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Should we continue British & Irish Lions Tours?

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

First topic message reminder :

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What is everyone's opinion...rugby tradition that should be kept...or an outdated concept in the modern professional era?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 Jimmy Moz on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 11:58 am

I have nothing against the concept of the Lions in the professional era but there are definitely issues that need to be addressed. Ex players and pundits calling them the "British Lions" for starters. It's not good to hear when you are Irish but that's my own personal issue.

The main thing for me is that playing for the Lions seems to have to have lost all prestige. They pick a big squad, play lots of games and by the time the tour is over you can't help but feel every Tom, Dick and Harry in Britain and Ireland has got to wear the Lions shirt due to the injuries in the modern game. Maybe just playing five matches is my suggestion. One against the top province, then the A team and then the three test matches.

The 2013 was deemed a success but between disgruntlement over the selection policy and of course Bodgate you can't help but feel if the Lions had lost the final test against the Aussies then the tour would have been deemed another Lions failure. I don't blame Gatland for this (unlike Woodward in 2005 who made a mockery of the whole Lions concept), it's just the nature of how the tours are starting to transpire. So basically I would say keep the Lions but don't let it dominate the whole rugby calendar for the relevant year it is happening.

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Post by nlpnlp on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 1:24 pm

I don't think you can criticise the Lions for playing more games.  In 1974 the Lions played 22 games in South Africa, last tour in New Zealand in 2017 they played 10 games.  if anything they are criticised for not having enough pre test match games.


On the issue of every Tom, Dick and harry getting to wear the Lions shirt, again in 1974 the number of players was 32 and in 2017 it was 43 (including replacements).  With player safety and the greater physicality of the game, it is not a massive increase.  With the tour to Argentina I would imagine England were pretty close to playing 43 different players in 2017 alone.  Throw in the other 3 countries, plus players no longer playing Internationally you must be looking at a player pool running into several hundred.


The Lions seem to have become a bit of a marmite experience for people since the professionalism of the game - in the same way that many football fans no longer take any interest in the International team but focus solely on their club.  Maybe it is an age thing, but for me the Lions is still the pinnacle of a players career - if selected you are recognised as the best in your position in Britain and Ireland and not just the best in your own country.  It also seems to be going from strength to strength commercially.  I think it is a shame that so many fans don't respect/enjoy the Lions as much as so many do in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where they still see playing them as a once in a lifetime opportunity.


I would personally rate the Lions victories in 1989 in Australia and 1997 in South Africa above England's 2003 World Cup win as rugby highlights, but I accept it isn't going to be the case for everyone and no reason why it should - each to his own.  I recognise the political sensitivities for some Irish fans around the name and would be quite happy for "The British and Irish" part to be dropped. Plus the lack of Scottish players being selected will have caused some disillusionment for the Scots. But I suspect the Lions will still be touring long after I shuffle off to the big beer tent in the sky.

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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 1:44 pm

nlpnlp wrote:


The Lions seem to have become a bit of a marmite experience for people since the professionalism of the game - in the same way that many football fans no longer take any interest in the International team but focus solely on their club.

It is very similar, I think the marketing for clubs drives for a club interest over international in rugby too and those fans that support their club first and foremost don’t understand the Lions as a concept. Most of them have only ever known rugby in the professional era.

I am all for spreading the love of the game, making new friends with a shared sporting interest. To me that is the brilliance of rugby, touring being the essence.

I’m not a fan of the inter club tribalism that you see in football culture. Unfortunately the marketing of professional era rugby takes a great deal from football and the beneficiaries like Murdoch couldn’t care less what happens to a sport so long as they make money..!

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Post by Cyril on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 2:48 pm

Looks like most people want the Lions disbanded or the set-up changed. Seems fair enough. It really has lost its charm in the last few tours.

Time for a significant re-vamp or maybe just let it go? Things move on.

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Post by Guest on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 8:54 pm

Cyril wrote:Looks like most people want the Lions disbanded or the set-up changed. Seems fair enough. It really has lost its charm in the last few tours.

Time for a significant re-vamp or maybe just let it go? Things move on.

That doesn't make sense. 'Get rid of it' and 'keep it but make changes' are two fundamentally different things. It seems very strange to group those two votes together. You would be far better off grouping together the two sets of votes for 'keep the Lions', with some of those saying do nothing, and others saying change it. Not only is that more logical, but it creates a larger majority than what you propose as well.


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Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 8:17 am

A conditional 'keep' is also a conditional 'leave' - it depends on the condition. Therefore it is no more logical to lump it in with those who want to keep the Lions than those who want to finish with them.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 8:23 am

The Great Aukster wrote:A conditional 'keep' is also a conditional 'leave' - it depends on the condition. Therefore it is no more logical to lump it in with those who want to keep the Lions than those who want to finish with them.

In this example there are three questions, two say continue one says discontinue. So the option is to discontinue or continue/continue with changes.

It is absurd to say that continue with changes is in any way associated with anything but continuing.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 8:25 am

Wrong thread.


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Post by Cyril on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 10:18 am

Over half of the voters are unhappy with how the Lions works at the moment, either wanting it scrapped or changed.

Perhaps a referendum is in order?

The British Lions could become more popular again once Gatland has no influence over it.

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Post by Guest on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 11:03 am

The Great Aukster wrote:A conditional 'keep' is also a conditional 'leave' - it depends on the condition. Therefore it is no more logical to lump it in with those who want to keep the Lions than those who want to finish with them.

No it doesn't.

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Post by Cyril on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 11:11 am

What’s clear is many are deeply unhappy with how the Lions functions at present.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 12:01 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:A conditional 'keep' is also a conditional 'leave' - it depends on the condition. Therefore it is no more logical to lump it in with those who want to keep the Lions than those who want to finish with them.

In this example there are three questions, two say continue one says discontinue. So the option is to discontinue or  continue/continue with changes.

It is absurd to say that continue with changes is in any way associated with anything but continuing.
'Continue with changes' implies that without changes the Lions should cease.

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Post by Guest on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 12:26 pm

Cyril wrote:What’s clear is many are deeply unhappy with how the Lions functions at present.

Not really. The single biggest vote is for keeping it exactly as it is. It would be just as valid to say many people are "deeply" happy with the Lions.

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Post by Guest on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 12:26 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:A conditional 'keep' is also a conditional 'leave' - it depends on the condition. Therefore it is no more logical to lump it in with those who want to keep the Lions than those who want to finish with them.

In this example there are three questions, two say continue one says discontinue. So the option is to discontinue or  continue/continue with changes.

It is absurd to say that continue with changes is in any way associated with anything but continuing.
'Continue with changes' implies that without changes the Lions should cease.

No it doesn't. Of course it doesn't. That's ridiculous. It means only what it means.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 4:05 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:A conditional 'keep' is also a conditional 'leave' - it depends on the condition. Therefore it is no more logical to lump it in with those who want to keep the Lions than those who want to finish with them.

In this example there are three questions, two say continue one says discontinue. So the option is to discontinue or  continue/continue with changes.

It is absurd to say that continue with changes is in any way associated with anything but continuing.
'Continue with changes' implies that without changes the Lions should cease.

I disagree, we all know full well with out implication that continue means continue.

Discontinue is the opposite. There is no subjectivity implied in the question.


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Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 5:49 pm

The question was yes, no or maybe. The maybe does not mean either continue or discontinue.
Presumably for those who chose 'maybe' they have their own subjective interpretation where if they got the change they wanted they would vote yes but if there was no change they would vote no.

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Post by Guest on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 5:57 pm

Unfortunately the 'maybe' option is both 'maybe' but also 'continue'. Which means it includes people who just want a few more Scots in the squad to those who would seriously consider getting rid of it if it continued to hurt the professional game.

Either way it is nonsensical to include 'maybe' with 'discontinue' as per the original suggestion.

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Post by Taylorman on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 6:49 pm

nlpnlp wrote:

I think it is a shame that so many fans don't respect/enjoy the Lions as much as so many do in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where they still see playing them as a once in a lifetime opportunity.


Interesting because by far the biggest travelling fans of any sport to NZ is the UK and Irish barmy army that fill our pubs, clubs, stadia etc so that doesnt say a lot for the individual sides whose numbers are well down on any Lions tour, albeit being one in 12 years here. We loving having them here, and love having the fans here, was a great bunch in 2017.

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Post by The Oracle on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 10:14 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:A conditional 'keep' is also a conditional 'leave' - it depends on the condition. Therefore it is no more logical to lump it in with those who want to keep the Lions than those who want to finish with them.

In this example there are three questions, two say continue one says discontinue. So the option is to discontinue or  continue/continue with changes.

It is absurd to say that continue with changes is in any way associated with anything but continuing.
'Continue with changes' implies that without changes the Lions should cease.

Not necessarily. Without changes some people, like me, would be happy for it to continue but it would not be as good as if it had changes. If the changes were not made then it still wouldn’t want it to cease. I just think it would be better with changes.
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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 19 Jan 2020, 6:18 am

That was the very first point O - the 'maybe' option could be for or against, so shouldn't be ascribed to either. As it's written it has the word 'but' rather than 'and' which implies discontinue rather than continue without changes. The ambiguity though should only be interpreted as 'undecided'.

Either way there is not a majority for either keep or consign to history, which on a rugby fans forum shows the concept has serious problems.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 19 Jan 2020, 6:22 am

Taylorman wrote:
nlpnlp wrote:

I think it is a shame that so many fans don't respect/enjoy the Lions as much as so many do in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where they still see playing them as a once in a lifetime opportunity.


Interesting because by far the biggest travelling fans of any sport to NZ is the UK and Irish barmy army that fill our pubs, clubs, stadia etc so that doesnt say a lot for the individual sides whose numbers are well down on any Lions tour, albeit being one in 12 years here. We loving having them here, and love having the fans here, was a great bunch in 2017.

Another interesting observation - the adverse effect of Lions tours on the Environment.

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Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jan 2020, 2:27 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:That was the very first point O - the 'maybe' option could be for or against, so shouldn't be ascribed to either. As it's written it has the word 'but' rather than 'and' which implies discontinue rather than continue without changes. The ambiguity though should only be interpreted as 'undecided'.

Either way there is not a majority for either keep or consign to history, which on a rugby fans forum shows the concept has serious problems.

I was responding to the idea that the maybe and discontinue votes should be combined.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 1:47 pm

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

guestalt_physicality wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:That was the very first point O - the 'maybe' option could be for or against, so shouldn't be ascribed to either. As it's written it has the word 'but' rather than 'and' which implies discontinue rather than continue without changes. The ambiguity though should only be interpreted as 'undecided'.

Either way there is not a majority for either keep or consign to history, which on a rugby fans forum shows the concept has serious problems.

I was responding to the idea that the maybe and discontinue votes should be combined.

Maes suggested the 'maybe' and 'continue' should be combined - not sure where the maybe and discontinue combination idea came from?

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Post by Guest on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 3:19 pm

Here you go:

Cyril wrote:Looks like most people want the Lions disbanded or the set-up changed. Seems fair enough. It really has lost its charm in the last few tours.

Time for a significant re-vamp or maybe just let it go? Things move on.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 7:10 am

Cyril wrote:Looks like most people want the Lions disbanded or the set-up changed. Seems fair enough. It really has lost its charm in the last few tours.

Time for a significant re-vamp or maybe just let it go? Things move on.

In its original, amateur form, the Lions was a unique and special event, not just in rugby, but in world sport.

Gone are the days. The challenge for the Lions now is to ensure they can marry their romantic past with modern realities. And I do not believe that both can be achieved. The sport is professional, players are assets and fixture lists are ridiculously congested. Gatland tried the latter at the expense of the former - he's vilified. If he goes back to basics and the team get thrashed - he's vilified..... whoever is in charge can't win.

I don't buy all this 'coming together as one' rubbish. The Lions is just another excuse for people who follow rugby to moan and argue about representation. In more modern times, it has become clear that not all the players get on with one another either. Of course, the old chestnut of it being the pinnacle of a player's career, an honour still gets trotted out - and no doubt, if you are a player, you would be proud to be considered one of the best players from your country - and lets not forget the money, they don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts. But, its about time that we looked at this in the cold light of day. The players belong to their clubs, and to the supporters who pay large amounts of money to see them play at the match, or pay large sums of money to see them play for their club on TV. It is enough for most people that the best players from a nation are selected for their country to play in internationals. But please not in some antique of a tournament worshipped by dinosaurs.

The Lions is an outdated concept that exists purely to generate revenue. It breaks valuable players in an already full fixture list. Forget dewy eyed nostalgia. This is the real, modern world, and the Lions should be scrapped.


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Post by maestegmafia on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 8:09 am

The modern world should be scrapped?

Sounds good to me...!

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Post by Guest on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 8:55 am

Has anyone here played in a rugby team where they haven't disliked at least one of their teammates? The players now have grown up in the professional era. It's a very different sport to what it was even 20 years ago. These young men have completely different priorities and attitudes and I think a lot of fans misunderstand the mindset and lifestyle of a professional rugby player these days.

I don't understand fans who still think players represent them personally. It's the same with football fans maybe even worse with them. Fans don't fund rugby (or football) or the mind blowing salaries these men now earn. Sponsors and media companies pay for those salaries because there's so much money and profit from growing and tacking on to football - because so many people watch it and love it, and that means there's billions of eyes and minds that make the sponsorship worthwhile. That's why, in the eyes of owners, there's no difference between a football fan of Man United from Manchester and one from Beijing. Just like the players we now have a generation of fans who have grown up watching sport on the internet and who 'pick' their teams - NFL, ice hockey, soccer, rugby, cricket and on and on. Rugby is a little brother to football but the world cup still has a big impact in the 6 not permanently frozen continents which is pretty good going. There's a lot of money in it because people watch but I don't understand separating the Lions from anything else.

I also find it confusing that some Irish fans are so anti-Lions because of the politics but their international team is full of foreign born and raised and trained players from South Africa and New Zealand. Is it pro-Ireland or anti-Britain? I understand the former but it seems more of the latter from most fans. There's something missing in the logic. Aside from everything else about the racial politics in South Africa they're basically the only country left that doesn't have at least 3 or 4 players plucked from other countries in each squad. Wales has a few English and Kiwis, England have a few from all over, New Zealand and Australia have players brought over from Polynesia, the French do the same, Scotland and Ireland have project players etc. Maybe South Africa should be celebrated for enfranchising the black and coloured communities so Siya Kolisi can become captain 25 years after apartheid instead of just topping up their team with overseas talent. This world cup was a victory for rugby even if the rugby itself wasn't the most attractive by the winning team.

Anyway, I just don't see how the Lions is somehow outdated or 'just about money' as if the rest of rugby isn't. The only reason the Lions might not survive is because its voice isn't strong enough in the club v country debate, it doesn't have an organisation with enough money or influence to keep it going, and too many concessions to both of those might eventually kill it (like having their first game around the time of domestic club finals which is the case at the moment).

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Post by Khouli Khan on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 9:08 am

guestalt_physicality wrote:

Anyway, I just don't see how the Lions is somehow outdated or 'just about money' as if the rest of rugby isn't. The

Its as much 'just about money' as the GP Play-offs and superfluous summer internationals (which you alluded to) - but plenty of people detest those ideas too.

And, whether we like it or not, players are assets.

I can see both sides of the discussion. Dinosaurs v Pragmatists.

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Post by Guest on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 10:07 am

But 'just about money' is also the world cup and six nations.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 10:49 am

guestalt_physicality wrote:But 'just about money' is also the world cup and six nations.

Oh, I don't think you can compare those competitions with the anachronistic Lions.

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Post by Guest on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 11:53 am

Why not? International rugby isn't about national representative rugby anymore and hasn't been since it went professional. How is the Lions worse?

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Post by Khouli Khan on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 11:57 am

guestalt_physicality wrote:Why not? International rugby isn't about national representative rugby anymore and hasn't been since it went professional. How is the Lions worse?

I think perhaps because tournaments like the WC and the 6N are widely viewed as necessary to determine the natural order of the game - world rankings and the like.

Whereas the Lions is basically an anachronistic crutch for the hopelessly nostalgic and completely unnecessary and is a perfect example of sick-making false bon home.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 10:01 am

guestalt_physicality wrote:Anyway, I just don't see how the Lions is somehow outdated or 'just about money' as if the rest of rugby isn't. The only reason the Lions might not survive is because its voice isn't strong enough in the club v country debate, it doesn't have an organisation with enough money or influence to keep it going, and too many concessions to both of those might eventually kill it (like having their first game around the time of domestic club finals which is the case at the moment).

When the rest of the rugby world was amateur, the Lions was 'just about money'. The Lions were conceived as a charity team to fill overseas stadia and grow the game in fledgling rugby nations. That raison d'être has long since vanished in connection with SA, NZ and Aus.
Rugby is no longer an amateur sport, players get paid by their clubs and Unions and those employers rightly expect a return on their investment. The difference with the Lions is that they don't care about the career of players outside a two month window every four years. They are like a a cuckoo taking advantage of other's work and don't care if their egg pushes the others out of the nest. The money generated by the Lions comes from rich NH supporters, and it is they who are blindly damaging their own clubs and Unions by supporting a team that is competing with their own because it uses the same players.

As long as the Lions brings millions of money to the destination countries there will be millions of reasons to keep the Lions.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 10:20 am

And it brings money because its popular and people want to watch it. And that's the point of rugby. Entertainment.

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Post by Guest on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 2:41 pm

Khouli Khan wrote:
guestalt_physicality wrote:Why not? International rugby isn't about national representative rugby anymore and hasn't been since it went professional. How is the Lions worse?

I think perhaps because tournaments like the WC and the 6N are widely viewed as necessary to determine the natural order of the game - world rankings and the like.

Whereas the Lions is basically an anachronistic crutch for the hopelessly nostalgic and completely unnecessary and is a perfect example of sick-making false bon home.

That's a fair point about necessity to be honest.

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Post by Guest on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 2:43 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
guestalt_physicality wrote:Anyway, I just don't see how the Lions is somehow outdated or 'just about money' as if the rest of rugby isn't. The only reason the Lions might not survive is because its voice isn't strong enough in the club v country debate, it doesn't have an organisation with enough money or influence to keep it going, and too many concessions to both of those might eventually kill it (like having their first game around the time of domestic club finals which is the case at the moment).

When the rest of the rugby world was amateur, the Lions was 'just about money'. The Lions were conceived as a charity team to fill overseas stadia and grow the game in fledgling rugby nations. That raison d'être has long since vanished in connection with SA, NZ and Aus.
Rugby is no longer an amateur sport, players get paid by their clubs and Unions and those employers rightly expect a return on their investment. The difference with the Lions is that they don't care about the career of players outside a two month window every four years. They are like a a cuckoo taking advantage of other's work and don't care if their egg pushes the others out of the nest. The money generated by the Lions comes from rich NH supporters, and it is they who are blindly damaging their own clubs and Unions by supporting a team that is competing with their own because it uses the same players.

As long as the Lions brings millions of money to the destination countries there will be millions of reasons to keep the Lions.

I think this is just all the points viewed in the most negative light possible to be honest.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 10:56 am

guestalt_physicality wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
guestalt_physicality wrote:Anyway, I just don't see how the Lions is somehow outdated or 'just about money' as if the rest of rugby isn't. The only reason the Lions might not survive is because its voice isn't strong enough in the club v country debate, it doesn't have an organisation with enough money or influence to keep it going, and too many concessions to both of those might eventually kill it (like having their first game around the time of domestic club finals which is the case at the moment).

When the rest of the rugby world was amateur, the Lions was 'just about money'. The Lions were conceived as a charity team to fill overseas stadia and grow the game in fledgling rugby nations. That raison d'être has long since vanished in connection with SA, NZ and Aus.
Rugby is no longer an amateur sport, players get paid by their clubs and Unions and those employers rightly expect a return on their investment. The difference with the Lions is that they don't care about the career of players outside a two month window every four years. They are like a a cuckoo taking advantage of other's work and don't care if their egg pushes the others out of the nest. The money generated by the Lions comes from rich NH supporters, and it is they who are blindly damaging their own clubs and Unions by supporting a team that is competing with their own because it uses the same players.

As long as the Lions brings millions of money to the destination countries there will be millions of reasons to keep the Lions.

I think this is just all the points viewed in the most negative light possible to be honest.

Yeah, but everything he said is true.

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Post by Guest on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 3:40 pm

I don't think it's true. It's very black and white when the truth is often grey. For instance I don't think you can say fans are damaging their clubs by supporting the Lions. Business and money controls sport and has done since it went professional. Fans lie to themselves about the importance and role they play. The reality is rugby has a relatively small core support and a large casual TV audience and the Lions is a bit like the Olympics of rugby or athletics, a chance for a lot of casual GB fans to enjoy rugby without the more partisan aspects of the six nations. I know plenty of people who only watch international rugby including the Lions and see it as no different to the other showpiece events like the Super Bowl or Wimbledon or The Ashes. Many people in England don't support the England rugby team because they feel disconnected from the rugby culture there and so the Lions is no less meaningful for them particularly if they're just sat at home watching. Likewise all fans enjoyed going toe to toe with NZ which only really England have managed with any consistent success and I suppose this point is often raised as a jibe to the Welsh in particular. So I don't think there's any truth in that imho. As for being in competition with each other ask the likes of Itoje or Farrell how much it helped playing against NZ in 2017 for when they beat them in 2019...

I can see why the Irish fans don't like it because it is a bit like an extension of Team GB but for rugby and all that that represents but I don't have much time for anti-British sentiment with little or no pro-Irish stance in its place. Hope that doesn't upset anyone but those are my thoughts, it's petty and backward to use sport as a political football in that way. Irish fans should be more concerned about the non-Irish people at the heart of their national team which was my original point if they're worried about representation in rugby. The Lions should be seen as a success story of politics and culture and if anyone doesn't think that fine but at least be honest about the reasons you dislike it.

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 4:00 pm

Perhaps you may have exaggerated in your own mind that the Ireland team is full of foreign born raised and trained players from SA and New Zealand. We know there’s Aki and Stander but I don’t think ‘full of’ is an accurate description. Unless you’re referring to English-born players or players with parentage links as well.
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Post by Guest on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 6:19 pm

I think it goes back for a while but it also includes coaching staff as well although Ireland are doing better than Wales who are awful in that area. Jared Payne, Tom Court, Finlay Bealham, Quinn Roux, Jean Kleyn, Isaac Boss. The list is quite long and I'm sure there are many I'm forgetting. The point is there's definite contradiction in being anti-Lions for the sake of Ireland when the Irish team and rugby culture in general has been 'corrupted' by the same commercial needs and values that prioritise competitiveness at all costs, including mining the resources and talent in the southern hemisphere, or more recently, England. Which is the point I think I made a few weeks ago that money has been more disruptive to more areas than just the Lions in rugby. It seems strange to have such a large English presence in Leinster and Ireland and to be fine with that but to not be fine with the idea of the Lions as well but anyway no need to restate the point. Ireland are no better than any of the other 3 unions and are probably worse maybe only Scotland have been worse.

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 7:44 pm

Right - I think I understand the point you’re trying to make.

Ireland has used foreign-born players and coaches, including British ones, in its selections over many decades but yet one or two posters on here are - in your view - anti-Lions because they see it as being an extension of Team GB for rugby. Is that it?
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Post by Recwatcher16 on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:40 pm

The Lions are a money making exercise for the SH, end of.

There was a theory in the amateur era, that the exposure at the pinnacle of NH rugby was a defining experience for test players. I remember the quotes on how a tour 'made' a player.
It is not the case now, given how many Tests there are annually, although Gatland certainly bought into that with some of his squad welsh selections. Two Test captains in Barclay & Robshaw never toured but some made the trips that did not deserve to.

It has lost the romance but then a SH coach was never going to be sentimental and rightly so.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 9:53 pm

guestalt_physicality wrote:I don't think it's true. It's very black and white when the truth is often grey. For instance I don't think you can say fans are damaging their clubs by supporting the Lions. Business and money controls sport and has done since it went professional. Fans lie to themselves about the importance and role they play. The reality is rugby has a relatively small core support and a large casual TV audience and the Lions is a bit like the Olympics of rugby or athletics, a chance for a lot of casual GB fans to enjoy rugby without the more partisan aspects of the six nations. I know plenty of people who only watch international rugby including the Lions and see it as no different to the other showpiece events like the Super Bowl or Wimbledon or The Ashes. Many people in England don't support the England rugby team because they feel disconnected from the rugby culture there and so the Lions is no less meaningful for them particularly if they're just sat at home watching. Likewise all fans enjoyed going toe to toe with NZ which only really England have managed with any consistent success and I suppose this point is often raised as a jibe to the Welsh in particular. So I don't think there's any truth in that imho. As for being in competition with each other ask the likes of Itoje or Farrell how much it helped playing against NZ in  2017 for when they beat them in 2019...

I can see why the Irish fans don't like it because it is a bit like an extension of Team GB but for rugby and all that that represents but I don't have much time for anti-British sentiment with little or no pro-Irish stance in its place. Hope that doesn't upset anyone but those are my thoughts, it's petty and backward to use sport as a political football in that way. Irish fans should be more concerned about the non-Irish people at the heart of their national team which was my original point if they're worried about representation in rugby. The Lions should be seen as a success story of politics and culture and if anyone doesn't think that fine but at least be honest about the reasons you dislike it.

A lot of Ireland fans are also avid Lions supporters so there isn't any any obvious correlation between the politics and the sport. The original Lions might have been called the 'British Isles' team but that has been politically corrected over the years to now be called the cumbersome "British and Irish" Lions. Ironically the political correct change has been anything but a success story and has created divisiveness by separating Ireland from the other nations. The other side of that coin is that as the Irish get a billing in the name they are guaranteed at least one token Ireland player in the squad. Of course if anyone was wanting to mix sport and politics, the word 'Lions' is far more symbolic of the divisive Imperial Crown - which is why the committee had to add the "and Irish" rather than just drop the word "British".

The reasons why the concept is damaging to club and (pick your) country, is that everything the players have known and worked for is thrown out the window. The selection for the Lions is made at the whim of a selector picking players most have never played for. They are expected to gel with sworn enemies for a few weeks and then resume hostilities when the circus is over. They are trying to understand players whom they have never played with before nor will play with after the tour, and likewise coaches.
When the Lions was only picking amateur players on Five Nations form the players didn't have clubs that paid them to be back in high pressure games in a couple of weeks and they rightly saw the experience as one that wouldn't be surpassed. Now there's the RWC and club glory to fight for, the Lions is not just irrelevant in rugby terms but damaging to everything their usual teams have been building for.


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Post by Khouli Khan on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 6:36 am

"The reasons why the concept is damaging to club and (pick your) country, is that everything the players have known and worked for is thrown out the window. The selection for the Lions is made at the whim of a selector picking players most have never played for. They are expected to gel with sworn enemies for a few weeks and then resume hostilities when the circus is over. They are trying to understand players whom they have never played with before nor will play with after the tour, and likewise coaches.
When the Lions was only picking amateur players on Five Nations form the players didn't have clubs that paid them to be back in high pressure games in a couple of weeks and they rightly saw the experience as one that wouldn't be surpassed. Now there's the RWC and club glory to fight for, the Lions is not just irrelevant in rugby terms but damaging to everything their usual teams have been building for."
____


Nailed it.

There are many people who say that if someone is against the Lions, or the concept of it, then they're against rugby. I tend to think its the other way round.

Stop living in the past and move on.

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 6:48 am

Khouli Khan wrote:"The reasons why the concept is damaging to club and (pick your) country, is that everything the players have known and worked for is thrown out the window. The selection for the Lions is made at the whim of a selector picking players most have never played for. They are expected to gel with sworn enemies for a few weeks and then resume hostilities when the circus is over. They are trying to understand players whom they have never played with before nor will play with after the tour, and likewise coaches.
When the Lions was only picking amateur players on Five Nations form the players didn't have clubs that paid them to be back in high pressure games in a couple of weeks and they rightly saw the experience as one that wouldn't be surpassed. Now there's the RWC and club glory to fight for, the Lions is not just irrelevant in rugby terms but damaging to everything their usual teams have been building for."
____


Nailed it.

There are many people who say that if someone is against the Lions, or the concept of it, then they're against rugby. I tend to think its the other way round.

Stop living in the past and move on.

No one has sworn enemies in rugby, that football parlance, rugby is about making friends that share your love of the game.that is the ethos behind the lions tours.

We lose that and it’s just another sport with “Sworn enemies” promoted by whoever the latest media a r s e h o l e is that televises the matches.

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Post by Guest on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 8:19 am

Pot Hale wrote:Right - I think I understand the point you’re trying to make.  

Ireland has used foreign-born players and coaches, including British ones, in its selections over many decades but yet one or two posters on here are - in your view - anti-Lions because they see it as being an extension of Team GB for rugby.   Is that it?  

It's not just these boards and it's not just the internet but that's what I'm picking up on, yes.

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Post by Guest on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 8:22 am

Khouli Khan wrote:"The reasons why the concept is damaging to club and (pick your) country, is that everything the players have known and worked for is thrown out the window. The selection for the Lions is made at the whim of a selector picking players most have never played for. They are expected to gel with sworn enemies for a few weeks and then resume hostilities when the circus is over. They are trying to understand players whom they have never played with before nor will play with after the tour, and likewise coaches.
When the Lions was only picking amateur players on Five Nations form the players didn't have clubs that paid them to be back in high pressure games in a couple of weeks and they rightly saw the experience as one that wouldn't be surpassed. Now there's the RWC and club glory to fight for, the Lions is not just irrelevant in rugby terms but damaging to everything their usual teams have been building for."
____


Nailed it.

There are many people who say that if someone is against the Lions, or the concept of it, then they're against rugby. I tend to think its the other way round.

Stop living in the past and move on.

No I don't think that's nailed it at all. That has a very naive and outdated idea about how players behave as professionals and as men. You only need to listen to the captains at the six nations launch to see how the Lions bonds the best players together irrespective of nationality. It also doesn't make sense when national teams are made up of 'sworn enemies' at club level. For someone like Liam Williams he will be as close to his Saracens and Lions teammates as he will his Wales and Scarlets Lions teammates. That kind of thinking is living in the past imo.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 8:32 am

guestalt_physicality wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:"The reasons why the concept is damaging to club and (pick your) country, is that everything the players have known and worked for is thrown out the window. The selection for the Lions is made at the whim of a selector picking players most have never played for. They are expected to gel with sworn enemies for a few weeks and then resume hostilities when the circus is over. They are trying to understand players whom they have never played with before nor will play with after the tour, and likewise coaches.
When the Lions was only picking amateur players on Five Nations form the players didn't have clubs that paid them to be back in high pressure games in a couple of weeks and they rightly saw the experience as one that wouldn't be surpassed. Now there's the RWC and club glory to fight for, the Lions is not just irrelevant in rugby terms but damaging to everything their usual teams have been building for."
____


Nailed it.

There are many people who say that if someone is against the Lions, or the concept of it, then they're against rugby. I tend to think its the other way round.

Stop living in the past and move on.

No I don't think that's nailed it at all. That has a very naive and outdated idea about how players behave as professionals and as men. You only need to listen to the captains at the six nations launch to see how the Lions bonds the best players together irrespective of nationality. It also doesn't make sense when national teams are made up of 'sworn enemies' at club level. For someone like Liam Williams he will be as close to his Saracens and Lions teammates as he will his Wales and Scarlets Lions teammates. That kind of thinking is living in the past imo.

If you take the sentence 'They are expected to gel with sworn enemies for a few weeks and then resume hostilities when the circus is over' out of the equation, then everything else is spot on. I personally wouldn't have used the terminology - rather i'd have used 'rivals' - because that is what they are. I understand the idea that you can be rivals with an international team mate who plays for another club, its about scaling - and anybody whos served in the Armed forces will understand that perfectly well.

It does not alter the fact that the Lions is an outdated concept, nothing but a SH money spinner and a player breaker (albeit once very 4 years). What the players think about the concept is largely irrelevant, since when you look at it in the cold light of day, they're assets - pure and simple. They play for their club. Without supporters, there is no club.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 9:20 am

It's a professional game which continues for entertainment. As long as there are a lot of viewers and a lot money it will continue. As for rivals etc I think most players just want to make the most money as well. Pretending that the lions are any different to the national teams and clubs for the majority of players is pushing it a bit too.

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Post by Pete330v2 on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 9:25 am

I can see why the Irish fans don't like it because it is a bit like an extension of Team GB but for rugby and all that that represents but I don't have much time for anti-British sentiment with little or no pro-Irish stance in its place. Hope that doesn't upset anyone but those are my thoughts, it's petty and backward to use sport as a political football in that way. Irish fans should be more concerned about the non-Irish people at the heart of their national team which was my original point if they're worried about representation in rugby. The Lions should be seen as a success story of politics and culture and if anyone doesn't think that fine but at least be honest about the reasons you dislike it.[/quote]

I take it you're now the self-appointed spokesman for Irish opinions on here? Maybe you should leave that to us, we know much more about Irish opinions and emotions I can assure you.
You say that Irish fans don't like the lions because of the team GB issue. Have you any numbers to back up your ridiculous claim? I doubt it very much, the average Irish rugby fan has much more integrity and intelligence than your opinion would offer them.

By the way, we're more than happy to have the non-Irish people at the heart of our national team and for that matter our provinces, we'll have the best person for the job every time over a less qualified and capable Irish native. Every NH national team has a level of input from imported players to differing levels so be very careful in case you live in a glass house.

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