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British & Irish Lions vs Japan, 26 June

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Post by George Carlin Sat 22 May 2021, 11:14 am

First topic message reminder :

British & Irish Lions vs Japan, 26 June  - Page 7 Lions_10                     British & Irish Lions vs Japan, 26 June  - Page 7 Japan_10
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS v JAPAN
Saturday 26th June
3:00pm KO
BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Channel 4 Live

Referee: Pascal Gaüzère
Assistant Referees: Romain Poite, Pierre Brousset
TMO: Eric Gauzins

TEAMS:

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS:

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
09. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790

01. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
02. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
03. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
04. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808
05. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
06. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)
07. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) #786
08. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)

16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
23. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816

JAPAN:

15. Ryohei YAMANAKA
14. Kotaro MATSUSHIMA
13. Timothy LAFAELE
12. Ryoto NAKAMURA
11. Siosaia FIFITA
10. Yu TAMURA
09. Kaito SHIGENO

08. Amanaki Lelei MAFI
07. Pieter LABUSCHAGNE
06. Michael LEITCH (c)
05. James MOORE
04. Wimpie VAN DER WALT
03. Jiwon KOO
02. Atsushi SAKATE
01. Keita INAGAKI

16. Kosuke HORIKOSHI
17. Craig MILLAR
18. Asaeli Ai VALU
19. Jack CORNELSEN
20. Kazuki HIMENO
21. Tevita TATAFU
22. Naoto SAITO
23. Rikiya MATSUDA

COMMENTARY:

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has named 21 uncapped players in a 52-man training squad – his first squad announcement since the 2019 World Cup – ahead of the nation’s historic clash with the British and Irish Lions in June. The Brave Blossoms are scheduled to face the Lions at Murrayfield in Edinburgh on June 26 in what will be the first-ever clash between the two sides.

Joseph has called on a mix of his 2019 World Cup stars, uncapped players, homegrown talent and foreign imports to prepare for the match. 21 members of the World Cup squad, such as standout wing Kotaro Matsushima and captain Michael Leitch, have been recalled back into the training camp.

18 of those players were part of the match day side that featured in Japan’s first-ever World Cup quarter-final appearance in Tokyo two years ago, a match the Brave Blossoms lost 26-3 to eventual champions South Africa.

Among the cohort of uncapped prospects included in Joseph’s enlarged squad, there are a raft of names that will be familiar to Super Rugby fans.

Former Highlanders prop Craig Millar, who moved to Japan to join the Sunwolves in 2018, is one such player, as are ex-Blues lock Liaki Moli. The pair join the likes of former Hurricanes lock Mark Abbott, ex-Southern Kings midfielder Shane Gates and experienced outside back Gerhard van den Heever as uncapped foreigners who have completed residency requirements in order to become eligible for Japan.

All five players have subsequently been named in Joseph’s squad, as have three Australian youngsters – Dylan Riley, Jack Cornelsen and Ben Gunter – who are all one step closer to switching their allegiance to Japan.

Other notable uncapped players to have earned selection include those who have starred in the domestic Top League competition.

Tongan-born Kobelco Steelers No 8 Lui Naeata, who stands at 1.93m and 118kg, has been a dominant force for the reigning Top League champions since joining the club in 2018. As a result, the 27-year-old has been handed a maiden call-up to the national side and will compete with Highlanders star Kazuki Himeno, Canon Eagles powerhouse Amanaki Mafi and Suntory Sungoliath behemoth Tevita Tatafu for a place at the back of the scrum.

Likewise, halfback Naoto Saito has been in fine form while working in tandem with Beauden Barrett as halves partners at Suntory Sungoliath this season, and the 23-year-old is one of three scrumhalves in line for a potential test debut.

Based on the performances he has seen throughout the Top League this season, Joseph said he was “excited” for his side’s chances in the upcoming fixture, even if it has been 18 months since Japan last played a test match.

“It’s been a long time coming since our last squad announcement and I am very excited about our upcoming challenge against the British and Irish Lions,” he said in a statement.

“It will be a very special occasion for the team to play the Lions for the first time ever. Announcing this squad is the first step in our preparation.

“The 2021 Top League has produced some great team performances and the competition between the teams is a lot closer than past years which is great for the development of the game in Japan.”

Joseph added the Lions clash presents his uncapped players with a chance to prove their worth on the test scene following the departures of former senior players.

Two days after the announcement of the final squad to travel to the Scottish capital, the selected players will assemble for a 12-day training camp in Beppu, Oita between May 26 and June 8.

The Brave Blossoms will then play a warm-up match against a Sunwolves select in Shizuoka on June 12 before flying out to Scotland on June 16.


Last edited by George Carlin on Fri 25 Jun 2021, 12:21 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 6:09 pm

I doubt it

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Post by lostinwales Sat 26 Jun 2021, 6:10 pm

Last comment. They are due to fly tomorrow and Gatland has stated he wants the replacement to be able to go then. I know there are a few in the premiership final who are going but it may be too much of an ask for Grey to get himself ready in the time available after todays game

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 26 Jun 2021, 6:13 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
Cyril wrote:Lions aren’t very lucky with their captains. Jeez, if Japan are softening up our players just think what the SA provinces are going to do.

Farrell for captain. With Biggar and him at 10/12 we won’t lack passion.

You cant have a sub and the captain of the 5th placed 6 nations side as captain, it would make a mockery of the Lions.
Also. not remotely a guaranteed starter.  

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Post by Cyril Sat 26 Jun 2021, 6:20 pm

I’d say the guaranteed starters are Furlong, Itoje and Farrell.

Having said that Sinckler’s 20-yard pass was better than anything Murray did.

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Jun 2021, 6:25 pm

lostinwales wrote:Last comment. They are due to fly tomorrow and Gatland has stated he wants the replacement to be able to go then. I know there are a few in the premiership final who are going but it may be too much of an ask for Grey to get himself ready in the time available after todays game


Whoever is going to step in may or may not be able to fly with them, the logistics may be against it. Probably not a deal breaker if they come on the next flight

I am sure they have a list of next cab off the rank for each position though, so they probably do know who they will call, but there is the PCR test etc to await.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 6:29 pm

Pick the side. Then the captain. I've already said from the guys I'd have start its either itoje or Curry. I reckon Gatalnd will continue to call it early and go Farrell.

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Post by Cyril Sat 26 Jun 2021, 6:43 pm

Ah yes, Curry also a guaranteed starter. There will be plenty of leaders on the pitch but Farrell to be top dog. Owens seems very quiet to be a captain, but a good player.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 26 Jun 2021, 6:55 pm

Don't see farrell as top anything. Probably number 3 fly half in the squad and a useless 12 against the Boks.

Being a probable starter doesn't necessarily mean one has the top two inches to be captain. Need both aspects.

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Post by Cyril Sat 26 Jun 2021, 7:01 pm

Farrell has captained England to plenty of wins over the top sides in the world. Does anyone else in the squad have the same credentials? By the way, the answer is no.

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Jun 2021, 7:04 pm

Cyril wrote:Farrell has captained England to plenty of wins over the top sides in the world. Does anyone else in the squad have the same credentials? By the way, the answer is no.

Farrell on this seasons form, was extremely lucky to even make the tour. Since the 6N, he has been playing in the second division. Lets see him play, but he has got a lot of work to do to be anywhere near the test team atm.

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Jun 2021, 7:08 pm

Cowan-Dickie just knocked out cold in the final following a trade mark low chop with head on the wrong side

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Post by Cyril Sat 26 Jun 2021, 7:13 pm

Don’t agree, BigGee but we’ll always differ on that one thumbsup

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 26 Jun 2021, 7:14 pm

BigGee wrote:
Cyril wrote:Farrell has captained England to plenty of wins over the top sides in the world. Does anyone else in the squad have the same credentials? By the way, the answer is no.

Farrell on this seasons form, was extremely lucky to even make the tour. Since the 6N, he has been playing in the second division. Lets see him play, but he has got a lot of work to do to be anywhere near the test team atm.
I actually think he got in the squad based on past performance and certainly not on his performances in the Autumn nations Cup and the Six Nations. And in the RWC final he was clearly second best at 12 against the Boks. And that was two years ago.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 26 Jun 2021, 7:34 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Ken Owens should be captain, he is the best option. Played well today and a nailed on test starter.

Cowan-Dickie is the better hooker so not sure about guaranteed starter.

This comment aged badly very quickly.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 7:59 pm

BigGee wrote:
Cyril wrote:Farrell has captained England to plenty of wins over the top sides in the world. Does anyone else in the squad have the same credentials? By the way, the answer is no.

Farrell on this seasons form, was extremely lucky to even make the tour. Since the 6N, he has been playing in the second division. Lets see him play, but he has got a lot of work to do to be anywhere near the test team atm.

Yeah but a few were. Daly has been abysmal for 2 years. Aki missed a chunk of the 6ns. A couple fo wingers have had a couple of international games and been picked. Farrell clearly is very near to a lions start though even if you don't agree.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 26 Jun 2021, 8:00 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Ken Owens should be captain, he is the best option. Played well today and a nailed on test starter.

Cowan-Dickie is the better hooker so not sure about guaranteed starter.

This comment aged badly very quickly.


Depends on LCD's progression through the protocols. If George shows some form in the friendlies then he could overtake Owens just as easily as Owens could be first choice. There's very little between the three hookers.

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Jun 2021, 8:05 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Ken Owens should be captain, he is the best option. Played well today and a nailed on test starter.

Cowan-Dickie is the better hooker so not sure about guaranteed starter.

This comment aged badly very quickly.


Depends on LCD's progression through the protocols. If George shows some form in the friendlies then he could overtake Owens just as easily as Owens could be first choice. There's very little between the three hookers.

LCD was out cold, hard to see him playing for a couple of weeks at best. He should also be under reasonably close observation for 24-48 hours. may not be fit to fly tomorrow.

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Jun 2021, 8:35 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
BigGee wrote:
Cyril wrote:Farrell has captained England to plenty of wins over the top sides in the world. Does anyone else in the squad have the same credentials? By the way, the answer is no.

Farrell on this seasons form, was extremely lucky to even make the tour. Since the 6N, he has been playing in the second division. Lets see him play, but he has got a lot of work to do to be anywhere near the test team atm.

Yeah but a few were. Daly has been abysmal for 2 years. Aki missed a chunk of the 6ns. A couple fo wingers have had a couple of international games and been picked. Farrell clearly is very near to a lions start though even if you don't agree.

I am not necessarily against it, but I want to see him earn it and I have not seen him do that this season.

He will get his start, like all the others in the squad. Let's see what he does with it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 9:07 pm

Would love to see each player earn it. Npt happened over the past couple of Gatland tours. Not likely this time.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 26 Jun 2021, 9:08 pm

I think again, it’s key it will be Tour Captain. So for that, I see Farrell having it. I think Biggar and Aki played well today mind, so not saying he’s nailed on to start. But as a leader, it has to be Faz next. Especially after the “vote”.


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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 26 Jun 2021, 9:14 pm

I'd like to see Itoje as tour captain, think his infectious behaviour and work rate could rub off on the rest of the squad.

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Jun 2021, 9:50 pm

Tipuric out as well!

Adam Beard and Josh Navidi into the squad.

Don't see anyone having problems with Navidi, but Beard is a little left field!


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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Jun 2021, 9:51 pm

Connor Murray the new captain!

Again, you might have got good money on that one!

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 26 Jun 2021, 9:57 pm

Navidi makes lots of sense as he can slot in across the backrow and can jackle, carry and jump at the lineout. Covers all bases.

Beard, are you serious? There some sort of quota in place? I know Gatland went a but left field on Johnny Hill but Beard is not going to get near the test side. Gray and Ryan must be annoyed hearing that.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:02 pm

BigGee wrote:Connor Murray the new captain!

Again, you might have got good money on that one!

Well he is a way better option than Farrell, he is a good leader and will likely start.

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Post by Mr Bounce Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:03 pm

Jonny Gray must be wondering what the hell he has to do to get into a Lions squad. The selection of Beard is extremely left-field. Maybe Gatland already had people on stand-by in each position. Navidi certainly makes sense - he was unlucky not to be named initially.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:04 pm

Gatland always picks obscure Welsh guys as replacements, hardly a surprise

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Post by Heuer27 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:05 pm

Just don’t get the decision to call up Beard. He is not the player Gray or Ryan are.
Navidi you can understand if he was a swap for Conan who supposedly
pulled his hamstring but not as a straight swap for Tipuric. Ritchie would appear to be the natural replacement there.
Smacks a bit of better the devil you know due to the tight timeframes for these guys to get up to speed with tactics etc

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:09 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
BigGee wrote:Connor Murray the new captain!

Again, you might have got good money on that one!

Well he is a way better option than Farrell, he is a good leader and will likely start.

Well he gave a less than compelling case to start today, but that may just suggest that Gats is not that sold on any of the other SH options. it is generally reckoned to be one of our weaker positions.

I am seriously struggling with Beard (who was not in any of the initial conversations) over Ryan or Gray?

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:19 pm

Really? Thought Murray had a good game aside from one wayward kick.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:20 pm

Wow. Beard. Wow. And Murray named as captain. Jesus.

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:24 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Really? Thought Murray had a good game aside from one wayward kick.

Well if our tactics are to box kick to death, he is our man. He is not going to get our back line moving with any pace. I do wonder if we will beat SA by playing their game?

Murray is what it says on the tin, good at what he does, but not necessarily very inspiring.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:27 pm

To be positive Navidi is a much better option for the bench as can definitely cover 6 and 7 and then you could move Curry to 8. And underhill is injured.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:34 pm

Yeah Navidi is good, I would have gone with Owens for captain but from everyone else Murray is probably as good an option as anyone else. No one else stands out.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:36 pm

Farrell, itoje, Curry, hogg were mentioned previously.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:36 pm

Hmm, I really didn’t expect any of these calls. Tipuric being out is a shock too as I didn’t realise the full extent of his injury. I feel bad for him, probably had his best season (at least from what I can remember). Murray as captain is perhaps the strangest call. I don’t doubt his credentials, I just figured he might struggle to make the starting team if and when Gareth Davies comes good. Admittedly I’m pleased for Beard, but really didn’t expect to see him there over Ryan. Henderson and Itoje are first choice lock pairing, Beirne at 6, Lawes bench. I can’t see Beard making it unless there is an injury, but he’ll do well if called upon.

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:56 pm

James Ryan is carrying an injury from training this week and will be out of the Ireland squad as well.

Still tough on JG though.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 26 Jun 2021, 11:03 pm

BigGee wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Ken Owens should be captain, he is the best option. Played well today and a nailed on test starter.

Cowan-Dickie is the better hooker so not sure about guaranteed starter.

This comment aged badly very quickly.


Depends on LCD's progression through the protocols. If George shows some form in the friendlies then he could overtake Owens just as easily as Owens could be first choice. There's very little between the three hookers.

LCD was out cold, hard to see him playing for a couple of weeks at best. He should also be under reasonably close observation for 24-48 hours. may not be fit to fly tomorrow.
He sure seemed to be out cold, and absolutely should not fly tomorrow. Maybe not for a week. If there is any remote chance of any intercranial bleeding, putting him on a plane is medical malfeasance (at best). We went though this with two NY area NFL players this past season. One doc I know fairly well was going to let one of the guys fly to a game on the west coast, but a neurosurgeon intervened and promised to lobotomize anyone who let the young man travel. Since he was also ex-army (American, not Her Majesty's), people relented. After later evaluations a few days later he wasn't allowed to play for four weeks. Let's see....

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Post by RDW Sat 26 Jun 2021, 11:04 pm

Looks a decent run out to shake off the rust. Real shame about the injuries.

Conor Murray being made captain isnt exactly an inspirational pick, and Beard - WTF? Someone mentioned Gatland needed someone immediately available (I e. who hadn't played today) which has hints of a 'geography 6' scenario.

No complaints over Navidi for Tupiric.

All in all I think we've actually started off a bit flat here - SA aren't exactly going to be quaking in their boots at those squad changes.

The first game has always come with its problems on these tours so hopefully we can build s bit of momentum when we get to SA.

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Post by RDW Sat 26 Jun 2021, 11:09 pm

Actually, surely the 'immediately available' thing can't be true given some of the squad players had a game today anyway and the likes of Gray could have just travelled with them?

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 26 Jun 2021, 11:10 pm

BigGee wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
BigGee wrote:Connor Murray the new captain!

Again, you might have got good money on that one!

Well he is a way better option than Farrell, he is a good leader and will likely start.

Well he gave a less than compelling case to start today, but that may just suggest that Gats is not that sold on any of the other SH options. it is generally reckoned to be one of our weaker positions.

I am seriously struggling with Beard (who was not in any of the initial conversations) over Ryan or Gray?
No real problem with Murray as captain. He is not at the level of recent years, but, I think, still the best 9 in the squad. The best scrum half in England this past season was part of the team that won the Premiership final today, but thrives in a less structured style than we have seen with Gatland (not a value judgement, just horses for courses).

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Jun 2021, 11:11 pm

Even in the UK, if someone presents in ED with a history of head trauma and a loss of consciousness. they would be admitted, CT'd and observed for at least 24 hours, more likely 48.

Different rules seem to apply to professional rugby players!

Maybe they are assumed to be under medical supervision from their clubs medical teams, God forbid, it would just take one thing to go wrong and that practice would be very quickly re-evaluated.

I guess it defies logic really to make safety rules in a sport where heavy collisions are pat of what we all enjoy about it!

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Post by TightHEAD Sat 26 Jun 2021, 11:24 pm

Two very odd calls there, tour is falling apart already.

Crying or Very sad
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Post by TightHEAD Sat 26 Jun 2021, 11:26 pm

Would have picked Ryan and Underhill as replacements and as Captain Ken Owens.
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Post by Pot Hale Sat 26 Jun 2021, 11:36 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Would have picked Ryan and Underhill as replacements and as Captain Ken Owens.

Ryan is injured and has been removed from Ireland squad.
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Post by doctor_grey Sat 26 Jun 2021, 11:39 pm

BigGee wrote:Even in the UK, if someone presents in ED with a history of head trauma and a loss of consciousness. they would be admitted, CT'd and observed for at least 24 hours, more likely 48.

Different rules seem to apply to professional rugby players!

Maybe they are assumed to be under medical supervision from their clubs medical teams, God forbid, it would just take one thing to go wrong and that practice would be very quickly re-evaluated.


I guess it defies logic really to make safety rules in a sport where heavy collisions are pat of what we all enjoy about it!
Got ya, mate! I have not been remotely impressed with some medical decisions impacting Rugby players, which does seem to be finally moving into the 21st century, in some cases dragging and kicking.  Kind of like where American sport was about 15 years ago.  The last couple of Lions tours, the med staff in my opinion as well as other people here supporting American Football and NHL teams, thought the Lions med group second rate.  Kind of the old school mentality mixed with some cool technology.  Let's hope it has changed.  Don't know the dudes who are involved any more.


Last edited by doctor_grey on Sun 27 Jun 2021, 12:02 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RDW Sat 26 Jun 2021, 11:53 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
BigGee wrote:Even in the UK, if someone presents in ED with a history of head trauma and a loss of consciousness. they would be admitted, CT'd and observed for at least 24 hours, more likely 48.

Different rules seem to apply to professional rugby players!

Maybe they are assumed to be under medical supervision from their clubs medical teams, God forbid, it would just take one thing to go wrong and that practice would be very quickly re-evaluated.


I guess it defies logic really to make safety rules in a sport where heavy collisions are pat of what we all enjoy about it!
Got ya, mate! I have not been remotely impressed with some medical decisions impacting Rugby players, which does seem to be finally moving into the 21st century, in some cases dragging and kicking.  Kind of like where American sport was about 15 years ago.  The last couple of Lions tours, the med staff in my opinion as well as other people here supporting American Football and NHL teams, thought the Lions med group second rate.  Kind of the old school mentality mixed with some cool technology.  Let's hope it has changed.  Don't know the dudes involved any more.

Need to bring back Lions legend Dr James Robson!

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 27 Jun 2021, 12:03 am

RDW wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
BigGee wrote:Even in the UK, if someone presents in ED with a history of head trauma and a loss of consciousness. they would be admitted, CT'd and observed for at least 24 hours, more likely 48.

Different rules seem to apply to professional rugby players!

Maybe they are assumed to be under medical supervision from their clubs medical teams, God forbid, it would just take one thing to go wrong and that practice would be very quickly re-evaluated.


I guess it defies logic really to make safety rules in a sport where heavy collisions are pat of what we all enjoy about it!
Got ya, mate! I have not been remotely impressed with some medical decisions impacting Rugby players, which does seem to be finally moving into the 21st century, in some cases dragging and kicking.  Kind of like where American sport was about 15 years ago.  The last couple of Lions tours, the med staff in my opinion as well as other people here supporting American Football and NHL teams, thought the Lions med group second rate.  Kind of the old school mentality mixed with some cool technology.  Let's hope it has changed.  Don't know the dudes involved any more.

Need to bring back Lions legend Dr James Robson!
Baaaad idea. Simply put.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 27 Jun 2021, 12:11 am

I don't know why LCD issue has me cranked up.  Maybe it just makes me think about all the stupid sh*t medically which used to be par for the course.  Let alone the effed up stuff I did, especially in the field back in the day.  Time for a nice cold margarita washed down with another nice cold margarita.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun 27 Jun 2021, 4:20 am

If Ryan is injured, then that explains why he didn't get a call. As for Jonny Gray, I wonder he if has been vaccinated? He may well have been but, if he hasn't (and Exeter is known as a vaccine-hesitant club), then it could be a factor. Gatland will be aware of how COVID-19 is still disrupting international sports, with football a prime recent example.

Who knows? Maybe Gatland remembers how well Beard performed when he selected him for Wales, and thinks a huge 25 year old is just a better bet for the squad.

There's more talk of Joe Marler getting a call-up if there's a loose-head vacancy. Marler did say on a podcast last week, he will not be turning out for England this summer. However, he did say a few weeks ago, that going on a Lions tour was something his wife might agree to.

Gatland looked hit for six after the match, so the best thing for the Lions will be for him to get back into the groove as quickly as possible.

EDIT: Squidge Rugby says this on Twitter:

When trying to put together the profile of this squad and how Gatland might want to play, it started to feel insane to me Adam Beard wasn’t in the 37, because he’s practically custom-built for the kind of lock Gats wants/needs. It’s a well-deserved and logical call up.


Last edited by Rugby Fan on Sun 27 Jun 2021, 6:49 am; edited 1 time in total

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