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Lions 2017 - Name your team, captain and whatever else you want to harp on about

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:19 pm

First topic message reminder :

My wishlist:

I hope AWJ is named captain to keep the Irish and English lads in check.
I hope Robshaw gets picked, he deserves to tour at least once at this point.
I hope the refereeing is strictly on a level playing field.
I hope NZ are made accountable for any incidents where they break anyone's collarbone and put them out of the game for 13 months.
The Lions to be at the very least competitive and win one of the first two tests.
I'd like to see Tadhg Furlong get a run out.
Would like to see an uncapped player in the squad.
No charity caps, Tom court, Shane Williams etc.
I hope Gatland comes up with a much more interesting and variable game plan than on the last Lions tour.
Dylan Hartley calls a ref the C word on the last day of the six nations and misses the tour.

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Post by TJ on Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:29 pm

Miaow - I said Watson was maybe the fastest not the best.

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Post by Cyril on Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:33 pm

TJ wrote:Miaow - I said Watson was maybe the fastest not the best.
We can only assume he didn't get your joke Smile

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Post by Guest on Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:05 pm

Evidently. Sorry for misinterpreting, I still can't see the joke.

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Post by Cyril on Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:11 pm

miaow wrote:Evidently. Sorry for misinterpreting, I still can't see the joke.
Sorry, meow,

You and TJ should private message.

In fact, you should private message in general and save us from the essays.

Thank you.

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Post by Guest on Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:20 pm

Cheers Siril.

I tried that private messaging thing before, except the girls didn't want to talk at length about rugby...? Thought it best stick to the essays on here.

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Post by TJ on Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:18 am

I didn't make a joke! Just a badly expressed point!

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Post by Guest on Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:52 pm

We've talked a lot about the Lions, specifically pages of whether or not Hogg and Russell are any good, how many options we have at lock, and how everyone hates Gatland and the Welsh. We've also meandered well off topic into the realms of political philosophy.

Not much has been said about the All Blacks. Is it fair to say they had a 'poor' year last season, particularly so considering their form in the years leading up to the RWC? Is the loss to Ireland enough to dampen what was an excellent and record breaking winning streak?

We're taking it for granted that they're still going to be superb later this year, and I don't doubt it. But are there any weaknesses? Any areas where the succession planning might not be up to speed yet? I think a few in the NH felt the midfield might be a weakness post Nonu and Smith, but although they've chopped and changed in the centre, it doesn't look like an explicit weakness to me. They'll also have SBW back.

Wales pushed them at times in the Summer- when the ABs were definitely at their 'weakest'- despite never really threatening to beat them, and it's fair to say the Welsh team isn't at its peak at the moment. Ireland then gave them two huge tests. The ABs won the Four Nations with a clean sweep, although Australia and South Africa were a shadow of the sides they had been in the RWC. Argentina probably put in the best performance against them, going toe to toe with them for forty minutes, driving up the middle at the breakdown and making good headway.

So my question is, where are the All Blacks potentially weakest? And what are their strengths? How is their player depth? Who can they least affor to be missing through injury? I think once we're able to address some of those- rather than the mythical team in the black shirts- we might have a better understanding of what the best way of trying to beat them with the Lions is.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:59 pm

Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:Evidently. Sorry for misinterpreting, I still can't see the joke.
Sorry, meow,

You and TJ should private message.

In fact, you should private message in general and save us from the essays.

Thank you.

Haha

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:00 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Fair enough. Born in England I see.

Yes, and played in the Leicester Academy as a kid. He qualifies for Scotland on account of his name.

I've asked that my children be given Fijian names, so that they can play for the All Blacks.

Laugh

Quality

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Post by No9 on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:34 pm

There's a rumor that Shane Williams, will be in NZ commentating for BBC (radio).. The rumor is Gats has asked him to pack his boots as he could get another one-off game. Apparently Brian O'Driscol is also going down to do a media spot and offered to take his boots as well. Gats politely said "Don't bother...".

Whistle ...... Run

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:39 pm

I also heard a rumour that the Lions were going to pick players based on form and merit this time and try to play exciting rugby...

..just kidding I didn't that would be ridiculous.


Last edited by GunsGermsV2 on Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:44 pm

Cyril wrote:
miaow wrote:Evidently. Sorry for misinterpreting, I still can't see the joke.
Sorry, meow,

In fact, you should private message in general and save us from the essays.

Thank you.

laughing

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Post by SecretFly on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:58 pm

No9 wrote:There's a rumor that Shane Williams, will be in NZ commentating for BBC (radio).. The rumor is Gats has asked him to pack his boots as he could get another one-off game. Apparently Brian O'Driscol is also going down to do a media spot and offered to take his boots as well. Gats politely said "Don't bother...".

Whistle ...... Run

Gats was worried that BOD meant his skull-cracking street-blooded hobnailed boots. Oh well, I suppose the barb-wired baseball bat will have to suffice.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:37 am

Will Greenwood reckons that Adam Byrne should start for the Lions:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/01/27/will-greenwoods-lions-xv-makes-cut-ahead-six-nations/adam-byrne/

Interesting team.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:07 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:Will Greenwood reckons that Adam Byrne should start for the Lions:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/01/27/will-greenwoods-lions-xv-makes-cut-ahead-six-nations/adam-byrne/

Interesting team.

He also said that Tim Visser of Scotland (not sure why he doesn't similarly clarify George North "of Wales") has been in cracking international form in the Autumn.

He wasn't in particularly good form. Far from it. He was defensively caught short in the only game he started - against Australia. He benched against Argentina and didn't even feature against Georgia. I think Greenwood, generally a very good pundit, is suffering from Guscott-itis.

Not a bad team though.

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Post by True Raven on Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:10 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Will Greenwood reckons that Adam Byrne should start for the Lions:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/01/27/will-greenwoods-lions-xv-makes-cut-ahead-six-nations/adam-byrne/

Interesting team.

He also said that Tim Visser of Scotland (not sure why he doesn't similarly clarify George North "of Wales") has been in cracking international form in the Autumn.

He wasn't in particularly good form. Far from it. He was defensively caught short in the only game he started - against Australia. He benched against Argentina and didn't even feature against Georgia. I think Greenwood, generally a very good pundit, is suffering from Guscott-itis.

Not a bad team though.

Apart from Haskell at 7. There's better options than him.

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Post by chris_501 on Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:36 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Will Greenwood reckons that Adam Byrne should start for the Lions:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/01/27/will-greenwoods-lions-xv-makes-cut-ahead-six-nations/adam-byrne/

Interesting team.

He also said that Tim Visser of Scotland (not sure why he doesn't similarly clarify George North "of Wales") has been in cracking international form in the Autumn.

He wasn't in particularly good form. Far from it. He was defensively caught short in the only game he started - against Australia. He benched against Argentina and didn't even feature against Georgia. I think Greenwood, generally a very good pundit, is suffering from Guscott-itis.

Not a bad team though.


Yeah I think that's a very good team, barring 7&11.

The areas where Gatland will have a real strength in depth problem to choose are the myriad of great second rows, Vunipola or Faletau, scrum half and at full back.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:38 pm

Yeah haskell at 7 and Byrne on the wing are the two that stood out as unlikely for me. Id say SOB, VDF, Warburton or Robshaw are better options at 7.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:59 pm

I can see the logic of Haskell. His form against Australia in the summer was truly outstanding, exactly the sort of heroics we'll need in New Zealand, and only injury has prevented him from carrying that forward. He's also a classic 6.5 who can play both sides of the scrum. I don't have a huge issue with the selection of Haskell.

I don't recall having seen Byrne play so, despite tradition on these boards, I won't comment on his abilities.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:21 pm

I put Adam Byrne in my fantasy Pro12 team when Leinster were at home to Zebre. Their other wing scored a hat-trick. Sad

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Post by TJ on Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:57 am

Here is a thought. Should we pick a lions side of the most irritating niggling gits we can find in the hope NZ get so frustrated / irritated that they all either get cards or walk off in disgust?

L. Williams, M. Brown, S Hogg as the back 3? etc etc

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Post by Gwlad on Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:02 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:Yeah haskell at 7 and Byrne on the wing are the two that stood out as unlikely for me. Id say SOB, VDF, Warburton or Robshaw are better options at 7.

SOB, Warburton or Robshaw….god i hope not. Tipuric is a class apart form all of these has beens.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:21 pm

Gwlad wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Yeah haskell at 7 and Byrne on the wing are the two that stood out as unlikely for me. Id say SOB, VDF, Warburton or Robshaw are better options at 7.

SOB, Warburton or Robshaw….god i hope not. Tipuric is a class apart form all of these has beens.



Not biased in any way i see Gwlad. picard

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:22 pm

TJ wrote:Here is a thought.  Should we pick a lions side of the most irritating niggling gits we can find in the hope NZ get so frustrated / irritated that they all either get cards or walk off in disgust?

L. Williams, M. Brown, S Hogg as the back 3? etc etc

Sounds like a plan. Something like:
Marler
Hartley
Francis
Hamilton
Itoje
Clark
Haskell
Heaslip
Murray
Farrell
L. Williams
Tuilagi
S. Williams
Brown
Hogg

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Post by RiscaGame on Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:59 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Yeah haskell at 7 and Byrne on the wing are the two that stood out as unlikely for me. Id say SOB, VDF, Warburton or Robshaw are better options at 7.

SOB, Warburton or Robshaw….god i hope not. Tipuric is a class apart form all of these has beens.



Not biased in any way i see Gwlad. picard

If he was biased, surely he wouldn't say Tipuric was a class above Warburton, or even if nothing else not slag off a Welsh player too? How about you counter how the three he mentions are better than Tipuric?

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Post by lostinwales on Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:37 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Yeah haskell at 7 and Byrne on the wing are the two that stood out as unlikely for me. Id say SOB, VDF, Warburton or Robshaw are better options at 7.

SOB, Warburton or Robshaw….god i hope not. Tipuric is a class apart form all of these has beens.



Not biased in any way i see Gwlad. picard

If he was biased, surely he wouldn't say Tipuric was a class above Warburton, or even if nothing else not slag off a Welsh player too? How about you counter how the three he mentions are better than Tipuric?

I'll leave out Warburton because other than thinking he's made of glass I haven't got much to say, but he's been captain of lots of things for a long time. SOB is a force of nature when on form. Was a real wrecking ball, maybe less so now but is a more rounded player than he used to be. Robshaw - well put the two in a foot race and Tipuric would be miles and miles ahead but name one other area where he is better...

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Post by TJ on Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:54 pm

Mad for - that just makes me shudder!

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Post by True Raven on Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:12 pm

lostinwales wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Yeah haskell at 7 and Byrne on the wing are the two that stood out as unlikely for me. Id say SOB, VDF, Warburton or Robshaw are better options at 7.

SOB, Warburton or Robshaw….god i hope not. Tipuric is a class apart form all of these has beens.



Not biased in any way i see Gwlad. picard

If he was biased, surely he wouldn't say Tipuric was a class above Warburton, or even if nothing else not slag off a Welsh player too? How about you counter how the three he mentions are better than Tipuric?

I'll leave out Warburton because other than thinking he's made of glass I haven't got much to say, but he's been captain of lots of things for a long time. SOB is a force of nature when on form. Was a real wrecking ball, maybe less so now but is a more rounded player than he used to be. Robshaw - well put the two in a foot race and Tipuric would be miles and miles ahead but name one other area where he is better...

Better tackler (currently on 160 tackles without a missed one yet), better over then ball, tips has the hands and skill of a centre and creates plenty of tries as well as scores them and he's intellectual superior to robshaw who has made several strange decisions on a rugby pitch.

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Post by George Carlin on Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:38 am

TJ wrote:Here is a thought.  Should we pick a lions side of the most irritating niggling gits we can find in the hope NZ get so frustrated / irritated that they all either get cards or walk off in disgust?

L. Williams, M. Brown, S Hogg as the back 3? etc etc
That would be a team which Dylan Hartley would be uniquely qualified to captain. 

Danny Grewcock could be the coach and Connor Murray could teach everyone to scream 'stop tackling me' at the advancing All Blacks loose forwards.
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Post by bedfordwelsh on Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:01 am

If all fit my current team would be

McGrath Best Furlonh
Itoje J Grey
Stander Faletau SOB

Murray Sexton

Li Williams Farrell Henshaw Nowell

Hogg
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Post by Gwlad on Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:33 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Yeah haskell at 7 and Byrne on the wing are the two that stood out as unlikely for me. Id say SOB, VDF, Warburton or Robshaw are better options at 7.

SOB, Warburton or Robshaw….god i hope not. Tipuric is a class apart form all of these has beens.



Not biased in any way i see Gwlad. picard

If he was biased, surely he wouldn't say Tipuric was a class above Warburton, or even if nothing else not slag off a Welsh player too? How about you counter how the three he mentions are better than Tipuric?

Yes but in his fumbling desperation to allege bias he has to go for the cheap shot….I'm just interested in the best 7 and right now it is Tipuric. Anyone who isn't myopic will see that. The idea that Warburton, Robshaw or SOB can do a better job is laughable.

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Post by Guest on Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:03 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Will Greenwood reckons that Adam Byrne should start for the Lions:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/01/27/will-greenwoods-lions-xv-makes-cut-ahead-six-nations/adam-byrne/

Interesting team.

He also said that Tim Visser of Scotland (not sure why he doesn't similarly clarify George North "of Wales") has been in cracking international form in the Autumn.

He wasn't in particularly good form. Far from it. He was defensively caught short in the only game he started - against Australia. He benched against Argentina and didn't even feature against Georgia. I think Greenwood, generally a very good pundit, is suffering from Guscott-itis.

Not a bad team though.

I think that last sentence is a problem for me. Yeah, on the face of it, it seems like a good reflection of the best fantasy concoction of players the NH could muster based on form. But as a team, it's rank. It's a 'team' of Sky Sports/Telegraph players. The All Blacks would have a field day.

I'd much rather see the best team of players, picked to do an explicit job, than just the most visible individuals to Sky Sports subscribers.

Without fail, Will Greenwood's team predictions, analysis, and valuation of players has almost always been diabolical. I can't help but feel this is the same. Good player, dreadful pundit.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:11 pm

What's your current team then?

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:14 pm

miaow wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Will Greenwood reckons that Adam Byrne should start for the Lions:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/01/27/will-greenwoods-lions-xv-makes-cut-ahead-six-nations/adam-byrne/

Interesting team.

He also said that Tim Visser of Scotland (not sure why he doesn't similarly clarify George North "of Wales") has been in cracking international form in the Autumn.

He wasn't in particularly good form. Far from it. He was defensively caught short in the only game he started - against Australia. He benched against Argentina and didn't even feature against Georgia. I think Greenwood, generally a very good pundit, is suffering from Guscott-itis.

Not a bad team though.

I think that last sentence is a problem for me. Yeah, on the face of it, it seems like a good reflection of the best fantasy concoction of players the NH could muster based on form. But as a team, it's rank. It's a 'team' of Sky Sports/Telegraph players. The All Blacks would have a field day.

I'd much rather see the best team of players, picked to do an explicit job, than just the most visible individuals to Sky Sports subscribers.

Without fail, Will Greenwood's team predictions, analysis, and valuation of players has almost always been diabolical. I can't help but feel this is the same. Good player, dreadful pundit.

It's not far off really.

I wouldn't have Mako anywhere near a Lions squad personally, i'd have McGrath starting with Marler on the bench, we need the strongest scrummagers rather than a flair prop.

Hartley or Best makes no real difference but with two Irish props it makes sense to go with Best.

Itoje and Gray are no brainers for me

Haskell at 7 isn't the most terrible selection, he'll tackle anything that moves.

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Post by Guest on Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:50 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
miaow wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Will Greenwood reckons that Adam Byrne should start for the Lions:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/01/27/will-greenwoods-lions-xv-makes-cut-ahead-six-nations/adam-byrne/

Interesting team.

He also said that Tim Visser of Scotland (not sure why he doesn't similarly clarify George North "of Wales") has been in cracking international form in the Autumn.

He wasn't in particularly good form. Far from it. He was defensively caught short in the only game he started - against Australia. He benched against Argentina and didn't even feature against Georgia. I think Greenwood, generally a very good pundit, is suffering from Guscott-itis.

Not a bad team though.

I think that last sentence is a problem for me. Yeah, on the face of it, it seems like a good reflection of the best fantasy concoction of players the NH could muster based on form. But as a team, it's rank. It's a 'team' of Sky Sports/Telegraph players. The All Blacks would have a field day.

I'd much rather see the best team of players, picked to do an explicit job, than just the most visible individuals to Sky Sports subscribers.

Without fail, Will Greenwood's team predictions, analysis, and valuation of players has almost always been diabolical. I can't help but feel this is the same. Good player, dreadful pundit.

It's not far off really.

I wouldn't have Mako anywhere near a Lions squad personally, i'd have McGrath starting with Marler on the bench, we need the strongest scrummagers rather than a flair prop.

Hartley or Best makes no real difference but with two Irish props it makes sense to go with Best.

Itoje and Gray are no brainers for me

Haskell at 7 isn't the most terrible selection, he'll tackle anything that moves.

That's the thing, on the face of it, there's no real contentious selection (leaving aside the winger for obvious reasons). But collectively, that's a really hanging team. Itoje and Gray against the All Black locks? Individually, sublime players. Both will tour, both may well play and start the Tests, but when there's so little pedigree in the rest of the team, that combination becomes a dubious one. So too the back row: individually- perhaps less so with Haskell- they're valid suggestions. Certainly Vunipola has a function that few other players available to the Lions are able to provide. But going down to NZ with two non specialist (particularly lacking on the openside) flankers who can cover the whole back row, and an historically immobile number 8? Against a team where our scramble defence and dynamism will be pushed to the limit, and the breakdown will be King?

Na. I don't get Will Greenwood. I honestly just don't get it. What's the point in sitting on the fence like he does? Yet even by doing that- by picking no-one contentious in his hypothetical XV- he shows absolutely no 'skin in the game', for want of a better word. There doesn't feel like there's actually that much foresight that's gone into this, as it has all the hallmarks of one of those "Lions players of the round" teams you find after a round of European Cup rugby. Even the justifications- Rob Kearney a consideration yet Liam Williams an outside bet- seem to have little to no grounding in contemporary evidence or reasoning. It does feel like he's just happy to get paid to say something bland and on the face of it reasonable, but which must have taken all of five minutes for him to decide upon. As you'll see below, the team he chose last time doesn't seem so bad, but it seems to be this 'best XV' rather than best team approach: why pick Tuilagi at 12 over Roberts with JD at 13?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAtgRfbHti0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jaqLo5gpKc&spf

Also, he's presumably significantly responsible for Owen Farrell's repeated and embarrassingly frequent appearance on the shortlist for player of the year. Which does make me wonder how much his employer influences his opinions, i.e. Sky want Farrell to be the next Wilkinson, Sky also want their casual rugby fans to get to grips with a few household names for a select few English clubs, and their French/Irish club level competition in Europe. Nathan Hines for the 2013, Chris Ashton world class, as above? That has reminded me of this actually: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ApD_1GF1g8. 2 minutes in. "Lions Index": or why you shouldn't pay for Sky.

I've probably been harsh on him here, conflating him with Sky, but it does seem he's selective in the rugby that he watches, and it does feel like he's hedging his bets, rather than picking a team that is uniquely his. If that is the team to take on the All Blacks, I don't think they'd stand much hope.

I feel that it also completely disregards the fact that Warren Gatland is the coach. Jospeh, Watson, and Hogg won't start as far as I can tell, and apart from Hogg, probably don't even get in the 23. I don't see him picking the kind of combinations that Greenwood has as well, particularly in the back row. Mako Vunipola's issues in the scrum make him a liability that at this stage put even his chances of touring up in the air. He's a great loose player, but that might consign him to the midweek.

As Hartley has had this long running verbal love-hate kiss chase thing going on in the media for years with Gatland, he's on his absolute last chance now. England need to win the 6Ns for him to be made Lions captain. I do feel that his red card severely limited the chances of that happening regardless though. He's a leader within the group regardless, but as a lieutenant, and one Gatland can manipulate and play to his/the Lions' advantage in the way he never would/could with the benign Warburton. With so much up in the air in that regard, who's your Lions captain from Greenwood's team? One of the still-a-bit-wet-behind-the-ears locks? Owen Farrell? Erm Hanging...

No 7&1/2 wrote:What's your current team then?

Too early to say. So much depends on the 6Ns. I'll make a few predictions for the Tests only though.

The props are up for grabs, but the starting tighthead will be a proven, reliable Test match scrummager above all else. Dan Cole seems the best bet, but England fans seem dubious about him for them, or so I've read on these boards, though I see no issue with him. He's in pole, but I'm not predicting him yet, let alone a loosehead.
Hartley- if he isn't banned or effs it up some other way- stands a very good chance of starting, almost certainly in the 23.
AWJ will be in the 23. J Gray will also be there.
As useful as B Vunipola is, I actually see the Tour culminating with Faletau at 8 if he stays fit. He's not being talked about much, but his value could become apparent down in NZ. Still underrated in my opinion, I hope lac of form and fitness aren't issues leading into it. Too many options on the flanks.

Webb and Murray are the halfbacks.
Farrell is about as nailed on to make the 23 as he possibly could be at this stage.
12 will have to be able to crash it up first phase rugby league style, 13 comfortable with umbrella/blitz defence as the last man. Too many out of form or adequate-but-not-standout options to say, somewhat like the flanks.
North, if fit, will start.
Halfpenny, like above, will also start, and be frontline goalkicker.

As I said, so much is reliant on the 6Ns. I can see a few of the Welsh boys (like Halfpenny if he doesn't have his kicking boots on) missing out, or a few (like Roberts) coming in, depending on how it goes.

What's your team?

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:11 pm

So basically you don't like the team because it's lacking in Welshmen, on no planet does anybody other than Joseph start at 13, if it happens for any reason we may as well throw in the towel. Gray and Itoje as the locks is only contentious because it leaves out AWJ, they are the best in the NH by a long way and much like Joseph. You called Billy immobile when he is nothing of the sort, it's an outdated opinion of him stuck in 2014, Faletau is a fine player but won't offer the same go forward.

The stand Welsh crash ball 12 tactics won't work against NZ and Gatland himself will know that, he'll need a far more dynamic approach.

I don't mean this as too much of a criticism but the constant essays are very difficult to reply to.

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Post by Guest on Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:42 pm

I think it's strange to not select any Welsh player in the XV considering Gatland is the Head Coach, particularly when the captain seems almost certain to be Welsh, but that's not actually my issue, no.

I think the problem is you/Greenwood are judging it according to individual players, rather than combinations, and most importantly, the opposition we're going to be playing against. The Lions won't be the best players. They'll lose if that's the criteria, every time. They're not going out there to have a talent contest against the All Blacks, because when has Warren Gatland ever just allowed his teams to unhinge and hope they come out on top against a more talented team, individually and collectively? Never. As good as Itoje and Gray are, I think you mix in AWJ there, probably as captain, and bring one/someone else off the bench at some point. Just my opinion, but that team needs more gristle, particularly up front, and you can't rely on Hartley.

Every Lions player will be somewhat immobile relative to the ABs. B Vunipola has an even bigger defecit to make up than most though. Doesn't discount him from starting. I do think Faletau offers a lot 'more', but whether that more counters Vunipola's carrying, I don't know. Depends on the rest of the team.

Gatland will absolutely play with a hard carrying 12. The most likely option is Henshaw. Honestly, it's naive to think that Gatland won't employ that tactic regularly to move from set piece to multi-phase play, and it's also not fully understanding how adaptable that tactic is as well, especially as a means of controlling the game, which is paramount to Warrenball. Take Wales as a rough model, rather than a blueprint. Wales and Roberts can be really rubbish at times, and over-use it due to their/his own limitations.

Joseph had a poor period 12-18 months ago. Injuries aside, that's still relatively recent. I think that comes into play. He needs to prove himself against Wales and Ireland in this 6Ns, both in attack and defence. If he does, then I'll likely change my mind (as, I should note, I would on pretty much all the mentioned players).

Apologies for the length of post, but I try to be comprehensive and take the time to detail out my reasoning. My opinion on Vunipola isn't 2/3 years out of date, it's based on a reality that the All Blacks would look to knacker him to the point that he's less effective with ball in hand, turning what is a potential key attacking player into a defensive weakness. Having seen Faletau down in NZ last Summer, he's certainly the better all round option and could be a key Test player in his own right, particularly as the tour draws to a close. Each to their own though, I could see the benefit of selecting lots of English players in units if they win the 6Ns as many are expecting them to.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:01 am

Joseph's attacking and defence have been superb for the last 12 months or so, that's good enough form to judge a player. He's one of these players that seems to adjust to the level he's at and always raises his game for Int rugby, he's the best 13 in the NH by a fair distance imo.

Saying that though, is he a Gatland type player? I'm really not sure.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:28 am

So you're not prepared to name a side of what you would pick for say this weekend miaow or say for the actual first test should everyone be fit? Not bothered about what we think Gatland would do yet. Shudder to think about that at present. I'll have a go at once I wake up properly.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:39 am

With the acknowledgement that I always forget a really obvious choice and will inevitably have to change. ..
Mcgrath Hartley Furlong
J Gray Launchbury
Itoje Tip uric
Vunipola
Murray Sexton
Watson
Henham
Joseph
Williams
Hogg.

Marler George Nel Henderson faletau Webb Farrell Nowell

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Post by R!skysports on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:46 am

Miaow. You put a lot of good points together and certainly ones worth discussing then ruin it be saying bad form of Jospeh over a year ago will be an impact. Then have halfpenny as a starter who has not been injury free/ good for several years

???

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Post by Guest on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:45 am

Risky, this is a group of players I think will play, not the team I would will select. As always with sport, it's not a meritocracy, and someone like Halfpenny won't have to be as 'in form' to get selected as someone like Brown or Hogg. You can discuss or criticise this all day long, and call it ridiculous, but I've elaborated on the benefits of this methodology before but most posters don't engage with it, and I need to keep the length of my posts down as well, so I won't do so again haha.

As mentioned above, I'm not sure Joseph is suited to how Gatland will play in NZ, whereas Henshaw very much is. But so is Jamie Roberts, though he does look like he's teetering on the edge of finishing as a Test player. Historic form does count for something, and not producing it on the biggest stage- the RWC- will matter, how much depends on how he and other individuals play this tournament in the biggest games. He's a good player though, no doubting that.

I will say this regarding English players, the strenth in depth has been phenomenal for the last five years, but I'd be wary of falling into the trap of seeing their worth/form/status of something more static that it is. If England go on and do the GS this 6Ns, then fine, I can see why you'd select their team, perhaps even squad at large, en masse, and keep those units together. But when that team is tested, when they're not so dominant, certain players' worth can fall dramatically: I'm not sure whether Joseph is one of those based on the RWC. Time will tell. Ben Youngs is certainly, and whilst still England's best 9 and bang in form these last 12 months, his performance has always seemed very reliant on how well others play around him.

This is why I said we need to talk about NZ, as, if we're selecting English players- particularly the backs- they will be playing from a position of weakness rather than the position of strength they've earnt the over the last year. It won't just be a case of trying to transplant them into Lions shirts and asking them to do what they've done for England.

As I said, if England are there or thereabouts this 6Ns, then that perhaps doesnt matter, you take those players and probably start the Tests with them because they're the best available to the Lions, but until the 6Ns, I do think someone like Joseph has to prove his form/worth to Gatland this 6Ns, certainly moreso than Halfpenny. That's life, it's not fair unfortunately, and Gatland's clearly not a coach who looks to do what seems common sense to the fans over following what he believes in himself, and if there's one thing he believes in, it's Halfpenny's boot.

No 7&1/2 wrote:So you're not prepared...

I see little point in just adding the same suggestions to what is collectively regarded the most in form XV/XXIII at the moment. I think most people have come to a consensus on that (as you can see by trawling back through the many pages of this thread), but that's not the criteria I'd abide by when selecting my hypothetical team, and as such I see no point in selecting a full team until after the 6Ns. I thought I provided a decent portion of a 23, anyway, and clearly sparked some debate with Halfpenny.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:49 am

miaow wrote:I don't get Will Greenwood. I honestly just don't get it. What's the point in sitting on the fence like he does? Yet even by doing that- by picking no-one contentious in his hypothetical XV- he shows absolutely no 'skin in the game', for want of a better word.

Picking Adam Byrne isn't contentious?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:50 am

And Joseph of course. I suspect most players would struggle in games with 2 thirds of his chest muscle (undiagnosed) not attached though!

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Post by Guest on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:05 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
miaow wrote:I don't get Will Greenwood. I honestly just don't get it. What's the point in sitting on the fence like he does? Yet even by doing that- by picking no-one contentious in his hypothetical XV- he shows absolutely no 'skin in the game', for want of a better word.

Picking Adam Byrne isn't contentious?

miaow wrote:That's the thing, on the face of it, there's no real contentious selection (leaving aside the winger for obvious reasons).

Rolling Eyes

Come on. You have to read the whole thing before you troll, otherwise you look a fool.

You and 7.5 should open a (really bad) legal practice together to scrutinise my 606 posts. You might be able to help each other out.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:06 am

If you were more succinct, we'd all be better off.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:10 am

Trying to be nice miaow and you go back to being like that. You were aware Joseph tore his chest muscle in the first WC game I assume which was why I was saying judging his form from that is a little harsh.

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Post by Guest on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:13 am

I'm sorry you struggle with sentences.

Brevity's overrated if all you're looking to do is WUM.


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Post by R!skysports on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:15 am

miaow wrote:Risky, this is a group of players I think will play, not the team I would will select. As always with sport, it's not a meritocracy, and someone like Halfpenny won't have to be as 'in form' to get selected as someone like Brown or Hogg. You can discuss or criticise this all day long, and call it ridiculous, but I've elaborated on the benefits of this methodology before but most posters don't engage with it, and I need to keep the length of my posts down as well, so I won't do so again haha.

As mentioned above, I'm not sure Joseph is suited to how Gatland will play in NZ, whereas Henshaw very much is. But so is Jamie Roberts, though he does look like he's teetering on the edge of finishing as a Test player. Historic form does count for something, and not producing it on the biggest stage- the RWC- will matter, how much depends on how he and other individuals play this tournament in the biggest games. He's a good player though, no doubting that.

I will say this regarding English players, the strenth in depth has been phenomenal for the last five years, but I'd be wary of falling into the trap of seeing their worth/form/status of something more static that it is. If England go on and do the GS this 6Ns, then fine, I can see why you'd select their team, perhaps even squad at large, en masse, and keep those units together. But when that team is tested, when they're not so dominant, certain players' worth can fall dramatically: I'm not sure whether Joseph is one of those based on the RWC. Time will tell. Ben Youngs is certainly, and whilst still England's best 9 and bang in form these last 12 months, his performance has always seemed very reliant on how well others play around him.

This is why I said we need to talk about NZ, as, if we're selecting English players- particularly the backs- they will be playing from a position of weakness rather than the position of strength they've earnt the over the last year. It won't just be a case of trying to transplant them into Lions shirts and asking them to do what they've done for England.

As I said, if England are there or thereabouts this 6Ns, then that perhaps doesnt matter, you take those players and probably start the Tests with them because they're the best available to the Lions, but until the 6Ns, I do think someone like Joseph has to prove his form/worth to Gatland this 6Ns, certainly moreso than Halfpenny. That's life, it's not fair unfortunately, and Gatland's clearly not a coach who looks to do what seems common sense to the fans over following what he believes in himself, and if there's one thing he believes in, it's Halfpenny's boot.

No 7&1/2 wrote:So you're not prepared...

I see little point in just adding the same suggestions to what is collectively regarded the most in form XV/XXIII at the moment. I think most people have come to a consensus on that (as you can see by trawling back through the many pages of this thread), but that's not the criteria I'd abide by when selecting my hypothetical team, and as such I see no point in selecting a full team until after the 6Ns. I thought I provided a decent portion of a 23, anyway, and clearly sparked some debate with Halfpenny.

as I said, I like that  fact that you give reasons for your points, and this is not a place that we have to always agree. Wink

I think the point about halfpenny and not needing to prove as much (or be as in good form) for him to be selected is true

It is also a lot of the reasons why people were very worried about Gatland being coach (and actually any standing home nation coach in fact), as well as the tactics us arm chair pundits think should be used :-)

Halfpenny may prove himself over the 6 nations (and indeed there are a lot of people who will play themselved in and out

I just worry that certainly players (AWJ, Halfpenny etc) do not need to as they probably have a ticket bought and are penciled in to start - which is wrong

But that would be likely with any coach

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Post by Guest on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:24 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Trying to be nice miaow and you go back to being like that.  You were aware Joseph tore his chest muscle in the first WC game I assume which was why I was saying judging his form from that is a little harsh.

Apologies. I'm willing to call it a truce, but I do seem to be have received a lot of flak from a number of posters in the last week having not been on here for about a month or so. It's hard to keep up with who hates me.

I agree injury was part of it, but then that's clearly the case for many players, Halfpenny included. For me, I still think Joseph needs to have a good 6Ns (Wales & Ireland particularly), but he could easily be the starting 13 for the Lions as his jinking and pace isn't common. If it were another coach, he'd clearly be the frontrunner- still is to many- but 13 is key to Gatland's defensive system, and I'm not sure about that aspect of his game outside of England (don't watch Bath). Take England's dominance of the last year away- which may or may not happen this 6Ns, but will happen against NZ- and you'll see his worth. Any weakness and the ABs will exploit it: defensive and set piece solidity is vital, and we learnt that the hard way in SA with Vickery. Gatland shows a reluctance to have too many attack-before-defence minded players in his team, and I'm not sure 13 is one of those positions for him.

Let's talk about the All Blacks.

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