Lions tour 2021

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

First topic message reminder :

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 - Page 4 Ek7lpk10

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 12:18 pm

I don't think Russell is overrated necessarily but in the same way someone said Alun Wyn Jones is a home fans player, Russell can be something of an away fans player. Russell has games, or periods within games, when he is utterly unplayable. Think England in 2018 and 2019 for example. He also has moments within games when he loses patience or tries stuff that isn't on. That stuff doesn't make the highlight reel. Hastings also has those moments but without, yet, the sublime to go with it. I'd say there's fewer moments of magic with Hastings and probably slightly fewer moments of madness. I think he'll grow to be as good a fly-half in a different way. Sexton was 24 when he made his Ireland debut and 26 when he became guaranteed first choice. Hastings is 23 with 20 caps to his name so I've no doubt he'll get there in time. Hopefully the taste of being first choice will force him to kick on a bit. At the World Cup and in the Six Nations he seemed resigned to the idea that when Russell was there he'd be playing all the big games.

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Post by chris_501 on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 4:04 pm

123456789. wrote:I don't think Russell is overrated necessarily but in the same way someone said Alun Wyn Jones is a home fans player, Russell can be something of an away fans player. Russell has games, or periods within games, when he is utterly unplayable. Think England in 2018 and 2019 for example. He also has moments within games when he loses patience or tries stuff that isn't on. That stuff doesn't make the highlight reel. Hastings also has those moments but without, yet, the sublime to go with it. I'd say there's fewer moments of magic with Hastings and probably slightly fewer moments of madness. I think he'll grow to be as good a fly-half in a different way. Sexton was 24 when he made his Ireland debut and 26 when he became guaranteed first choice. Hastings is 23 with 20 caps to his name so I've no doubt he'll get there in time. Hopefully the taste of being first choice will force him to kick on a bit. At the World Cup and in the Six Nations he seemed resigned to the idea that when Russell was there he'd be playing all the big games.

I think you're right there numbers, the two players are almost polar opposites. However, both are very successful professional rugby players, so both pretty decent in my eyes!

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Post by Guest on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 5:12 pm

I think Russell is maybe a bit overrated by Scottish fans and Hastings is a bit underrated based on what I've seen of them. I reckon that mostly comes from Glasgow form where Russell was often untouchable. I can't say there are too many games I've seen where Russell has been 'unplayable' for Scotland - in moments, just, flashes of brilliance like the ones you mention. I've seen Quade Cooper be unplayable for 80 minutes, where 9 out of 10 things he does are either sensible or sumblime, with one mistake thrown in. I'm not sure I've seen that from Russell, I don't think he dictates the game well enough or low enough for that, and that's where I actually think Hastings is basically 'as good' as him as an international, even if he obviously can't do what Finn does. If there's one thing to know about Gatland, he always rates players based on the very biggest stage. Club form and the 'lesser' internationals don't tend to count for much and probably a lot of the credit Russell has in the bank with Scottish fans are in those games. I'd like to see him behind a top pack though. I don't think the French league is a great example of that unfortunately but it does give glimpses of what front foot dominance can bring out of him. If anything I think being in France will cost Russell with Scotland and the Lions. But you're probably right in that could he accept a team not being the Finn Russell show? I'm not sure his head's there and I'm not sure being in France and apparently getting pally with Zebo is the way to get there.

Also having read that 'bookies most likely list' I would disregard a lot of it. So much will change between now and next summer I cannot see both Murray and Sexton touring. He regularly got rid of players who were 'over the hill' when world cups came around for Wales each and every time and I see no exception here especially with Sexton. We've yet to see Ireland's post RWC regeneration which should mean a few household names miss out simply because they get dropped.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 7:04 pm

Scotlands Cipriani.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 04 May 2020, 11:03 am

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/2021-british-and-irish-lions-tour-of-south-africa-could-be-cancelled-to-save-home-unions-report

Fears of bankruptcy among the Irish, Scottish and Welsh unions have reportedly led to discussions between officials about creating contingency plans to re-schedule home fixtures next year as a top priority in an effort to generate some much needed revenue.

That would, in turn, force the 2021 Lions tour to be postponed or even scrapped entirely as the home unions scramble to stay afloat.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 04 May 2020, 11:09 am

Pretty sure the Lions could go ahead without Scotland, it usually does.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 04 May 2020, 11:21 am

Gooseberry wrote:Pretty sure the Lions could go ahead without Scotland, it usually does.

laughing laughing Honestly, I think the test team will be almost identical to the one that faced the ABs. It didn’t contain a Scot. Russell could be there in place of Sexton, Hogg could bump out Williams I guess.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 10 May 2020, 2:38 pm

British and Irish Lions: L Williams (Wales); J May (England), J Davies (Wales), O Farrell (England), J Adams (Wales); F Russell (Scotland), G Davies (Wales); M Vunipola (England), J George (England), T Furlong (Ireland), M Itoje (England), J Ryan (Ireland), J Navidi (Wales), T Curry (England), T Faletau (Wales).
Replacements: K Owens (Wales), R Carre (Wales), K Sinckler (England), I Henderson (Ireland), CJ Stander (Ireland), R Webb (Wales), G Ringrose (Ireland), H Slade (England).

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 11 May 2020, 9:27 am

Gooseberry wrote:Scotlands Cipriani.

Very much so.

This is why he wont tour with the Lions. His long term coach (club and country) in Townsend couldnt get Finn to behave and play the team tactics. Gatland simply would not stand for that and basically wont even take the chance of it happening so Finn wont be going anywhere with the Lions.

The Lions tour will show Gatland's true colours. Is he sentimental and stacks the team with his aging Welsh players as a farewell thank you or is he a ruthless competitor who sees the Lions tour as his next NZ audition and picks the best players in the best form to win the series?
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Post by 123456789. on Mon 11 May 2020, 1:55 pm

If it was purely getting the best players on the pitch at the same time I would have Russell at 10 and Farrell at 12, obviously having trialled it in warm-ups. Finn Russell is one of the best, if not the best, at what he does. He is also a relative rarity amongst mercurial fly-halves in that he does show up on the big occasions. However, it is debatable as to whether he is better overall than Anscombe, Ford, Biggar or Sexton, let alone if he's significantly better so as to justify the risk of his brainfarts on and off of the pitch. Even if you took him for a bench slot as a 'Hail Mary' option, the Six Nations debacle has raised enough questions. Listening to James Haskell and Jim Hamilton it's clear that Farrell demands high standards and sets the tone at training. Russell couldn't cope with Hogg asking him not to have an extra drink. Given everything that has happened since it's easy to forget how damaging Finngate was for Scotland, we lost to England and Ireland by 7 points, narrow margins in winnable games. If you take out the furore around a player walking out and consider what Russell can bring to a side, Scotland could (not would, not even probably would) have been heading to the Millenium stadium chasing a Six Nations title. If he pulled a similar stunt on a Lions tour against the world's best team when they have a criminally small amount of time to prepare then he could derail the entire venture. I can't see that Gatland would consider that a risk worth taking when there are three or four other fly-halves of similar standards.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 12 May 2020, 11:37 am

I have been highly critical of Russell's attitude over the last year however I still maintain that he is a rare talent and it would be very much worth Gatland's time to try and extract that talent for the Lions. I'm not usually one to push Scots onto the tour when they don't fully deserve it, and I would only expect a small handful to tour this time around, but Russell would be one of them. Farrell is guaranteed to tour, and I would expect George Ford to go as well. I think it's a call between Biggar and Russell, and the contrast could not be more stark!! It really does come down to game plan.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 12 May 2020, 11:39 am

mikey_dragon wrote:British and Irish Lions: L Williams (Wales); J May (England), J Davies (Wales), O Farrell (England), J Adams (Wales); F Russell (Scotland), G Davies (Wales); M Vunipola (England), J George (England), T Furlong (Ireland), M Itoje (England), J Ryan (Ireland), J Navidi (Wales), T Curry (England), T Faletau (Wales).
Replacements: K Owens (Wales), R Carre (Wales), K Sinckler (England), I Henderson (Ireland), CJ Stander (Ireland), R Webb (Wales), G Ringrose (Ireland), H Slade (England).

Hint of Welsh bias there. Not sure a 33 year old JD2 is going to make it and at the same time keep out Manu. Admittedly Manu might not make it either with his injury record. I'd shift Curry to 6 and bring in Watson at 7 personally. Scrum half is going to be a battle as well, centurion Ben Youngs, Connor Murray and if he keep his outrageous form from this season Cooney up against the Welsh trio. 

Rhys Carre didn't exactly set the world alight at Sarries this season, he's going to have to have a special season next year to jump up the pecking order with Marler, Genge, Healy and there's plenty of chat around Sutherland as well being among the competition. Being big and having potential won't get him very far when compared to that lot. In not sure Mako is an automatic selection either his form hasn't been at its best.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 12 May 2020, 12:02 pm

Centres is really tricky to pick, and lockdown has given me plenty time to stew over it. My own selection, if fit obviously, would be to go with either Farrell/Tuilagi (with Russell at 10) or Tuilagi/Slade (with Farrell at 10).

I can't see past Tuilagi if fit, and if he isn't then I struggle a bit. I don't rate Parkes or Aki very highly, so would probably look to Henshaw or Ringrose to partner with Slade, but Slade/Ringrose feels a bit light for South Africa.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 12 May 2020, 12:04 pm

Agreed on the flanker combination of Curry and Watson. Huge promise there.

Openside is another tricky one for me. I think two specialists will go, along with Curry principally as a 6. Two from Tipuric, Watson and Underhill. Really tough call. Gatland will surely pick Tipuric, and it's hard to argue. Think I'd leave out Underhill but will probably change my mind a few times on that!

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Post by BamBam on Tue 12 May 2020, 12:21 pm

Would be taking the most physical flankers I could if it was me, knock those big runners down behind the gainline. Watson, Underhill and Curry are all certainties for me.

Gatland picked Lydiate who offered nothing but chop tackles, Underhill is a class above him in all other areas while offering the same tackling ability, so think he should be in.

I'd be considering Leavy / Van Der Flier too if they can get fit and playing again, but know they've had a hell of a lot of injuries

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 12 May 2020, 12:22 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:British and Irish Lions: L Williams (Wales); J May (England), J Davies (Wales), O Farrell (England), J Adams (Wales); F Russell (Scotland), G Davies (Wales); M Vunipola (England), J George (England), T Furlong (Ireland), M Itoje (England), J Ryan (Ireland), J Navidi (Wales), T Curry (England), T Faletau (Wales).
Replacements: K Owens (Wales), R Carre (Wales), K Sinckler (England), I Henderson (Ireland), CJ Stander (Ireland), R Webb (Wales), G Ringrose (Ireland), H Slade (England).

Hint of Welsh bias there. Not sure a 33 year old JD2 is going to make it and at the same time keep out Manu. Admittedly Manu might not make it either with his injury record. I'd shift Curry to 6 and bring in Watson at 7 personally. Scrum half is going to be a battle as well, centurion Ben Youngs, Connor Murray and if he keep his outrageous form from this season Cooney up against the Welsh trio. 

Rhys Carre didn't exactly set the world alight at Sarries this season, he's going to have to have a special season next year to jump up the pecking order with Marler, Genge, Healy and there's plenty of chat around Sutherland as well being among the competition. Being big and having potential won't get him very far when compared to that lot. In not sure Mako is an automatic selection either his form hasn't been at its best.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 12 May 2020, 1:49 pm

BamBam wrote:I'd be considering Leavy / Van Der Flier too if they can get fit and playing again, but know they've had a hell of a lot of injuries

I don't think Van Der Flier is quite in the same class as Tipuric, Watson and Underhill. Good player, but fairly easy to discount in that company. Leavy was outstanding but I would really need to see him play again in the 6 Nations before considering him. Too many injuries. Still, when he broke through he was exceptionally good.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 12 May 2020, 8:51 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:British and Irish Lions: L Williams (Wales); J May (England), J Davies (Wales), O Farrell (England), J Adams (Wales); F Russell (Scotland), G Davies (Wales); M Vunipola (England), J George (England), T Furlong (Ireland), M Itoje (England), J Ryan (Ireland), J Navidi (Wales), T Curry (England), T Faletau (Wales).
Replacements: K Owens (Wales), R Carre (Wales), K Sinckler (England), I Henderson (Ireland), CJ Stander (Ireland), R Webb (Wales), G Ringrose (Ireland), H Slade (England).

Hint of Welsh bias there. Not sure a 33 year old JD2 is going to make it and at the same time keep out Manu. Admittedly Manu might not make it either with his injury record. I'd shift Curry to 6 and bring in Watson at 7 personally. Scrum half is going to be a battle as well, centurion Ben Youngs, Connor Murray and if he keep his outrageous form from this season Cooney up against the Welsh trio.

Rhys Carre didn't exactly set the world alight at Sarries this season, he's going to have to have a special season next year to jump up the pecking order with Marler, Genge, Healy and there's plenty of chat around Sutherland as well being among the competition. Being big and having potential won't get him very far when compared to that lot. In not sure Mako is an automatic selection either his form hasn't been at its best.

Oh come off it, I don't think anyone English can accuse others of bias Rolling Eyes.

Most of this is guesswork right now, it holds no more substance than you lot trying your best to usher 40 England players on tour... well it probably does hold a little more substance than that but I think you see where this is going. JD2 returning from injury does concern me a bit but if he's fit then that's probably the best option at 13 right there - granted there will be stiff competition if Tuilagi is fit, Ringrose in hot pursuit too.

Back-row is very competitive. Not many/nobody has better open-side options than Wales IMO, granted Curry and Underhill are also among the best on their current form. I'll probably get shot down for this but both are overhyped. If Navidi was English then he'd be rated as No.1 in world rugby. All of those will tour; physical options at 7 and can play across the back-row. No.8 we have two class options in Faletau and Vunipola, both have had a lot of injury problems - Stander close by. Moriarty will probably be around there, big physical guy and will be one of the first to fly into a dust-up with the big Boks. VDF won't be far off. Anyone contemplating POM need their heads checked.
Thinking about it, it'll probably be Itoje at 6, which leaves a spot open for someone alongside Ryan. Lawes, Ball, Kruis, Gray, Henderson, Hill... I can't see AWJ being there. If he's going on tour then it's with the intention of doing off-ball stuff to wind up the opposition. He could make the bench for the tests I guess, we will have to see how next year goes.

I can't see the three Welsh 9's going, perhaps two at the most. The others you mentioned will be in the race. Murray and Sexton would probably struggle to make the test team but both would be huge assets on tour. Russell is a standout at 10 but needs more Scotland time before this sets off. Possibly Anscombe is in the mix; then Biggar, Farrell, Ford, Hasting, Byrne or Larmour, another Welsh 10 - this one seems like a more competitive position.

Carre has hardly played for Sarries, pretty naf yardstick. McGrath won't be there this time though and I'm picking Carre mostly on potential - he's a big and strong lad but needs to deliver on the promise. Let me guess, you'd select Genge? I think Healy is too old, but could tour. Mako has the minerals so is probably almost a cert. Furlong hasn't been on his best form either but I think he'll improve in time, the guy is class anyway - what's scary is that Andrew Porter isn't far off. Not seen much of Sutherland, not entirely sold on him either. I was never sold on Nel so would be willing to take this with a pinch of salt... happy to be wrong when it comes down to it though.

I just think Gatland will go as close to the NZ test team as possible. The hot heads and physical guys will be there, most of them I selected - that's how Gatland thinks. I can't see that many Scots involved seeing as it's Gats, willing to be educated on their best front-runners outside of the obvious ones (Russell and Hogg)? Would be interesting if Scotland can throw more locks into the mix as they're pretty big guys too.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 12 May 2020, 9:46 pm

Mike - regarding the question on Scots, whilst I don't think we have any guaranteed tourists, I would very much like to see McInally (hooker), Watson (open side), Russell (fly half) and Hogg (fullback) go. All great players who would, I think, really add something.

A few more with a longer shot would be Sutherland (loosehead who had a strong 6 Nations), Brown (hooker who can cover 7), Gilchrist (big lock), Ritchie (flanker on great form and cover 6 and 7), Price (scrum half) and Graham (rapid winger). Due to strength of competition however, I don't think any of these will tour without injuries to others being a factor.

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 12 May 2020, 9:47 pm

I think England are head and shoulders above the rest of the Home Nations at the moment. The real question has to be, who are the players from Ireland, Scotland and Wales that will make up the difference to beat South Arica on their home turf. In that final England seemed robotic and South Africa messed up their signals so they malfunctioned. Bringing in the players with that bit extra to add to England's raw power and ability to control a game is probably the key to a Lions victory.
On that basis I would go with:
15. Hogg (he has that stardust and the ability to break through lines)
14. Watson
13. Tuilagi
12. Farrell
11. Williams (May is quality but so is Williams, Williams aerial ability gets him ahead and May's speed off the bench could be important)
10. Russell
9. Murray (if he's back to his best otherwise one of the Welsh options)
8. Vunipola
7. Watson (potentially a bit of Scottish bias there but I do think he is brilliant and perhaps slightly better than Curry)
6. Faletau (Not sure if this would work but I think that Vunipola and Faletau in one back row would be brutal)
5. Itoje
4. Ryan (just a brilliant player)
3. Furlong (as above)
2. George
1. Vunipola

16. Healy 17. McInally 18. Sinkler 19. Lawes 20. Curry 21. Williams/Webb/Davies 22. Davies 23. May


Feel a tad guilty about AWJ not being in there but I think he'd not necessarily be ahead of the three in there right now, and I think he may well be off the pace a year hence. I'd be more than happy to be proved wrong on that front. Stander may well be in there, if Faletau hasn't recaptured his form then I would put Stander ahead of him. There's 7 English players in there which is similar to 2017. Three Scottish which is probably my bias coming through but then Hogg, Russell and Watson are very special players. Three Irish players in there and only two Welsh. I do accept it's a tad odd to have more Scottish than Welsh in there and it's probably because of my bias.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 12 May 2020, 10:02 pm

I think Curry is likely to start, either at 6 or 7, and if I were to pick one of the 8s at 6 it would be Stander.

I'm slightly worried about the 8 jersey. Faletau and Vunipola both have great pedigree but injuries/form not really on their side, and I have some doubts over whether Stander is really a top class number 8. I also don't like Curry or Moriarty at 8, both are clear 6s for me. I'd have loved to see more of Doris in the 6 Nations.

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 12 May 2020, 10:14 pm

I think on form Faletau on form and fit is a much, much better player than Vunipola. I think in the final England struggled to get go forward with Underhill and Curry in the back-row even if they were very effective in the rest of the tournament. So how do you get that go forward? Sticking an extra carrier in the centre is an option but I don't think Tuilagi distribution is good enough not to have a specialist distributor alongside him. There's no point having the quality back three that the Lions will have, no matter the combination without the ability to get really quality ball to them. So that extra go forward has to come in the pack. Watson is an obvious choice there. He is a carrier in a very different mould to almost any international player I can think of. He almost always makes ground and he's only just over 6 feet. He is good enough over the ball that he could be selected primarily as a fetcher. So who do you have at blindside? I would still absolutely want to get another carrier in at blindside. Stander is the obvious choice. But I still think if you can get Faletau and Vunipola on form and together then it could be pretty special. Watson offers a different challenge for defenders. Curry is a very good player and I don't think anyone would have any complaints with him. I suspect if I were English I'd have him in ahead of Watson. But I'm not and I think Hamish Watson is the best rugby player anywhere ever.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 12 May 2020, 10:36 pm

I agree on the go forward/ball carrying concerns, hence my worries about the 8 jersey and the fitness/form of the contenders. I do wonder whether we might see a bolter like Doris or Dombrandt stealing a place. I also think it improves the case for front row players like Sinckler, McInally and Genge who are all comfortable running at brick walls with ball in hand.

Regarding the World Cup Final, I think there's a danger we read too much into that. Bad day at the office, but I don't think it rules out Curry at 6 with a specialist at 7. The scrummaging issues caused by Cole coming on for Sinckler are unlikely to be a factor here. The Lions will have a decent scrum.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 12 May 2020, 10:46 pm

Is anybody actually confident about this tour going ahead? I’d say at this stage, with there almost certainly being no more domestic or international rugby this season (and the 6 Nations etc next year being a major doubt) it will all be about rebuilding domestically next year with no international travel for sport except where absolutely necessary (and it never really is).

I think this tour may well be shelved. Whether SA miss out or it just gets shunted along four years is one for the lawyers.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 12 May 2020, 10:57 pm

To be honest Cyril who really knows. There probably are some doubts about it, but picking Lions teams in my head is a welcome distraction during endless conference calls from my spare room!!

They seem relatively confident that we'll have a vaccine by next year, but as you say there will be a backlog of events to sort out.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 12 May 2020, 11:01 pm

Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that picking Lions teams wasn’t relevant! Heck, it would cut the traffic down on here by half Wink Just wondering (as you say too) where this leaves us. Hope you and yours are safe and well Smile

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 13 May 2020, 8:41 am

Navidi is good but hes not first choice in the wales lineup let alone the lions. Personally I'd say curry is by a distance now the best 7 but given hes been bounced around they may decide to go with him at 6 as suggested above. I would not be adverse to Ritchie, Curry and Vunipola myself. Countless different combos you could have in the back row though. Covid has made it less likely theres going to be a bolter though.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 13 May 2020, 8:53 am

Agreed on Navidi. He's a very consistent player but there are better options, including better Welsh options. His versatility would be a plus, but Curry, Moriarty, Stander and Ritchie also cover several back row positions. Like Van Der Flier, good player, but not quite good enough given the competition.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 13 May 2020, 9:48 am

Navidi is first choice when fit, not sure where you guys got that from. He’s the one we sorely missed in this 6N. Would agree on Watson going on tour though, I almost forgot about him. Ritchie is good too. 

I like the bolter idea. That Leinster hooker has to be one of them.

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Post by westisbest on Wed 13 May 2020, 12:05 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Mike - regarding the question on Scots, whilst I don't think we have any guaranteed tourists, I would very much like to see McInally (hooker), Watson (open side), Russell (fly half) and Hogg (fullback) go. All great players who would, I think, really add something.

A few more with a longer shot would be Sutherland (loosehead who had a strong 6 Nations), Brown (hooker who can cover 7), Gilchrist (big lock), Ritchie (flanker on great form and cover 6 and 7), Price (scrum half) and Graham (rapid winger). Due to strength of competition however, I don't think any of these will tour without injuries to others being a factor.

Has Graham been injured. Exciting player. If fit and in form, would like to see him on tour.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 13 May 2020, 12:19 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Navidi is first choice when fit, not sure where you guys got that from. He’s the one we sorely missed in this 6N. Would agree on Watson going on tour though, I almost forgot about him. Ritchie is good too. 

I like the bolter idea. That Leinster hooker has to be one of them.

Although hard to know what Pivac's first choice is at this stage, my assumption was that Moriarty, Tipuric and Faletau would be first choice to start if all were fit. Where does Navidi fit in? Don't get me wrong, an important and very consistent player for Wales, but I had the impression he wasn't really first choice in any particular position.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 13 May 2020, 12:20 pm

westisbest wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Mike - regarding the question on Scots, whilst I don't think we have any guaranteed tourists, I would very much like to see McInally (hooker), Watson (open side), Russell (fly half) and Hogg (fullback) go. All great players who would, I think, really add something.

A few more with a longer shot would be Sutherland (loosehead who had a strong 6 Nations), Brown (hooker who can cover 7), Gilchrist (big lock), Ritchie (flanker on great form and cover 6 and 7), Price (scrum half) and Graham (rapid winger). Due to strength of competition however, I don't think any of these will tour without injuries to others being a factor.

Has Graham been injured. Exciting player. If fit and in form, would like to see him on tour.

Yes, injured for the 6 Nations. He's a hugely exciting player, but I think the Lions have too many more experienced and proven options for him to make the tour.

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Post by BamBam on Wed 13 May 2020, 12:48 pm

Navidi is a class above Moriarty for me, even if I'd rather have most of the other names mentioned

Must be because i''M eNgLiSh AnD bIaSeD

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Post by Maddogflanker on Wed 13 May 2020, 1:02 pm

1. Genge
2. George
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. Ryan
6. Curry
7. Watson
8. Vunipola
9. Horne
10. Farrell
11. May
12. Manu
13. Ringrose
14. Daly
15. Lamour

16. LCD 17. Marler 18. Sinckler 19. Lawes 20. Underhill 21. Cooney 22. Biggar 23. Joseph

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 13 May 2020, 1:24 pm

Lions tour 2021 - Page 4 1347041234
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 13 May 2020, 2:11 pm

After completely bam. Moriarty is a great tackler. That's it. Hes Joe Worsely basically.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 13 May 2020, 3:56 pm

Interesting to hear folks rate Navidi as a better 6 than Moriarty. I had Moriarty down as being ahead of him, and certainly a player Gatland would pick to tour. I appreciate Navidi is better at the breakdown, had Moriarty as the bigger hitter in the tackle and a useful ball carrier from 6.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 13 May 2020, 5:06 pm

As a carrier very average.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 13 May 2020, 5:11 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Navidi is first choice when fit, not sure where you guys got that from. He’s the one we sorely missed in this 6N. Would agree on Watson going on tour though, I almost forgot about him. Ritchie is good too. 

I like the bolter idea. That Leinster hooker has to be one of them.

Although hard to know what Pivac's first choice is at this stage, my assumption was that Moriarty, Tipuric and Faletau would be first choice to start if all were fit. Where does Navidi fit in? Don't get me wrong, an important and very consistent player for Wales, but I had the impression he wasn't really first choice in any particular position.

As he was unavailable I was going by what Gatland picked. There’s a fair bit of competition on the flanks in Wales. Most seem to agree then when available; Tips, Navidi, Shingler and Faletau are our best options. Jenkins, Moriarty, Wainwright not far behind. Navidi plays across the back-row pretty well. Tips is a good player, features at 7 only as he isn’t as versatile. With Tips available then Navidi is to 6 as per the World Cup. Faletau has been mostly unavailable for 3 years so it is difficult to tell right now - I guess I selected him on reputation.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 13 May 2020, 5:13 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Mike - regarding the question on Scots, whilst I don't think we have any guaranteed tourists, I would very much like to see McInally (hooker), Watson (open side), Russell (fly half) and Hogg (fullback) go. All great players who would, I think, really add something.

A few more with a longer shot would be Sutherland (loosehead who had a strong 6 Nations), Brown (hooker who can cover 7), Gilchrist (big lock), Ritchie (flanker on great form and cover 6 and 7), Price (scrum half) and Graham (rapid winger). Due to strength of competition however, I don't think any of these will tour without injuries to others being a factor.

Good shout on McInally, hooker probably isn’t as competitive as other positions.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 13 May 2020, 5:34 pm

Agreed on hooker. George is the only certainty.

Scotland has two good options with McInally and Brown, and Cowan-Dickie looks useful when he comes on. Could be a position for a bolter, although with very little rugby on the horizon it's hard for an outsider to make a strong case. Gatland will probably take Owens....

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Post by Mr Bounce on Wed 13 May 2020, 6:06 pm

I don't think Mako Vunipola should be the starting loosehead for the Lions. Yes he has pedigree and fabulous hands but his scrummaging is suspect, always has been. Malherbe thoroughly enjoyed taking Vunipola apart in the RWC final. We need someone who offers a more solid platform. Another year could see Genge pushing Mako very hard as I believe he has a better all round game.

Another prop I don't think we should rule out is Ireland's TH Andrew Porter. He's a proper lump, destructive and also great in the loose. Fabulous player.

I actually love the massive amount of competition in the back row. There will be some very unlucky and classy players left out. Injuries will likely play some part here. I do expect Gatland to err on the side of Wales with his knowledge of them, but there are SO many brilliant choices to be made. I think we're only short on 8s. Both Faletau and Billy have not looked up to their best recently. A tour too far? Who knows! I think playing against South Africa is right up Moriarty's street. He's a tackling machine, a blunt instrument who is a destructive menace at his best. That said, he does has questions over his temperament. We shall see!

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 13 May 2020, 6:51 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:British and Irish Lions: L Williams (Wales); J May (England), J Davies (Wales), O Farrell (England), J Adams (Wales); F Russell (Scotland), G Davies (Wales); M Vunipola (England), J George (England), T Furlong (Ireland), M Itoje (England), J Ryan (Ireland), J Navidi (Wales), T Curry (England), T Faletau (Wales).
Replacements: K Owens (Wales), R Carre (Wales), K Sinckler (England), I Henderson (Ireland), CJ Stander (Ireland), R Webb (Wales), G Ringrose (Ireland), H Slade (England).

Hint of Welsh bias there. Not sure a 33 year old JD2 is going to make it and at the same time keep out Manu. Admittedly Manu might not make it either with his injury record. I'd shift Curry to 6 and bring in Watson at 7 personally. Scrum half is going to be a battle as well, centurion Ben Youngs, Connor Murray and if he keep his outrageous form from this season Cooney up against the Welsh trio.

Rhys Carre didn't exactly set the world alight at Sarries this season, he's going to have to have a special season next year to jump up the pecking order with Marler, Genge, Healy and there's plenty of chat around Sutherland as well being among the competition. Being big and having potential won't get him very far when compared to that lot. In not sure Mako is an automatic selection either his form hasn't been at its best.

Oh come off it, I don't think anyone English can accuse others of bias Rolling Eyes.

Most of this is guesswork right now, it holds no more substance than you lot trying your best to usher 40 England players on tour... well it probably does hold a little more substance than that but I think you see where this is going. JD2 returning from injury does concern me a bit but if he's fit then that's probably the best option at 13 right there - granted there will be stiff competition if Tuilagi is fit, Ringrose in hot pursuit too.

Back-row is very competitive. Not many/nobody has better open-side options than Wales IMO, granted Curry and Underhill are also among the best on their current form. I'll probably get shot down for this but both are overhyped. If Navidi was English then he'd be rated as No.1 in world rugby. All of those will tour; physical options at 7 and can play across the back-row. No.8 we have two class options in Faletau and Vunipola, both have had a lot of injury problems - Stander close by. Moriarty will probably be around there, big physical guy and will be one of the first to fly into a dust-up with the big Boks. VDF won't be far off. Anyone contemplating POM need their heads checked.
Thinking about it, it'll probably be Itoje at 6, which leaves a spot open for someone alongside Ryan. Lawes, Ball, Kruis, Gray, Henderson, Hill... I can't see AWJ being there. If he's going on tour then it's with the intention of doing off-ball stuff to wind up the opposition. He could make the bench for the tests I guess, we will have to see how next year goes.

I can't see the three Welsh 9's going, perhaps two at the most. The others you mentioned will be in the race. Murray and Sexton would probably struggle to make the test team but both would be huge assets on tour. Russell is a standout at 10 but needs more Scotland time before this sets off. Possibly Anscombe is in the mix; then Biggar, Farrell, Ford, Hasting, Byrne or Larmour, another Welsh 10 - this one seems like a more competitive position.

Carre has hardly played for Sarries, pretty naf yardstick. McGrath won't be there this time though and I'm picking Carre mostly on potential - he's a big and strong lad but needs to deliver on the promise. Let me guess, you'd select Genge? I think Healy is too old, but could tour. Mako has the minerals so is probably almost a cert. Furlong hasn't been on his best form either but I think he'll improve in time, the guy is class anyway - what's scary is that Andrew Porter isn't far off. Not seen much of Sutherland, not entirely sold on him either. I was never sold on Nel so would be willing to take this with a pinch of salt... happy to be wrong when it comes down to it though.

I just think Gatland will go as close to the NZ test team as possible. The hot heads and physical guys will be there, most of them I selected - that's how Gatland thinks. I can't see that many Scots involved seeing as it's Gats, willing to be educated on their best front-runners outside of the obvious ones (Russell and Hogg)? Would be interesting if Scotland can throw more locks into the mix as they're pretty big guys too.


Carre barely played for Sarries because he was at the world cup and then came back got a shot and got a pointless red card early in a game leaving his teammates in the cacky. Luckily for him Sarries won anyway. I would select Genge but I'd personally have him in the 1 shirt, he's played exceptionally well in an awful team. Go and watch him dismantle Sinckler shortly before the 6N. Had Sinckler not hobbled off it was likely he or Marler were going to the bin such was the hiding they took at scrum time from Genge and Cole, Sinckler's replacement last one or two scrums before a 10 minute sit down. Aggression, can scrummage well and carries hard. Could be a tour made for Genge though I do like the idea of him and Sinckler coming off the bench as that is a lot of impact.

JD2 may have been the best option 4 years ago but at 33 with his injury record there's no guarantee he's coming back the same player. If Manu stays fit and is tearing it up then for me he's an automatic selection because he makes too much impact to ignore. Whether that's starting at 13 or being used as impact from 23.

Navidi I like but I see him as a slightly better Mark Wilson. Hard, solid performer who can do a bit of everything but just below the big name explosive internationals. No I don't want 40 Englishmen on tour either, you'll notice I wanted Hamish Watson at 7. He'd be one of the first names on the team sheet for me.

I was yanking your chain with the bias thing by the way. 🎣

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 13 May 2020, 7:22 pm

Terrible yardstick, his international form has been good when he’s played. That’s damn good considering he’s had much less pro rugby that most of his competitors, definitely a lot of promise there. I picked on potential as I said, that’s just me. The same with a few of my selections, and that I think Gatland wants to mirror what he had in 2017 - for that reason I also see a lack of Scots. Already agreed on the 13 jersey. 

Yeah cool, I wasn’t really yanking your chain on the transfers thread though. Heyes to dragons being announced very soon...

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 13 May 2020, 7:31 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Agreed on hooker. George is the only certainty.

Scotland has two good options with McInally and Brown, and Cowan-Dickie looks useful when he comes on. Could be a position for a bolter, although with very little rugby on the horizon it's hard for an outsider to make a strong case. Gatland will probably take Owens....

I only picked George as he’s a lump, and was starter in 2017. I think Owens or McInally could start too.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 14 May 2020, 1:17 pm

If Ken Owens was a few years younger he'd be a certainty. Really like him as a player but he will be 34 by the times the Lions Tour comes around. Last time we expected Best to be the go to selection but he lost out to the younger George. Age plus a gruelling tour at the end of a long season is tough to overcome and produce your best rugby. Best didn't play in any of the three tests.

Gatland does like his big lumps but Carre is going to need a good season if he wants selection though. You may like him based on potential but the Welsh scrum was average in the 6N and there are a lot of good looseheads about. Not saying he won't go just he's got to show up more than he did this season. SA is a tough place to go if your scrummaging isn't on point. Arguably the best scrum in the NH came unstuck in the world cup final in a big way as well.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 14 May 2020, 1:19 pm

For me Genge has stepped up and I was very disappointed to see him drop out of the squad in the wc final. Cant help but feel he will be a front runner for a starting place. Vunipola really shouldn't be given the strength in open play from the rest of the front row.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 14 May 2020, 2:50 pm

Ted Hill a wild card at 6. The kid is 6'5, and incredibly physical both in attack and defence.

What you need v the Boks...

The back row options are frightening in all nations...

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 14 May 2020, 4:05 pm

Ted Hill is a fantastic prospect but I think there's just too much proven depth at international level for there to be a bolter on the flank. I do wonder whether there might be a bolter at 8 though, in the form of Doris, Dombrandt, Haining or Bradbury. Maybe not in the initial squad, but it's almost hard to imagine both Faletau and Vunipola making it through the tour. I certainly don't want to see Curry or Moriarty at 8 for the Lions.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 14 May 2020, 4:07 pm

I think this is a tour too far for Owens. Great competitor, but George is a shoe-in and I think McInally should definitely tour as well. Leaves Brown, Cowan-Dickie and one of the new Irish hookers battling for the 3rd slot, all young/in their prime. I strongly expect Gatland to pick Owens to tour, but I wouldn't.

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