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Post by 123456789 Sun 20 Mar 2016, 11:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

I understand and respect all the arguments against this kind of post 18 months before but the proper journalists are all having a so we might as well. It happens after every tournament.

For what it's worth I'd pick:

1. Marler
2. Hartley
3. Nel
4. J. Gray
5. AW Jones
6. Faletau
7. Warburton
8. Vunipola
9. Webb
10. Sexton
11. North
12. Henshaw
13. Joseph
14. Watson
15. Hogg

16. McGrath
17. MacInally
18. Lee
19. Itoje
20. Stander
21. Youngs
22. Biggar
23. Halfpenny

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Post by rainbow-warrior Tue 22 Mar 2016, 10:47 am

GunsGerms wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:I expect the Lions to win the series. Why the F not.

Firstly, on ability and Form the ABs are better. Then there's the Freshness of their players who won't be carrying injuries or Fatigue from a long season. The ABs have developed a Fellowship through Familiarity over a long period and been in Finals together.
Finally the ABs are are home where they are always on Fire.

They are not always on fire. The first test Id say they will be there for the taking. Lets not judge the series based on the last series. That was a shambles.  

Yes 2005 was a shambles to beat all shambles and dominated by English management and players. Enough said. The greatest Lions teams have been a Welsh dominate one.
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Post by beshocked Tue 22 Mar 2016, 10:47 am

Gunsgerms

I think it's hard to call someone a shoo in a year in advance.

Launchbury was a shoo in to start for England in the 2nd row but only started one game in the 6 nations where he was taken off at half time.

AWJ has the long service award in his favour but he's got to perform consistently and stay fit or he might miss out.

I think they are plenty of backrowers better than Lydiate but that sometimes comes down to what one wants from a flanker.

Current frontrunners now might not be in a year's time obviously. Injuries will happen too.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:05 am

Every home nations game we were told before the game how England's locks would struggle against the bigger and more experienced locks from that week's Celtic opponents. They didn't.

Kruis, perhaps along with Johnny Gray, was the best all round lock of the 6N, and is on an upward curve. He would make the Lions squad in any sane selection, and I suspect that if he made the squad he would also make the starting team.
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Post by lostinwales Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:11 am

Poorfour wrote:Every home nations game we were told before the game how England's locks would struggle against the bigger and more experienced locks from that week's Celtic opponents. They didn't.

Kruis, perhaps along with Johnny Gray,  was the best all round lock of the 6N, and is on an upward curve. He would make the Lions squad in any sane selection, and I suspect that if he made the squad he would also make the starting team.

He has improved out of sight of where he was. Lets just hope hes still on an upward curve and not 'doing a Priestland'

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:12 am

Dave Kearney was excellent in the last Ireland v NZ game where Ireland lost in the last minute. He proved he was good enough in that game so while I think there are better options people here are under rating him as usual. He has come closer to beating New Zealand than most wingers in contention.

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Post by BamBam Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:16 am

GunsGerms wrote:Dave Kearney was excellent in the last Ireland v NZ game where Ireland lost in the last minute. He proved he was good enough in that game so while I think there are better options people here are under rating him as usual. He has come closer to beating New Zealand than most wingers in contention.

Not saying you're completely wrong about Kearney, but by that measure Chris Ashton and Mike Brown should be the starting wingers

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Post by SneakySideStep Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:17 am

Interesting article on the 2017 Lions by Robert Kitson in The Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2016/mar/22/george-kruis-billy-vunipola-maro-itoje-british-lions-all-blacks-2017

In essence he says that the developing style of players is just the sort of thing the All Blacks may fear because it doesn't just try and mirror their strengths

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:19 am

BamBam wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Dave Kearney was excellent in the last Ireland v NZ game where Ireland lost in the last minute. He proved he was good enough in that game so while I think there are better options people here are under rating him as usual. He has come closer to beating New Zealand than most wingers in contention.

Not saying you're completely wrong about Kearney, but by that measure Chris Ashton and Mike Brown should be the starting wingers

Kearney is still an international winger but Ashton and Brown aren't so they are unlikely to be selected on the wing. Brown might get the call at full back though if not Hogg.

If Ashton broke into the England team again who knows. It is pretty unlikely though.

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Post by Sin é Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:33 am

exile jack wrote:
SimonofSurrey wrote:
Sin é wrote:Gatland put a Welsh team out with a few guests. Totally against the whole concept of the Lions as I understand it.

None of the match day Test 15/23 was a jaw drop of a surprise and the series was won. Where's the problem?

As I recall, there were few English, for example, because few English players were outstanding at that time. So be it. I didn't complain then and I'm not complaining now. If the national coach put out 10+ of his own players and that side got beaten, there may be a problem. Otherwise, no issue.

Of the matchday 23,all of whom played,there were 7 English,4 Irish,1 Scottish and 11 Welsh.The injuries to Healy and POC probably cost Ireland 2 more places.I always thought the concept of the Lions was to take a multinational squad to the SH and win the series.

However,if Schmidt is the 2017 Lions coach he can take all the players from Ireland as long as he replicates the 2013 success.

How could Gatland make Warburton captain over either Paul O'Connell or AW Jones? To me it was to big up Warburton so he would be a better captain for Wales.

Selection of Alex Cuthbert over any number of wingers.
Selection of Mike Philips over Conor Murray (who was the form scrumhalf and regular partner of Sexton).
The horrible dropping of Brian O'Driscoll (the way it was done - i.e., wheeling him out for a press conference early in the week and then just dropping him from the 23).

I can't remember them all, but I know the team was better without Warburton in it in the first place.

There is plenty more I didn't like about that tour which I've done my best to forget.
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Post by GunsGerms Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:37 am

Gatland made it too much about himself. I also think he made very tough work out of beating a very average Australia side.

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Post by True Raven Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:51 am

If anything it was a joke dropping Cuthbert for the second test as not only did Cuthbert justify his selection for the first test by scoring a try, was in better form than bowe

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:56 am

Will players like Mike Brown be Englands FB come the tour.

I would suggest Nowell or Watson will have taken over that so.

Paul Hill likely taken over from Dan Cole.

Nathan Hughes, Kvesic, Ewers all fighting for back row spots.

Can Ford recover his confidence.

Henry Slade WILL be in the England lineup.
Then theres the potential of Mallinder junior. A 12 whos built like Roberts. He might be fighting for that shirt by then.  

Can Manu adapt to 12 or is he solely a 13 fighting with Joseph for that spot. Can Daly take that 13 spot. 18 months is a long time in rugby.

Those are just questions from an England point of view.... now add in changes to Wales, Ireland and Scotland in that time and who knows.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 22 Mar 2016, 12:13 pm

Agree with GF, a huge number of "what ifs" at this stage. In some respects that's bad news, as we do lack an established core of top class players.

Still, I'm quietly optimistic. The ABs are an awesome force and have talent to burn but they will have lost some really key players from their double World Cup winning squad, and will need to settle things quickly. They will also face a resurgent group of players from England and Scotland, and experienced players from Wales and Ireland. Added to this they will likely face a coach who has won a Lions tour before (and been on another) and knows first hand how these tours work.

The schedule is particularly brutal this time around which is a worry, and the ABs are currently the best team in the world and have been for some time, but Eddie Jones is pulling together a compelling proposition with England, Cotter has one or two star players with Scotland and Wales and Ireland have an experienced core group to call upon.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 22 Mar 2016, 12:29 pm

Given the tour schedule, should a larger than usual squad be taken? I remember a large squad went there in 2005...

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 22 Mar 2016, 1:37 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Given the tour schedule, should a larger than usual squad be taken? I remember a large squad went there in 2005...

I don't think so. I would take two XVs and a bench, so 38 players in total. What will need to happen I think is for the reserve list to be a bit more formal and sophisticated than it has been in the past (with players being called-up because they happen to be in the area). Injuries will happen, we know that, and contingency plans must be highly organised. I would also stress that given the short timeframe and high intensity run up to the Tests, only players fit and eligible to play the first game of the tour should be called-up. The Lions can't carry passengers on this one, I don't care who they are. One of the benefit of having no shoe-ins is that no-one is irreplaceable.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Tue 22 Mar 2016, 2:01 pm

In 2005 there were 44 players in the squad, thats a hell of a lot of players.

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Post by Sin é Tue 22 Mar 2016, 2:07 pm

True Raven wrote:If anything it was a joke dropping Cuthbert for the second test as not only did Cuthbert justify his selection for the first test by scoring a try, was in better form than bowe

Bowe was injured and should not have been playing as he had not fully fit. That was just Gatland dumping one of the depensible Welsh player for a player who was playing in Wales. The one he should have dropped was Warburton for O'Brien long before Warburton got injured.

Now, can you explain how Mike Phillips got near the team?
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Post by GunsGerms Tue 22 Mar 2016, 2:12 pm

Philips should have been dropped after the first test. He looked like was playing tag rugby down in the park. Never seen a player saunter back so nonchalantly after been burned by Genia for one of Folau's tries. If he bothered his a$$ he could have stopped it.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 22 Mar 2016, 2:13 pm

aucklandlaurie wrote:In 2005 there were 44 players in the squad, thats a hell of a lot of players.

It was, and worst of all was the deliberate and clear split created by Woodward between the Test side and the midweek team.

You can't have a situation with 3 or 4 people competing for the same spot. It means you have players barely getting any game time on the tour, which is crushing for morale.

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Post by exile jack Tue 22 Mar 2016, 2:25 pm

Sin é wrote:
exile jack wrote:
SimonofSurrey wrote:
Sin é wrote:Gatland put a Welsh team out with a few guests. Totally against the whole concept of the Lions as I understand it.

None of the match day Test 15/23 was a jaw drop of a surprise and the series was won. Where's the problem?

As I recall, there were few English, for example, because few English players were outstanding at that time. So be it. I didn't complain then and I'm not complaining now. If the national coach put out 10+ of his own players and that side got beaten, there may be a problem. Otherwise, no issue.

Of the matchday 23,all of whom played,there were 7 English,4 Irish,1 Scottish and 11 Welsh.The injuries to Healy and POC probably cost Ireland 2 more places.I always thought the concept of the Lions was to take a multinational squad to the SH and win the series.

However,if Schmidt is the 2017 Lions coach he can take all the players from Ireland as long as he replicates the 2013 success.

How could Gatland make Warburton captain over either Paul O'Connell or AW Jones? To me it was to big up Warburton so he would be a better captain for Wales.

Selection of Alex Cuthbert over any number of wingers.
Selection of Mike Philips over Conor Murray (who was the form scrumhalf and regular partner of Sexton).
The horrible dropping of Brian O'Driscoll (the way it was done - i.e., wheeling him out for a press conference early in the week and then just dropping him from the 23).

I can't remember them all, but I know the team was better without Warburton in it in the first place.

There is plenty more I didn't like about that tour which I've done my best to forget.

More people have walked on the moon than have led the Lions to the SH and won a series so i'll take 2013 warts and all.Many in Wales wonder why Warbs is the captain but my recollection of the 2nd Test is that Warbs was superb but in comparison to 2009 BOD was a shadow of the player he was then and would have been in 2005 before he was the subject of a violent physical assault.Btw,BOD and POC are two Irish players i'd have loved to see playing for Wales. Among the best players of the professional or amateur eras.

Phillips was not as I understand it the automatic first choice scrum half but neither Youngs nor Murray put clear water between them and him.The expectation on the tour was that Youngs would play quick and Murray with Phillips would play a less quick but more structured game.


Last edited by exile jack on Tue 22 Mar 2016, 2:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 22 Mar 2016, 2:36 pm

That Aussie team was all over the place though even Wales could have defeated them. Just kidding they did.

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Post by wrfc1980 Tue 22 Mar 2016, 2:54 pm

2001 tour was pretty shocking with the Welsh manager destroying a winnable tour. England were in the middle of their most successful period against SH opposition which would end up winning the world cup off the back of 17 CONSECUTIVE wins home and away against SA, NZ and the Aussies. How we didn't win that tour is beyond belief and was down to far to many welsh touring over much superior English players.

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Post by exile jack Tue 22 Mar 2016, 2:57 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Given the tour schedule, should a larger than usual squad be taken? I remember a large squad went there in 2005...

I don't think so. I would take two XVs and a bench, so 38 players in total. What will need to happen I think is for the reserve list to be a bit more formal and sophisticated than it has been in the past (with players being called-up because they happen to be in the area). Injuries will happen, we know that, and contingency plans must be highly organised. I would also stress that given the short timeframe and high intensity run up to the Tests, only players fit and eligible to play the first game of the tour should be called-up. The Lions can't carry passengers on this one, I don't care who they are. One of the benefit of having no shoe-ins is that no-one is irreplaceable.

Couldn't agree more.Two full test teams.For every game the Lions should take as their benchmark the 2nd Test in SA in 2009.Of the 3 tours i've been fortunate to go on the one to NZ was the least pleasureable.They don't just want to beat you they want to crush you mentally.Whoever agreed the tour schedule was just doolally twp.

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Post by True Raven Tue 22 Mar 2016, 3:10 pm

Sin é wrote:
True Raven wrote:If anything it was a joke dropping Cuthbert for the second test as not only did Cuthbert justify his selection for the first test by scoring a try, was in better form than bowe

Bowe was injured and should not have been playing as he had not fully fit. That was just Gatland dumping one of the depensible Welsh player for a player who was playing in Wales. The one he should have dropped was Warburton for O'Brien long before Warburton got injured.

Now, can you explain how Mike Phillips got near the team?

Bowe had left the Ospreys in 2012 and so was playing for ulster when the tour was on. If Bowe wasn't the winger who should have been playing before Cuthbert then who was?

The reality is Wales won back to back championships and rightly provided the majority of the test team not to dissimilar to English posters now who pick a majority of English players in a forecasted lions team.


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Post by Breadvan Tue 22 Mar 2016, 3:20 pm

wrfc1980 wrote:2001 tour was pretty shocking with the Welsh manager destroying a winnable tour. England were in the middle of their most successful period against SH opposition which would end up winning the world cup off the back of 17 CONSECUTIVE wins home and away against SA, NZ and the Aussies. How we didn't win that tour is beyond belief and was down to far to many welsh touring over much superior English players.

Nice fishing for a bite/wum. Henry NOT taking more Wales players led to him leaving the welsh job as the players he left behind more or less ousted him. Dawson and Healys newspaper columns didn't help either...
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Post by wrfc1980 Tue 22 Mar 2016, 3:37 pm

England had no problems beating the Aussies during this period though 17 consecutive wins against the big 3 kind of proves it.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 22 Mar 2016, 3:42 pm

I do think the 2001 tour isn't as talked about as it might be is because 2005 happened. Neither were great

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Post by Poorfour Tue 22 Mar 2016, 3:52 pm

wrfc1980 wrote:2001 tour was pretty shocking with the Welsh manager destroying a winnable tour. England were in the middle of their most successful period against SH opposition which would end up winning the world cup off the back of 17 CONSECUTIVE wins home and away against SA, NZ and the Aussies. How we didn't win that tour is beyond belief and was down to far to many welsh touring over much superior English players.

Half an extra Englishman would have been enough... if Richard Hill hadn't been taken out by a cheap shot in the 2nd test, who knows how it might have ended up.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 22 Mar 2016, 4:48 pm

lostinwales wrote:I do think the 2001 tour isn't as talked about as it might be is because 2005 happened. Neither were great

The 2005 Lions Tour was a complete shambles but, and this is just my opinion, had it been run to absolute perfection I stil don't think the Lions would have prevailed against that NZ side.

2001 was different. I don't actually think the tour was particularly badly run, and I don't think the Lions were badly coached. Watch that 1st Test again. That tour for me was really a triumph of a very cohesive and experienced Australia team over a Lions team that badly wobbled in the 2nd Test (remember the Lions were 11-3 up at one point) - more down to individual errors really than a coaching failure (although the injury to Richard Hill obviously didn't help). Momentum then swung and the Aussies had enough in the 3rd Test (which they won by four points). Still, I do think that was one that got away with the players available.

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Post by exile jack Tue 22 Mar 2016, 5:08 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
lostinwales wrote:I do think the 2001 tour isn't as talked about as it might be is because 2005 happened. Neither were great

The 2005 Lions Tour was a complete shambles but, and this is just my opinion, had it been run to absolute perfection I stil don't think the Lions would have prevailed against that NZ side.

2001 was different. I don't actually think the tour was particularly badly run, and I don't think the Lions were badly coached. Watch that 1st Test again. That tour for me was really a triumph of a very cohesive and experienced Australia team over a Lions team that badly wobbled in the 2nd Test (remember the Lions were 11-3 up at one point) - more down to individual errors really than a coaching failure (although the injury to Richard Hill obviously didn't help). Momentum then swung and the Aussies had enough in the 3rd Test (which they won by four points). Still, I do think that was one that got away with the players available.

More generally the injuries to key players in 2001,2005, and 2009(funny that eh!!) shows how difficult it is to maintain performance across a whole tour in the SH.My main memory of the 2001 tests was the intercept try by Joe Roff off Jonny's pass and Martin Johnson not securing that lineout ball off Wood's throw in the final minutes of the third test.Unfortunate but nothing to do with the management who can be criticised for the 'split' between the midweek and Test sides.

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Post by reallybored Tue 22 Mar 2016, 9:07 pm

1.  McGrath
2.  Hartley
3.  Cole
4.  Kruis
5.  Gray (Jnr)
6.  Itoje
7.  O'Brien
8.  Vunipola

9.  Murray
10.  Biggar
11.  North
12.  Roberts
13.  Bennett
14.  Watson
15.  Hogg

16.  Best
17.  Marler
18.  Nel
19.  Launchbury
20.  Faletau
21.  Webb
22.  Farrell
23.  Tuilagi

Eng - 6 / 4
Wal - 3 / 2
Ire - 3 / 1
Sco - 3 / 1

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Post by Sin é Tue 22 Mar 2016, 9:53 pm

True Raven wrote:
Sin é wrote:
True Raven wrote:If anything it was a joke dropping Cuthbert for the second test as not only did Cuthbert justify his selection for the first test by scoring a try, was in better form than bowe

Bowe was injured and should not have been playing as he had not fully fit. That was just Gatland dumping one of the depensible Welsh player for a player who was playing in Wales. The one he should have dropped was Warburton for O'Brien long before Warburton got injured.

Now, can you explain how Mike Phillips got near the team?

Bowe had left the Ospreys in 2012 and so was playing for ulster when the tour was on.  If Bowe wasn't the winger who should have been playing before Cuthbert then who was?

The reality is Wales won back to back championships and rightly provided the majority of the test team not to dissimilar to English posters now who pick a majority of English players in a forecasted lions team.


Bowe had just left the Ospreys. He knew the Welsh way!
Sean Maitland, Stuart Hogg, Simon Zebo could all have played wing instead of Cuthbert.
Ireland won back-to-back championships and most the players from that team would not make a Lions Tour.
If Gatty is the coach, most of those English players won't be going anywhere.
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Post by Sin é Tue 22 Mar 2016, 10:00 pm

[quote="exile jack"]
Sin é wrote:
exile jack wrote:
SimonofSurrey wrote:
Sin é wrote:Gatland put a Welsh team out with a few guests. Totally against the whole concept of the Lions as I understand it.

None of the match day Test 15/23 was a jaw drop of a surprise and the series was won. Where's the problem?

As I recall, there were few English, for example, because few English players were outstanding at that time. So be it. I didn't complain then and I'm not complaining now. If the national coach put out 10+ of his own players and that side got beaten, there may be a problem. Otherwise, no issue.

Of the matchday 23,all of whom played,there were 7 English,4 Irish,1 Scottish and 11 Welsh.The injuries to Healy and POC probably cost Ireland 2 more places.I always thought the concept of the Lions was to take a multinational squad to the SH and win the series.

However,if Schmidt is the 2017 Lions coach he can take all the players from Ireland as long as he replicates the 2013 success.

How could Gatland make Warburton captain over either Paul O'Connell or AW Jones? To me it was to big up Warburton so he would be a better captain for Wales.

Selection of Alex Cuthbert over any number of wingers.
Selection of Mike Philips over Conor Murray (who was the form scrumhalf and regular partner of Sexton).
The horrible dropping of Brian O'Driscoll (the way it was done - i.e., wheeling him out for a press conference early in the week and then just dropping him from the 23).

I can't remember them all, but I know the team was better without Warburton in it in the first place.

There is plenty more I didn't like about that tour which I've done my best to forget.

More people have walked on the moon than have led the Lions to the SH and won a series so i'll take 2013 warts and all.Many in Wales wonder why Warbs is the captain but my recollection of the 2nd Test is that Warbs was superb but in comparison to 2009 BOD was a shadow of the player he was then and would have been in 2005 before he was the subject of a violent physical assault.Btw,BOD and POC are two Irish players i'd have loved to see playing for Wales. Among the best players of the professional or amateur eras.

Phillips was not as I understand it the automatic first choice scrum half but neither Youngs nor Murray put clear water between them and him.The expectation on the tour was that Youngs would play quick and Murray with Phillips would play a less quick but more structured game.[/quote

Warburton should not have been captain. Either POC or AWJ should have been captain. My complaint about BOD is nothing to do with whether he was selected or not, it was the way he treated him (wheeling him out to the press the week he was going to be dropped from the 23). That was just a horrible thing to do.

Phillips was injured. Youngs was crap. There was clear water between Murray and the rest, just Gatty kept picking Phillips.

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Post by exile jack Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:29 pm

Sin é wrote:
exile jack wrote:
Sin é wrote:
exile jack wrote:
SimonofSurrey wrote:
Sin é wrote:Gatland put a Welsh team out with a few guests. Totally against the whole concept of the Lions as I understand it.

None of the match day Test 15/23 was a jaw drop of a surprise and the series was won. Where's the problem?

As I recall, there were few English, for example, because few English players were outstanding at that time. So be it. I didn't complain then and I'm not complaining now. If the national coach put out 10+ of his own players and that side got beaten, there may be a problem. Otherwise, no issue.

Of the matchday 23,all of whom played,there were 7 English,4 Irish,1 Scottish and 11 Welsh.The injuries to Healy and POC probably cost Ireland 2 more places.I always thought the concept of the Lions was to take a multinational squad to the SH and win the series.

However,if Schmidt is the 2017 Lions coach he can take all the players from Ireland as long as he replicates the 2013 success.

How could Gatland make Warburton captain over either Paul O'Connell or AW Jones? To me it was to big up Warburton so he would be a better captain for Wales.

Selection of Alex Cuthbert over any number of wingers.
Selection of Mike Philips over Conor Murray (who was the form scrumhalf and regular partner of Sexton).
The horrible dropping of Brian O'Driscoll (the way it was done - i.e., wheeling him out for a press conference early in the week and then just dropping him from the 23).

I can't remember them all, but I know the team was better without Warburton in it in the first place.

There is plenty more I didn't like about that tour which I've done my best to forget.

More people have walked on the moon than have led the Lions to the SH and won a series so i'll take 2013 warts and all.Many in Wales wonder why Warbs is the captain but my recollection of the 2nd Test is that Warbs was superb but in comparison to 2009 BOD was a shadow of the player he was then and would have been in 2005 before he was the subject of a violent physical assault.Btw,BOD and POC are two Irish players i'd have loved to see playing for Wales. Among the best players of the professional or amateur eras.

Phillips was not as I understand it the automatic first choice scrum half but neither Youngs nor Murray put clear water between them and him.The expectation on the tour was that Youngs would play quick and Murray with Phillips would play a less quick but more structured game.[/quote

Warburton should not have been captain. Either POC or AWJ should have been captain. My complaint about BOD is nothing to do with whether he was selected or not, it was the way he treated him (wheeling him out to the press the week he was going to be dropped from the 23). That was just a horrible thing to do.

Phillips was injured. Youngs was crap. There was clear water between Murray and the rest, just Gatty kept picking Phillips.

To be clear,i'm not a fan of Warburton as a Captain but that's who Gats chose.I didn't detect any player resentment towards Warbs on tour because he was the captain but i'm sure player memoirs will correct that belief if it's not the case.Wrt BOD,he's not the only player to be handled by Gats in a manner that appears to leave something to be desired, good examples being Adam Jones,Peel, Hibbard,Hook,even Biggar in his early career.He's the Coach and has to stand or fall by his decisions.BOD did get a winning Lions Test series to put on his CV.Wrt Phillips,yes he was injured for the 2nd Test and Youngs for whatever reason didn't take advantage of the opportunity.Yes,Murray played OK for the last 25 minutes or so of that 2nd Test but not well enough to oust Phillips as the starter for the 3rd Test.Again,Gats made the call and it worked out.When Murray replaced Phillips it marked the changing of the guard and effectively the beginning of the end for Mike P as an international 9.Ironically,Conor M might find himself on the 2017 tour in the same position as Mike P on the 2013 tour,being chased by serious alternatives.


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Post by thomh Wed 23 Mar 2016, 12:24 am

True Raven wrote:
beshocked wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:Agree with most of that team except the locks. I cannot see how you can go against Itoje and Kruis. They are the best now and in 2017 are likely to be even further ahead.

I bet AWJ will start as captain again. Not sure how you could leave him out to be honest. One of the first names on the sheet IMO.
If the team was being picked a couple of years ago that would be fair comment. However the team is being picked to play in 2017 not 2014. Things move on.


Gatland has a record of favouring Welsh players so if he is coach you may well be proved right.

As of right now he is the best option at lock for me by some distance. Yes Itoje and Kruis had a good campaign but they aren't at AWJs level yet. You need your head checked if you think they are. 2017 is only one year away. AWJ is already on the plane. He is also the best option for captain IMO too.

Gunsgerms I agree they weren't at AWJ level's vs Wales, they were above it....

You don't get a long service award. AWJ - player I think is very good but he's got to perform better than his peers or he'll struggle to make the plane with Kruis,Itoje,Launchbury,J.Gray,Charteris and the man mountain Toner all in contention currently. Could even be someone else who bursts onto the scene.

Launchbury and Lawes a year ago were the first choice locks for England but that's changed, we'll see what happens in a year. Perhaps someone will pick up an injury, we just don't know.

Well except of course if Gatland is coach then AWJ, Lydiate and Davies might as well book their hotels now....

You do realise AWJ was one of the best locks at the world cup which was this season!  Form is temporary and class is permanent as they say

Form may be temporary and class may be permanent but Itoje and Kruis are both so new on the international scene (Kruis slightly less so) that their current outstanding form is the only indication that we have as to their class.

Now you may think that they need more games to prove beyond doubt that they're at that level, but the fact that a statement is as yet unproven doesn't mean it's untrue. Everything Kruis and Itoje has done indicates that they're top class locks. Their international performances have been at at least AWJ's level. Saying that they're not at AWJ's level yet just because you haven't seen them play enough games is no less speculative than the reverse.

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Post by Engine#4 Wed 23 Mar 2016, 12:38 am

Guiltily...

Dickinson (Sco)
Hartley (Eng) (C)
Nel (Sco)
Itoje (Eng)
J Gray (Sco)
POM (Ire) (C)
SOB (Ire)
Vunipola (Eng)
Webb (Wal)
Sexton (Ire) (C)
North (Wal)
Sean Cronin (Ire)
Joseph (Eng)
Halfpenny (Wal)
Hogg (Sco)

McGrath (Ire)
MacInally (Sco)
Cole (Eng)
Henderson (Ire)
Hardie (Sco)
Murray (Ire)
Biggar (Wal)
Henshaw (Ire)

Marler (Eng)
Best (Ire) (C)
Lee (Wal)
Kruis (Eng)
AWJ (Wal) (C)
Stander(Ire)
Warburton (Wal)
Faletau (Wal) / Heaslip (Ire)
Laidlaw (Sco) (C)
Farrell (Eng)
Watson (Eng)
?
Davies (Wal)
Nowell (Eng)
Zebo (Ire)

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Post by True Raven Wed 23 Mar 2016, 12:45 am

thomh wrote:
True Raven wrote:
beshocked wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:Agree with most of that team except the locks. I cannot see how you can go against Itoje and Kruis. They are the best now and in 2017 are likely to be even further ahead.

I bet AWJ will start as captain again. Not sure how you could leave him out to be honest. One of the first names on the sheet IMO.
If the team was being picked a couple of years ago that would be fair comment. However the team is being picked to play in 2017 not 2014. Things move on.


Gatland has a record of favouring Welsh players so if he is coach you may well be proved right.

As of right now he is the best option at lock for me by some distance. Yes Itoje and Kruis had a good campaign but they aren't at AWJs level yet. You need your head checked if you think they are. 2017 is only one year away. AWJ is already on the plane. He is also the best option for captain IMO too.

Gunsgerms I agree they weren't at AWJ level's vs Wales, they were above it....

You don't get a long service award. AWJ - player I think is very good but he's got to perform better than his peers or he'll struggle to make the plane with Kruis,Itoje,Launchbury,J.Gray,Charteris and the man mountain Toner all in contention currently. Could even be someone else who bursts onto the scene.

Launchbury and Lawes a year ago were the first choice locks for England but that's changed, we'll see what happens in a year. Perhaps someone will pick up an injury, we just don't know.

Well except of course if Gatland is coach then AWJ, Lydiate and Davies might as well book their hotels now....

You do realise AWJ was one of the best locks at the world cup which was this season!  Form is temporary and class is permanent as they say

Form may be temporary and class may be permanent but Itoje and Kruis are both so new on the international scene (Kruis slightly less so) that their current outstanding form is the only indication that we have as to their class.

Now you may think that they need more games to prove beyond doubt that they're at that level, but the fact that a statement is as yet unproven doesn't mean it's untrue. Everything Kruis and Itoje has done indicates that they're top class locks. Their international performances have been at at least AWJ's level. Saying that they're not at AWJ's level yet just because you haven't seen them play enough games is no less speculative than the reverse.

I haven't posted anything about itoje or kruis, I'm arguing that AWJ is a quality lock who will be in the lions squad next year as a few posters on here are running him down


Last edited by True Raven on Wed 23 Mar 2016, 12:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : -)

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 23 Mar 2016, 5:59 am

True Raven wrote:
thomh wrote:
True Raven wrote:
beshocked wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:Agree with most of that team except the locks. I cannot see how you can go against Itoje and Kruis. They are the best now and in 2017 are likely to be even further ahead.

I bet AWJ will start as captain again. Not sure how you could leave him out to be honest. One of the first names on the sheet IMO.
If the team was being picked a couple of years ago that would be fair comment. However the team is being picked to play in 2017 not 2014. Things move on.


Gatland has a record of favouring Welsh players so if he is coach you may well be proved right.

As of right now he is the best option at lock for me by some distance. Yes Itoje and Kruis had a good campaign but they aren't at AWJs level yet. You need your head checked if you think they are. 2017 is only one year away. AWJ is already on the plane. He is also the best option for captain IMO too.

Gunsgerms I agree they weren't at AWJ level's vs Wales, they were above it....

You don't get a long service award. AWJ - player I think is very good but he's got to perform better than his peers or he'll struggle to make the plane with Kruis,Itoje,Launchbury,J.Gray,Charteris and the man mountain Toner all in contention currently. Could even be someone else who bursts onto the scene.

Launchbury and Lawes a year ago were the first choice locks for England but that's changed, we'll see what happens in a year. Perhaps someone will pick up an injury, we just don't know.

Well except of course if Gatland is coach then AWJ, Lydiate and Davies might as well book their hotels now....

You do realise AWJ was one of the best locks at the world cup which was this season!  Form is temporary and class is permanent as they say

Form may be temporary and class may be permanent but Itoje and Kruis are both so new on the international scene (Kruis slightly less so) that their current outstanding form is the only indication that we have as to their class.

Now you may think that they need more games to prove beyond doubt that they're at that level, but the fact that a statement is as yet unproven doesn't mean it's untrue. Everything Kruis and Itoje has done indicates that they're top class locks. Their international performances have been at at least AWJ's level. Saying that they're not at AWJ's level yet just because you haven't seen them play enough games is no less speculative than the reverse.

I haven't posted anything about itoje or kruis, I'm arguing that AWJ is a quality lock who will be in the lions squad next year as a few posters on here are running him down
There is a lot of Rugby between today and the Lions tour next year. If AWJ is able to maintain his level of play he will undoubtedly be in the Lions squad. For him it is keeping fit and firing. He has a career and a body of work which goes a long way to justify his presumed inclusion in the squad.

But these kinds of discussions for a Lions squad over a year away barely rates as speculative. So much will happen between now and then. If, if, if.
But does make for conversation now the 6 Nations is over.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 23 Mar 2016, 6:34 am

Based on current form there's quite a few nailed on if the side was picked today.

1. McGrath
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Itoje
5. Kruis
6. Warburton
7. Hardie
8. Vuinipola

9. Murray
10. Bigger
11. North
12. Roberts
13. Joseph
14. Watson
15. Hogg

I'd find it hard not to pick those in bold if I was picking the team.

You can obviously throw players like Nel, J Gray, Hughes, JD etc into the mix.

English - 7
Welsh - 4
Scottish - 2
Irish - 2

I think that's a pretty fair mix with England having the bulk but not overly dominant as they aren't at the minute.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Wed 23 Mar 2016, 9:52 am

I really do not know what the fuss is over AWJ. Great player yes, but I'm sorry - he'll be nowhere near the Lions next year.

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Post by bluestonevedder Wed 23 Mar 2016, 10:09 am

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:I really do not know what the fuss is over AWJ. Great player yes, but I'm sorry - he'll be nowhere near the Lions next year.

Prepare for the backlash Tattie...

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Post by beshocked Wed 23 Mar 2016, 10:17 am

doctor_grey wrote:
True Raven wrote:
thomh wrote:
True Raven wrote:
beshocked wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:Agree with most of that team except the locks. I cannot see how you can go against Itoje and Kruis. They are the best now and in 2017 are likely to be even further ahead.

I bet AWJ will start as captain again. Not sure how you could leave him out to be honest. One of the first names on the sheet IMO.
If the team was being picked a couple of years ago that would be fair comment. However the team is being picked to play in 2017 not 2014. Things move on.


Gatland has a record of favouring Welsh players so if he is coach you may well be proved right.

As of right now he is the best option at lock for me by some distance. Yes Itoje and Kruis had a good campaign but they aren't at AWJs level yet. You need your head checked if you think they are. 2017 is only one year away. AWJ is already on the plane. He is also the best option for captain IMO too.

Gunsgerms I agree they weren't at AWJ level's vs Wales, they were above it....

You don't get a long service award. AWJ - player I think is very good but he's got to perform better than his peers or he'll struggle to make the plane with Kruis,Itoje,Launchbury,J.Gray,Charteris and the man mountain Toner all in contention currently. Could even be someone else who bursts onto the scene.

Launchbury and Lawes a year ago were the first choice locks for England but that's changed, we'll see what happens in a year. Perhaps someone will pick up an injury, we just don't know.

Well except of course if Gatland is coach then AWJ, Lydiate and Davies might as well book their hotels now....

You do realise AWJ was one of the best locks at the world cup which was this season!  Form is temporary and class is permanent as they say

Form may be temporary and class may be permanent but Itoje and Kruis are both so new on the international scene (Kruis slightly less so) that their current outstanding form is the only indication that we have as to their class.

Now you may think that they need more games to prove beyond doubt that they're at that level, but the fact that a statement is as yet unproven doesn't mean it's untrue. Everything Kruis and Itoje has done indicates that they're top class locks. Their international performances have been at at least AWJ's level. Saying that they're not at AWJ's level yet just because you haven't seen them play enough games is no less speculative than the reverse.

I haven't posted anything about itoje or kruis, I'm arguing that AWJ is a quality lock who will be in the lions squad next year as a few posters on here are running him down
There is a lot of Rugby between today and the Lions tour next year. If AWJ is able to maintain his level of play he will undoubtedly be in the Lions squad. For him it is keeping fit and firing. He has a career and a body of work which goes a long way to justify his presumed inclusion in the squad.

But these kinds of discussions for a Lions squad over a year away barely rates as speculative. So much will happen between now and then. If, if, if.
But does make for conversation now the 6 Nations is over.

Well said that's the point I've tried to make. We just don't know yet whose going to be the locks yet. Being a current frontrunner now doesn't mean they'll be in a year's time. Injuries happen, bans happen, loss of form etc.

Of course AWJ might well be there in 2017 squad but there is no guarantee. He is a quality lock but competition should be fierce.

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Post by Jimpy Wed 23 Mar 2016, 10:18 am

bluestonevedder wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:I really do not know what the fuss is over AWJ. Great player yes, but I'm sorry - he'll be nowhere near the Lions next year.

Prepare for the backlash Tattie...

He might well be right though. AWJ really isn't anything special.

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Post by bluestonevedder Wed 23 Mar 2016, 10:22 am

Jimpy wrote:
bluestonevedder wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:I really do not know what the fuss is over AWJ. Great player yes, but I'm sorry - he'll be nowhere near the Lions next year.

Prepare for the backlash Tattie...

He might well be right though. AWJ really isn't anything special.

I happen to agree.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 23 Mar 2016, 10:26 am

AWJ is a good lock with good leadership skills and a ton of experience. He's not outstanding in anything in a way that is going to make another team worry about him in particular, but his all round skill set helps the Welsh pack function and he's very important for them. So its easy to see the Welsh supporters singing his praises very highly and everyone else not really caring.

The English equivalent is probably Robshaw, but only half the English supporters actually rate him Smile

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Post by Jimpy Wed 23 Mar 2016, 10:38 am

lostinwales wrote:AWJ is a good lock with good leadership skills and a ton of experience. He's not outstanding in anything in a way that is going to make another team worry about him in particular, but his all round skill set helps the Welsh pack function and he's very important for them. So its easy to see the Welsh supporters singing his praises very highly and everyone else not really caring.

The English equivalent is probably Robshaw, but only half the English supporters actually rate him Smile

And, because he's in the Welsh team, he must be world class.

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Post by True Raven Wed 23 Mar 2016, 10:45 am

Jimpy wrote:
lostinwales wrote:AWJ is a good lock with good leadership skills and a ton of experience. He's not outstanding in anything in a way that is going to make another team worry about him in particular, but his all round skill set helps the Welsh pack function and he's very important for them. So its easy to see the Welsh supporters singing his praises very highly and everyone else not really caring.

The English equivalent is probably Robshaw, but only half the English supporters actually rate him Smile

And, because he's in the Welsh team, he must be world class.

Who has used that as the reasoning???

I could list the fact that hes been the starting lions test lock on the last two lions tours, his record in the six nations with wales and the fact that he's seen as the heartbeat of the team or a panel of 'experts' and not bitter fans listed him on the most recent shortlist for the world player of the year. But hey don't lets facts get in the way of your reasoning

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Post by bluestonevedder Wed 23 Mar 2016, 10:48 am

lostinwales wrote:AWJ is a good lock with good leadership skills and a ton of experience. He's not outstanding in anything in a way that is going to make another team worry about him in particular, but his all round skill set helps the Welsh pack function and he's very important for them. So its easy to see the Welsh supporters singing his praises very highly and everyone else not really caring.

The English equivalent is probably Robshaw, but only half the English supporters actually rate him Smile

Boshed the nail on the head.


AWJ's got excellent leadership skills, and rallies the rest of the team, but I wouldn't have him above others for one of the Lions' shirts.

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Post by beshocked Wed 23 Mar 2016, 10:58 am

Surely lock is a primary leadership position anyway. Would be disappointed if any of the lock options weren't leaders.

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Post by GunsGerms Wed 23 Mar 2016, 11:09 am

bluestonevedder wrote:
lostinwales wrote:AWJ is a good lock with good leadership skills and a ton of experience. He's not outstanding in anything in a way that is going to make another team worry about him in particular, but his all round skill set helps the Welsh pack function and he's very important for them. So its easy to see the Welsh supporters singing his praises very highly and everyone else not really caring.

The English equivalent is probably Robshaw, but only half the English supporters actually rate him Smile

Boshed the nail on the head.


AWJ's got excellent leadership skills, and rallies the rest of the team, but I wouldn't have him above others for one of the Lions' shirts.

I'm not Welsh but I think AWJ should be Lions captain and first name on the team sheet. He isn't just a very strong leader he is also an excellent lineout operator. Probably better than anyone else in contention.

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