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Should we continue British & Irish Lions Tours?

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Should we continue British & Irish Lions Tours? Empty Should we continue British & Irish Lions Tours?

Post by Steffan on Fri 03 Jan 2020, 8:28 pm

This discussion came up the other day so I thought I would put it out there on here. I am impartial on the subject as I don't really follow Lions tours that much

They make money so I guess they will never be scrapped although I did read the other day after the disastrous tour of New Zealand under Clive Woodward and Alastair Campbell the future of the Lions did look in jeopardy

What is everyone's opinion...rugby tradition that should be kept...or an outdated concept in the modern professional era?


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Post by whatahitson on Fri 03 Jan 2020, 8:36 pm

Yes. Rugby is in danger of becoming boring as it is without getting rid of everything that made the amateur game enjoyable.

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Post by BigGee on Fri 03 Jan 2020, 8:37 pm

I have always liked the concept of the Lions, though as a Scot, it has been harder to be enthused about it more recently due to some of the selection decisions.

As a brand though, it has never been more popular or profitable, so I can't see any changes to a cash cow.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 03 Jan 2020, 9:30 pm

Just tweak the setup for me. No current head coach of a 6 nations team.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 03 Jan 2020, 10:26 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Just tweak the setup for me. No current head coach of a 6 nations team.

That would be ideal but you might not be getting the best man for the job.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 03 Jan 2020, 10:44 pm

Yes they should tour Scotland.

Should we continue asking this in a new thread every 6 months?


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Post by Steffan on Fri 03 Jan 2020, 10:58 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Should we continue asking this in a new thread every 6 months?
I didn't realise that this question had been asked in recent times sorry

Next time I start up a thread I will make sure to check with you that it hasn't been addressed before

Not to upset you again like thumbsup

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 1:34 am

My problem with the Lions is that it invariably screws up other parts of the rugby calendar in the north, especially World Cup planning. The only way I can imagine the tour can continue to be a proper showcase, is if the global calendar is built around it. That entails more than a tweak or two. As it stands, it is probably only one unhappy tour away from losing its lustre. The 2005 tour nearly did the concept in, and that was a time before the toxic accelerant of social media.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 1:38 am

I voted for keep them, but change the set up. If they are as important as before, then they can’t clash with club games for one. They also can’t play for as long as they do really, given the season length as it is. Not sure how you can fix that though, other than smaller squads and less warm up games.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 7:53 am

I dont thinking possible to get the best man for the job in those circumstances collapse. Take the job and resign from your current position, if you have one, should be the mantra.
As above it would be nice for the global calendar to align ie rugby championship played at the same time as the 6 nations but a separate thread really.

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Post by Guest on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 11:13 am

I read a great idea about having what football does in the Euros in between World Cups. Would be interesting to see the Lions play the tier 2 nations or have a tier 2 plus development world competition at the same time as the Lions tour.

All depends on the global season as well.

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Post by SecretFly on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 11:40 pm

Lions?

I've given my opinion more than enough times on these pages so in recent times have chosen to mostly let Lions fans talk amongst themselves in peace.

Not any more! Wink

No seriously, in truth that's the simple divide - rugby people who love the tradition and some who even think The Lions performances and results more valuable and meaningful than performances and results for contributing Nations themselves; and then others who put no emotional value on the games and rate them far below games involving their own Nations.

My continuing quibble with The Lions is that it's never what it's marketed as being - a unified adventure of brotherly love amongst neighbouring Nations.  Nope, it always descends into a rampant partisan, gloating and sneering festival between fans STILL divided by National loyalties.  We still root for our own (as it should be, in my view).  It's still Nation v Nation, unapologetically in terms of social media meltdowns and infighting.... and that's even before 'host' Nations are brought into the debates.
So personally, I just prefer truth and honesty - and it's the most beautiful thing about rugby.... those warrior rivalries.  Truth and honesty.  We're not all the one.  We're the hottest rivals on the International circuit annually.  There is no love lost between us (in rugby terms).  Artificial white flags are shallow symbols in this age.  Gats never forgot he was Welsh coach when he was Lions coach.  And in a real sense he was right.  He was honest.  His goal was to enhance the experiences and confidence of his National players and Lions tours were a good vehicle.
So on a personal level, I say let's just be honest.  We're in this sport for our own interests, our own goals, our own dreams.  We're four Nations.  Lions just interrupts focus on Nation and therefore blunts continuity and fluidity within Nation set-ups.

But if enough people still want the tours well...... carry on.  
But maybe rigid quotas could be introduced to kill off those eternal battles about "we got more players in the squad than yous have. So there!!! laughing ".  
Some might say that limits potential quality.  I say so be it.  Any team that can select from four of the top ten ranked sides in the world should probably be content to self-limit quality when requesting that a single Nation plays three games against them.

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 11:42 am

Don't agree with your point about Gats and Wales. He's ruthlessly ambitious and always did what was right for Warren, not Wales. Often the two worked hand in hand, but not always.

The Lions is still very partisan though. Probaby moreso than 20 years ago. It's probably different being Irish than British when it comes to the identity stuff. But from a rugby perspective, it's great, and I disagree it's a 'worse' spectacle or anything like that compared to national teams. The 2009 tour remains my favourite to date.

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 1:54 pm

Did I say it was a worse spectacle though?  Not I.  
I inferred that fans of Lions try to suggest the meaning of Lions games is more important than Nation adventures.  That's natural.  They are Lions fans.  
For me though, Lions series draws in New Zealand don't come remotely close to an Irish win over SA, England, Wales, Australia or New Zealand.  It's just a different planet when comparing the tone, mood and emotions of both.

For the Lions to be meaningful, it has to usurp passions in the heart that are normally reserved for Nation.  For many of you such is the case.  And I do note your point that yes, such a view is easier amongst Nations that often identify themselves in other major sporting events as UK or GB.  For me it doesn't fulfil that function.  It really is just another Barbarian side in my view.  The games can be good but the heart doesn't suffer in loss or victory.

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Post by Cyril on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 2:21 pm

I wouldn’t have thought any rugby fan is more passionate about the Lions than his or her own national side.

As for the current state of the Lions. It’s along way from its glory days, but that isn’t all Gatland’s fault. He certainly has done an awful lot to damage the brand though.

There are already too many internationals played as it is. Lions should perhaps become a developmental tour and play sides like in the Churchill Cup. Greedy international administrators will probably continue to flog a dead horse.

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 2:53 pm

I don't think the Lions has to 'usurp' to be meaningful. Village rugby is sometimes more meaningful than national rugby. Neither is directly comparable. The Lions is different.

Again, I understand why it's different for the Irish, but I think it's something different to just about any other sport, and IS a good spectacle. If you could combine the excitement of 2009 with the competitiveness of Gatland's Lions, it would beat anything we see outside World Cups, no questions asked. It doesn't matter if it 'means' less to the fans.

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Post by Cyril on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 3:06 pm

Gatland’s Lions struggled past a woeful Australia and drew with an under-performing NZ side. The latter series was only drawn due to the idiotic red card by SBW. The Lions were outplayed for much of that series and both 2013 and 2017 will generally be remembered for uninspiring tactics and rugby.

‘Effective’ is being a bit generous. Not all Gatland’s fault though.

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 6:37 pm

1-1-1 on New Zealand soil and a thumping 40-pointer against Australia to win the series. Don't think any team has been more effective have they, other than New Zealand? Not bad going, two victories (one shared) when the Lions could hardly win a tour in the decades previously.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 6:50 pm

If we go purely off results it should have been a 3 0 white wash to a sub standard Australia and a win against New Zealand.

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 7:04 pm

I think it's hard to talk in 'shoulds' in international rugby. New Zealand 'should' have just won the world cup. When they were knocked out, everyone thought England 'should' beat South Africa. It's always tough at the top, never an easy thing to call, and the Lions are different to a national team that has a 4 year prep cycle. They were good results, particularly in NZ.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 9:33 pm

Well England d should have won it. Best team in the tournament but just bottled it big style.the lions results were disappointing.

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Post by Taylorman on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 10:01 pm

guestalt_physicality wrote:I think it's hard to talk in 'shoulds' in international rugby. New Zealand 'should' have just won the world cup. When they were knocked out, everyone thought England 'should' beat South Africa. It's always tough at the top, never an easy thing to call, and the Lions are different to a national team that has a 4 year prep cycle. They were good results, particularly in NZ.

True, and we need someone to challenge us here besides Oz, SA and France. Keep em coming I say... Very Happy

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Post by Taylorman on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 10:05 pm

Only reason they should remove the Lions is if the game goes global at test level and there were signs earlier that that's a possibility until the greed kicked in as usual. It'll happen though. Otherwise, Lions pull in far more than any other side touring these parts.

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Post by Guest on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 1:00 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well England d should have won it. Best team in the tournament but just bottled it big style.the lions results were disappointing.

I'm not sure you understood the point about 'shoulds'...

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 3:58 pm

Well they were the best team. I think it's just differening expectations though. A few didn't link the lions, or england would do well hence a 2 1 series or a final is good return.

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Post by Guest on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 5:00 pm

Thing about sport is there are lots of ways to quantify things, but ultimately winning is the best way. South Africa were the 'best' team because they won.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 6:01 pm

The best team doesnt always win. Especially a knock out comp.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 6:22 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:The best team doesnt always win. Especially a knock out comp.

Yeah sometimes it’s just the bounce of the ball. Other times you win by 20 points more than your opponents..!


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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 6:25 pm

Glad to see the larger majority of posters agree the lions should continue or continue with reform.

The sport has to evolve but some traditions are so fundamental to the history of the game they are important to cherish.

I have never heard of an Irish or British international who would the lions to end. It’s the pinnacle of our aspiration to make the team to be the best of the home nations and thus represent them on tour.

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Post by Cyril on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 6:46 pm

Ooh, don’t call Ireland a ‘Home’ Nation! 😮

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Post by Guest on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 7:00 pm

If we're using the subjective idea of 'best' and not the quantifiable one, which is results, then I think it needs a clearly superior team above all the others to be able to say there was a 'best' team other than the winners. Given that South Africa thumped England in a similar manner to England's victory over New Zealand, who in turn beat South Africa, I'd imagine you're in a minority of one with your assessment.

Same goes for the Lions and underestimating the task at hand.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 8:28 pm

Yeah fine. You think the fa cup winners are the best team in england and wales. I disagree. We move on.

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Post by Guest on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 9:26 pm

Why are you trying to build a strawman in January? Why are you talking about football? Why are you suggesting I believe things I don't?

Clearly, the Premier League is a far better barometer of who is the best football team than the FA Cup by nature of the competition, but also because the biggest teams stopped taking the FA Cup seriously about 15 years ago.

Rugby is very different to football, so it's probably best we keep it within this sport really. All countries work in 4 year cycles focusing on the RWC for financial and prestigious reasons. The World Cup is the unambiguous pinnacle of the sport. Given that rugby is largely a fairly uncompetitive sport with New Zealand being comfortably the best team in the world, briefly punctuated by firstly South Africa, and then less commonly Australia and England, I think your analogy to the FA Cup is not just dishonest, it's very, very silly. As are your points about the Lions and England. I'm not sure why you're making them to be honest?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 9:31 pm

Silly? Dishonest? Ok then bye.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 9:44 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yeah fine. You think the fa cup winners are the best team in england and wales. I disagree. We move on.

A World Cup final in rugby is a bit more like a champions league win if you prefer to discuss this in soccer terms...!

Generally the team that wins the champions league pretty much all fans agree are the Best team in Europe...!

A rugby World Cup final is even more like a soccer World Cup with the winner basically being the best team.

It’s probably best to move on 7.5 because this really isn’t your finest analogy.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 9:48 pm

But I've just been told a team winning a knock out comp is the best in the comp. The fa cup is a knock out comp involving every team in england and a couple in wales. So no pretty much spot if you're being honest and not silly maes.

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Post by Guest on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 9:52 pm

I think the Rugby World Cup is a far better barometer of the 'best' team in rugby than any competition in football to be honest. But not sure what this has to do with the Lions tour tbh? Other than just opinions about whether Gatland was effective or not, which doesn't really seem a very important point to discuss to be honest.

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Post by Cyril on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 10:22 pm

It would appear that you’re not permitted to criticise Gatland regarding the Lions tours where a) his side should have crushed the Aussies and b) beaten NZ. He failed on both those counts and also trashed the Lions ethos by trying to stay popular in Wales.

Rather than being hard-nosed he picked his favourites and missed opportunities. That will be his legacy.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 10:29 pm

Cyril wrote:It would appear that you’re not permitted to criticise Gatland regarding the Lions tours where a) his side should have crushed the Aussies and b) beaten NZ. He failed on both those counts and also trashed the Lions ethos by trying to stay popular in Wales.

Rather than being hard-nosed he picked his favourites and missed opportunities. That will be his legacy.

He still gets criticised anyway, and it's because he didn't pick the players that certain people wanted. His side did crush the Aussies and beat NZ. I think you've been living under a rock if you believe what you've said there will be his legacy - daft. He's regarded as one of the best in the world, top 3 at least.

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Post by Cyril on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 11:02 pm

The Lions almost lost the series in Aus, mikey. Very lucky in the first Test. That series should have been an easy 3-0 whitewash in the Lions favour with some proper selections and tactics. That Aus team were the worst in recent memory. England smashed them a couple of years later when they were improving.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 11:24 pm

Meh here we go. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve read this. It’s what I said it was. I take it you’re not going to be watching the 2021 tour? You still think Gatland has a crud legacy?

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Post by Cyril on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 11:31 pm

It’s an ok legacy, just not what it could have been if he hadn’t hampered himself by partisan selections and negativity. Very much a case of ‘what might have been’.

Not sure about the next tour. Maybe he’ll surprise us now he’s in a more neutral position.

Not a huge fan of the Lions these days. That’s the point of the thread, though isn’t it? Whether we think it’s a good thing these days. Last ‘great’ tour was 97.

As I said above, it’s not all Gatland’s fault that the magic is going. Times change.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 11:49 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Cyril wrote:It would appear that you’re not permitted to criticise Gatland regarding the Lions tours where a) his side should have crushed the Aussies and b) beaten NZ. He failed on both those counts and also trashed the Lions ethos by trying to stay popular in Wales.

Rather than being hard-nosed he picked his favourites and missed opportunities. That will be his legacy.

He still gets criticised anyway, and it's because he didn't pick the players that certain people wanted. His side did crush the Aussies and beat NZ. I think you've been living under a rock if you believe what you've said there will be his legacy - daft. He's regarded as one of the best in the world, top 3 at least.  

They crushed the ozzies...in a test, not the series. They beat NZ, in a test, not the series. They could easily have lost both series without even playing the third. In the oz series there was one decisive win- the third test. In the NZ series there was one decisive win, the first test. The other four of the six tests could have gone either way, and did.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 12:20 am

Well Jones is probably the daftest coach out there but we can still acknowledge how good he is, Gatland has always gotten different treatment for some reason. Too many fake fans in rugby these days, and they’re the ones still crying because their favourite players didn’t get picked for the Lions. Unfortunately quite  a few people seem to have gone off the Lions in the last decade or so, I’m still a fan however. The tour schedule to NZ was disastrous so would like to hope that doesn’t happen again.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 3:24 am

maestegmafia wrote:...I have never heard of an Irish or British international who would the lions to end. It’s the pinnacle of our aspiration to make the team to be the best of the home nations and thus represent them on tour...
Brian O'Driscoll didn't feel that way after the 2001 and 2005 tours. He was quite open about how it took the 2009 tour to make him understand the attraction of the Lions adventure, as his previous outings hadn't enamoured him of the concept. I don't think Wilkinson saw it as a pinnacle either, and he had the same two disappointing tour experiences as BOD.

Against that, a number of players late in their career lament missing out on Lion selection. Danny Care may be the player with the most international caps not to play for the Lions (if you exclude Hartley, who got himself banned). Two regular England captains, Borthwick and Robshaw, were not picked.

It helps that the Lions players get rewarded handsomely these days (and get a lot of stash). If the pay was somewhat lower, then I suspect players might find the experience less attractive.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 5:35 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well England d should have won it. Best team in the tournament but just bottled it big style.the lions results were disappointing.

Were the best performing team until they met the Springboks. Wink

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 7:00 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:...I have never heard of an Irish or British international who would the lions to end. It’s the pinnacle of our aspiration to make the team to be the best of the home nations and thus represent them on tour...
Brian O'Driscoll didn't feel that way after the 2001 and 2005 tours. He was quite open about how it took the 2009 tour to make him understand the attraction of the Lions adventure, as his previous outings hadn't enamoured him of the concept. I don't think Wilkinson saw it as a pinnacle either, and he had the same two disappointing tour experiences as BOD.

Against that, a number of players late in their career lament missing out on Lion selection. Danny Care may be the player with the most international caps not to play for the Lions (if you exclude Hartley, who got himself banned). Two regular England captains, Borthwick and Robshaw, were not picked.

It helps that the Lions players get rewarded handsomely these days (and get a lot of stash). If the pay was somewhat lower, then I suspect players might find the experience less attractive.

Really don’t think the pay is the driving force and I would be surprised if the pay is any different to any other international tour.


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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 7:22 am

So far 6 people want to see the Lions discontinued. 'Really?'

I know some nations are very bitter towards the Lions due to players not being selected, but this still seems high.

Having experienced a Lions tour first hand I advise anyone with doubts should get themselves on one asap. As for the players it is still the case that a Lions Cap is still the ultimate honour in our game.

I heard some players say they would swap 10, 20, 50 caps for their country for a Lions series win.

I say keep it and stop questioning it and back it all the way. Hug
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 7:46 am

And then bottled it old man. Overall still the best team. This is a side step anyway. The point was the same as Cyril s. The lions should have done much better and were held back due to selections imo.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 8:38 am

maestegmafia wrote:Really don’t think the pay is the driving force and I would be surprised if the pay is any different to any other international tour.
Here's the base pay for players who made it all the way through the following tours

2005 - £22,000
2009 - £38,000
2013 - £45-50,000
2017 - £70,000

There have also been win bonuses, so the 2013 players may have earned more for the series win than the 2017 players did for the draw.

For comparison, England players have been getting match fees of £25,000 a Test. In the World Cup, every squad member got £13,000 per pool match no matter if they played. Don't know what happened for the cancelled match.


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