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Lions Announcement - Round 2

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 06 May 2021, 1:01 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.

Lions Announcement - Round 2  - Page 5 Lions_10
Lions Announcement - Round 2  - Page 5 Lions_11

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Post by TJ Fri 07 May 2021, 6:20 pm

Russell has played with Hastings a few times. Either at 10 or 12.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 07 May 2021, 6:29 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Is there a player each of us has in mind that thinks they could be the player that comes in and produces a definitive performance?  Without saying who you'd like to drop out I think Ringrose could drop into this group and do it.

Im sure there will be call ups that will end up in the test squad, there usually are.



Same question then. Is there a player you have in mind.
May, Ringrose, Tuilagi, Ryan, Gray, Baird, Healy could all bolt from the blue, Watson too.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 07 May 2021, 7:04 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Is there a player each of us has in mind that thinks they could be the player that comes in and produces a definitive performance?  Without saying who you'd like to drop out I think Ringrose could drop into this group and do it.

Im sure there will be call ups that will end up in the test squad, there usually are.



Same question then. Is there a player you have in mind.
May, Ringrose, Tuilagi, Ryan, Gray, Baird, Healy could all bolt from the blue, Watson too.

Yeah. I picked ringrose as to me the midfield is stodge and he's a class act. Other areas despite not agreeing has some quality there. Which Watson? Mind blank on which is missing.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 07 May 2021, 7:04 pm

Anthony Watson

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 07 May 2021, 7:05 pm

Or maybe he was already picked?

To be fair you could see any one of Sinkler, Marler and Healy getting called up and doing a job for us but there are reasons all three of them have not made the first squad.

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Post by TJ Fri 07 May 2021, 9:07 pm

One player that might surprise a few on here is Zander Fagerson. Fantastic workrate and a better scrummager than many give him credit for

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 07 May 2021, 9:13 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:https://youtu.be/pjwAxvxlXEg

This video features Genge and Singler getting invilved in silly stuff.

That was hilarious.

Say what you want about Sinckler (within reason), I really liked having him on my team in 2017. He never took a backwards step. I was surprised to see he wasn’t in the squad this time around.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 07 May 2021, 9:19 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Pom is definitely an emotional guy, I wouldnt have picked him either but I've never been his biggest fan.

Rubbish player. Not a 7, and should never play at 6 over Beirne (who is class at both lock and blindside). It would be better for Munster and Ireland if POM stayed at home during international weekends, he’d be a good Munster captain on those occasions.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 07 May 2021, 9:53 pm

I definitely wouldnt describe him as rubbish, plenty of strings to his bow, just not my kind of 6 which is where he played for Ireland. Prefer a bulldozer like Ferris, OBrien or Stander at 6.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 07 May 2021, 9:55 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:https://youtu.be/pjwAxvxlXEg

This video features Genge and Singler getting invilved in silly stuff.

That was hilarious.

Say what you want about Sinckler (within reason), I really liked having him on my team in 2017. He never took a backwards step. I was surprised to see he wasn’t in the squad this time around.

He was very good alright.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 07 May 2021, 10:07 pm

The Oracle wrote:Anyhoo, back to more positive stuff.  Here’s a nice video of Chris Harris and Louis Rees Zammit finding out they got in.  Nice stuff:


This is the great side of the Lions, the pride and excitement to be involved.

Harris is a meteoric rise really. He broke into the Falcon (my side) side around 23/24 and usually filled in at wing. He had decent gas and could beat a man and eventually settled at 13. He was never that exciting, but was very solid and when given a bit of space would make ground and stretch his legs.

I honestly don't think he's improved that much since his time with us tbh.....he's just getting a bit more noticed and has been involved in some impressive Scotland wins. Crazy to think back a few years back and that he may have been a Lion in the near future.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 07 May 2021, 10:11 pm

He is definitely one of the guys Id say benefited from the Lions having a couple of Scottish coaches, doubt he was a Gatland pick.

Good luck to him though, could be a revelation.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 08 May 2021, 12:12 am

I think Harris has benefited from most defences increasingly being ran by the 13 rather than 12. He's a magnificent defensive organiser at 13 and simply there on merit in that regard I think.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 08 May 2021, 12:19 am

It would be interesting to see how that breaks down. You'd imagine simple things like extra stash are already covered by the sponsors and suppliers. Flights, insurance, hotels are all new but would also be in the budget for replacement players. The main additional costs would be paying salary for one more player from the start. Not sure whether Saints get more money for releasing Lawes, or if he's covered under the general agreement struck previously.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2021/05/07/courtney-lawes-call-up-warren-gatland-will-cost-lions-extra/

Warren Gatland's late change of heart to include England forward Courtney Lawes as part of the British and Irish Lions squad for South Africa will cost the touring side an extra £100,000, in order to cover Lawes' early release from Northampton, his salary and administrative costs.

Telegraph Sport understands that Lawes was the late addition to the squad made on Thursday morning, increasing the Lions contingent in South Africa to 37 players.

"When I had to go back to the CEO and the board about getting an extra player, that costs the Lions well over £100,000 by the time we've paid the club and the player and all the costs associated with that. Particularly at the moment when rugby's struggling financially and the Lions are desperately trying to break even, or there's potentially a loss situation, it's not the easiest conversation to have," Gatland told the BBC, before laughing off the prospect of adding further players to the squad before departing to South Africa: "Another three players and I think I'm going to be pushing it!"

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 08 May 2021, 12:39 am

This is interesting, but takes about 10 minutes and is fairly optimistic, also a bit entertaining. Not too serious:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9RAX2z0WXQ

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 08 May 2021, 1:29 am

doctor_grey wrote:This is interesting, but takes about 10 minutes and is fairly optimistic, also a bit entertaining.  Not too serious:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9RAX2z0WXQ
Squidge always makes you think. I'd like to see his next video, as he didn't say much about the scrum or back row. If he's right about Gatland wanting to use the speed of his number eights in the wide channel, then extra carrying power in the centre won't make up the difference. We might see Beirne, Lawes, Henderson, and even Itoje at six more than any of the specialist back row. It also depends how well our best front five can handle the scrum, and whether we'll need more bodies to hold it together.

Agree with Squidge that Gatland must have been tempted by Nowell, as he is a good breakdown scavenger, and can play wing, centre and full-back. If Nowell shows decent form for Exeter from now, then he's an outside bet for an injury call-up

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 08 May 2021, 2:46 am

Adam Jones says the lack of Sinckler was his biggest surprise (he worked with him at Quins). He things Furlong is the best in the world, is happy with him and Ken Owens starting. Loosehead seems open for Jones, though he expressed surprise Genge and Marler weren't sounded out for availability. He went as far as to say Marler is clearly the best scrummager (another Quins man).

He and SOB think AWJ and Itoje are the obvious lock pairing: Jones reckons they make the most annoying combination in world rugby. They both have Beirne and Curry in the starting back row, with Faletau at eight (though SOB wants to see Simmonds).

Interestingly, Adam Jones says Gatland probably remembers Billy Vunipola saying Eddie Jones could have coached the Lions to a win in NZ, and likely holds a grudge, which would have counted against him, when his indifferent form didn't make him on obvious choice.

That occurred to me too. We know Gatland can hold a grudge, so that's no great revelation. Since Gatland wants as few problems to deal with as possible, that could easily have been a factor. You do wonder whether Marler's fondling run-in with AWJ was in the back of his mind too. AWJ caught some flack for that after the incident for seeming to stitch Marler up, and it's unclear whether that's still a sore point between them.


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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 08 May 2021, 6:48 am

Well Marler has stated he would have toured but Gatland didn't enquire about his availability. Jones is right in saying he's the best scrummager and by quite some distance, it could be a tour defining decision.

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Post by BigGee Sat 08 May 2021, 7:44 am

I think Marler, in passing on the 6N, made the decesion easy to be not picked. It just gave the other LHs the chance to state their claims and he does not have Lions history to fall back on and be picked on reputation.

If he had been really serious about wanting to go, he should have played international rugby this year.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 08 May 2021, 8:43 am

Marler is also a bit of an oddball so might not be the best tourist from a personality point of view. Ian McGeechan always claimed a good personality was key to being a good Lion. Marler is just his own worst enemy half the time.

The joe.ie interview was great alright. SOB and Jones are interesting guests and really like the host, she is cute too.

I see joe.ie is suing Alex Payne, Haskall and Tindall for ripping off their podcast.

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Post by The Oracle Sat 08 May 2021, 8:53 am

Yeah, Marler isn’t very ‘likeable’ and (to me) has a bit of an attitude problem. England fans probably disagree though. The sort of guy you want on your side but opposition fans hate.
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Post by George Carlin Sat 08 May 2021, 9:03 am

king_carlos wrote:I think Harris has benefited from most defences increasingly being ran by the 13 rather than 12. He's a magnificent defensive organiser at 13 and simply there on merit in that regard I think.
Correct.

For those who don't think Harris is anything special defensively or that this skillset doesn't really matter, start watching this from about 8:25:

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 08 May 2021, 9:11 am

Good chat with Andy Goode and Jim Hamilton on Sinklers discipline

https://youtu.be/m9-gatAbLyc

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 08 May 2021, 9:15 am

George Carlin wrote:
king_carlos wrote:I think Harris has benefited from most defences increasingly being ran by the 13 rather than 12. He's a magnificent defensive organiser at 13 and simply there on merit in that regard I think.
Correct.

For those who don't think Harris is anything special defensively or that this skillset doesn't really matter, start watching this from about 8:25:


Good video, thank you

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sat 08 May 2021, 9:34 am

I have always thought that Marler was a great team member, oddball yes, but you don't see him slagging off team mates, poking a bit of fun, but not anything nasty.

Having found out that he had made himself available, I cannot understand his omission. Especially against SA when you need your best scrummaging props.

I agree with Soul, it could comeback to haunt Gtaland when the front row starts getting dismembered.
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Post by The Oracle Sat 08 May 2021, 9:52 am

I dunno, Marler’s had a bit of a chequered past. He’s not squeaky clean. There was the ‘Gypsy Boy’ incident, he got banned for kicking someone in the head in 2016, 3 week ban for striking with the elbow the following season, 6 week ban for a shoulder charge the following season, he had the on pitch fight with Haskell after squirting water in his face, got reprimanded for saying he was tempted to get himself a red card so he could miss England get togethers, then the testicle grab incident. It’s hard to argue that he’s a clean player!
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 08 May 2021, 9:55 am

"An oddball" and "unlikeable"

Not things I've heard directed at Marler before. I've only heard/read good things about him in a squad environment. It's funny the perception fans of other nations have other players.

Have you got evidence? I know he's got a slightly chequered disciplinary history, but I've never heard he's a bad team mate.

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Post by The Oracle Sat 08 May 2021, 9:58 am

Did I say he was a bad teammate???
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 08 May 2021, 10:01 am

Perhaps not with those exact words, but to suggest somebody is unlikeable and has an attitude problem isn't screaming out team player is it.

You seem to be suggesting he's not easy to get along with...therefore not a good tourist? That's what I'm reading anyway.

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Post by The Oracle Sat 08 May 2021, 10:12 am

No, I mean more that he seems a bit ‘aggro’. As per his disciplinary issues. Not likeable as in he causes trouble and stirs things up (against the opposition). I’ve no idea what he’s like as a team mate. Seems quite fun off the pitch. But on the pitch he seems to have some issues. And maybe that’s what concerned the Lions selectors.
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Post by The Oracle Sat 08 May 2021, 10:13 am

I even said a few posts earlier that he seems the sort of guy you want on your team but opposition fans hate!
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Post by BigGee Sat 08 May 2021, 10:20 am

Collapse2005 wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
king_carlos wrote:I think Harris has benefited from most defences increasingly being ran by the 13 rather than 12. He's a magnificent defensive organiser at 13 and simply there on merit in that regard I think.
Correct.

For those who don't think Harris is anything special defensively or that this skillset doesn't really matter, start watching this from about 8:25:


Good video, thank you


That video probably shows as well why Russell and Price are on the plane as well. I watched the game at the time and yet probably did not pick up what a kicking masterclass they actually gave that night.

Gatland named checked Finn's performance that game and it shows he is a lot more than the crazy maverick he maybe once was and is often still labelled.

Price orchestrated the final try brilliantly, almost scoring it himself at one stage, he had played the whole game up to that point as well, no mean feet for a SH. An engine like that will come in handy at altitude.

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Post by Cyril Sat 08 May 2021, 10:23 am

If disciplinary issues and causing rifts among fellow players it seems strange that Russell is on the tour. Especially for a back the number of cards he picks up is very high and his behaviour in the Scotland camp in the recent past is worrying. He’s the type of player likely to get clattered by a team mate in training or sent home for late night boozing.

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Post by The Oracle Sat 08 May 2021, 10:32 am

Fair point, Cyril. Yes that’s a tricky one to explain. Maybe it was Marler’s hair! Wink
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 08 May 2021, 10:35 am

Honestly, I don't see this as a reason why Marler wasn't selected, more his choices not to tour in the past and missing the 6N. I'm not sure he deserves selection.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 08 May 2021, 11:12 am

If anything, people find Marler to be a funny guy. One of the reasons people were surprised at the fall-out from the AWJ fondling episode, is that they seemed to get on well during the Lions tour in New Zealand.

Marler has already neatly identified why Gatland might have decided not to ask if he was available. The first, is doubts about how well he'd cope with a bubble overseas, given that it was a factor behind his decision not to play in the Six Nations (Marler explained that he is less worried about it being a burden on his wife now). The second, is that Marler feels he reacted poorly to not being part of the Test set-up. If that's the way Gatland also saw it, then you can understand why he might choose to avoid that headache.

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Post by The Oracle Sat 08 May 2021, 11:53 am

Good points Rugby Fan. Yes we’re all guessing a bit here but those reasons are plausible.

Can I ask though - ‘reacting badly to not being part of the test set up’. Does that not suggest ‘attitude’ issues?

But yes, I can imagine him being a lot of fun and having good banter on tour. You need a few of those characters on tour.
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Post by George Carlin Sat 08 May 2021, 12:05 pm

Serious questions because I don’t know the answers - how good was Marler’s form this year and how good a scrummager is he?

Various people have pointed out that a major reason for Sinckler not being preferred was that the English scrum had not gone quite as well as usual and that the Scottish scrum had topped the 6N stats table for (1) lowest number of scrum penalties conceded and (2) largest number of scrums successfully completed. Sutherland got in because he’s technically excellent (like Porter) and Fagerson got in for his 80 minute engine.
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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 08 May 2021, 12:06 pm

George Carlin wrote:Serious questions because I don’t know the answers - how good was Marler’s form this year and how good a scrummager is he?

Various people have pointed out that a major reason for Sinckler not being preferred was that the English scrum had not gone quite as well as usual and that the Scottish scrum had topped the 6N stats table for (1) lowest number of scrum penalties conceded and (2) largest number of scrums successfully completed. Sutherland got in because he’s technically excellent (like Porter) and Fagerson got in for his 80 minute engine.

Where did you get the stats on the scrum?

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 08 May 2021, 12:07 pm

Sort of answered your own question there, without Marler the English scrum is creaky at best.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 08 May 2021, 12:13 pm

I guess we have no real idea why Marler was not at least considered.  If I had to guess it was concern he would not want to be away from his family, a decision no one could criticise.  Having recently read his book, if one takes out the humour, he is a good person and being away from his family for an extended period, even for the Lions, something for which he likely would never have another opportunity, is not realistic. He would probably be much happier clippity-clopping around his house with the wife and kids.


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Post by George Carlin Sat 08 May 2021, 12:13 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Serious questions because I don’t know the answers - how good was Marler’s form this year and how good a scrummager is he?

Various people have pointed out that a major reason for Sinckler not being preferred was that the English scrum had not gone quite as well as usual and that the Scottish scrum had topped the 6N stats table for (1) lowest number of scrum penalties conceded and (2) largest number of scrums successfully completed. Sutherland got in because he’s technically excellent (like Porter) and Fagerson got in for his 80 minute engine.

Where did you get the stats on the scrum?
They were from Opta / will try and find the link again.
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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 08 May 2021, 12:15 pm

Thank you, be interesting to see who had the 2nd and 3rd most effective scrums

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 08 May 2021, 1:08 pm

The Oracle wrote:...Can I ask though - ‘reacting badly to not being part of the test set up’. Does that not suggest ‘attitude’ issues?...

Not really, because a lot of players react badly in the same situation. If you say they all have attitude issues, then the phrase begins to lose all meaning. McGeechan goes as far as to say it's important to have players on tour who react well, which seems to suggest reacting well is a rare, valuable asset. Rory Best told Marler he had reacted badly in 2013, which is why Marler was annoyed with himself, because he had been given a heads-up, and still went into his shell. If you are known as a joker, and you stop joking, then it probably stands out a bit more, which is what Marler belatedly realized.

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Post by takethelongroad Sat 08 May 2021, 1:14 pm

Cyril wrote:If disciplinary issues and causing rifts among fellow players it seems strange that Russell is on the tour. Especially for a back the number of cards he picks up is very high and his behaviour in the Scotland camp in the recent past is worrying. He’s the type of player likely to get clattered by a team mate in training or sent home for late night boozing.

This is a good point and I was thinking of having a look at this myself comparing Russell’s career card stats to his peers, Farrell, Sexton and Biggar but didn’t know where to look these up. If you have found this already I would appreciate a share. Seem to recall a similar patch for Liam Williams where he was getting cards for his actions in the tackle or adding afters during international games but he seems to have matured and dropped this from his game more recently, I guess players can change their behaviours if they choose to.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 08 May 2021, 1:25 pm

George Carlin wrote:Serious questions because I don’t know the answers - how good was Marler’s form this year and how good a scrummager is he?


Very good and excellent....he's our best scrummaging prop. With him and Sinckler at prop, I'd put us as a match for anyone.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 08 May 2021, 1:51 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Serious questions because I don’t know the answers - how good was Marler’s form this year and how good a scrummager is he?


Very good and excellent....he's our best scrummaging prop. With him and Sinckler at prop, I'd put us as a match for anyone.
The turnaround in the scrum when Marler came on in the RWC final was stark. After a half of getting pummeled Marler came on and won a penalty against the starting Boks front row. Next scrum they changed out their front row for Marx, Kitshoff and Koch who had pummeled packs in the second half all tournament and Marler won a couple of pens against them as well from memory. That was done with Dan Cole understandably tiring over the second half from basically playing 80 minutes as well due to Sinckler's injury.

Kruis coming on at the same time as Marler will have had an impact to. He and Itoje have a rep as very good scrummaging locks.

I still think Marler is England's best all round loosehead. Though I rate Mako very highly too. His scrummaging for the most part has been fine for England, the Lions and Sarries. The times I remember him struggling noticeably it's been against tightheads and packs that most props struggle against. Frans Malherbe in the RWC final and Furlong in the latest Six Nations for instance. Looseheads picked for their scrummaging get taught a lesson by guys like that. When it's Mako though some fans seem to focus in on it and forget about the previous few games where he was fine in the scrum, made 20 tackles and 10 carries.

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Post by Old Man Sat 08 May 2021, 2:20 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Serious questions because I don’t know the answers - how good was Marler’s form this year and how good a scrummager is he?


Very good and excellent....he's our best scrummaging prop. With him and Sinckler at prop, I'd put us as a match for anyone.
The turnaround in the scrum when Marler came on in the RWC final was stark. After a half of getting pummeled Marler came on and won a penalty against the starting Boks front row. Next scrum they changed out their front row for Marx, Kitshoff and Koch who had pummeled packs in the second half all tournament and Marler won a couple of pens against them as well from memory. That was done with Dan Cole understandably tiring over the second half from basically playing 80 minutes as well due to Sinckler's injury.

Kruis coming on at the same time as Marler will have had an impact to. He and Itoje have a rep as very good scrummaging locks.

I still think Marler is England's best all round loosehead. Though I rate Mako very highly too. His scrummaging for the most part has been fine for England, the Lions and Sarries. The times I remember him struggling noticeably it's been against tightheads and packs that most props struggle against. Frans Malherbe in the RWC final and Furlong in the latest Six Nations for instance. Looseheads picked for their scrummaging get taught a lesson by guys like that. When it's Mako though some fans seem to focus in on it and forget about the previous few games where he was fine in the scrum, made 20 tackles and 10 carries.

The English won one scrum penalty in the RWC final

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 08 May 2021, 2:25 pm

Biggar has just collided badly with Twelvetrees. He managed to get to his feet, but needs an HIA.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 08 May 2021, 2:37 pm

Biggar has failed his HIA.

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