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Post by Rinsure on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 11:54 am

So, the dates are announced for the Lions schedule in 18 months:

Sat July 3rd 2021: Stormers v Lions, Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Wed July 7th: South Africa Invitational v Lions, NMB Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Sat July 10th: Sharks v Lions, Jonsson Kings Park, Durban
Wed July 14th: South Africa 'A' v Lions, Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Sat July 17th: Bulls v Lions, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Sat July 24th: T1 Springboks v Lions, FNB National Stadium, Johannesburg
Sat July 31st: T2 Springboks v Lions, Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Sat Aug 7th: T3: Springboks v Lions, Emirates Airline Park (Ellis Park), Johannesburg

So, eight matches, three tests - two of which are at altitude. Tough schedule.

Lions tour 2021 Ek7lpk10

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 12:25 pm

Doesn't look as ridiculous as the last one. What a shame there's no Lions vs Lions.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 12:39 pm

What would be a really really good idea, is if everyone picked a team.

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Post by Rinsure on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 12:57 pm

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:What would be a really really good idea, is if everyone picked a team.

laughing laughing

I'll confess I was tempted to put similar.... Whistle


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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 1:15 pm

Maybe the lions should consider playing scotland as a warm up

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 1:31 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Maybe the lions should consider playing scotland as a warm up


Ouch!
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Post by RDW on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 1:57 pm

Feels like the beginning of the end of the Lions tour - only 8 games in 5 weeks with the first game a week after the premiership final. Next step it will be a couple of warmups then before we know it we'll only be getting a 3 test series. Shame that we lost the midweek game between the 1st and 2nd test as that's usually the last dirt tracker's game that means a lot to them, but it does take a big toll on the squad.

A full week between the last warmup and first Test should mean a smaller squad too, so even less chance of a Scottish representation!  Sad

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 2:05 pm

Just spread the word that Gatland will not pick many Scots. Then he'll pick a load! He loves doing the opposite to prove the media wrong. People saying he'll pick loads of Welsh due to familiarity and some sort of loyalty. I reckon he'll ditch a load, again to prove people wrong!
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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 6:08 pm

Less beginning of the end and more end of the beginning - this is the only feasible way the Lions survive. No surprise to see the midweek game between test 1 and 2 removed. Wouldn't be surprised to see it reduced further until it's a 3 + 3 situation: 3 warm ups, 3 tests.

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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 6:10 pm

This Lions squad will be heavily English. For many reasons that have been well covered.

Does this leave room for a BaBas-esque warm up before the tour 'proper' as well? Maybe in London?

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Post by 123456789. on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 7:14 pm

Weird there's only two midweek games. I do wonder if perhaps you'll see the real fringe players think twice about going. I suppose players will still see it as a big deal and back their ability. But it is a long way to go not to play much and not get much opportunity to push for a place. As for it being the beginning of the end, the fans in Britain and Ireland are overwhelmingly behind the concept, the SANZAR unions are behind the concept, the players still want to play, the coaches want to coach. There's no prospect of it ending anytime soon as far as I can see.
I do think a big step forward would be to include Tier Two nations as and when possible. A fixture against Namibia would be a big deal for the Namibians and add tests for the Lions. Similarly when travelling to New Zealand and Australia featuring the PI teams. Maybe getting Argentina and Japan in there too, although the geography doesn't really add up so easily there.

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Post by bsando on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 11:23 am

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12323/11914082/will-greenwoods-2021-british-irish-lions-xv

Will Greenwood has posted a Lions side, it's quite an interesting selection actually. Clearly based on who got a good run of games together in the 6N as by 2021 there will be other players coming into contention.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 3:49 pm

Parkes really gave his all at the world cup, and his body suffered for it. Very good player but probably too old and a little slow now. If selected then he'd go pretty well as he usually steps up in the big games.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 3:58 pm

We are a little short on high quality 12s currently. Having said that Gatland likes size in the midfield so Aki could be a go and there could be the old shoehorn Manu into 12.

Shame not to have more build up to this one. Would have liked to see a Barbarians game the week before the squad flew out but a few players would have been missing for league finals.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 6:20 pm

A pretty political and safe choice from Greenwood, with a few from each country and not wanting to upset anyone.

Even with my Scottish blinkers on, I can't see Ali Price being anywhere near the Lions, nor Hadleigh Parkes in all honesty.

On this seasons form, most of the others will be there or there abouts but hard to imagine the test team will look anything like that.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 7:21 pm

To be fair scrum half is pretty open but as it's Gatland and there are several Welsh contenders expect at least one possibly two of them to go.

Personally I'd have Watson as one of the first names on the team sheet even with the absurdly good depth at openside enjoyed by Lions selectors. Other than him I think Scotland will struggle to have any starters though Johnny Gray and Stuart Hogg should travel. Finn Russell will likely miss out along with George Ford as I don't think Gatland will go for them when bigger more physical flyhalfs are available.

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Post by RDW on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 10:03 pm

Yeah agree the Parkes and Price selections are the main standouts, but not much more to argue about.

Here's hoping someone puts their hand up at 9 and 12 over the coming season.

I'd love it so much if Watson traveled - I think he'd be immense on tour. As an out and out 7 he may struggle though.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 30 Mar 2020, 11:50 am

RDW wrote:
I'd love it so much if Watson traveled - I think he'd be immense on tour. As an out and out 7 he may struggle though.

Curry and Underhill are likely to also tour, one of them plus Watson would be an excellent flanker combination. We won't physically out muscle SA so tackle monsters who can turn over ball and run clever lines are going to be better bets. Falatau, Vunipola plus the Irish boys give us some big options at 8.

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Post by 123456789. on Mon 30 Mar 2020, 4:59 pm

I think in almost every position there's at least three players who could legitimately hold Lions ambitions. I think there's very few nailed on tourists. I think it will be similar to 2013 when we saw a Welsh spine padded with players from Ireland and England (and Richie Gray). Except I think this time we'll see an English spine padded out with players from the other three nations. I suspect a few of the English contingent are nailed on unless they have a monumental drop off; Farrell, the Vunipolas, Sinkler, Watson, Tuilagi, Itoje, Lawes, George, Daly and Curry for example. On top of that Ford, Underhill and May would expect to travel. Certainties from the other nations are harder to come by. From a Scottish perspective you would expect Hogg to go, Watson probably too. One of McInally or Brown, if on form may well travel. Russell is not really a Gatland player and has somewhat blotted his copybook but remains one of the most talented players in the World. Sutherland has come very strongly into a relatively weak position so would probably be on track to go. So I would say we have 5 probables and no dead certs. In terms of possibles we have a few second-rows who need to push on to the next level to be considered. Zander Fagerson is starting to fulfill his potential and is on the right track. If Huw Jones can find his 2018 form then he'll go and Darcy Graham brings something a bit different.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 30 Mar 2020, 7:27 pm

If Duhan van Der Merwe ends up playing for Scotland I’d say he’s probably a cert. Wing will be another very competitive position for the Lions. Centre not so much because they all seem to break easy. 

I have a feeling Gats would go for a less English front row after that World Cup final.

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Post by Guest on Mon 30 Mar 2020, 7:49 pm

At the moment I'd say the scrum half positions would be filled by Rhys Webb, Cooney, and probably Youngs, with a few others like the other two Welsh scrum halves, Horne and maybe a few others fighting it out to replace Youngs if his slip in form continues. I would be surprised to see Connor Murray tour but you never know experience is crucial especially given there might not be much rugby played between now and next summer.


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Post by Old Man on Mon 30 Mar 2020, 8:04 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:If Duhan van Der Merwe ends up playing for Scotland I’d say he’s probably a cert. Wing will be another very competitive position for the Lions. Centre not so much because they all seem to break easy. 

I have a feeling Gats would go for a less English front row after that World Cup final.

I mightbe wrong, but Duhan v d Merwe represented South Africa at U20, and if nothing has changed our U20 team is our second nominated team which would suggest he cannot represent Scotland.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 30 Mar 2020, 8:11 pm

Old Man wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:If Duhan van Der Merwe ends up playing for Scotland I’d say he’s probably a cert. Wing will be another very competitive position for the Lions. Centre not so much because they all seem to break easy. 

I have a feeling Gats would go for a less English front row after that World Cup final.

I mightbe wrong, but Duhan v d Merwe represented South Africa at U20, and if nothing has changed our U20 team is our second nominated team which would suggest he cannot represent Scotland.

You can't designate an age grade team as your second nominated side any more.

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Post by Old Man on Mon 30 Mar 2020, 9:01 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Old Man wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:If Duhan van Der Merwe ends up playing for Scotland I’d say he’s probably a cert. Wing will be another very competitive position for the Lions. Centre not so much because they all seem to break easy. 

I have a feeling Gats would go for a less English front row after that World Cup final.

I mightbe wrong, but Duhan v d Merwe represented South Africa at U20, and if nothing has changed our U20 team is our second nominated team which would suggest he cannot represent Scotland.

You can't designate an age grade team as your second nominated side any more.

Yes since 1 Jan 2018, he represented SA U20 in 2014.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 30 Mar 2020, 9:06 pm

He becomes eligible for Scotland this year one way or another, fairly sure that rule was backdated.

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Post by 123456789. on Mon 30 Mar 2020, 9:08 pm

All the reports over here suggest that he's very much so in the frame to play for Scotland. I think it might be a controversy too far for the Lions for Van Der Merwe to travel for the Lions. There's a few decent wingers in British and Ireland. There's the likes of Watson, Stockdale, Adams and May who have been outstanding over the last couple of years. There were four out and out wingers picked initially the last time, five the time before. If we take the above mentioned four as a given you have the controversy of a recent import going ahead of a Wales and Lions legend in George North, Jack Nowell who went the last time, Maitland who has been before.

I actually don't know where the Lions stand in terms of eligibility. If Van Der Merwe hasn't been picked for Scotland by next summer (highly unlikely), but is picked by the Lions and plays in a test, would he still eligible for South Africa? Further to that, if he is bound having played for the Lions is he bound to Scotland (as that's where he qualified) or is he then only eligible for all the home nations? As in, if the Scarlets swooped, after his residency period, could he play for Wales for example?

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Post by RDW on Mon 30 Mar 2020, 10:05 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
RDW wrote:
I'd love it so much if Watson traveled - I think he'd be immense on tour. As an out and out 7 he may struggle though.

Curry and Underhill are likely to also tour, one of them plus Watson would be an excellent flanker combination. We won't physically out muscle SA so tackle monsters who can turn over ball and run clever lines are going to be better bets. Falatau, Vunipola plus the Irish boys give us some big options at 8.

Given the smaller squad likely due to the condensed tour I can't see there being two out and out 7s. Regardless of what EJ say Curry is basically a 7 too!

As always some top players are going to miss out.

Duhan VDM is elligable in time for Scotland's summer tour (if it happens) and I can't wait to see what he can do at this level - he's a freak.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 8:59 am

Feast after famine next year.

Tokyo Olympics will have 'no direct clashes' with Lions tour - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/52100327

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 11:13 am

mikey_dragon wrote:If Duhan van Der Merwe ends up playing for Scotland I’d say he’s probably a cert. Wing will be another very competitive position for the Lions. Centre not so much because they all seem to break easy. 

I have a feeling Gats would go for a less English front row after that World Cup final.

The size of the SA scrum did for England there. The Beast also played the game of his life in the first half particularly. I think Cole struggled a little but more than I'd expect but he's not getting any younger and may have cooled off too much in-between the warm up and then taking the field. As the game went on he seemed to scrummage better.

I'd certainly expect Sinckler and Mako to both tour though Mako isn't a great scrummager. You'd expect Furlong to be the starting tighthead. After that there's quite a bit of competition with Genge, Carre and Sutherland at loosehead and a few tightheads kicking about. Hooker you'd expect to be George with a pretty big scrap to be his competition.

RDW, Curry won't play 8 but both him and Underhill are happy playing 6. Be a different type of backrow to Gatland's normal though I think he combined Warburton and Tipuric a few times. Hard for SA's big runner to get going if they don't have any good ball to play with.

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Post by bsando on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 11:58 am

I think Darcy Graham, DVDM, McInally, Watson, Ritchie and Sutherland could all be potential candidates to tour if Edinburgh succeed in winning silverware. I'm sure Gatland will be looking at who is winning and who is most consistent before any flare and skills.

However, Someone like Graham, Zammit or Dingwall could easily be a Lions bolter amongst the more conservative options in the backs. Judging by the 6N this year there's a far more level playing field in the home nations than the past two tours. Scotland in 2017 found 3 wins but they also lost a few seats on the plane thanks to being blown away by England at Twickers.

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 12:59 pm

The issue that Scottish players will have is the same one we had in 2017. To get selected Scotland players have to get to the extra level. Gatland knows the Irish system, knows the English system and knows the Welsh system. He knows the players and he knows the culture. They will always be the default. Add that they have been consistently better than us for the the last two decades and there can be little surprise that we've had a low turnout the last couple of times. The thing is in 2017 Gatland basically said the Lions tour is away from home, Scotland don't win away from home. Since 2017 we have only beaten Argentina away from home. It seems unlikely we'll be touring this summer as things stand. The worst case scenario is that we have France and England away from next Six Nations for them to prove they've overcome that issue. We've not won in England since '83 or France since '99. The most likely scenario is that we also play Wales in November in Cardiff, where we haven't won since '02. The best case scenario is we get to play in the summer against South Africa and New Zealand where we haven't won since, err, ever. If, as seems probable, the tour does not go ahead then it's a real shame as South Africa away would be the perfect audition for 2021.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 1:22 pm

Hopefully the summer tour to SA will take place, looking forward to see Scotland play here

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 2:00 pm

Old Man wrote:Hopefully the summer tour to SA will take place, looking forward to see Scotland play here

I very much doubt any of the Summer Internationals will happen.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 2:05 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Old Man wrote:Hopefully the summer tour to SA will take place, looking forward to see Scotland play here

I very much doubt any of the Summer Internationals will happen.

Me too.

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 2:56 pm

What's the situation like in South Africa? I
n terms of timeline we should be long beyond the worst of it by June although I suspect international travel will be almost nonexistent until we get a vaccine for this or a degree of herd immunity. It won't go down well with the papers but I firmly believe that elite sportsmen/women and entertainers should be first up after the vulnerable and the medics. Cabin fever will set in and will only get worse if there's no entertainment to lift it.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 3:08 pm

123456789. wrote:What's the situation like in South Africa? I
n terms of timeline we should be long beyond the worst of it by June although I suspect international travel will be almost nonexistent until we get a vaccine for this or a degree of herd immunity. It won't go down well with the papers but I firmly believe that elite sportsmen/women and entertainers should be first up after the vulnerable and the medics. Cabin fever will set in and will only get worse if there's no entertainment to lift it.

Entertainers depending on health issues maybe but your elite sportsmen will not be high up on many peoples list of priorities for a vaccine.

Saying that Maro Itoje needs it more than a warehouse worker is going to be a hard sell for instance.

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 3:42 pm

Yeah, it's not the most thought out viewpoint I have to say. Speaking to my friends who aren't at all interested in sport that Marcus Rashford ought to be getting vaccinated because I miss watching the football at the pub doesn't really wash. There's also the fact that sport will, fingers crossed, be back up and running long before a vaccination is in place. However, when all is said and done, I miss rugby and would very, very much so like to see it back on the telly.

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Post by The Oracle on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 3:43 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
123456789. wrote:What's the situation like in South Africa? I
n terms of timeline we should be long beyond the worst of it by June although I suspect international travel will be almost nonexistent until we get a vaccine for this or a degree of herd immunity. It won't go down well with the papers but I firmly believe that elite sportsmen/women and entertainers should be first up after the vulnerable and the medics. Cabin fever will set in and will only get worse if there's no entertainment to lift it.

Entertainers depending on health issues maybe but your elite sportsmen will not be high up on many peoples list of priorities for a vaccine.

Saying that Maro Itoje needs it more than a warehouse worker is going to be a hard sell for instance.


Maro Itoje, no. But Liam Williams for sure Wink
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Post by Old Man on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 4:04 pm

123456789. wrote:What's the situation like in South Africa? I
n terms of timeline we should be long beyond the worst of it by June although I suspect international travel will be almost nonexistent until we get a vaccine for this or a degree of herd immunity. It won't go down well with the papers but I firmly believe that elite sportsmen/women and entertainers should be first up after the vulnerable and the medics. Cabin fever will set in and will only get worse if there's no entertainment to lift it.

Difficult to say objectively, Ramaphosa last night said they will be starting testing everyone at home, our biggest issue is the low cost corrigated shack/ townships, very difficult for them to employ social distancing, so we really will only know where we stand once trsting has progressed beyond the individual.

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 4:48 pm

Old Man wrote:
123456789. wrote:What's the situation like in South Africa? I
n terms of timeline we should be long beyond the worst of it by June although I suspect international travel will be almost nonexistent until we get a vaccine for this or a degree of herd immunity. It won't go down well with the papers but I firmly believe that elite sportsmen/women and entertainers should be first up after the vulnerable and the medics. Cabin fever will set in and will only get worse if there's no entertainment to lift it.

Difficult to say objectively, Ramaphosa last night said they will be starting testing everyone at home, our biggest issue is the low cost corrigated shack/ townships, very difficult for them to employ social distancing, so we really will only know where we stand once trsting has progressed beyond the individual.

How does healthcare work in South Africa? Is it nationalised or privatised model? I only ask because in Britain our hospitals are effectively designed to cope with the average number of people in an average year whereas private healthcare companies perhaps offer a (relatively speaking) wider service but for fewer people. Are the townships likely to be covered by health insurance or if the viruses get into these communities are they likely to see a relatively short, merciless period in which the virus rampages through their population?

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Post by Old Man on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 5:37 pm

123456789. wrote:
Old Man wrote:
123456789. wrote:What's the situation like in South Africa? I
n terms of timeline we should be long beyond the worst of it by June although I suspect international travel will be almost nonexistent until we get a vaccine for this or a degree of herd immunity. It won't go down well with the papers but I firmly believe that elite sportsmen/women and entertainers should be first up after the vulnerable and the medics. Cabin fever will set in and will only get worse if there's no entertainment to lift it.

Difficult to say objectively, Ramaphosa last night said they will be starting testing everyone at home, our biggest issue is the low cost corrigated shack/ townships, very difficult for them to employ social distancing, so we really will only know where we stand once trsting has progressed beyond the individual.

How does healthcare work in South Africa? Is it nationalised or privatised model? I only ask because in Britain our hospitals are effectively designed to cope with the average number of people in an average year whereas private healthcare companies perhaps offer a (relatively speaking) wider service but for fewer people. Are the townships likely to be covered by health insurance or if the viruses get into these communities are they likely to see a relatively short, merciless period in which the virus rampages through their population?

A very small portion of South Africans can afford private healthcare, maybe 5% of the population, the rest rely on national healthcare which is in dire straits, if you go to a public hospital best you take your own bedding, the ones from the hospital is most likely stolen.

The healthcare professionals in public sector for the most part are good, but the patient care leaves a lot to be desired for in the wards.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 6:27 pm

Duhan being tied to SA is news to me. If that’s the case they should consider bringing him home and giving him a run for the Boks.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 6:28 pm

Old Man, rumour is that Jake White is looking overseas for South African players. Du Plessis, Grobler and Jenkins were among those mentioned.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 6:47 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Old Man, rumour is that Jake White is looking overseas for South African players. Du Plessis, Grobler and Jenkins were among those mentioned.

You mean for the Bulls for next season?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 6:56 pm

Yes, the selling point being to play against the B&I Lions.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 7:04 pm

I don’t think Jake has much say, the squad is quite settled, going to be a tough sell.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 7:10 pm

They've not done too well though have they, and Kruger was only brought back temporarily. Jenkins and Du Plessis are both Bulls too.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 7:13 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:They've not done too well though have they, and Kruger was only brought back temporarily. Jenkins and Du Plessis are both Bulls too.

Apologies,
i mean Springbok squad is settled, the Bulls have been decimated with players leaving, they are struggling heavily this year

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 01 Apr 2020, 11:11 pm

Bookies favourite for captain for the tour is Owen Shoulder Boy Farrell.

Has the slow creep of time finally caught up with AWJ?
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Post by 123456789. on Thu 02 Apr 2020, 7:13 pm

To be the captain of the Lions you'd need to be nearly a nailed on starter for the test side. AWJ is up against James Ryan, Maro Itoje and Courtney Lawes if he wants to make the test squad. Even now that is not nailed on. In a year's time it would be a push. Making the test squad is not that straightforward either as there are a fair few decent players that would be in the conversation with a big year. The Grays, Cummings and Skinner in Scotland will believe that a strong push will put them in the frame. Joe Launchbury will too, as will Kruis if he's not off to Japan. Iain Henderson will expect to travel and rightfully so. I'd say AWJ would be on the plane as it stands but there's (hopefully) lots of rugby to be played and he has a lot of mileage on the clock. The involuntary break that's been put in place may help in that regard.

Why they've turned to Farrell as the favourite is a tad beyond me. He hasn't been a roaring success as captain for England so far. But then the home nations are hardly in a golden era of captains. AWJ and Sexton are both getting on a bit and might struggle to make the tour/ test squad as things stand. Sexton has been unconvincing as well. Hogg is fresh in the role and his form over the last couple of years has been patchy. Liam Williams probably has the upper hand on him in most people's eyes. Personally I'd be looking at Itoje as the captain. It is a difficult one as the most likely starters for the Lions are hard to tell at this point. Most of them are English, Saracens players and who knows what will be happening there. Tadhg Furlong and Tuilagi have never come across as captains.

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