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Lions Watch: Six Nations Report

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Post by whatahitson Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:08 pm

First topic message reminder :

Well we're nearly done with the Six Nations so if the Lions goes ahead who do you like the look of and who do you think will be touring?

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Post by king_carlos Sun 21 Mar 2021, 2:00 pm

Itogi is one of the best misspellings I've seen for a while. Every time I say that out loud I feel like a home nations fan in Japan during the RWC trying to pronounce stuff from menus, "I'll have the karaage and itogi please".

It's straight out of EA Sports rugby 08 when they couldn't get naming rights for all players and just fully took the Michael. I'm pretty sure Perry Freshwater was P Freshaqua in that game. Nicky Little was certainly N Large.

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Post by hugehandoff Sun 21 Mar 2021, 3:47 pm

Starting XV right now

Marler
Owens
Furlong
Itoje
Wyn Jones (Capt)
Beirne
Faletau
Watson
Murray
Sexton
Adams
Henderson
J Davies
Rees-Zammit
Williams

Bench
Mako
Cowan-Dickie
Sinckler
Ryan
Fagerson
G Davies
Russell
Hogg

Scotland beat France on Friday and this will change for sure

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Post by lostinwales Sun 21 Mar 2021, 7:16 pm

R!skysports wrote:
bsando wrote:Without starting a massive argument, how can Gatland justify a large English contingent after today's English performance?

Ireland have totally outplayed England despite a red card and now a yellow. Wales comfortably won against England as did Scotland despite the closer scoreline. England have been ill disciplined in all of their games against the home nations rivals. They've just not been playing well for whatever reason apart from last weekend against France.  

Surely this could be the lowest English Lions representation in the professional era? Or will Gatland see it differently?

If based on this 6nations I agree

Coming a very poor 5th playing terrible rugby . Struggle to see any of their players. Even Itogi has flattered to decide and been a penalty machine.

However it won’t and they will still have a lot there

We all know what the main contributing factor to the Wales win was. They may have won anyway but having the referee hand them 2 tries skewed the game somewhat.

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Post by Jimmy Moz Sun 21 Mar 2021, 9:43 pm

Sir Clive Woodward’s Lions XV:

Stuart Hogg, Louis Rees-Zammit, Henry Slade, Jonathan Davies, Anthony Watson, Owen Farrell, Gareth Davies.

Rory Sutherland, Ken Owens, Kyle Sinckler, Alun Wyn Jones (Captain), Maro Itoje, Tadhg Beirne, Tom Curry, Justin Tipuric.

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Post by BigGee Sun 21 Mar 2021, 9:53 pm

Jimmy Moz wrote:Sir Clive Woodward’s Lions XV:

Stuart Hogg, Louis Rees-Zammit, Henry Slade, Jonathan Davies, Anthony Watson, Owen Farrell, Gareth Davies.

Rory Sutherland, Ken Owens, Kyle Sinckler, Alun Wyn Jones (Captain), Maro Itoje, Tadhg Beirne, Tom Curry, Justin Tipuric.

I think Woodward wants every Lions team to lose, to cover up his own ineptitude as a coach of them and the consequent results.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 21 Mar 2021, 10:33 pm

It was initially a 41 man squad last time around. 3 hookers (1 called up as cover), 6 props (2 cover), 5 second rows (1 cover), 8 back rows (1 cover), 3 scrum-half (2 cover), 3 fly-halves (1 cover), 5 centre and 8 back three. An enormous squad in the end as always with nearly 50 players involved from initial squad announcement to finishing the tour. As always some of those initially named didn't make the first flight.

Personally I'd take more locks and fewer back rows on an SA trip initially.

1.Marler, Healy, Sutherland
2.Owens, George, Cowan-Dickie
3.Furlong, Sinckler, Porter
4.Itoje, Bierne, Henderson
5.Ryan, AWJ, Lawes
6.Curry, Navidi
7.Watson, Underhill, Tipuric
8.Faletau, Stander

9.Murray, Williams, Davies
10.Sexton, Ford, Russell

11.LZR, May, Duhan
12.Farrell, Davies
13.Henshaw, Ringrose, North
14.Watson, Keenan, Stockdale
15.Hogg, Williams

Wildcards I'd throw in from an England fans perspective would be George Kruis, Jack Nowell and Manu Tuilagi. None were been involved in the Six Nations but are all class players if they can prove fitness to Gatland. I wouldn't be that surprised to see a punt taken on any of them. At the end of the day if any players get into camp and look way off the pace then the massive squad means they wont feature near the test side anyway.

The backs in general but especially the centres were where I struggled. Henshaw has been excellent so hopefully he stays fit to occupy one of the centre shirts for 3 tests. Foxy showing form against France is good news too.

The forwards have far more standout options in my opinion.


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Post by theslosty Sun 21 Mar 2021, 10:40 pm

Think you've mixed up a couple of the Irish backs KC, presumably you meant Ringrose instead of Stockdale at 13 and Keenan is more of a 15. Keith Earls is probably Ireland's best winger atm

This tour if it goes ahead isn't as long as NZ 2017 is it? So perhaps less need for such a big squad? Either way I still think it's a big call to leave the Vunipolae at home, I know 'form is temporary, class is permanent' is a cliche people roll their eyes at but I still think it's wise to bear in mind what a player has achieved over 2 or 3 seasons rather than be too reactionary to one 7-week tournament. There's still a couple of months of rugby for sentiment to change slightly until the squad is picked, albeit the Saracens lads are a bit unstuck. But on that note POM is someone I wouldn't write off if he can inspire Munster in their next two matches against Leinster and Toulouse as he is one of the few pure blindsides around in B&I atm


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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 21 Mar 2021, 10:48 pm

Whilst I think he was overhyped coming into the tournament, Wyn Jones has been on an upwards trajectory and looks set to tour. It would be a surprising call if Marler and Healy went instead.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 21 Mar 2021, 11:23 pm

theslosty wrote:Think you've mixed up a couple of the Irish backs KC, presumably you meant Ringrose instead of Stockdale at 13 and Keenan is more of a 15. Keith Earls is probably Ireland's best winger atm

This tour if it goes ahead isn't as long as NZ 2017 is it? So perhaps less need for such a big squad? Either way I still think it's a big call to leave the Vunipolae at home, I know 'form is temporary, class is permanent' is a cliche people roll their eyes at but I still think it's wise to bear in mind what a player has achieved over 2 or 3 seasons rather than be too reactionary to one 7-week tournament. There's still a couple of months of rugby for sentiment to change slightly until the squad is picked, albeit the Saracens lads are a bit unstuck. But on that note POM is someone I wouldn't write off if he can inspire Munster in their next two matches against Leinster and Toulouse as he is one of the few pure blindsides around in B&I atm
Just a typo having Stockdale instead of Ringrose at 13. It's the second time I've done that without realising though so maybe I have a subconscious fascination with wingers out of position.

With Liam Williams able to cover wing just as well as fullback Keenan can still fit in the squad easily enough. I think he's a quality young player. Same with Connors as well actually.

Mako will be thereabouts. 6 Lions tests with 4 starts shows his quality. Whilst England have been uninspiring since the RWC they have won 8 out of 10 tests that Mako was fit for.

Billy has bigger issues given his form has been up and (more often) down since the RWC now. He only has Championship rugby between now and the Lions as well. At his best he can still do things few others can in attack and even if he is a blunt instrument ball in hand rugby isn't a subtle game when it comes to getting over the gain line. I can't see him having the fitness needed for the Lions tour with Sarries in the Championship though.

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Post by TJ Mon 22 Mar 2021, 7:36 am

I would have Biggar at ten - not because I think he is the best available 10 - thats clearly Russell but because the way Biggar plays suits a team that do not know each other well. sexton as back up

I feel desperately Sorry for Frazer Brown and Stuart McInally - again clearly the best hookers around but injury has meant they have not been seen this 6N so surely thats their chance gone

Loopy Liam - a fantastic player but cost wales dear against france with a stupid yellow card. Will that count against him?

Another Scot who surely has to be in contention is Zander Fagerson. Against SA you need destructive scummaging props so that the england boys out of contention. The England scrum has been under pressure every game this series. the Irish boys looked very good.

Back row - such a vast array of great options - selection here is very difficult

Centres - bludgeon or rapier? I think Gatland will go for the bludgeon and I was impressed with North even tho I prefer the rapier of Huw Jones

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 22 Mar 2021, 9:47 am

TJ wrote:Loopy Liam - a fantastic player but cost wales dear against france with a stupid yellow card.  Will that count against him?

Centres - bludgeon or rapier?  I think Gatland will go for the bludgeon and I was impressed with North even tho I prefer the rapier of Huw Jones

Probably not as Luke Pearce got it wrong.

North does a lot more than bludgeon actually. The best centres to date are Henshaw and North. Huw Jones has been impressive too.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 22 Mar 2021, 9:51 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
TJ wrote:Loopy Liam - a fantastic player but cost wales dear against france with a stupid yellow card.  Will that count against him?

Centres - bludgeon or rapier?  I think Gatland will go for the bludgeon and I was impressed with North even tho I prefer the rapier of Huw Jones

Probably not as Luke Pearce got it wrong.

North does a lot more than bludgeon actually. The best centres to date are Henshaw and North. Huw Jones has been impressive too.

I agree with that. Probably should have been a knock on instead.

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Post by theslosty Mon 22 Mar 2021, 9:54 am

Can anyone Scottish tell me why Huw Jones hasn't been first choice for a while? Is it his defence? When the game opens up, he is terrific
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Post by alive555 Mon 22 Mar 2021, 9:59 am

theslosty wrote:Can anyone Scottish tell me why Huw Jones hasn't been first choice for a while? Is it his defence? When the game opens up, he is terrific

No, hes been in great form for Glasgow

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Post by R!skysports Mon 22 Mar 2021, 10:06 am

theslosty wrote:Can anyone Scottish tell me why Huw Jones hasn't been first choice for a while? Is it his defence? When the game opens up, he is terrific

After he first came onto the scene he excelled, but then his defence was shown up a little. He then seemed to have an attitude problem and looked very disinterested for quite a while - which affected his form.

Hopefully he is back and will stay back at his best and his defense is more solid

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Post by alive555 Mon 22 Mar 2021, 10:07 am

theslosty wrote:Can anyone Scottish tell me why Huw Jones hasn't been first choice for a while? Is it his defence? When the game opens up, he is terrific

No, hes been in great form for Glasgow

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Post by TJ Mon 22 Mar 2021, 10:45 am

theslosty wrote:Can anyone Scottish tell me why Huw Jones hasn't been first choice for a while? Is it his defence? When the game opens up, he is terrific

No one understands. Its one of townsends baffling selections. He did lose form last year but was in cracking form all year

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Post by BigGee Mon 22 Mar 2021, 10:57 am

Well actually it is because Harris came into the team and has been playing well. Very hard to drop a player who is playing well for club and Country.

Jones fortunately got his chance and seems to have taken it with both hands. He has come right back into form at the right time and could end up being a Lions bolter.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 22 Mar 2021, 10:59 am

Strong runner, some of his passing was awful. Perfect replacement for Davies.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:55 am

Engine#4 wrote:From an Irish perspective I think we will see at most;

Furlong - best tighthead of the 4 nations.
Ryan - does it all.
Beirne - in the form of his life. Can play second-row or backrow.
Stander - physically effective. In better form than Vunipola.
Murray - lack of competition outside of Wales.
Henshaw - form 12 of the 4 nations.

Murray's box kicking against England practically guaranteed him a place on the plane.

There will be more Irish players touring now though. Ireland have real strength in the front 5. You can add Porter, Herring, Ringrose, Henderson, and Sexton to that mix as well. Sexton has always been a step up from Owen Farrell as a number 10 and showed it once again. I think Sexton tours ahead of Russell, if Gatland trusts his gut and doesn't bow to the pressure of a media storm (he might do given how much it apparently affected him last time).

Any outside chance Bundee Aki had probably disappeared with his red card. That said Haloholo hurt his chances even more with his interlude against France. That means Gatland was looking at 3 Samoan centres to choose from this time last year, and now he possibly leaves all 3 at home.

I wouldn't rule out Johnny Williams making the plane as a 12. The centres did not put their hands up and if Tuilagi is injured the Lions have real trouble finding bulk. Henshaw looks nailed on as the test 13 but he might end up at 12.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 8:04 am

Jimmy Moz wrote:Sir Clive Woodward’s Lions XV:

Stuart Hogg, Louis Rees-Zammit, Henry Slade, Jonathan Davies, Anthony Watson, Owen Farrell, Gareth Davies.

Rory Sutherland, Ken Owens, Kyle Sinckler, Alun Wyn Jones (Captain), Maro Itoje, Tadhg Beirne, Tom Curry, Justin Tipuric.

Nothing particularly controversial there. Maybe Curry over Faletau or Billy. It doesn't feel like much of a team though. More like 'who has played well in each position' which is maybe all he offers these days given he's been out of coaching for so long.

I think it's fairly irrelevant trying to guess a XV though. More than most years, this is likely to be a Lions tour where rotation plays a huge part in the test matches.

If it goes ahead in South Africa then Daly and Halfpenny will come in to their own as long range kickers. If it isn't, then they're less effective.

Given the fact it looks like it will be the UK or nothing at this stage then conditioning will be different for a UK summer (hot, humid) than a South African winter. That might be something to consider when it comes to playing style and personnel. Will the Lions really want to spread the ball wide and loose given the pace the South African backs possess, as well as the experience they have playing rugby on hard ground in warm weather? How will a player like Peter O'Mahony or Billy Vunipola fare in 28 degree heat and the mid afternoon sun of Twickenham?

There are only two players nailed on for the team at the moment given they are so far ahead of the competition. They are Hogg and Itoje. Everything else is still very much up for grabs and it depends on who Gatland picks as his assistant coaches, what style of rugby they play, where the Lions tour takes place and much more.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 8:06 am

theslosty wrote:Can anyone Scottish tell me why Huw Jones hasn't been first choice for a while? Is it his defence? When the game opens up, he is terrific

He's Scotland's Reiko Ioane. Lethal going forward and has good spring and flat speed to get away from tacklers and score tries but there's not much else to his game. A bit like an Alex Cuthbert in the centres.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 8:11 am

TJ wrote:I would have Biggar at ten - not because I think he is the best available 10 - thats clearly Russell

Based on the 2021 six nations it would be more like the following, in order: Biggar, Sexton, Ford, Russell, Farrell. Unless best means 'best highlight reel'.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Tue 23 Mar 2021, 8:27 am

Bearing in mind that Eddie is very loathe to try new talent, what are the odds on there being a few uncapped players in the squad. Given the paucity of genuinely good 10s, all seem to have their faults, Joe Simmons for example or Smith.
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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 12:12 pm

Centre is by far the hardest position to predict.

Johnny Williams, Cameron Redpath, Robbie Henshaw, and Manu Tuilagi are the reasonable 12 options. Sam Johnson might tour as a bolter. Farrell will cover there from 10 as well. It would be a big surprise if Bundee Aki were to tour.

Slade, Jonathan Davies, and Ringrose are the reasonable 13 options. Daly and North will cover as utility backs. Huw Jones might be considered as an outside bet - one more good performance could boost his chances. Jonathan Joseph seems unlikely to tour.

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Post by TightHEAD Tue 23 Mar 2021, 12:24 pm

I would take Danny Care as back up to the starting Scrum half.
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Post by TightHEAD Tue 23 Mar 2021, 12:55 pm

Not my team but I think Gatland will go for this.


15 Liam Williams
14 Anthony Watson
13 Jonathan Davies
12 Owen Farrell
11 Rees-Zammit
10 Dan Biggar
9 Conor Murray
8 Taulupe Faletau
7 Tom Curry
6 CJ Stander (He'll be there)
5 Alun Wyn Jones (c)
4 Maro Itoje
3 Tadhg Furlong
2 Ken Owens
1 Wyn Jones


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Post by lostinwales Tue 23 Mar 2021, 12:56 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Bearing in mind that Eddie is very loathe to try new talent, what are the odds on there being a few uncapped players in the squad. Given the paucity of genuinely good 10s, all seem to have their faults, Joe Simmons for example or Smith.

I am not always sure he's loathe to look at new talent given the number of 'apprentices' that have passed through the squad. He does seem to have a very clear idea of what he does want, and unfortunately it is not always obvious to us.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 1:18 pm

My test side if it was tomorrow:

1. Healy (he might not be the most obvious pick but he has never played in a Lions test and this is his last chance plus he is class and loves playing SA.)
2. Owens
3. Furlong (Sinkler close second)
4. Itoje
5. AWJ
6. Curry
7. Watson
8. Faletau

9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Duhan Van Der Merve
12. Henshaw
13. North
14. Rhys Zammit
15. Hogg

Liam Williams, Beirne and Keenan pretty unlucky not to get in.

5 Welsh
5 Irish
3 Scots
2 English

Pretty fair reflection of form and how each team has performed in the six nations.

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Post by Oakdene Tue 23 Mar 2021, 1:41 pm

So my XV
1. W.Jones
2. Owens
3. Furlong
4. Beirne
5. AWJ
6. Stander
7. Curry
8. Faletau
9. Murray
10. Sexton/Biggar - I can't call this
11. Rees-Zammit
12. Henshaw
13. North
14. Watson
15. Hogg

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 1:46 pm

Form wise bar the France game I don't think an English player is bothering the starting 15. Guess it's on whether you include the previous 6 months where it would be stacked with them.

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Post by theslosty Tue 23 Mar 2021, 1:56 pm

whatahitson wrote:There are only two players nailed on for the team at the moment given they are so far ahead of the competition. They are Hogg and Itoje. Everything else is still very much up for grabs and it depends on who Gatland picks as his assistant coaches, what style of rugby they play, where the Lions tour takes place and much more.
Yes, Itoje really was head and shoulders above Beirne and Henderson on Saturday.
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Post by flyhalffactory Tue 23 Mar 2021, 2:32 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Not my team but I think Gatland will go for this.


15 Liam Williams
14 Anthony Watson LRZ
13 Jonathan Davies
12 Owen Farrell
11 Rees-Zammit Watson
10 Dan Biggar
9 Conor Murray
8 Taulupe Faletau
7 Tom Curry Tipuric
6 CJ Stander (He'll be there) Curry
5 Alun Wyn Jones (c)
4 Maro Itoje
3 Tadhg Furlong
2 Ken Owens
1 Wyn Jones

I think you are pretty close there I think he'll make some positional changes and bring in Tips
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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 23 Mar 2021, 2:35 pm

We could beat the boks in the backs, so for me Henshaw and North should start. Back 3 should be Watson, LRZ, Hogg. Halfbacks I'm really not sure who to pick as they've all been inconsistent.


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Post by flyhalffactory Tue 23 Mar 2021, 2:36 pm

theslosty wrote:
whatahitson wrote:There are only two players nailed on for the team at the moment given they are so far ahead of the competition. They are Hogg and Itoje  laughing . Everything else is still very much up for grabs and it depends on who Gatland picks as his assistant coaches, what style of rugby they play, where the Lions tour takes place and much more.
Yes, Itoje really was head and shoulders above Beirne and Henderson on Saturday.

Very much like he was a country mile ahead of Gray and Cummings  Whistle
Very much like he was a country mile ahead of AWJ Whistle Whistle

Have to say though, Itoje was top of the 6Ns 2021 table for Pens Conceded so he's obviously nailed on Yahoo
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Post by T15 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 2:58 pm

Had a go at predicting the squad. It’s looking likely it’ll be 36-37 players.:

Loose heads:
Cian Healy
Rory Sutherland
Wyn Jones

Hookers:
Jamie George
Luke Cowan Dickie
Ken Owens

Tight Heads:
Kyle Sinckler
Tadgh Furlong
Andrew Porter

Second Rows:
Maro Itoje
Iain Henderson
Tadgh Beirne
James Ryan
Alun Wyn Jones

Back row:
CJ Stander
Hamish Watson
Talupe Faletau
Justin Tipuric
Tom Curry
Sam Simmonds
Josh Navidi

Scrum Halves:
Connor Murray
Tomos Williams
Gareth Davies

Fly Halves:
Owen Farrell
Finn Russell
Jonny Sexton

Centres:
George North
Jonathon Davies
Huw Jones
Robbie Henshaw

Back 3:
Louis Rees Zammit
Anthony Watson
Jonny May
Josh Adams
Liam Williams
Stuart Hogg

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 3:06 pm

Very decent squad that T15.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 23 Mar 2021, 4:28 pm

As per the BBC, it seems the Lions tour is going to happen, and in SA.  So with the Six Nations behind us, we can officially start disagreeing with each other about the tour and the Lions squad.  Any prior disagreements were completely unofficial.

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Post by BamBam Tue 23 Mar 2021, 4:31 pm

doctor_grey wrote:As per the BBC, it seems the Lions tour is going to happen, and in SA.  So with the Six Nations behind us, we can officially start disagreeing with each other about the tour and the Lions squad.  Any prior disagreements were completely unofficial.

In that case only games from this moment on should be considered when making selection decisions

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 23 Mar 2021, 4:34 pm

BamBam wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:As per the BBC, it seems the Lions tour is going to happen, and in SA.  So with the Six Nations behind us, we can officially start disagreeing with each other about the tour and the Lions squad.  Any prior disagreements were completely unofficial.

In that case only games from this moment on should be considered when making selection decisions
there were games played before now? I certainly don’t remember any, especially any England games.

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Post by No9 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 4:34 pm

miltonkeynesengland wrote:Z Ngwenya..think he has retired...mind he was ready a qualified radiologist if memory serves.
For me against the Boks in the back 3 I'd want Hogg and Williams + an other.
Personally I like Adams..seems to have the nose for where to be.
Watson is a great broken field runner but I worry about his positioning.
May is rapid as is LRZ..
VdM seems the most physical and Stockdale could come back in + countless others.

Suggest you remove the rose tinted specs and watch the Wal v Eng game again... Zammit left May for dust more than once.

Lions test back 3, will be Adams, Zammit and Liam.

Watson and Van d M will be there with one on the bench. May wont be on the tour.

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Post by No9 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 4:39 pm

T15 wrote:Had a go at predicting the squad. It’s looking likely it’ll be 36-37 players.:

Loose heads:
Cian Healy
Rory Sutherland
Wyn Jones

Hookers:
Jamie George
Luke Cowan Dickie
Ken Owens

Tight Heads:
Kyle Sinckler
Tadgh Furlong
Andrew Porter

Second Rows:
Maro Itoje
Iain Henderson
Tadgh Beirne
James Ryan
Alun Wyn Jones - (will be Capt)

Back row:
CJ Stander
Hamish Watson
Talupe Faletau
Justin Tipuric
Tom Curry
Sam Simmonds
Josh Navidi

Scrum Halves:
Connor Murray
Tomos Williams
Gareth Davies

Fly Halves:
Owen Farrell Dan Bigger
Finn Russell
Jonny Sexton

Centres:
George North
Jonathon Davies
Huw Jones
Robbie Henshaw

Back 3:
Louis Rees Zammit
Anthony Watson
Jonny May
Josh Adams
Liam Williams
Stuart Hogg

Only change I'd make.. I'd consider Sheedy, but difficult to drop Sexton or Russel. Farrell wont be anywhere near the squad IMO.

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Post by R!skysports Tue 23 Mar 2021, 4:42 pm

From the Lions today

The British & Irish Lions and SA Rugby have confirmed they are aligned on delivering the Castle Lager Lions Series in South Africa in the scheduled playing window.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 23 Mar 2021, 4:57 pm

No9 wrote:
miltonkeynesengland wrote:Z Ngwenya..think he has retired...mind he was ready a qualified radiologist if memory serves.
For me against the Boks in the back 3 I'd want Hogg and Williams + an other.
Personally I like Adams..seems to have the nose for where to be.
Watson is a great broken field runner but I worry about his positioning.
May is rapid as is LRZ..
VdM seems the most physical and Stockdale could come back in + countless others.

Suggest you remove the rose tinted specs and watch the Wal v Eng game again... Zammit left May for dust more than once.

Lions test back 3, will be Adams, Zammit and Liam.

Watson and Van d M will be there with one on the bench. May wont be on the tour.
MK said that "May is rapid as is LZR", i.e. both are rapid. He didn't say May is quicker than or even as quick as LZR. Rees-Zammit is an unbelievable talent but May was probably still the second fastest winger in the Six Nations, it doesn't make him slow. As for the rose tinted specs jibe that seems pretty unfair to MK given his post says he'd pick "Hogg and Williams + one other" followed immediately by "personally I like Adams". Overall I've got to ask whether you actually read his post before responding?

I'd be very surprised if May doesn't tour. His all round game is still strong despite a quieter tournament in a poorly performing England side.

11.Adams, May
14.LZR, Watson
15.Hogg, Williams

Those are the 6 back three players I'd be surprised to see not tour.

The 2017 squad had 8 back three players in the initial squad so presumably a couple of places left there. Duhan and Stockdale both have clear strengths and weaknesses. I really rate Keenan and think he'd be a terrific addition to the squad.

If Nowell can finally get fit and perform with Exeter he might have a shot. He made the matchday 23 for the 2nd and 3rd tests on the 2017 tour so Gatland clearly rates him highly.


Last edited by king_carlos on Tue 23 Mar 2021, 4:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 23 Mar 2021, 4:58 pm

No9 wrote:
T15 wrote:Had a go at predicting the squad. It’s looking likely it’ll be 36-37 players.:

Loose heads:
Cian Healy
Rory Sutherland
Wyn Jones

Hookers:
Jamie George
Luke Cowan Dickie
Ken Owens

Tight Heads:
Kyle Sinckler
Tadgh Furlong
Andrew Porter

Second Rows:
Maro Itoje
Iain Henderson
Tadgh Beirne
James Ryan
Alun Wyn Jones - (will be Capt)

Back row:
CJ Stander
Hamish Watson
Talupe Faletau
Justin Tipuric
Tom Curry
Sam Simmonds
Josh Navidi

Scrum Halves:
Connor Murray
Tomos Williams
Gareth Davies

Fly Halves:
Owen Farrell Dan Bigger
Finn Russell
Jonny Sexton

Centres:
George North
Jonathon Davies
Huw Jones
Robbie Henshaw

Back 3:
Louis Rees Zammit
Anthony Watson
Jonny May
Josh Adams
Liam Williams
Stuart Hogg

Only change I'd make.. I'd consider Sheedy, but difficult to drop Sexton or Russel. Farrell wont be anywhere near the squad IMO.
that is a quality roster! What would your 23 man 1st test lineup look like?

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Post by T15 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 6:21 pm

Cheers guys.

I did think my squad was harsh on Biggar. I just think Gatland will still select Farrell - and he’s a good enough player in the right environment and not captain - or at least he used to be. Being realistic it’ll probably be Biggar, Sexton, Farrell that go - but I think Russell’s form for the last few years and that he offers something different means he deserves a shot. Too many players ahead of Sheedy currently but I rate him and wouldn’t be upset if he was picked.

My test 23 currently would be.
1. Wyn Jones 2. Ken Owens 3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Maro Itoje 5. Alun Wyn Jones (c)
6. Tadhg Beirne 7. Hamish Watson 8. Toby Faletau
9. Connor Murray 10. Jonny Sexton
12. Robbie Henshaw 13. George North
11. Anthony Watson 14. Louis Rees-Zammit 15. Stuart Hogg

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie 17. Rory Sutherland 18. Kyle Sinckler 19. Tom Curry 20. Justin Tipuric 21. Gareth Davies 22. Finn Russell 23. Jonathon Davies

Not got a 2nd row on the bench due to 3 in the starting pack. Could pick any of those three 7s to start - Watson’s carrying gets him the nod. Can easily have Williams over Hogg.

Crazy to think when I thought up a squad in the autumn I had about 15 plus England players in the squad - all change!

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Post by theslosty Tue 23 Mar 2021, 6:46 pm

One question about the back 3 selection:

The most likely tourists at the moment are looking like Hogg, L Williams, Adams, May, LRZ and Watson. The next 2 or 3 in line are probably VDM, Halfpenny and Earls. However if I'm not mistaken aren't all of those players right-footed? Is there an opening for a left-footer such as Daly or Stockdale?

I don't know how much of an emphasis Gatland places on his left winger being left-footed, perhaps not much. But I've been used to watching Ireland this past decade and we've nearly always had at least one left-footer in our back 3 whether that was Kearney, Zebo, Stockdale, Lowe etc
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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:07 pm

theslosty wrote:
whatahitson wrote:There are only two players nailed on for the team at the moment given they are so far ahead of the competition. They are Hogg and Itoje. Everything else is still very much up for grabs and it depends on who Gatland picks as his assistant coaches, what style of rugby they play, where the Lions tour takes place and much more.
Yes, Itoje really was head and shoulders above Beirne and Henderson on Saturday.

Form is temp...blah blah blah etc etc etc.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:10 pm

No9 wrote:
miltonkeynesengland wrote:Z Ngwenya..think he has retired...mind he was ready a qualified radiologist if memory serves.
For me against the Boks in the back 3 I'd want Hogg and Williams + an other.
Personally I like Adams..seems to have the nose for where to be.
Watson is a great broken field runner but I worry about his positioning.
May is rapid as is LRZ..
VdM seems the most physical and Stockdale could come back in + countless others.

Suggest you remove the rose tinted specs and watch the Wal v Eng game again... Zammit left May for dust more than once.

Lions test back 3, will be Adams, Zammit and Liam.

Is Hogg playing 10? Laugh

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:13 pm

theslosty wrote:One question about the back 3 selection:

The most likely tourists at the moment are looking like Hogg, L Williams, Adams, May, LRZ and Watson. The next 2 or 3 in line are probably VDM, Halfpenny and Earls. However if I'm not mistaken aren't all of those players right-footed? Is there an opening for a left-footer such as Daly or Stockdale?

Daly's well ahead of Earls in the pecking order. Sorry, but there's a big talent gap between Daly and Hogg. Players are judged on their team's form but they shouldn't be judged on just the last game they played. Earls has been a stalwart for Ireland but he lacks the quality needed for a Lions tour. Daly showed his class v France. At some point you have to judge ability as well as form, which is why squads that are ignoring English players like Daly, Slade, Ford, Youngs etc are going to be miles off.

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