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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 Fluxy Mon 19 Apr 2021, 1:13 pm

flyhalffactory wrote: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.

Must be a typo, B Vunipola isn't even a past lion, let alone a great one yet.

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Post by flyhalffactory Mon 19 Apr 2021, 2:45 pm

Apologies indeed I stand corrected.

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Post by flyhalffactory Mon 19 Apr 2021, 3:03 pm

Ugo Moyne has almost done a 360° turnaround over the last 12 months.

Monye’s Lions XV:

15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Anthony Watson (England)
13. George North (Wales)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
11. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
1. Wyn Jones (Wales)
2. Ken Owens (Wales)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
4. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
5. Maro Itoje (England)
6. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
7. Hamish Watson (Scotland)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)

At this point I cant see anything wrong with that starting 15, however based on this weekends English Premiership games then I might start Biggar 10 and 14 DvdM however both might not even make the plane

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 19 Apr 2021, 3:09 pm

Depends how much you chase form. There's a ten playing in the prem that is outplaying everyone. It ain't Farrell or Biggar. And Faletau is shunted to 6 to allow the form Bath 8 in. Such a close look at Saracens suggests short term 6 nations form maybe isn't as high on the list as Gatland has made out.

For all the lists with A. Watson in, May is still a class above.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 19 Apr 2021, 4:12 pm

flyhalffactory wrote:Ugo Moyne has almost done a 360° turnaround over the last 12 months.

Monye’s Lions XV:

15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Anthony Watson (England)
13. George North (Wales)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
11. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
1. Wyn Jones (Wales)
2. Ken Owens (Wales)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
4. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
5. Maro Itoje (England)
6. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
7. Hamish Watson (Scotland)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)

At this point I cant see anything wrong with that starting 15, however based on this weekends English Premiership games then I might start Biggar 10 and 14 DvdM however both might not even make the plane

Laugh
Thats almost identical to mine, except I had Curry instead of Beirne.

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Post by nlpnlp Mon 19 Apr 2021, 4:41 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Depends how much you chase form. There's a ten playing in the prem that is outplaying everyone. It ain't Farrell or Biggar. And Faletau is shunted to 6 to allow the form Bath 8 in. Such a close look at Saracens suggests short term 6 nations form maybe isn't as high on the list as Gatland has made out.

For all the lists with A. Watson in, May is still a class above.

When you say there is a ten playing in the prem that is outplaying everyone, I assume you mean outplaying Biggar who is the only other ten in Lions contention playing in the prem?  Do you think Gatland is going to pick his Lions squad on the basis of 3 or 4 performances at club level?  The general underperformance of the Saracens players across the 6 Nations and their lack of quality rugby prior to the Lions tour seems a bit more substantive than that.


Last edited by RiscaGame on Mon 19 Apr 2021, 4:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : No need for the last bit.)

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 19 Apr 2021, 4:59 pm

Yeah granted inout prem should have put England. 10s in contention for me would be biggar, farrell, sheedy and the guy who is performing better than them them.

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Post by flyhalffactory Mon 19 Apr 2021, 6:30 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Depends how much you chase form. There's a ten playing in the prem that is outplaying everyone. It ain't Farrell or Biggar. And Faletau is shunted to 6 to allow the form Bath 8 in. Such a close look at Saracens suggests short term 6 nations form maybe isn't as high on the list as Gatland has made out.

For all the lists with A. Watson in, May is still a class above.

Do you mean a certain Mr Smith.....If so then he is playing well, very well indeed, absolutely smashing everyone points wise (not sure if he outperforming "overall" Biggar)
MARCUS SMITH
201
AJ MACGINTY
138
PADDY JACKSON
133
RHYS PRIESTLAND
112
JOE SIMMONDS
91
and has got 5 tries

I've banged on about Smith and Sam Simmonds/Mercer for the last 2-3 seasons.....Can you tell me why stubborn smiley Steady steadfastly selects Farrell, Billy V, George etc when there are better players over the last 2 seasons in Smith/Simmonds at 10 and Simmonds/Mercer/Will Evans in the back row, I mean Will Evans is the turnover king over the last 2 seasons, this season alone he has a phenomenal 29 turnovers the nearest to him is Josh Bayliss on 11 and he is way ahead the most effective of jackalers making Itoje look like an amatuer.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 19 Apr 2021, 7:02 pm

Hes been head and shoulder the best 10. Not sure Biggar has even been the 2nd best Welsh 10 when Priestland has been fit.

Why he hasn't been picked well Jones simply prefers Ford and Farrell and honestly its only been the latter part of last season and this where he's showed the consistency and game control which he'd need for England.

Simmonds I'm not really bothered by his omission. Farell Vunipola and George have really only gone off the boil recently. Will Evans I don't think is international class.

That said the call up for wade to the lions killed his England career as he wasn't used and lost his chance (along with badly timed injuries). Id hate for Gatland to do the same again.

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Post by cb Mon 19 Apr 2021, 7:21 pm

Generally agree with Moyne's 15 but hard not to see Curry in there but with a big Bok pack, Beirne at 6 would be a good option and he played very well in the 6 N's.  So how to get Watson, Curry, Beirne & Faletau into the backrow?

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Post by flyhalffactory Mon 19 Apr 2021, 7:31 pm

7&&1/2 wrote:Hes been head and shoulder the best 10. Not sure Biggar has even been the 2nd best Welsh 10 when Priestland has been fit.

In your opinion compardre.
I like Smith I think he should have been playing 10 for England for last 12 months....in my opinion, he is definitely the best 10 England have got and probably for the last 2 seasons

In my opinion, Biggar is and has proved it in the EPL this season to be a better defender and organiser/man-manager. It's very hard to really compare as Smith has played week-in week-out, where Biggar has been on Wales duty, even worse for me as I rarely see Eng or Wal players week in week out

Then again Russell has probably outperformed both of them in their respective leagues / euro campaigns over last 2 seasons....in my opinion

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 19 Apr 2021, 8:18 pm

Dont worry I get you don't watch them often! Don't watch the French league so couldn't comment on Russell's form there.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 19 Apr 2021, 8:51 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yeah granted inout prem should have put England. 10s in contention for me would be biggar, farrell, sheedy and the guy who is performing better than them them.

Meh. Biggar was poor, he improved towards the end of the 6N but would be a third choice at best. Sheedy wasn't helped by being on the bench when he should have have a couple starts, jury still out on that one but he is good player, probably not Lions good yet. I still think his bears teammate Lloyd will become the better player, probably by quite a bit.

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Post by flyhalffactory Tue 20 Apr 2021, 12:24 am

Mikey
mikey_dragon wrote:Biggar was poor, he improved towards the end of the 6N but would be a third choice at best.

I assume you are not a Biggar fan but Crikey, to say he was poor but improved is both an exaggeration and such an understatement!.
He was absolutely superb against France, great try and no doubt it was the best FH performance of the campaign and the huge mistake Pivac made was substituting Biggar and Owens both playing superb for Sheedy and Dee, no doubt that lost you the game and denied you the GS, plus pulling off Davies/Francis for Halaholo/Brown all around the 65 minute contributed to the France revival. He was also very good against Italy and England even though he carried a shoulder injury for much of the 1st half.

The only match he wasn't particularly good was against us, but that was more to us having a very good half and then ZF getting sent off on the 54 min, I don't think Sheedy pulled up trees against 14 men. Against Ireland Sexton was superb in the 1st half which was a poor performance by Biggar but he wasn't helped by a retreating Welsh pack

I don't think Sexton had a better 6Ns, unfortunately Finn was inconsistent and two cards further ruined his campaign and lets be honest Farrell was pretty poor in the 10 and 12 berth

So I am a bit nonplussed who you think are ahead of him based on club and international form

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Post by RDW Tue 20 Apr 2021, 2:45 am

Apologies if it's already been discussed, but Townsend said in the Scottish rugby podcast that he met with Gats back in November and agreed to join the tour then, so he was appointed before the 6N. Steve Tandy was only a week before the announcement, so after the 6N. I bet Gats is relieved Scotland didn't have a shocker!

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Post by TJ Tue 20 Apr 2021, 4:18 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Dont worry I get you don't watch them often! Don't watch the French league so couldn't comment on Russell's form there.

I do watch Racing - russells form has been good.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 20 Apr 2021, 8:01 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Biggar has even been the 2nd best Welsh 10 when Priestland has been fit.

Oh now, come on, please.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 20 Apr 2021, 8:57 am

Sorry, should say 'Biggar hasn't even been the best Welsh 10 when Priestland has been fit.' Just a reminder that this is a conversation on Prem form (and Championship for those naughty Sarries).

TJ, read an article with Zebo who was waxing lyrical on Russell's defence as well. Seemed very impressed with him.

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Post by RDW Tue 20 Apr 2021, 9:11 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Sorry, should say 'Biggar hasn't even been the best Welsh 10 when Priestland has been fit.' Just a reminder that this is a conversation on Prem form (and Championship for those naughty Sarries).

TJ, read an article with Zebo who was waxing lyrical on Russell's defence as well. Seemed very impressed with him.

That's something that has flown a bit under the radar with Finn - Townsend and others in Scotland have been saying for the last few years how good a defender Finn has become. It's often passed over due to his attacking exploits.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 20 Apr 2021, 9:26 am

I can tell you now, 100% that Preistland is not better than Dan Biggar.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 20 Apr 2021, 9:52 am

flyhalffactory wrote:Mikey
mikey_dragon wrote:Biggar was poor, he improved towards the end of the 6N but would be a third choice at best.

I assume you are not a Biggar fan but Crikey, to say he was poor but improved is both an exaggeration and such an understatement!.
He was absolutely superb against France, great try and no doubt it was the best FH performance of the campaign and the huge mistake Pivac made was substituting Biggar and Owens both playing superb for Sheedy and Dee, no doubt that lost you the game and denied you the GS, plus pulling off Davies/Francis for Halaholo/Brown all around the 65 minute contributed to the France revival. He was also very good against Italy and England even though he carried a shoulder injury for much of the 1st half.

The only match he wasn't particularly good was against us, but that was more to us having a very good half and then ZF getting sent off on the 54 min, I don't think Sheedy pulled up trees against 14 men. Against Ireland Sexton was superb in the 1st half which was a poor performance by Biggar but he wasn't helped by a retreating Welsh pack

I don't think Sexton had a better 6Ns, unfortunately Finn was inconsistent and two cards further ruined his campaign and lets be honest Farrell was pretty poor in the 10 and 12 berth

So I am a bit nonplussed who you think are ahead of him based on club and international form

No need to assume that, you're wrong. I am a fan of Biggar. He was just poor last year and for a lot of the 6N, it was widely documented so I know I'm not alone in thinking that. It was a culmination of things that lost us the game against France, I don't think Owens and Biggar affected it as much as some make out. Still, if that's the requirements for Lions duty then that's not much.

I'd probably have Sexton and Russell ahead of him. Farrell and Biggar in the same 23 isn't a good idea. Biggar always plays well for Saints but as mentioned not so well for Wales, so not sure just how relevant that is.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 20 Apr 2021, 10:21 am

LordDowlais wrote:I can tell you now, 100% that Preistland is not better than Dan Biggar.

Fair enough. Form wise in the prem he has been.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 20 Apr 2021, 10:25 am

RDW wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Sorry, should say 'Biggar hasn't even been the best Welsh 10 when Priestland has been fit.' Just a reminder that this is a conversation on Prem form (and Championship for those naughty Sarries).

TJ, read an article with Zebo who was waxing lyrical on Russell's defence as well. Seemed very impressed with him.

That's something that has flown a bit under the radar with Finn - Townsend and others in Scotland have been saying for the last few years how good a defender Finn has become. It's often passed over due to his attacking exploits.

XV Rugby again, 'Zebo is unafraid to nail his colours to the Russell mast.

“I think he’s the best out-half in the world. I’ve seen what he does on a daily basis and it’s incredible. What I admire most about him is his mental strength. It’s easy to see his skills, passing ability and off-loads but there’s more to him than that.

“When you play like Finn, there are going to be errors from time to time, but the confidence and self-belief he has is admirable. Over the years, he’s had people slagging him for doing this and that but he’s stuck at it. Off the pitch, we’d be very, very close. He will be at my wedding and I’d trust him with my life.”

“He’s the best tackling 10 I’ve seen in my life. There was a game against Munster at the Arena where there was a five-metre lineout. The idea was to peel off and let CJ (Stander) come round the corner and run over Finn. He literally had a metre-and-half to stop him but Finn absolutely melted him. I couldn’t believe it. I thought, ‘there’s no way he can do that’. That was the day I realised he is really, really special.”'

Still has moments where perhaps he's not as switched on as he should be but clearly a popular guy among team mates.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 20 Apr 2021, 11:14 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I can tell you now, 100% that Preistland is not better than Dan Biggar.

Fair enough. Form wise in the prem he has been.

Priestland is as he was before. Good steady attacking player, moderate goal-kicking (that seems to have improved), then does something disastrously wrong when it should be basic (like a kick to touch). Biggar looks better, but I guess Priestland plays more in the prem and might look as good as a result.

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Post by flyhalffactory Tue 20 Apr 2021, 2:01 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Dont worry I get you don't watch them often! Don't watch the French league so couldn't comment on Russell's form there.

Is that a bit of sarcasm 7.5?

Lets just say I don't watch many "live" matches in the english premiership grounds (unless Edinburgh are playing them in Europe) but through the wonders of digital TV, I have watched them regularly this season and I watch Racing as often as I can through the digital platforms.

So let me comment on the merits of the EPL with reference to Marcus Smith v Dan Biggar, as Smith has played much more games (as Steady doesn't believe he is good enough at the moment to warrant an england squad slot) in the EPL 2020-21 season than Biggar I would him to expect him play "heads up" rugby at that level compared to Biggar who has played sporadically hence it'll take time to get back up to speed. But there is no doubt in my mind that (when both are on top of their game) Biggar is the better overall player.

Reference Russell, you don't have to watch the French league to understand he is the stand out FH over the last 2 seasons in both the Top 14 and Champions Cup, just read the french columnists
This was his debut for Racing against Toulon - He only scored a brace and kicked 10 pts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dISwI08Ga3Y

and this is how he destroyed the those mighty but very naughty Sarries in 2020
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MMBUI8qmNM
and this is how he destroyed the those mighty but very naughty Sarries in 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ngXPAFW0Xc

I'd suggest we see how Smith goes against the top opponents before going all Captain Hyperbole on him

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 20 Apr 2021, 2:06 pm

Looks as though the Stuart Barnes does not want Hogg on tour:-

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/stuart-hogg-is-an-accident-waiting-to-happen-in-south-africa-bp77km3b7

And the same paper, but Stephen Jones has said Hamish Watson is too lightweight:-

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/lightweight-hamish-watson-is-no-match-for-the-springboks-b3trztvvm

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 20 Apr 2021, 2:15 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Looks as though the Stuart Barnes does not want Hogg on tour...
Barnes doesn't say he shouldn't tour: he says his flaws mean he is a doubtful starter.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 20 Apr 2021, 2:16 pm

flyhalffactory wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Dont worry I get you don't watch them often! Don't watch the French league so couldn't comment on Russell's form there.

Is that a bit of sarcasm 7.5?

Lets just say I don't watch many "live" matches in the english premiership grounds (unless Edinburgh are playing them in Europe) but through the wonders of digital TV, I have watched them regularly this season and I watch Racing as often as I can through the digital platforms.

So let me comment on the merits of the EPL with reference to Marcus Smith v Dan Biggar, as Smith has played much more games (as Steady doesn't believe he is good enough at the moment to warrant an england squad slot) in the EPL 2020-21 season than Biggar I would him to expect him play "heads up" rugby at that level compared to Biggar who has played sporadically hence it'll take time to get back up to speed. But there is no doubt in my mind that (when both are on top of their game) Biggar is the better overall player.

Reference Russell, you don't have to watch the French league to understand he is the stand out FH over the last 2 seasons in both the Top 14 and Champions Cup, just read the french columnists
This was his debut for Racing against Toulon - He only scored a brace and kicked 10 pts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dISwI08Ga3Y

and this is how he destroyed the those mighty but very naughty Sarries in 2020
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MMBUI8qmNM
and this is how he destroyed the those mighty but very naughty Sarries in 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ngXPAFW0Xc

I'd suggest we see how Smith goes against the top opponents before going all Captain Hyperbole on him

No sarcasm whatsoever. That would imply I didn't mean what I said.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 20 Apr 2021, 2:25 pm

Haven't read any Stephen Jones in ages. Is he still calling for nothing but old gnarly players and Attwood to be picked by England?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 20 Apr 2021, 2:37 pm

There's probably some truth to Barnes' idea that you're more likely play yourself out then into the team. Hogg got charged down for a try of course at the weekend and took far to much time, but then produces the kick and chase of sublime quality in the second half. For my money his defence and choice of when to attack has continued to improve and on the pitches of South Africa he would clearly be a potent weapon. Against England it was as much his defence and kicking quality which led to our downfall. My memory fails me in how he has played in South Africa previously particularly at altitude. England really struggled with that continuing to kick the ball far to deep and not taking conditions into account.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 20 Apr 2021, 2:39 pm

Just thought it would create some debate. Very Happy

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 20 Apr 2021, 2:43 pm

It's exactly what Jones does to be fair. Not even sure he agrees with most of what he says. Alternative view of Baxter who thinks Nowell can play himself into the team https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/56816752

He's a player like no other winger we have. Nearly always beats the first man, excellent defensively. Personally wouldn't take him though as there's too much quality elsewhere.

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Post by flyhalffactory Tue 20 Apr 2021, 4:23 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
flyhalffactory wrote:Mikey
mikey_dragon wrote:Biggar was poor, he improved towards the end of the 6N but would be a third choice at best.

I assume you are not a Biggar fan but Crikey, to say he was poor but improved is both an exaggeration and such an understatement!.
He was absolutely superb against France, great try and no doubt it was the best FH performance of the campaign and the huge mistake Pivac made was substituting Biggar and Owens both playing superb for Sheedy and Dee, no doubt that lost you the game and denied you the GS, plus pulling off Davies/Francis for Halaholo/Brown all around the 65 minute contributed to the France revival. He was also very good against Italy and England even though he carried a shoulder injury for much of the 1st half.

The only match he wasn't particularly good was against us, but that was more to us having a very good half and then ZF getting sent off on the 54 min, I don't think Sheedy pulled up trees against 14 men. Against Ireland Sexton was superb in the 1st half which was a poor performance by Biggar but he wasn't helped by a retreating Welsh pack

I don't think Sexton had a better 6Ns, unfortunately Finn was inconsistent and two cards further ruined his campaign and lets be honest Farrell was pretty poor in the 10 and 12 berth

So I am a bit nonplussed who you think are ahead of him based on club and international form

No need to assume that, you're wrong. I am a fan of Biggar. He was just poor last year and for a lot of the 6N, it was widely documented so I know I'm not alone in thinking that. It was a culmination of things that lost us the game against France, I don't think Owens and Biggar affected it as much as some make out. Still, if that's the requirements for Lions duty then that's not much.

I'd probably have Sexton and Russell ahead of him. Farrell and Biggar in the same 23 isn't a good idea. Biggar always plays well for Saints but as mentioned not so well for Wales, so not sure just how relevant that is.

No doubt Sexton will start and you are correct I think Finn will be on the bench, but in my mind if Gats & Co starts a game-management 10 then he should go Biggar, if he wants a game-changer then it has to be Finn

Is it widely documented?....I don't think so
I can't remember reading any columnists stating he had a poor 2020, might not have been outstanding but deffo good, (maybe one or two lazy journalists who hyperbole and the likes of Jonathan Davies who plainly doesn't like Biggar's style), he has had great reviews for the Saints and the 2021 6Ns was a pretty good showing for him especially the last two games. In my opinion you are incorrect in your assessment that PIvac pulling off Biggar/Owen in particular and also Davies/Francis wasn't the cause of the seismic shift in French favour. He had good player ratings in the Italy and Ireland games and what most forget that against England he was carrying an injury for most of the 1st half and still did ok.

https://theflanker.co.uk/all/six-nations-2021-player-ratings-france-32-30-wales
https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12507/12252288/wales-player-ratings-from-gut-wrenching-32-30-loss-to-france-in-six-nations
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/france-v-wales-player-ratings-20222890
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-9384561/PLAYER-RATINGS-Dan-Bigger-Alun-Wyn-Jones-star-crushing-Wales-loss-France.html

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 20 Apr 2021, 4:31 pm

Biggar would be awesome on the high veld in South Africa chasing and catching his own kicks, it's one of his strengths.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 20 Apr 2021, 5:20 pm

flyhalffactory wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
flyhalffactory wrote:Mikey
mikey_dragon wrote:Biggar was poor, he improved towards the end of the 6N but would be a third choice at best.

I assume you are not a Biggar fan but Crikey, to say he was poor but improved is both an exaggeration and such an understatement!.
He was absolutely superb against France, great try and no doubt it was the best FH performance of the campaign and the huge mistake Pivac made was substituting Biggar and Owens both playing superb for Sheedy and Dee, no doubt that lost you the game and denied you the GS, plus pulling off Davies/Francis for Halaholo/Brown all around the 65 minute contributed to the France revival. He was also very good against Italy and England even though he carried a shoulder injury for much of the 1st half.

The only match he wasn't particularly good was against us, but that was more to us having a very good half and then ZF getting sent off on the 54 min, I don't think Sheedy pulled up trees against 14 men. Against Ireland Sexton was superb in the 1st half which was a poor performance by Biggar but he wasn't helped by a retreating Welsh pack

I don't think Sexton had a better 6Ns, unfortunately Finn was inconsistent and two cards further ruined his campaign and lets be honest Farrell was pretty poor in the 10 and 12 berth

So I am a bit nonplussed who you think are ahead of him based on club and international form

No need to assume that, you're wrong. I am a fan of Biggar. He was just poor last year and for a lot of the 6N, it was widely documented so I know I'm not alone in thinking that. It was a culmination of things that lost us the game against France, I don't think Owens and Biggar affected it as much as some make out. Still, if that's the requirements for Lions duty then that's not much.

I'd probably have Sexton and Russell ahead of him. Farrell and Biggar in the same 23 isn't a good idea. Biggar always plays well for Saints but as mentioned not so well for Wales, so not sure just how relevant that is.

No doubt Sexton will start and you are correct I think Finn will be on the bench, but in my mind if Gats & Co starts a game-management 10 then he should go Biggar, if he wants a game-changer then it has to be Finn

Is it widely documented?....I don't think so
I can't remember reading any columnists stating he had a poor 2020, might not have been outstanding but deffo good, (maybe one or two lazy journalists who hyperbole and the likes of Jonathan Davies who plainly doesn't like Biggar's style), he has had great reviews for the Saints and the 2021 6Ns was a pretty good showing for him especially the last two games. In my opinion you are incorrect in your assessment that PIvac pulling off Biggar/Owen in particular and also Davies/Francis wasn't the cause of the seismic shift in French favour. He had good player ratings in the Italy and Ireland games and what most forget that against England he was carrying an injury for most of the 1st half and still did ok.

https://theflanker.co.uk/all/six-nations-2021-player-ratings-france-32-30-wales
https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12507/12252288/wales-player-ratings-from-gut-wrenching-32-30-loss-to-france-in-six-nations
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/france-v-wales-player-ratings-20222890
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-9384561/PLAYER-RATINGS-Dan-Bigger-Alun-Wyn-Jones-star-crushing-Wales-loss-France.html

I agree but still have my doubts about Sexton because he gets injured a lot. I think just one of Biggar or Farrell should go, unless one of the others doesn't make it. Biggar might be in slightly better form but Faz was probably one of the standouts in the 2017 tour.

It was widely documented on here and social media, mostly by the fans though. I didn't see anything personal aimed at Biggar, I think it was more to do with Pivac being too conservative when he didn't always need to be. I've watched him a few times for Saints and he always plays well. I just wonder how much club rugby will be taken into account. It's likely Gatland will look at club rugby for the probables, but they stood a good chance of touring anyway.
Pivac pulling off Biggar, Owens, etc did have an affect but our discipline went to pot and we were down to 13 (arguably Liam Williams shouldn't have been carded, but it was risky business from him anyway). France were buoyed by their Red Card too, it seems a RC can have that effect. Interesting how those write-ups on the ratings vary, not sure I agree with all of it. I do agree that Biggar was good Vs France.

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Post by Rugby Fan Wed 21 Apr 2021, 2:05 am

Mike Tindall hasn't got Farrell in his Lions squad. While he was outvoted by Alex Payne & James Haskell, that's the first time I've seen a prominent English pundit leave him out. It's a notable ommission, as the three of them gave the benefit of the doubt to some other England players. Tindall thinks Farrell hasn't looked right, and just doesn't have a schedule of matches to get back into form.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 21 Apr 2021, 7:49 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I can tell you now, 100% that Preistland is not better than Dan Biggar.

Fair enough. Form wise in the prem he has been.

Priestland has been a steady hand in the Prem and that's about it. It sort of works with the Bath backline though as they all want to play so Priestland gives the ball and let's them loose when it's on and then plays tactical when not. In his absence Bath have suffered.

Biggar has been up and down at Saints, sometimes in the same game. Saints were excellent at the weekend and ran riot in attack. Biggar got himself sin binned late on completely unnecessarily for a deliberate knock on. Biggar started the 6N pretty average but I think the pressure of competition from Sheedy pushed him on and he improved. He's the competitive sort so putting him into the Lions environment again might not be a bad shout. There's a lot of good options at flyhalf though, all nations can nominate two perfectly good candidates.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 21 Apr 2021, 7:56 am

mikey_dragon wrote:but Faz was probably one of the standouts in the 2017 tour.

You seriously need to go back and check that. He was one of the poorer ones, everyone was complaining about his tackling and his all round play.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 8:15 am

Everything comes back around if you wait long enough

https://www.606v2.com/t67269-owen-farrell-s-defense

We'll be hearing about a no arms tackle soon.

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Post by Old Man Wed 21 Apr 2021, 9:23 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Everything comes back around if you wait long enough

https://www.606v2.com/t67269-owen-farrell-s-defense

We'll be hearing about a no arms tackle soon.
Well to be fair, he did try using an arm on Kolbe, but it didn’t work kiss

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 9:27 am

?

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Post by Old Man Wed 21 Apr 2021, 10:03 am

RWC final

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 21 Apr 2021, 10:19 am

LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:but Faz was probably one of the standouts in the 2017 tour.

You seriously need to go back and check that. He was one of the poorer ones, everyone was complaining about his tackling and his all round play.

He was ok when moved to 12. The first test selection with him at 10 and Te'o at 12 was embarrassingly bad by Gatland and probably cost us the possibility of a series win. The Sexton 10 and Farrell 12 combo worked and I could see Gatland going back to that.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 10:44 am

Ah. Think at the time Farrell was playing on 1 leg following his injury in the first half. Not sure its news that a winger can step anyone on the wing.

At the current time I can't see Farrell not being in the first test team but would love for people to start with a fresh slate come the warm ups.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 21 Apr 2021, 10:45 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:but Faz was probably one of the standouts in the 2017 tour.

You seriously need to go back and check that. He was one of the poorer ones, everyone was complaining about his tackling and his all round play.

He was ok when moved to 12. The first test selection with him at 10 and Te'o at 12 was embarrassingly bad by Gatland and probably cost us the possibility of a series win. The Sexton 10 and Farrell 12 combo worked and I could see Gatland going back to that.

He certainly wasn't a stand out performer though, he was not really the best option at 12 either if my memory serves me right. chin

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 21 Apr 2021, 10:58 am

Farrell wasn't too good in the third test, but up to then he was very good. His value usually goes under the radar, but he's pretty good at everything.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 21 Apr 2021, 11:14 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Farrell wasn't too good in the third test, but up to then he was very good. His value usually goes under the radar, but he's pretty good at everything.

Yep. From a distance he's an easy player to dislike, and there is a strong feeling that we'd like to move on from him, but the coaches love him and the guys he plays with always seem to have a good word.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 11:17 am

I've just had to go back and have a read of some of the threads to remind me of peoples views. General thoughts were that no fly half was excellent on the last tour but most felt that Farrell was deserving to be involved. 1 poster did say it was down to daddy and wanted Sexton and Te'o at 10 and 12 with Biggar on the bench.

It's been pretty popular among England fans to bash him recently. Think it's as guys like Smith put real pressure on the 10 position and the fact that for most of us Farrell and Slade don't really work as a partnership.

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Post by flyhalffactory Wed 21 Apr 2021, 12:50 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:Watson may well be in the team but that simply means Curry playing at 6 instead of 7, his peak performances surpass those of anyone else available.

In your opinion

Curry 2021 model is a totally different one that was the brilliant 2019 "vintage", since the WC2019 final where he was blitzed, he has gained close on a stone in weight, it's all about dominant hit rather than dynamic play (another young England player Eddie is evolving into a lesser player). He is more an 8 than an OSF, he deffo is too slow to be a BSF
I've never yet seen Richie been outperformed by Curry or even more so Tipuric over last two seasons has simply been the better flanker.
On current form
OSF - Watson, Tipuric, Curry
BSF - Beirne, Underhill, Navidi, Stander, Richie or even Faletau are better blind sides

If Gats & Co (due to a slimmed down squad) are looking for versatility then a bulked up Curry can operate across the BR so must go.
If they select Beirne as a lock them I would go with

7/8/6 Curry
8/6  Faletau
7 Watson
7/6 Tipuric
6/8/7 Stander
=========
6/8/7 Navidi
6/7 Ritchie
6/7 Underhill

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 1:14 pm

Gotta start questioning whether you watch any England matches to go along with not watching the prem.

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