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Potential Lions who are out of form or lacking games

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Potential Lions who are out of form or lacking games Empty Potential Lions who are out of form or lacking games

Post by bsando Sun 28 Mar 2021, 1:21 pm

The Six Nations is now complete. As it is the primary audition for Lions selection we have all started to form squads based on who has performed well.

In 2017, the full squad was announced on April the 19th with the first warm up test being played on the 3rd of June. This time around the tour is kicking off against Japan at Murrayfield on the 26th of June. That means there is still a good 5-6 weeks until we potentially discover the final squad.

A small number of this final squad will probably contain a few players based on their less recent international form. Some players are returning from injury but will be fit for the tour. Others are perhaps not getting a chance to shine at international level.

So who are these players? Who can gain Lions selection despite not featuring during the Six Nations much or even at all? Can any of these players get a run of games at club level to throw their hat in the ring?

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Post by bsando Sun 28 Mar 2021, 1:26 pm

Lawes, Underhill and Simmonds would be up there for me. For Ireland I think Doris would surely be on the plane if he were fit and firing. For wales an in form Webb would be highly valuable. McInally, Brown and Jones could all be useful.

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Post by TJ Sun 28 Mar 2021, 3:03 pm

There are 3 scots who have probably lost their chance because they didn't feature in this 6N or not much. Jonny gray, Frazer Brown and McInally

the two hookers especially needed to show what they can do. Certainly lions quality but without being able to show it this year that will be the end of their chances

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Post by 123456789. Thu 01 Apr 2021, 5:18 pm

I think you could probably put the 6-7 players from the all conquering Saracens side that went on to form the spine of the England team in the 2019 world cup plus Tuilagi. Then you have the players the Jones has overlooked as part of his overcomplicating rugby act, so the likes of Dombrandt, the Simmondses etc who are lacking international game time.

For Scotland you have Brown and McInally as said above. I think around 2018 to 2019 McInally was perhaps the best hooker in Britain and Ireland but he had the captaincy foisted on him for the World Cup and hasn't played his best rugby since so even if he had been fit he had some ground to make up. In fairness to Ken Owens and Luke Cowan Dickie they are both playing outstanding rugby regardless. Huw Jones is perhaps the best finisher (as in scoring tries) of all the 13s in British and Irish rugby but he's started few games recently. Given his history in South Africa you'd have put him in with a chance. Maitland has probably been slightly screwed over by the PRL rules. Three first class games isn't really enough, especially when one was against Italy.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 01 Apr 2021, 6:22 pm

I would be somewhat reluctant to bring along players who have not demonstrated they are 100% recovered and in top notch game shape. The Saracens boys, excepting Itoje, all have a lot to prove and might not be able to do it.

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Post by 123456789. Thu 01 Apr 2021, 6:35 pm

If it were up to me; the Vunipolas, Farrell, Daly and George would be staying at home. I'd probably be fairly clear with Itoje that unless the discipline was sorted he wouldn't be playing tests. Not because I think they are bad players but because no team with them playing as they did in the Six Nations is beating South Africa and I don't see how they play themselves back to the required level against accountants, recruiters and consultants. Even in terms of Itoje's discipline the level of refereeing and the fact that refs are likely to be in awe of him means the platform won't necessarily be there for him to sort it out.

I think on form England have at least two better players in each position and the Lions certainly do.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 01 Apr 2021, 7:39 pm

Can’t disagree. Good players not playing to their historical levels. This was not just a one game blip, but five matches. I think Itoje will sort the discipline. But I am not minimising it either. If it were high tackles or something like that I would be more concerned.

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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 01 Apr 2021, 9:21 pm

Ellis Jenkins of Wales (and Gareth Anscombe of Wales)

I watched the Nov 2018 Autumn International Wales 20-11 SA where Ellis Jenkins, the Welsh BSF had an unbelievable game, against a bloody good SA team, he (along with Tipuric) absolutely destroyed du Toit and Kolisi and was a clear MOTM unfortunately he had a terrible leg trauma where he tore his AC, MCL and tendons. I think he's just started playing again.

I heard he was potentially very good but that was one of the best blindside performances against the core of the team that would go onto win the WC one year later

I don't think we would be arguing whether it should be Richie, Underhill, Stander, Beirne, Navidi starting, the question would have been who is going to back him up
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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 01 Apr 2021, 9:34 pm

I do wonder if the way to go is pure pace in the back row, for all of PSDTs qualities he still has the turning circle of a large truck.

If you go down that route you need a tight five of pure power.

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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 01 Apr 2021, 9:41 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:I do wonder if the way to go is pure pace in the back row, for all of PSDTs qualities he still has the turning circle of a large truck.

If you go down that route you need a tight five of pure power.

Definitely your front five will have to be accurate and dominant in the set piece
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Post by Brendan Thu 01 Apr 2021, 11:01 pm

Is Gatland not the very coach to get players up to speed. He did wonders with Wales. I feel like Gats will take who he needs and get them up to speed.

Jones doesn't strike me as having the same skills. He seems to set tasks and then pick the winners.

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Post by Mr Bounce Thu 01 Apr 2021, 11:18 pm

Joe Launchbury for me. Fantastic form in the Autumn Nations Cup then had a stress fracture keeping him out of the 6 Nations. He was filling Kruis' boots pretty well up until that point. Starting to get back to his unseen but nuisance self in his last couple of matches for Wasps, but will it be enough for Gatland and co? I doubt it, and that's a shame.

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