case Wales) and the guys who will improve that team. 15 Welsh players in the initial party, pretty much the starting line-up less Biggar but with Tipuric, and something like 10 Welsh players in the deciding third test.

I think if you want to win, with so little time, you therefore have to start with something that already exists and tweak and improve it.

I also think the Welsh players and management benefited more than any others from that tour as they came out of it with more of an understanding and belief in themselves and their system, while the borrowed players didn't get as much. I believe this is inherently unfair, and for this reason I wouldn't pick any person with a potentially conflicting interest.

As to whether they have had their day, I'd say quite possibly. Picking Wales + Friends or anyone + Friends isn't exactly what the Lions is about, and I would say it is impossible to win in the professional era without doing it.

I'd like to see the Lions (and the Barbarians) picked from players who don't make their respective international teams (so a mix of the internationally retired and up-and-coming players) and then see both invitational sides used to tour developing rugby areas - Eastern Europe, Americas, Pacific Islands etc, while the individual nations continue with their own tours.

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Post by InjuredYetAgain Tue 27 Oct 2015, 9:12 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:Gotta say I don't really see the point of it now individual NH teams play the SH home and away so often.

I'd rather see more games involving A sides. Or games vs the PI sides. Or invitational sides aiming to develop the game more globally....

And I think that that is why the Lions are so popular with the fans. Are you not getting bored of watching England play NZ twice every autumn etc

Fair point though about the PI nations but chuck in Japan, Georgia and a few others too

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 28 Oct 2015, 12:20 pm

For those who are interested, this is the telegraph Lions XV. Take a look at that back-row Wink.

Brown, Watson, Bennett, Roberts, North, Biggar, Laidlaw - Healy, Best, Nel, Gray, AWJ, Lydiate, Warburton (c), Faletau.

I particularly liked this bit right under Lydiate's name; "Hopefully the Justin Tipuric-clamouring romantics in Wales now realise his worth. He was monstrous against England and South Africa."

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed 28 Oct 2015, 12:27 pm

Not a bad effort from the Telegraph really. The ones I quibble are the ones where the Telegraph says the decision was a close call - e.g. Davies/Laidlaw, Roberts/Henshaw or Vunipola/Faletau. They also concede that North isn't on great form but that there are no other left wingers really throwing their hands in the air (although I think Tommy Seymour could have a case there).

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Post by George Carlin Wed 28 Oct 2015, 12:32 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:For those who are interested, this is the telegraph Lions XV. Take a look at that back-row Wink.

Brown, Watson, Bennett, Roberts, North, Biggar, Laidlaw - Healy, Best, Nel, Gray, AWJ, Lydiate, Warburton (c), Faletau.

I particularly liked this bit right under Lydiate's name; "Hopefully the Justin Tipuric-clamouring romantics in Wales now realise his worth. He was monstrous against England and South Africa."
Steve James picked 4 Scots? Lions team if picked today - Page 4 Cant_b12
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Post by Cyril Wed 28 Oct 2015, 12:34 pm

I've seen worse selections than that Telegraph one but it's a bit depressing if that's the best we can offer against NZ. It's just a pretty uninspring bunch. Where is the creativity in the backs? I see a LOT of kicking and boshing in that side. It's basically a Gatball selection with a side ordering of Schmidtbore.

Hopefully between now and the tour there will be other players coming through (or injured/out of form players recover).


Last edited by Cyril on Wed 28 Oct 2015, 12:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by R!skysports Wed 28 Oct 2015, 12:36 pm

robbo277 wrote:I think Gatland has set the template for a possible unsuccessful Lions tour, in that you pick one team regardless of form, injuries or deserving (in his case Wales) and the guys who will improve that team. 15 Welsh players in the initial party, pretty much the starting line-up less Biggar but with Tipuric, and something like 10 Welsh players in the deciding third test.

I think if you want to win, almost blow it in with so little time against a terrible terrible Ozzie team, you therefore have to start with something that already exists and has experience of losing time and time again against such a team and tweak and improve it by disregarding better players, fit player and players from out side his BBQ invite list.

I also think the Welsh players and management benefited more than any others from that tour as they came out of it with more of an understanding that it is all about who you know and not how you play, so could relax in the knowledge that they were the chosen ones, and belief in themselves and their system, while the borrowed players didn't get as much of a chance, and were systematically sh***t on by the team management, so that their moral was shot during and after the tour. I believe this is inherently unfair, and for this reason I wouldn't pick any person with a potentially conflicting interest.

As to whether they have had their day, I'd say quite possibly. Picking Wales + Friends or anyone + Friends isn't exactly what the Lions is about, and I would say it is impossible to win in the professional era without doing it.

I'd like to see the Lions (and the Barbarians) picked from players who don't make their respective international teams (so a mix of the internationally retired and up-and-coming players) and then see both invitational sides used to tour developing rugby areas - Eastern Europe, Americas, Pacific Islands etc, while the individual nations continue with their own tours.


I felt that there needed some tweaks at the start to help emphasis your final points

While we won the tour, I still am not convinced that it was a success - as that Ozzie team were very poor and anything but a 3 nil white wash should have been considered a abject failure

While not as bad as the mess that SCW made of the lions - it was a very close thing

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Post by Cyril Wed 28 Oct 2015, 12:38 pm

Riskysports wrote:
robbo277 wrote:I think Gatland has set the template for a possible unsuccessful Lions tour, in that you pick one team regardless of form, injuries or deserving (in his case Wales) and the guys who will improve that team. 15 Welsh players in the initial party, pretty much the starting line-up less Biggar but with Tipuric, and something like 10 Welsh players in the deciding third test.

I think if you want to win, almost blow it in with so little time against a terrible terrible Ozzie team, you therefore have to start with something that already exists and has experience of losing time and time again against such a team and tweak and improve it by disregarding better players, fit player and players from out side his BBQ invite list.

I also think the Welsh players and management benefited more than any others from that tour as they came out of it with more of an understanding that it is all about who you know and not how you play, so could relax in the knowledge that they were the chosen ones, and belief in themselves and their system, while the borrowed players didn't get as much of a chance, and were systematically sh***t on by the team management, so that their moral was shot during and after the tour. I believe this is inherently unfair, and for this reason I wouldn't pick any person with a potentially conflicting interest.

As to whether they have had their day, I'd say quite possibly. Picking Wales + Friends or anyone + Friends isn't exactly what the Lions is about, and I would say it is impossible to win in the professional era without doing it.

I'd like to see the Lions (and the Barbarians) picked from players who don't make their respective international teams (so a mix of the internationally retired and up-and-coming players) and then see both invitational sides used to tour developing rugby areas - Eastern Europe, Americas, Pacific Islands etc, while the individual nations continue with their own tours.


I felt that there needed some tweaks at the start to help emphasis your final points

While we won the tour, I still am not convinced that it was a success - as that Ozzie team were very poor and anything but a 3 nil white wash should have been considered a abject failure

While not as bad as the mess that SCW made of the lions - it was a very close thing
I think there was actually more bad feeling after the last tour than the SCW one. The Lions brand took one heck of a battering and it seems to have alienated a lot of current or potential fans. It'll be interesting if the next tour can repair the damage.

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Post by RDW Wed 28 Oct 2015, 12:43 pm

Cyril wrote:
Riskysports wrote:
robbo277 wrote:I think Gatland has set the template for a possible unsuccessful Lions tour, in that you pick one team regardless of form, injuries or deserving (in his case Wales) and the guys who will improve that team. 15 Welsh players in the initial party, pretty much the starting line-up less Biggar but with Tipuric, and something like 10 Welsh players in the deciding third test.

I think if you want to win, almost blow it in with so little time against a terrible terrible Ozzie team, you therefore have to start with something that already exists and has experience of losing time and time again against such a team and tweak and improve it by disregarding better players, fit player and players from out side his BBQ invite list.

I also think the Welsh players and management benefited more than any others from that tour as they came out of it with more of an understanding that it is all about who you know and not how you play, so could relax in the knowledge that they were the chosen ones, and belief in themselves and their system, while the borrowed players didn't get as much of a chance, and were systematically sh***t on by the team management, so that their moral was shot during and after the tour. I believe this is inherently unfair, and for this reason I wouldn't pick any person with a potentially conflicting interest.

As to whether they have had their day, I'd say quite possibly. Picking Wales + Friends or anyone + Friends isn't exactly what the Lions is about, and I would say it is impossible to win in the professional era without doing it.

I'd like to see the Lions (and the Barbarians) picked from players who don't make their respective international teams (so a mix of the internationally retired and up-and-coming players) and then see both invitational sides used to tour developing rugby areas - Eastern Europe, Americas, Pacific Islands etc, while the individual nations continue with their own tours.


I felt that there needed some tweaks at the start to help emphasis your final points

While we won the tour, I still am not convinced that it was a success - as that Ozzie team were very poor and anything but a 3 nil white wash should have been considered a abject failure

While not as bad as the mess that SCW made of the lions - it was a very close thing
I think there was actually more bad feeling after the last tour than the SCW one. The Lions brand took one heck of a battering and it seems to have alienated a lot of current or potential fans. It'll be interesting if the next tour can repair the damage.

From a Scottish perspective the main gripe was leaving Ryan Grant on the bench on the 2nd test when Vunipola was utterly blowing out his arse and struggling to run round the pitch never mind hold a scrum up. It was so completely obvious that the sub had to be made but Gatland refused to sub him on.  Gatland was effectively telling Grant that he’d rather keep a player running on fumes on the pitch than risk putting him on.

Grant’s form has never been the same since for Scotland having gone into the Lions tour on excellent form.

There was also Brad feckin Barritt and Billy Twelvetrees being called up over Matt Scott who was on rampaging form for Scotland while touring Samoa and Fijii, but they weren't quite as controversial as Grant not being subbed on IMO.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 28 Oct 2015, 12:46 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:Grant’s form has never been the same since for Scotland having gone into the Lions tour on excellent form.

The same could be said for Cuthbert not making the final test side.
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