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LIONS ANNOUNCEMENT

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 13 Apr 2021, 3:02 pm

First topic message reminder :

Forwards: Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke Cowan Dickie, Tom Curry, Zander Fagerson, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, Wyn Jones, Courtney Lawes, Ken Owens, Andrew Porter, Sam Simmonds, Rory Sutherland, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Hamish Watson.

Backs: Josh Adams, Bundee Aki, Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Gareth Davies, Owen Farrell, Chris Harris, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Conor Murray, Ali Price, Louis Rees-Zammit, Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 2:58 pm

When has Itoje not been a gentleman towards officials? I really don't get this line of thought about him be it that or the line from biltong about his attitude. He seems a very respected player and comes across very respectful when he speaks.

How is Itoje behaving that annoys people? What is it about him.

MichaelT, not that I can think of.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:01 pm

MichaelT wrote:Has Itoje ever been red-carded? or even yellow-carded for dirty play such as tripping or dangerous tackles? Genuine question.

Does this count:-

https://www.skysports.com/watch/video/11543784/itoje-yellow-card

https://www.sportsjoe.ie/rugby/leinster-give-take-maro-itoje-controversial-penalty-calls-200800

https://www.hugerugby.news/6nations/itoje-aerial-collision-with-earls-should-have-been-a-yellow/

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/s/eddie-jones-hot-water-after-accusing-referee-bias-against-england

There are loads of these on line, all different circumstances, I could fill the forum up with them. Look, I know what you are getting at, the trip AWJ did years ago against England, the difference is, he was not captain then, and he learned from it.

Itoje needs to do the same.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:11 pm

So has he been yellow or red carded for dirty play such as a trip of dangerous tackle then LD? Appears you're saying he hasn't?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:14 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I do not care what anybody says, you will never convince me that Itoje is captain material, never in a million years.

The difference between him and Martin Johnson is the fact that Martin Johnson was not only better, but a lot, lot more clever. MJ is one of my all time favourite players. He never gave away stupid pens, he was always very gentleman like towards the officials, and was a villain to the opposition. He knew exactly how to cajole the man in charge, he was never behaving as Itoje does.

The difference is, MJ was a lot more subtle, and savvy, which is a quality I like to see in a captain, and not only that, he led by example.

As good as Itoje is, he is nowhere near what MJ was in his prime. Not by a mile.

Completely different styles of players though...cant compare them,

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:18 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I do not care what anybody says, you will never convince me that Itoje is captain material, never in a million years.

The difference between him and Martin Johnson is the fact that Martin Johnson was not only better, but a lot, lot more clever. MJ is one of my all time favourite players. He never gave away stupid pens, he was always very gentleman like towards the officials, and was a villain to the opposition. He knew exactly how to cajole the man in charge, he was never behaving as Itoje does.

The difference is, MJ was a lot more subtle, and savvy, which is a quality I like to see in a captain, and not only that, he led by example.

As good as Itoje is, he is nowhere near what MJ was in his prime. Not by a mile.

Completely different styles of players though...cant compare them,

Tell that to your fellow countrymen on here then. OK

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:20 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So has he been yellow or red carded for dirty play such as a trip of dangerous tackle then LD? Appears you're saying he hasn't?

I don't know, put yellow card and itoje or foul play and itoje into Google and you will have a page full of different hits, and it does not stop there, it goes over onto the next page as well.

What I posted were the first couple. There were so many I couldn't be bothered.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:23 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:So has he been yellow or red carded for dirty play such as a trip of dangerous tackle then LD? Appears you're saying he hasn't?

I don't know, put yellow card and itoje or foul play and itoje into Google and you will have a page full of different hits, and it does not stop there, it goes over onto the next page as well.

What I posted were the first couple. There were so many I couldn't be bothered.

Yeah you posted some yellow cards but the question was related to dirty play such as a trip. First example was getting caught on the wrong side of a tackle and slowing play after the team had just received a warning. Fair enough if you misread.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:24 pm

Here's a question for you LD. If Jones isn't in the side who would your captain be? Not sure you've posted the side you'd start the 1st test with either, would love to see it with any caveats on it.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:26 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Here's a question for you LD. If Jones isn't in the side who would your captain be? Not sure you've posted the side you'd start the 1st test with either, would love to see it with any caveats on it.

Hogg. OK

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Post by MichaelT Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:31 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Here's a question for you LD. If Jones isn't in the side who would your captain be? Not sure you've posted the side you'd start the 1st test with either, would love to see it with any caveats on it.

Hogg. OK

I think Hogg is a great shout for captain. I think it would help to take away some of the negativity that has surrounded the Lions on the last couple of tours. Would be well deserved too - he is bang on form.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:32 pm

For what it's worth, this is the 15 I would opt for:-

1. Wyn Jones
2. Ken Owens
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. AWJ
5. Itoje
6. Curry
7. Watson
8. Faletau
9. Connor Murray
10. Sexton
11. Josh Adams
12. George North
13. Henshaw
14. May
15. Hogg


Last edited by LordDowlais on Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:32 pm

Hoggs certainly got a shout, unless he's in the prem final. Some dodgy calls as captain, like.


Last edited by No 7&1/2 on Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:35 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : deleted 2nd bit)

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:36 pm

Centres the other way round?

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:40 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Centres the other way round?

If you like. OK

I just think Gatland will use a big lump at 1st receiver to smash up the opposition 3 quarters channel.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:57 pm

LordDowlais wrote:For what it's worth, this is the 15 I would opt for:-

1. Wyn Jones
2. Ken Owens
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. AWJ
5. Itoje
6. Curry
7. Watson
8. Faletau
9. Connor Murray
10. Sexton
11. Josh Adams
12. George North
13. Henshaw
14. May
15. Hogg

Not a bad shout but....POC knows
https://www.planetrugby.com/paul-oconnell-backs-owen-farrell-as-british-and-irish-lions-captain/

Faz at 12.

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Post by theslosty Thu 15 Apr 2021, 4:06 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:When has Itoje not been a gentleman towards officials? I really don't get this line of thought about him be it that or the line from biltong about his attitude. He seems a very respected player and comes across very respectful when he speaks.

How is Itoje behaving that annoys people? What is it about him.

MichaelT, not that I can think of.
Not towards officials per se but he is one of the worst culprits for clapping and goading opponents after they make an error
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Post by MichaelT Thu 15 Apr 2021, 4:06 pm

I really hope Farrell doesn't go. Feel like he needs a pre-season, hopefully back in the premiership, and can concentrate on getting form back. A Lions tour is not the place for this.

Would put the Vunipolas in the same boat.

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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 15 Apr 2021, 4:16 pm

MichaelT wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:OK fair enough, but nobody has said any different on this thread have they ?


Found it - its on the previous thread that was locked. Flyhalffactory - who also gave the untruth about AWJ missing 12 months of rugby after 2019 world cup.

I cant quote it as its locked but it says ANC was used by everyone except England as a developmental campaign. Tuesday 13th April 2:45pm. One of the last posts on the thread.

Knew i wasnt making it up.

What do you mean a lie! You better be careful with your accusations mate, can you prove that?

This was from the Wales On-Line
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/alun-wyn-jones-wales-italy-19407829

In the build up to Wales’ final game of the autumn, skipper Alun Wyn Jones was feeling good.

He had been battling niggles since the 2019 Rugby World Cup but insisted on Thursday that he was feeling as physically sound as he had done in a long time.

The 35-year-old was frustrated he had not been able to contribute to the Ospreys’ cause as much as he’d have liked in the last 12 months. He was chomping at the bit to get back and do so


He then had a knee injury during the ANC
https://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/30544231/wales-captain-alun-wyn-jones-miss-2021-six-nations-knee-injury
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones faces a race against time to be fit for the start of next year's Six Nations after he was ruled out for up to 10 weeks with a knee problem.

Ospreys lock Jones, who is test rugby's most capped player and has played 143 internationals, suffered the injury during Wales' Autumn Nations Cup victory over Italy on Dec. 5.

Ospreys coach Toby Booth said Jones is in line to miss up to "double figures" in weeks from when he was injured.


Last edited by flyhalffactory on Thu 15 Apr 2021, 4:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Mr Bounce Thu 15 Apr 2021, 4:20 pm

MichaelT wrote:I really hope Farrell doesn't go. Feel like he needs a pre-season, hopefully back in the premiership, and can concentrate on getting form back. A Lions tour is not the place for this.

Would put the Vunipolas in the same boat.

Daly can be driving the Land Rover taking that boat to the slipway then. Those 4 should not be on the tour.

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Post by MichaelT Thu 15 Apr 2021, 4:21 pm

flyhalffactory wrote:
MichaelT wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:OK fair enough, but nobody has said any different on this thread have they ?


Found it - its on the previous thread that was locked. Flyhalffactory - who also gave the untruth about AWJ missing 12 months of rugby after 2019 world cup.

I cant quote it as its locked but it says ANC was used by everyone except England as a developmental campaign. Tuesday 13th April 2:45pm. One of the last posts on the thread.

Knew i wasnt making it up.

What do you mean a lie! You better be careful with your accusations mate, can you prove that?

This was from the Wales On-Line
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/alun-wyn-jones-wales-italy-19407829

In the build up to Wales’ final game of the autumn, skipper Alun Wyn Jones was feeling good.

He had been battling niggles since the 2019 Rugby World Cup but insisted on Thursday that he was feeling as physically sound as he had done in a long time.

The 35-year-old was frustrated he had not been able to contribute to the Ospreys’ cause as much as he’d have liked in the last 12 months. He was chomping at the bit to get back and do so
.

We are talking about internationals and he played in every Welsh game in 2020. Look it up here under the match list heading

http://en.espn.co.uk/wales/rugby/player/15288.html

So yes I can prove he was not out of the game for 12 months from the 2019 world cup. And therefore saying he was is not true.


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Post by MichaelT Thu 15 Apr 2021, 4:22 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:
MichaelT wrote:I really hope Farrell doesn't go. Feel like he needs a pre-season, hopefully back in the premiership, and can concentrate on getting form back. A Lions tour is not the place for this.

Would put the Vunipolas in the same boat.

Daly can be driving the Land Rover taking that boat to the slipway then. Those 4 should not be on the tour.

True, but wouldnt mind seeing him take a penalty from his own 22 just for the giggles on the highveld. Then he can go home.

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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 15 Apr 2021, 4:33 pm

MichaelT wrote:
flyhalffactory wrote:
MichaelT wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:OK fair enough, but nobody has said any different on this thread have they ?


Found it - its on the previous thread that was locked. Flyhalffactory - who also gave the untruth about AWJ missing 12 months of rugby after 2019 world cup.

I cant quote it as its locked but it says ANC was used by everyone except England as a developmental campaign. Tuesday 13th April 2:45pm. One of the last posts on the thread.

Knew i wasnt making it up.

What do you mean a lie! You better be careful with your accusations mate, can you prove that?

This was from the Wales On-Line
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/alun-wyn-jones-wales-italy-19407829

In the build up to Wales’ final game of the autumn, skipper Alun Wyn Jones was feeling good.

He had been battling niggles since the 2019 Rugby World Cup but insisted on Thursday that he was feeling as physically sound as he had done in a long time.

The 35-year-old was frustrated he had not been able to contribute to the Ospreys’ cause as much as he’d have liked in the last 12 months. He was chomping at the bit to get back and do so
.

We are talking about internationals and he played in every Welsh game in 2020. Look it up here under the match list heading

http://en.espn.co.uk/wales/rugby/player/15288.html

So yes I can prove he was not out of the game for 12 months from the 2019 world cup. And therefore saying he was is not true.


Apologies he played international rugby but not any regional rugby due to injuries since the world cup and was out during the ANC for around 10-12 weeks.
So yes an error (he was out of rugby since the world cup 2019 on a regional level but was carted out for the national games, then was out for 10-12 weeks) not a lie mate

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 4:35 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:For what it's worth, this is the 15 I would opt for:-

1. Wyn Jones
2. Ken Owens
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. AWJ
5. Itoje
6. Curry
7. Watson
8. Faletau
9. Connor Murray
10. Sexton
11. Josh Adams
12. George North
13. Henshaw
14. May
15. Hogg

Not a bad shout but....POC knows
https://www.planetrugby.com/paul-oconnell-backs-owen-farrell-as-british-and-irish-lions-captain/

Faz at 12.

OConnell has been a fan since they toured SA the last time.

Watch this video:
https://youtu.be/rsWxJG6CS34

Farrell would be picked based on what he can do rather than what he is currently offering though. I also thought he was quite hit and miss on the tour to NZ. He did some really nice things like nailing key kicks and some nice passes but he also threw some silly interceptions and was quite sloppy in defense.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 15 Apr 2021, 5:04 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
MichaelT wrote:Has Itoje ever been red-carded? or even yellow-carded for dirty play such as tripping or dangerous tackles? Genuine question.

Does this count:-

https://www.skysports.com/watch/video/11543784/itoje-yellow-card

https://www.sportsjoe.ie/rugby/leinster-give-take-maro-itoje-controversial-penalty-calls-200800

https://www.hugerugby.news/6nations/itoje-aerial-collision-with-earls-should-have-been-a-yellow/

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/s/eddie-jones-hot-water-after-accusing-referee-bias-against-england

There are loads of these on line, all different circumstances, I could fill the forum up with them. Look, I know what you are getting at, the trip AWJ did years ago against England, the difference is, he was not captain then, and he learned from it.

Itoje needs to do the same.
You think that's bad? You should see comments posted elsewhere about me.

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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 15 Apr 2021, 6:30 pm

Is POC big mates of Faz?

POC wrote:There are plenty of guys who could do the job, but for me in terms of experience and an appetite to lead, he’s the real standout. When you pick a captain or leaders for the Lions tour, it’s about picking guys who are willing to take ownership of what the plan is. Owen is a guy who enjoys leading and enjoys taking ownership. He’s almost coaching.”
By his own admission and in the view of his head coach Eddie Jones, Farrell underperformed in a Six Nations that saw England finish fifth, but it was a shortcoming that ran throughout the team.

Paul, there's a massive difference between wanting to lead and being able to lead. Farrell has looked like a rabbit in the headlights on more occasions than is comfortable, Plan B & Farrell are ships that sail in the night

POC wrote:“As a team England didn’t play as well as they’d have liked in the Six Nations,” O’Connell said. “Is that a reflection on Owen Farrell? I don’t really think so.

Paul are you mad, if it doesn't reflect on the coach & captain then who does it reflect on?....maybe that's down to the water boys that came on while he was supposed to be addressing his players

POC wrote:“But it’s probably a bit of a challenge for him now going from the Six Nations to not having a lot of class rugby. England’s form isn’t a good thing, but it gives him perspective on how hard it is to get it right.”

Oh well!... as long as we have perspective then we are bound to beat the Boks Shocked  

POC wrote:On AWJ
“He’s another standout candidate, but you just wonder sometimes if a guy who has captained an awful lot and who didn’t have an awful lot of games coming into a fantastic Six Nations, if it would be good for him not to be captain for once.
“He’d be able to concentrate on his own game and support someone like a Farrell.

Paul, seriously have you been at the waccy baccy? AWJ didn't have a lot of games coming into the 6Ns but still had an awesome 6Ns, showing immense character and drive as a player and captain....so let's take the captains armband off him and give it to a guy notorious for not understanding what the hell a Plan B is, let alone trying to implement one, is really off form, is carrying an injury and will not play a competitive club game before the Lions series

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 15 Apr 2021, 6:33 pm

Old Man wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Old Man wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:It's quite funny actually. Fans from other nations seem to have more of an issue with Itoje's penalties than us England fans. I like the way he plays on the edge, I think being captain will only help this. Look at McCaw, he was constantly offside etc, but got away with a lot being captain.

I also like Itoje's in your face attitude, but I can see how other fans get annoyed with this.

I don’t have a problem with Itoje’s penalties, I have read numerous remarks on his attitude, which is good if you want to be that player, however if you want to captain a team there is a certain diplomacy and curtesy that comes with the job.

Come on you're going to have to back that up.

What needs backing up, I am querying the wisdom of him being captain, if you look at Rassie’s analysis of referees for the RWC his intention was to never get on the wrong side of the referee.

From reading some posts here it seems a number of people have an issue with Itoje’s in your face attitude, and like I said, if you want to be that type of player then fine.

Look at McCaw, he was constantly offside and infringing, stretching the laws as far as he could, however, he rarely if ever got on the wrong side of the referee.

It isn’t a character flaw, it is the type of player needed as captain, you are very welcome to disagree.

Fair point Oldman.....but he was not captain. I would put forward (purely speculative) that he would tame himself somewhat if he was captain.

The only real evidence I have of this is when he was U20 captain and he was arguably the best U20 we've ever had.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 15 Apr 2021, 6:36 pm

Even as an England fan, Farrell should be nowhere the Lions captaincy. I'm not even sure he should tour.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 6:48 pm

flyhalffactory wrote:Is POC big mates of Faz?

POC wrote:There are plenty of guys who could do the job, but for me in terms of experience and an appetite to lead, he’s the real standout. When you pick a captain or leaders for the Lions tour, it’s about picking guys who are willing to take ownership of what the plan is. Owen is a guy who enjoys leading and enjoys taking ownership. He’s almost coaching.”
By his own admission and in the view of his head coach Eddie Jones, Farrell underperformed in a Six Nations that saw England finish fifth, but it was a shortcoming that ran throughout the team.

Paul, there's a massive difference between wanting to lead and being able to lead. Farrell has looked like a rabbit in the headlights on more occasions than is comfortable, Plan B & Farrell are ships that sail in the night

POC wrote:“As a team England didn’t play as well as they’d have liked in the Six Nations,” O’Connell said. “Is that a reflection on Owen Farrell? I don’t really think so.

Paul are you mad, if it doesn't reflect on the coach & captain then who does it reflect on?....maybe that's down to the water boys that came on while he was supposed to be addressing his players

POC wrote:“But it’s probably a bit of a challenge for him now going from the Six Nations to not having a lot of class rugby. England’s form isn’t a good thing, but it gives him perspective on how hard it is to get it right.”

Oh well!... as long as we have perspective then we are bound to beat the Boks Shocked  

POC wrote:On AWJ
“He’s another standout candidate, but you just wonder sometimes if a guy who has captained an awful lot and who didn’t have an awful lot of games coming into a fantastic Six Nations, if it would be good for him not to be captain for once.
“He’d be able to concentrate on his own game and support someone like a Farrell.

Paul, seriously have you been at the waccy baccy? AWJ didn't have a lot of games coming into the 6Ns but still had an awesome 6Ns, showing immense character and drive as a player and captain....so let's take the captains armband off him and give it to a guy notorious for not understanding what the hell a Plan B is, let alone trying to implement one, is really off form, is carrying an injury and will not play a competitive club game before the Lions series

I enjoyed how Jones rallied the troops and steadied the ship against France.

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Post by Old Man Thu 15 Apr 2021, 7:10 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
Old Man wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Old Man wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:It's quite funny actually. Fans from other nations seem to have more of an issue with Itoje's penalties than us England fans. I like the way he plays on the edge, I think being captain will only help this. Look at McCaw, he was constantly offside etc, but got away with a lot being captain.

I also like Itoje's in your face attitude, but I can see how other fans get annoyed with this.

I don’t have a problem with Itoje’s penalties, I have read numerous remarks on his attitude, which is good if you want to be that player, however if you want to captain a team there is a certain diplomacy and curtesy that comes with the job.

Come on you're going to have to back that up.

What needs backing up, I am querying the wisdom of him being captain, if you look at Rassie’s analysis of referees for the RWC his intention was to never get on the wrong side of the referee.

From reading some posts here it seems a number of people have an issue with Itoje’s in your face attitude, and like I said, if you want to be that type of player then fine.

Look at McCaw, he was constantly offside and infringing, stretching the laws as far as he could, however, he rarely if ever got on the wrong side of the referee.

It isn’t a character flaw, it is the type of player needed as captain, you are very welcome to disagree.

Fair point Oldman.....but he was not captain. I would put forward (purely speculative) that he would tame himself somewhat if he was captain.

The only real evidence I have of this is when he was U20 captain and he was arguably the best U20 we've ever had.

I wouldn’t disagree, if he relishes the opportunity to captain the Lions, he might very well be able to adapt his style on field.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 16 Apr 2021, 1:02 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Even as an England fan, Farrell should be nowhere the Lions captaincy. I'm not even sure he should tour.
Completely agree. On both counts.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 16 Apr 2021, 8:21 am

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/apr/14/lions-and-premiership-clubs-at-loggerheads-over-player-release

Still can't see Gatland ignoring the Prem players. From this though Gatland is naming his squad 6th May, before he's going to know the teams involved. Does he just ignore any possibles? Put up some names stretching probables to the far side of possibles but it could mean him ignoring Biggar and Hogg who some people have pencilled in, in their sides. Or would he just pick them and tell them they will be de-selected should they and their teams do well.

Really doesn't seem that Gatland and the Lions organisers have got this right.

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Post by LordDowlais Fri 16 Apr 2021, 8:33 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/apr/14/lions-and-premiership-clubs-at-loggerheads-over-player-release

Still can't see Gatland ignoring the Prem players. From this though Gatland is naming his squad 6th May, before he's going to know the teams involved. Does he just ignore any possibles? Put up some names stretching probables to the far side of possibles but it could mean him ignoring Biggar and Hogg who some people have pencilled in, in their sides. Or would he just pick them and tell them they will be de-selected should they and their teams do well.

Really doesn't seem that Gatland and the Lions organisers have got this right.

Gatland has stated, that the non release of players could effect his decisions.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 16 Apr 2021, 8:43 am

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/apr/14/lions-and-premiership-clubs-at-loggerheads-over-player-release

Still can't see Gatland ignoring the Prem players. From this though Gatland is naming his squad 6th May, before he's going to know the teams involved. Does he just ignore any possibles? Put up some names stretching probables to the far side of possibles but it could mean him ignoring Biggar and Hogg who some people have pencilled in, in their sides. Or would he just pick them and tell them they will be de-selected should they and their teams do well.

Really doesn't seem that Gatland and the Lions organisers have got this right.

Gatland has stated, that the non release of players could effect his decisions.

Likely a lot of bluster. The Premiership are annoyed that the Lions, despite knowing the fixture schedule, have gone and arranged the friendly they have. It's a bit of a smack in the face. It's not an international window so they've declined access to players. This is Gatland and the Lions now retaliating in a childish matter. It's all a bit pathetic. The Lions shouldn't have arranged the friendly they did (the same day as the shop piece event for the Prem), the Prem clubs I know are trying to protect their own interests but a compromise would have been better and Gatland stoking the fire like this isn't helping things.

Rob Baxter spoke about this in a recent interview and in a nice way called it all nonsense and I think he's right.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri 16 Apr 2021, 9:55 am

flyhalffactory wrote:

POC wrote:On AWJ
“He’s another standout candidate, but you just wonder sometimes if a guy who has captained an awful lot and who didn’t have an awful lot of games coming into a fantastic Six Nations, if it would be good for him not to be captain for once.
“He’d be able to concentrate on his own game and support someone like a Farrell.


I agree with him that allowing Alun Wyn just to play could get the best out of him, but I can't agree with giving the captaincy to Farrell. I wouldn't even have Farrell in the Test XV. To me he's always looked like a 10 playing at 12, and I don't mean in a second-five-eighth way, but like a player in the wrong position.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 16 Apr 2021, 10:12 am

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/apr/14/lions-and-premiership-clubs-at-loggerheads-over-player-release

Still can't see Gatland ignoring the Prem players. From this though Gatland is naming his squad 6th May, before he's going to know the teams involved. Does he just ignore any possibles? Put up some names stretching probables to the far side of possibles but it could mean him ignoring Biggar and Hogg who some people have pencilled in, in their sides. Or would he just pick them and tell them they will be de-selected should they and their teams do well.

Really doesn't seem that Gatland and the Lions organisers have got this right.

Gatland has stated, that the non release of players could effect his decisions.

Yes that's the point of the link LD.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 16 Apr 2021, 10:56 am

I think both sides are playing a bit of brinksmanship at the moment. For most of the prospective Lions based in England, it is utterly illogical for players not involved in the Premiership playoffs, especially the finals, not to be selected. And I think after a little bit of headline grabbing, that will be worked out. The issue most likely comes down to Hogg and Sinckler (from Exe and Bristol likely in the Premiership finals), or maybe Lawes and Biggar (Saints!!!) if they make the Premiership final. For such a small handful of players, that can be worked too.

If my admittedly imperfect memory still functions, this kind of drama has happened in the last few Lions tours and always gets worked.

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Post by LordDowlais Fri 16 Apr 2021, 11:01 am

doctor_grey wrote:I think both sides are playing a bit of brinksmanship at the moment.  For most of the prospective Lions based in England, it is utterly illogical for players not involved in the Premiership playoffs, especially the finals, not to be selected.  And I think after a little bit of headline grabbing, that will be worked out.  The issue most likely comes down to Hogg and Sinckler (from Exe and Bristol likely in the Premiership finals), or maybe Lawes and Biggar (Saints!!!) if they make the Premiership final.  For such a small handful of players, that can be worked too.  

If my admittedly imperfect memory still functions, this kind of drama has happened in the last few Lions tours and always gets worked.  

Gatland is very stubborn mind you. Look at how he has treated players who left Wales to play rugby that did not conform to his way of thinking. Some big profile names have suffered, Dwayne Peel, Rhys Webb, Rhys Preistland to name a few.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 16 Apr 2021, 1:47 pm

Stubborn probably but as the article says we likely won't know the teams before the squad is announced so can you imagine him going without the players for Exeter, Harlequins, Bristol, Northampton and Sale? There are a few guys from there you'd imagine are in the 25 pencilled in by the coaches along with a fair few of those mentioned as wild cards. Despite him picking the fight unnecessarily with the Prem (another reason we don't want him anywhere near the England job) I've read he may have issues in getting the Saracens players and also Russell within his preferred time frames too.

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Post by Mcsweens Fri 16 Apr 2021, 1:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
BamBam wrote:Just went back and looked at the previous Test squads from the past two tours. No wonder the Scots are annoyed, the best they've had is 1 bench player in each test in 2013, and none in 2017! Hopefully they get a fair crack of the whip this time

Grant sat looking on with Vunipola barely able to breath he was that knackered sticks in my head.

For me too. That really humiliated Grant - it cast a shadow over the rest of his career. I don't think he was ever the same after that.
He should never have gone on tour - Rowntree never rated him. If he'd stayed on the Scotland tour to SA he'd have played in Nelspruit, in the form of his life, where Scotland were winning until the 60 minute mark. He could well have made all the difference.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 16 Apr 2021, 5:22 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Stubborn probably but as the article says we likely won't know the teams before the squad is announced so can you imagine him going without the players for Exeter, Harlequins, Bristol, Northampton and Sale? There are a few guys from there you'd imagine are in the 25 pencilled in by the coaches along with a fair few of those mentioned as wild cards. Despite him picking the fight unnecessarily with the Prem (another reason we don't want him anywhere near the England job) I've read he may have issues in getting the Saracens players and also Russell within his preferred time frames too.
Can you imagine Gatland not picking Hogg or Sinckler? Or Curry or Biggar? Doubtful. So I think we are in a bit of a bluster zone at the moment which will get resolved. Not sure why the Premiership is drawing such a fine line on this, unless it is looking for compensation. If they hold out players who would otherwise have been selected for the Lions, there will be significant unrest amongst the players.

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Post by Brendan Sat 17 Apr 2021, 12:47 am

Top14 Final 25th of June. (Season finishes 3 weeks before)
Prem Final 26th of June (Season finishes 2 weeks before)
Rainbow Cup Final 19th of June (Season finishes 1 week before)

The simple thing is the last round of the Premership and Rainbow Cup is the same weekend. Players in the past have chosen to not take part in the playoffs in France to go on the Lions.

I don't see the point of non-playoff players not being released until after the final.  That I think is part of the problem. The demand that no Premership player be released until the final is over seems petty and can't see the players being happy as they sit at home for 1-2 weeks while the rest of the Lions squad are learning the systems.

Gatland is quoted as saying he only wants the players when their club campaign finishes which the PRL is saying is not possible.

Realistically no Lenister player can show up until after the rainbow cup date. Munster Players can leave for Jersey on a private jet the second the final whistle is blown in their final game of the season for all it care. Munster will be finished so doesn't affect them when the players join up with Gats.

Two weeks would be a long time for players to miss out on. If May or LRZ miss out on two weeks while Stockdale and DVM learn all the calls and plays, can that time be made up. Gats isn't talking about Hogg etc because he only wants players when the campaign is over. What is the point of forcing LRZ to sit at home for two weeks.

One winner of this is Sarries who can send their players to camp whenever they want.

Lions has always clashed with the Top14 but players believe it's the greatest honour they can have.  Either it's still true and the players will force the Clubs to back down, or it's not and it should be scrapped as the players would rather not sacrifice.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.the42.ie/french-rugby-clubs-rue-irb-regulation-stating-that-british-and-irish-lions-rugby-tour-starts-on-june-1-592117-Sep2012/%3famp=1

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Post by Brendan Sat 17 Apr 2021, 12:53 am

Regarding the clash between the Prem Final and Lions test I don't think there is a real issue.

They won't be on at the same time so plenty people to watch both on TV. If they are worried about not enough fans showing up I don't think they need to. England/Lions fans aren't the same as Prem fans. Even if they were thestadia will be half full anyway at most so plenty fans to fill both games.

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Post by Cyril Sat 17 Apr 2021, 10:16 am

It would fitting if the Lions tour contained a significant number of second-choice it third-choice players given that the majority of coaches are only there because their betters opted out.

With the Lions organisers knowing for many months what the club schedules were it seems staggering that they still manage to clash fixtures lists especially in the time of Covid when they were looking to move the tour to and country who would take them in a desperate bid for cash.

If Covid rules still apply it sounds like players will be dashing in and out of camp happily breaking rules like most of the 6 Nations sides did. It l’s sport though, isn’t it though so no big deal, eh?

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 17 Apr 2021, 2:45 pm

It's always frustrating when "the Premiership won't release players" stories come up, because it seems like everyone wilfully forgets what's at stake.

Premiership clubs pay their players. Under World Rugby agreements, any international player must be made available to play international rugby in designated Test windows. The RFU want England squad players available outside these international windows, and so they agreed to compensate the clubs for allowing more access. No other national union has offered a similar arrangement.

Consequently, to protect the integrity of their agreement with England, the clubs do not allow other unions to have access to their players outside the windows. When Saints gave their blessing to George North to attend a Welsh training camp, they were fined for breaking the Premiership agreement.

In 2017, various major rugby stakeholders met in San Francisco to agree a season structure, which would settle the matter of international windows for a decade or more. One byproduct of this was moving the summer international tours to July.

Why, having sat around in San Francisco to make a final, conclusive deal, do unions still wing it, and arrange international fixtures outside agreed windows?


The argument that all bets are off, because of COVID, would be more convincing if there was any evidence unions had used the pandemic as a further opportunity to rethink the structure of the season. Evidently, they have not. Similarly, if there was any evidence of national unions sacrificing their assets to accommodate club rugby, then you might have a case for give and take. Instead, it's always international rugby expecting club rugby to bend the rules.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Apr 2021, 2:54 pm

I think Covid-19 has thrown a spanner in the carefully worked plans. The Premiership will end up making players available. Otherwise will be a huge PR disaster. Standing on ceremony, for what??? Just posturing for the moment.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 18 Apr 2021, 9:01 am

Rob Baxter as reported on ESPN wrote:"[The Lions] have known there is no way to cut our season short," he said. "Is there a spare weekend for us to move the Premiership forward? Of course there is not. Everyone has been aware of that and everyone has known when the Premiership season is going to finish.

"So, for the Lions to turn around now and say that [not picking Premiership-based players] is a scenario is a little bit disingenuous of them, because they have known our fixture list for a long time.

"I have got every confidence that Warren Gatland will pick the team that he feels will do the job for him because that's the kind of coach he is. If there was a player in the Premiership final who Gatland thought was an important player in his squad, then I don't think he would leave them out, because I wouldn't.

"If I am Warren Gatland watching guys play outstandingly well in Premiership semifinals and finals, do I decide I don't want them to be part of the Lions tour because they have missed a week's training? It is not like they will need game time.

"Will it potentially be an excuse to leave out a fringe player? Possibly. But I don't think it will be based on availability -- it will be based on playing performance. It's an unfortunate situation, but it has not been created by the Premiership."


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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 18 Apr 2021, 3:56 pm

Townsend and Tandy at Castle Park today watching the Knights.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 18 Apr 2021, 4:14 pm

Must be scouting Connor Edwards

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 19 Apr 2021, 11:21 am

Jokes aside it's probably the biggest decision for the Lions coaches re Saracens players. Jones took the gamble and it didn't pay off, you'd say only Itoje was anywhere near an average level. Have the others improved to an appropriate level (Vunipola was certainly getting there) and can they maintain that while playing teams like Donny. There are certainly other players of a suitable level to pick but like Jones they may be tempted as they are all top players.

In other news Gatland has said he's 1 coach short of what he would like and indicates its for Farrell if Irelands summer games don't go ahead.

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Post by flyhalffactory Mon 19 Apr 2021, 1:08 pm

I agree 7&1/2, reference the Saracens players, Itoje had a decent game v Doncaster as did Farrell

It's a no-win for Gats & Co, if he takes great past Lions players (Faz, George, Vunipola x 2, Maitland, Itoje) they don't perform and we lose the series he will be crucified the "there were form 6Ns players who didn't go" fanbase e.g. Russell/Biggar, George Turner/McNally, Sutherland, Francis, Gray etc etc but he doesn't take great past lions and when on form "world class" players (Faz, George, Vunipola x 2, Itoje) and we lose.......

Meanwhile, some decent performances this weekend notably Itoje for Sarries, Biggar for the Saints, Joe Simmonds, Hogg, Hill for Exeter.

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