Should we continue British & Irish Lions Tours?

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Should we continue British & Irish Lions Tours? - Page 7 Empty Should we continue British & Irish Lions Tours?

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What is everyone's opinion...rugby tradition that should be kept...or an outdated concept in the modern professional era?


Regards

Steffan

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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 1:26 am

123456789. wrote:I'm not really sure why this is an ongoing debate...
It became a debate over concerns which, if anything, have got worse rather than better. For example:

- In a four year World Cup cycle, the Lions Tour comes at a particularly awkward time from the perspective of squad development. If it didn't exist, you wouldn't choose to create it to improve your chances at the Cup.

- The season is more crowded. To take England as an example, World Cup players will not play in the next summer tour, to compensate for heavy involvement in pre-tournament training camps. With the Lions tour up the following year, it'll be nearly three years before leading players tour with England again.

- The game is more physical. Not only is the fixture list more crowded, and more matches are meaningful, players are suffering greater wear and tear. The Lions tour can take a particularly heavy toll.

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Post by Geen sport voor watjes on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 1:53 am

Lions are a waste of time effort and money. They have a great win record against Australia ( given the playing populations that is not a surprise) and they rarely win against the other two. The French are the only nh country to beat the abs in a series down under and have actually beaten them 3 times in a row.

Maybe when you get your shiny new blue passports you could just have a british lions tour ( without the Irish). It’s only one country anyway so makes more sense.

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Post by Guest on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 5:15 pm

Geen sport voor watjes wrote:Lions are a waste of time effort and money. They have a great win record against Australia ( given the playing populations that is not a surprise) and they rarely win against the other two. The French are the only nh country to beat the abs in a series down under and have actually beaten them 3 times in a row.

Maybe when you get your shiny new blue passports you could just have a british lions tour ( without the Irish). It’s only one country anyway so makes more sense.

I think that almost rests my case about (some) Irish fans, doesn't it.

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Post by 123456789. on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 7:00 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
123456789. wrote:I'm not really sure why this is an ongoing debate...
It became a debate over concerns which, if anything, have got worse rather than better. For example:

- In a four year World Cup cycle, the Lions Tour comes at a particularly awkward time from the perspective of squad development. If it didn't exist, you wouldn't choose to create it to improve your chances at the Cup.

- The season is more crowded. To take England as an example, World Cup players will not play in the next summer tour, to compensate for heavy involvement in pre-tournament training camps. With the Lions tour up the following year, it'll be nearly three years before leading players tour with England again.

- The game is more physical. Not only is the fixture list more crowded, and more matches are meaningful, players are suffering greater wear and tear. The Lions tour can take a particularly heavy toll.

The four year cycle is a nonsense, South Africa proved that. Rassie Erasmus took over a South African team sixth in the world in June 2018. They were absolutely nowhere. England had had a dreadful Six Nations and then lost a series to South Africa. They were both in the World Cup final a year later. Scotland had come off the back of their second successive third place finish in the Six Nations. In June 2018, I was confident that Scotland would beat Japan and could beat Ireland. If we'd finished top I thought we would beat South Africa. A year later that was pie in the sky.
The season is crowded you're right. But the season is crowded with the same teams playing each other, year-on-year. A Lions tour is a break from that monotony. It's every twelve years for the toured nation. England are, as far as I can tell, the only team to have made that call. The Lions provides another chance for players to break through into the conversation. Tom Curry and Sam Underhill made their England debuts while Haskell was away with the Lions. Two years on Haskell was on media duty while they drove England into the World Cup final.
I agree with you there's much more that could be done with the Lions. I think the fact they play a series of game against halfhearted domestic sides in New Zealand and Australia rather than go to the Pacific Nations is wrong. I think that it would make sense to have a European Championship played with the Tier Two sides in those years. In effect making the middle year the year of development for World Rugby and for Rugby Nations.
But the idea of what rugby needs to attract new fans and new supporters is more monotony is bizarre to me.

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Post by Taylorman on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 7:59 pm

True about the cycle. For us the Lions are a one off. No one these days plays two series that I can recall, luck with timing the main requirement.

We have four years between World cups. So the top 4 home union players effectively have 2 year cycles...WCup/ Lions, the build ups and pressure on players in both significantly greater.

Does lead to thinking if they go to a World that the Lions will be the first casualty. But certainly the SA3 wouldnt let those go easily.

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Post by 123456789. on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 9:57 pm

I think the Lions are safe and will continue to be so until players and coaches start to spurn it. One day there may come a Lions tour when players are told by their nations that they cannot tour and a development group may head out and get destroyed.
If the World League ever comes in, I think that the World Cup is in much greater danger than the Lions. The World League would destroy variety in the calendar for all but the unlucky team that gets relegated. What would a World Cup possibly prove?
On two tour players. Simon Shaw did South Africa twice in 1997 and 2009. O'Driscoll did Australia twice in 2001 and 2013. George Smith also featured in both tours. Jerome Kaino played the Lions in 2005 for Auckland but not for the All Blacks. For 2021, only Keith Earls, Alun Wyn Jones and Leigh Halfpenny are still playing from the last group. On current form it's hard to see any of them touring again. Alun Wyn Jones will always be a possibility but it's hard to see him being ahead of any of Itoje, Lawes, Launchbury or Ryan for the test squad in a year. For South Africa only Frans Steyn seems likely to be be in contention. So in the 21st Century we've only seen three people take part in two versions of the same series. George Smith and O'Driscoll are legends for their countries unquestionably. Simon Shaw is a world cup winner. Legends are made on Lions tours. A successful Lions tour is, almost invariably, a requirement for a rugby legend from our islands. Wilkinson is perhaps the only exception I can think of this century.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 12:40 am

123456789. wrote:The four year cycle is a nonsense, South Africa proved that.
South Africa didn't prove anything. It's a very good illustration that teams can pull themselves together at short notice but we already saw that in 2007 when England made the final. Argentina are an example of a team that didn't benefit from mid-cycle changes. Unions aren't going to start appointing new coaches two years out from a World Cup as standard practice. Wales, NZ, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Ireland and France have all switched horses after the last tournament finished, and that will continue to be the norm.

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 12:47 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
123456789. wrote:The four year cycle is a nonsense, South Africa proved that.
South Africa didn't prove anything. It's a very good illustration that teams can pull themselves together at short notice but we already saw that in 2007 when England made the final. Argentina are an example of a team that didn't benefit from mid-cycle changes. Unions aren't going to start appointing new coaches two years out from a World Cup as standard practice. Wales, NZ, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Ireland and France have all switched horses after the last tournament finished, and that will continue to be the norm.

You suggested the Lions tour should be scrapped as it disrupts the four year cycle. I said that the four year cycle was rubbish anyway and so you've given more examples of why it's rubbish. Of the World Cup finalists I can think of in 2019 South Africa won with a coach in place for little over a year, in 2015 Australia reached the final despite Cheika only being in position for a little over a year, in 2007 Brian Ashton had just arrived. In short, there's no point scrapping Lions tours to help the Home Nations at World Cups.

In hindsight, the All Blacks may have benefited from a switch of coach in 2017. Scotland would have benefited from not switching in 2017. The teams that do the best are, almost invariably, the teams with the best coach and the best players at that particular moment. All the rest of it just exists to keep the pundits in a job. Eddie Jones claims he 'overtrained' his players in 2018 apparently, which is why they were rubbish. That was utter balls. In reality they had a group of players that had reached the end of their cycle and needed freshened up. Haskell had already gone. Then went Brown, Care, Hughes, Robshaw, Hartley and Te'o. Cole and Launchbury were relegated to a bench position. Billy Vunipola came back from injury, Tuilagi came back from injury, Sinkler came into the starting line-up, Curry found his way into the starting lineup. England became a more powerful team, once they had more powerful players. This all happened irrespective of the Lions.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 02 Apr 2020, 12:52 pm

If the four year cycle is a nonsense - why do Unions changes coaches and players retire at the end of the RWC cycle?

England, Scotland, Ireland & Wales have their best and most experienced players stripped out of their teams to play pointless fantasy rugby in arguably the most critical preparation period before the RWC. The very same period when Erasmus was re-configuring his brave new South African World without a circus distraction.

Not only do the NH teams lose valuable Test time to the Lions but then lose swathes of the players for most of the next season, many missing AI and 6N games. Then having lost them for key Test matches, the coaches have to decide whether to reintegrate them back into Test consideration with so little time left before the Big Show.

Many observers would agree with Jamie Joseph removing his Japan players from their normal routine for more than a year to focus solely on the RWC, and yet the Lions apologists think that it is a better idea to disrupt NH Test sides instead.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 02 Apr 2020, 1:38 pm

Clubs have their players stripped out for pointless internationals etc. You dont like the lions dont watch it. Same as people who turn up to watch their clubs rather than internationals.

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Post by Guest on Thu 02 Apr 2020, 2:04 pm

I don't think you'll find many people agreeing with Jamie Joseph's approach. In fact, if that happens again with any big nation especially, there would probably be uproar, particularly if they exceed expectations.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Thu 02 Apr 2020, 4:21 pm

guestalt_physicality wrote:I don't think you'll find many people agreeing with Jamie Joseph's approach. In fact, if that happens again with any big nation especially, there would probably be uproar, particularly if they exceed expectations.

The Jamie Joseph approached worked from the point of view of keeping interest in the tournament among the Japanese population going and they got a few scalps on the way, but realistically it's not workable for any of the nations who have a professional league as their "bread and butter". I also fear that when Japan get back into playing regular international games they are going to get their asses handed to them - a lot of T2 and T1 teams will have points to prove - as they won't have this advantage and will drop back down the world rankings again.

I think the Lions will continue as long as two things happen - the four nations players see it as one of the pinnacles of their careers - to have the "British Lions" after your name in the history books is still a big thing and secondly as long as the SH nations need the money a Lions tour brings - which is a lot more than a normal international tour does.

That said the Barbarians have gone from selection being a massive honour and recognition to being a "end of season" junket for a few players nearer retirement than test caps.

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