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Lions 2025 and Beyond

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Post by 123456789. Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11:41 am

A general thread about the Lions moving forward, not intended to be a space for he said - she said bickering about the last tour.

My own thoughts are that Gatland is a Lions legend. The Lions were not in a good place in 2001 and 2005, coaches seemed completely unsure of how to operate an amateur concept in a professional era. Make no mistake, if the Lions had endured four more tours like '01 and '05 there would be no Lions. On three of the four tours that Gatland was involved in he was up against the world champions. On each occasion he was within a score of winning the series. To do that is a remarkable achievement.

Moving forward, I have seen reports of Gatland staying in post until 2025. I think that would be a mistake personally, there comes a time for new blood in any rugby side. The Lions are different to any other team but still. There are a lot of good young British and Irish coaches around. A lot can change in four years. Townsend is the best example, in 2019 he would not have been involved. Still I do wonder if the model that Harlequins stumbled on this year would work well.

In terms of how the Lions tour. I think it is time for the Lions to flex their muscles. Inadvertently the Northern hemisphere clubs are damaging the tours (not on purpose). Firstly, their financial power has damaged the warm up games as the Southern Hemisphere teams haemorrhage their best non-internationals. Secondly, the squeeze on the length of the tour meant the Lions had few games to prepare. That meant the Lions lacked serious opposition prior to the first test. It probably wasn't until Russell came on that the Lions had their best twenty minutes (not a dig at Biggar who had a fine tour). The Lions and the World Cup are rugby's flagship events certainly in these Islands and in the Host nation.

There is no easy answer to the warm-up conundrum, certainly it is beyond the reach of the Lions to address the financial inequality that exists. What they can do is wield the power they have within rugby for the better. Home warm-ups - panned by some - are one way. Fixtures against Japan and Argentina to kick off the tour in 2025 "at home" would provide meaningful opposition and allow those who can't afford to travel to see the Lions run out. Stopping off in the Pacific Islands on the way over too would provide decent opposition and mean a great deal to those countries. Longer tours would mean that this would not sacrifice the games against the provincial sides but would give the Lions stronger opposition and a longer run up. In the future, it may even be a worthwhile endeavour to play Australia as a warm-up for New Zealand.

In short, the Lions are integral to rugby both as a spectacle and financially. It's time they used that to their advantage rather than glorifying in the underdog status. They should wield their power to benefit themselves, their fans and the sport as a whole.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 09 Aug 2021, 12:25 pm

Love the Lions but this tour has been rubbish. Whether that's down to the walkover warm ups, the negative tactics, poor sh nh ref comparisons or the lack of fans in the ground. For me the Lions shouldn't even consider trying to throw their weight around as that will end with the clubs drawing a line that won't be moved.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 09 Aug 2021, 12:29 pm

Bin the Lions, it's a hangover from the amateur era.

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Post by Old Man Mon 09 Aug 2021, 12:31 pm

I like the idea of the Lions playing warm up matches vs other nations, it would provide them stiffer matches, it means they will be better prepared and would provide the opportunity for non traditional nations to get Lions matches.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 09 Aug 2021, 12:34 pm

Time for Gatland to move on...new blood...new ideas

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Post by gelodge Mon 09 Aug 2021, 1:54 pm

Hopefully we can have a coach that is moveable from their style prejudices, and devises a game plan that suits and reflects the very best players from B&I. Something aside from just the shirt that can inspire them. Rugby on the last number of tours has been gritty, but uninspiring. It's tragic to see a squad starting the third test looking less engaged than they were at the beginning of the series, wondering if they're going to be given the opportunity to fire a real shot and show the best of themselves.

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 09 Aug 2021, 2:46 pm

Duty281 wrote:Bin the Lions, it's a hangover from the amateur era.

I tend to agree

Henry and Woodward soured the brand and Gatland has killed it.

I could not have cared less about a major set of matches than this Lions tour

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Post by 123456789. Mon 09 Aug 2021, 2:57 pm

I am afraid I completely disagree. The Test series in 2017 was outstanding. The Lions is unique and offers something no other sport can offer. There are ten competitive rugby teams in the world. The Lions offer a break from the monotony.

Admittedly this series was slightly disappointing. The result did not help. The rugby was not great either. On other occasions fans in the stadium would have added drama that this series perhaps lacked. Although it seems slightly silly to complain that the Lions was not perfect in the middle of a pandemic.

In hindsight, maybe it would have been better for rugby if the Lions had stayed in the UK/ Ireland so that fans could have attended. Especially if we'd involved other rugby nations in the warm-ups. But that's hindsight.


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Post by cb Mon 09 Aug 2021, 3:12 pm

In terms of enjoyment - The Lions is top of my list.  Followed by the 6N's and then the Autumn Internationals.

I am not so fussed by the World cup and any other new fangled tournaments.

Premiership still a favourite over other club competitions.

So I desperately hope the Lions thrive.

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 09 Aug 2021, 3:23 pm

World Cup
6N
National Summer Tours
Autumn Internationals
Lions



As to club matches, I suspect we all prefer to watch the tournament our team is in - which is hardly surprising

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Post by Old Man Mon 09 Aug 2021, 4:02 pm

World Cup
Lions
New Zealand
RC
Other tests

In order of how much my stomach turns before a match

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Post by The Oracle Mon 09 Aug 2021, 4:08 pm

If we're talking excitement and enjoyment, for me it would be:

6N
World Cup
Lions
Summer Tours



Autumn internationals
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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 09 Aug 2021, 4:13 pm

World cup
Six Nations
Autumn Internationals
Summer Tours
Lions

I will say though that beating Wales and Scotland in the six nations is more important than beating anyone in the world cup.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 09 Aug 2021, 4:21 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:World cup
Six Nations
Autumn Internationals
Summer Tours
Lions

I will say though that beating Wales and Scotland in the six nations is more important than beating anyone in the world cup.

This year must have been a real downer for you then! Run
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Post by Poorfour Mon 09 Aug 2021, 5:25 pm

Let's imagine a Lions tour in 2025 that includes, say, Japan, Fiji and Samoa in the warm up matches - and maybe repeats those fixtures for the midweek games with some of the revenue being shared with those nations.

I could get behind that.

Let's also imagine a tour where Gatland isn't the head coach, but perhaps has a role like Geech in previous tours, helping to select the new head coach and acting as a mentor to whomever is selected.

I could get behind that, but not behind him having another tour. His scorecard reads P9 W4 D1 L4, which is a fair return but in reality he rode his luck on the first two tours and by the third his selection and tactics looked tired.

Let's imagine a tour where the coach and tactical setup is geared around making the most of the new Law variations and the exciting new players coming through, rather than relying on old stalwarts and a tried and trusted defensive playing style.

I could get behind that. But I couldn't get behind another tour like this. One was more than enough.

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Post by 123456789. Mon 09 Aug 2021, 5:50 pm

I do understand that the World Cup is the pinnacle. The thing is that unless you're England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or France most World Cups feature one or two tier one games. The Lions provides a different type of drama and almost guarantees three competitive fixtures.

That being said the current model is not working as it should. I would say for 2029 the ideal form would be a return to the midweek games before the first and second test to keep players and fans engaged, a longer tour and more internationals.

Something along the lines of Week 1 & 2: Training camp
Week 2: Japan
Week 3: Argentina
Fly to Samoa
Week 4: Samoa (Wednesday) Fiji (Saturday)
Week 5: Tonga (Wednesday) Super Rugby Franchise (Saturday)
Week 6: Super Rugby Franchise (Wednesday) NZ Maori (Saturday)
Week 7: Super Rugby Franchise (Wednesday)Australia (Saturday)
Week 8: Super Rugby Franchise (Wednesday) First Test
Week 9: Super Rugby Franchise (Wednesday) Second Test
Week 10: Third Test

Admittedly it's a long tour and a logistical nightmare. It would ensure that the tour is split into two however, the trial games to begin with and the real business end when they landed in NZ to give the test team time together. I also, thankfully, can deal only in the hypothetical.

Before the first test I thought the unpredictability of the side was exciting, by the third test it was evidently a hindrance. Covid did not help with that. Nor did Russell's injury. A part of me suspects that Gatland's hope was for Russell and Farrell to play at 10 and 12. Farrell's form (again not really his fault, he'd played a handful of first class games in a year and the warm-ups weren't really enough) and Russell's injury put pay to that and there was no doubt that Biggar was there on merit. A longer run up would help though.


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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Mon 09 Aug 2021, 6:12 pm

The Lions really needs either to be fully redesigned from the ground up for the professional era or thrown out and we move on. For all of the hype this tour was a very poor entertainment product. How much of the ample coverage was dedicated to rehashing golden days from the archives vs creating new Lions history that will be looked back on fondly in future?

The reality is this tour is practically already forgotten.

The whole concept of “they’re all Lions players to me” may have worked in the past, but in this age of social media it’s so far from being true that it’s almost become a parody of itself. Every tour now quickly becomes completely toxic, with the media stoking the fires and then the actual entertainment on the pitch failing to remotely live up to the hype.

The current setup isn’t fit for purpose, beyond putting a few quid into the same old boys pockets every 4 years to wheel them out in front of a camera and tell their same old tales.

Plus, how is playing the same 3 opponents on repeat ad nauseam doing anything to grow the game? Particularly when the quality of the rugby is so dire, you’re hardly attracting new fans. The whole thing is a self perpetuating old boys club.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 09 Aug 2021, 6:20 pm

Let’s not forget how hard winning on the Lions tour actually is. That’s not to say that Gatland gets off scot free or is above criticism, but he’s far from the only coach to struggle to bring home a series win. Over the history of the Lions our test win percentage against SA is a meagre 36%. Against NZ it is 17% (yikes!). And against Oz it is 73%. Many, many coaches and top top players have tried and failed and come home with their tails between their legs.

The whole concept, the process, of selecting a touring side, making people who are traditionally opponents suddenly gel and become friends, taking them round the world and teaching them a certain way to play in a short turnaround, and making them do it against the top nations in the world……..history tells us it’s not an easy thing.
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Post by Lowlandbrit Mon 09 Aug 2021, 6:37 pm

I have a suspicion that cutting South Africa out of the rotation would do wonders for the longevity of the concept. Unfortunately there's just not enough competition left there for the midweek stuff that creates so much of the romance of these tours.

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Post by 123456789. Mon 09 Aug 2021, 7:11 pm

The same goes for Aus unfortunately too. In Australia, it’s because of long term problems. In South Africa, it’s because all the players are in Europe. I like Duhan Van Der Merwe as a player, I’m glad he played for Scotland. But if you pick a South African on the wing for the British and Irish Lions you can’t them wonder why the provincial sides are rubbish.

Still, those issues aren’t going away anytime soon. But simply put, sticking the best players from Britain and Ireland out to beat club sides by 50+ points for four-five weeks isn’t going to cut it in terms of spectacle or preparation.

I love the Lions but as has been said they need better opposition in the run up to the series. They can hope and pray that’ll happen magically or they can seek it out. I would say that, in truth, we had no idea who was in form in the run up to the first test.

Let’s also remember the reality that the Lions means going up against the two of the three best sides in world rugby with a scratch side and that’s why it’s challenging. South Africa are very very good.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 09 Aug 2021, 9:45 pm

The Lions are awesome, and given the clear and obvious commercial popularity and reputation of the brand, there is no prospect of them disbanding.

With COVID and no fans, this tour was always going to be problematic. I was in favour of postponing it. But the clear issue is one of preparation time and warm up games. It's the one time I find myself agreeing with Stephen Jones in the Times.

Still, already looking forward to thumping the Aussies in 2025.

Coach: Toonie

1.Genge 2.Kellaher 3.Furlong 4.Itoje (c) 5.Ryan 6.Ritchie 7.Curry 8.Doris 9.Williams 10.Smith 11.Duhan 12.Redpath 13.Henshaw 14.LRZ 15.Keenan

Fast and furious.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 09 Aug 2021, 10:18 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:The Lions are awesome, and given the clear and obvious commercial popularity and reputation of the brand, there is no prospect of them disbanding.

With COVID and no fans, this tour was always going to be problematic. I was in favour of postponing it. But the clear issue is one of preparation time and warm up games. It's the one time I find myself agreeing with Stephen Jones in the Times.

Still, already looking forward to thumping the Aussies in 2025.

Coach: Toonie

1.Genge 2.Kellaher 3.Furlong 4.Itoje (c) 5.Ryan 6.Ritchie 7.Curry 8.Doris 9.Williams 10.Smith 11.Duhan 12.Redpath 13.Henshaw 14.LRZ 15.Keenan

Fast and furious.

You missed out AWJ at lock Wink
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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11:20 pm

The Oracle wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:The Lions are awesome, and given the clear and obvious commercial popularity and reputation of the brand, there is no prospect of them disbanding.

With COVID and no fans, this tour was always going to be problematic. I was in favour of postponing it. But the clear issue is one of preparation time and warm up games. It's the one time I find myself agreeing with Stephen Jones in the Times.

Still, already looking forward to thumping the Aussies in 2025.

Coach: Toonie

1.Genge 2.Kellaher 3.Furlong 4.Itoje (c) 5.Ryan 6.Ritchie 7.Curry 8.Doris 9.Williams 10.Smith 11.Duhan 12.Redpath 13.Henshaw 14.LRZ 15.Keenan

Fast and furious.

You missed out AWJ at lock Wink

I said fast and furious. AWJ can hand out the jerseys, if his shoulder is up to it...

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11:32 pm

The Oracle wrote:Let’s not forget how hard winning on the Lions tour actually is. That’s not to say that Gatland gets off scot free or is above criticism, but he’s far from the only coach to struggle to bring home a series win. Over the history of the Lions our test win percentage against SA is a meagre 36%. Against NZ it is 17% (yikes!). And against Oz it is 73%. Many, many coaches and top top players have tried and failed and come home with their tails between their legs.

The whole concept, the process, of selecting a touring side, making people who are traditionally opponents suddenly gel and become friends, taking them round the world and teaching them a certain way to play in a short turnaround, and making them do it against the top nations in the world……..history tells us it’s not an easy thing.
It's a funny thing, the whole Lions concept.  I don't think the idea of playing with players who are traditionally opponents is much of an issue any more.  Hogg plays with Simmonds, LCD, and Jonny Hill; Lawes plays with Biggar; Faletau is teammates with A. Watson; Chris Harris with LRZ; and I am sure I am missing some.   I think the more difficult challenge is that players play in one scheme for their club, then play in another scheme for Wales, Scotland, Ireland or England, and then have just a few weeks to learn and play to a completely different system for Lions.  All in the same season.  And with short preparation time, any Lions game plan will necessarily be simple compared to how they play for their clubs and their nations.  

These guys are all professionals and know the score and learn to be teammates quickly.  Or as my mum used to say:  "Let men roll around in the dirt for a while, give them a few too many pints and they wake up the next day as brothers for life".  Tell me she was wrong.....

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Post by tigertattie Tue 10 Aug 2021, 12:05 am

It is almost inevitable that every lions tour going forward will comprise of the lions smacking all the club sides then falling over against the nation they’re playing in the tests.

This is down to professionalism as a team of the best players in the north would swat aside all teams of club players. Then though the lions would falter when they come up against the seasoned international players who have been playing together for many many matches while the lions, stacked with talent as they are, really are still a scratch side.
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Post by RDW Tue 10 Aug 2021, 8:03 am

Sorry if it's already been discussed, but a key thing for me is to improve the quality of the warm-up games and give them more of a purpose. It's fair to say that the games this series played very little part in A) developing a strategy to beat the Boks and B) forming partnerships. I remember seeing a tweet before the first test about how few of the combos had actually played together on the tour. And given the weak opposition we generally just needed to spin it wide and run in the tries - not good prep for the Boks.


There were also 10 or so players who ended up being full-time trainers for several weeks at the end of the tour. Navidi for example went the last 5 weeks of the tour without a game, having played the 2nd last warm-up. Will these players really feel like they were a proper part of the tour? Re-instating the final warmups before and after the 1st test are an obvious solution, but that will also mean a bigger squad is required and you could end up in anotehr geography 6 scenario. Maybe a good compromise would be to at least have a mid-week match before the 1st test.

In terms of quality of opposition, if it's still club sides then it's only going to be more of a problem in Aus in 4 years if the club sides are without Internationals. There are rumours of getting Tonga, Samoa and Fiji involved in the warm-ups. I'm not fully sure how I feel about that - it would certainly lead to more meaningful and competitive games but we'd basically end up with another multi-national tournament. Would Australians buy into the tour if this was the case? Who knows.

You could mix the international and club teams together to have something like:

Game 1 - Force
Game 2 - Waratahs
Game 3 - Tonga
Game 4 - Rebels
Game 5 - Samoa
Game 6 - Reds
Game 7 - Brumbies
Game 8 - Test 1
Game 9 - Fiji (midweek between tests - that would be a proper test for the fringe players)
Game 10 - Test 2
Game 11 - Test 3

If you need to cut the games down then sack off the weaker SR teams at the time and maybe Tonga, who aren't as competitive as the other nations.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 10 Aug 2021, 8:14 am

You could even do away with some of the club games and have the lions visit Georgia, Romania before flying out.

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Post by RDW Tue 10 Aug 2021, 8:41 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:You could even do away with some of the club games and have the lions visit Georgia, Romania before flying out.

It is definitely an option to have another Singapore game against someone like that to help the jetlag, albeit Singapore isn't good conditions for playing rugby as we saw last time!

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Post by Irish Londoner Tue 10 Aug 2021, 9:35 am

I've always loved the Lions, and as an Irishman was raised on tales of Willie John McBride and the tours to NZ and SA, and have followed the Lions since.
Something about this tour though has soured the milk, and it's not the Lions losing (we're used to that Very Happy) it's the way this tour has been conducted - gamesmanship that even Saracens would be embarrassed by, out of form players being shoehorned in, Warrenball, the bash, bish, bosh rugby, etc.
I also don't know why but I get the feeling for some the players that being a "Lion" isn't as important to them as it was previously, maybe that's to do with the individual nations are now beating the SH teams reasonably often or that the current players would rather have a European or Premiership title than the red shirt, but that seems to be the case.
If they don't get it right by Australia I think that'll be the last tour.

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Post by Old Man Tue 10 Aug 2021, 9:49 am

There is one aspect that made this tour from a preparation perspective more challenging, and that was the Covid enforced bubbles teams had to go in.

The Springboks had to select a bigger squad, 46 players in total to ensure their bubble.

This had two effects, more quality players weren’t available to play in the warm up matches, secondly those who would normally be in a regular Springbok squad could also not be used in the provincial teams that under normal circumstances have been selected.

The biggest issue as well is the fact that there are so many South Africans playing overseas and that has weakened domestic rugby.

That is the trifecta on diluting the opposition the Lions had to face.

I think if circumstances were normal the preparation matches would have been more competitive.

It might makr more sense for South Africa to have put together two invitational teams to each play two matches vs the Lions, so you would get four higher quality matches from the best of the rest in SA.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 10 Aug 2021, 10:01 am

I know what you are saying old man but the whole stripping regional teams of their best players prior to playing the Lions has been a thing on recent tours.

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Post by westisbest Tue 10 Aug 2021, 11:56 pm

I enjoy the lions. This one was poor. Not just because of the result, the lack of fans for me didn’t make it as enjoyable.
I only watched the three tests and the South Africa A game.

4 countries who play each other every year, battering the c rap out of each other, coming together to take on SA AUS and NZ.
It’s brilliant.
The 4 nations fans coming together to support players they wouldn’t any other time. Friendship and great memories made.
Prior to this tour I watched the 97,01 and 09 tours again. Only one of those was won, but just great to watch.
It’s on my bucket list to go to a lions tour.
Ideally it would be South Africa, but that’s another 12 year wait.

Australia in 4 years will be interesting. Who will be in charge?
What young talent will be coming through in the 4 countries.
Marcus Smith. Good player think he did well, and maybe a starter in four years.

For me.

6 Nations
World Cup
Lions
Autumn Internationals
Summer tours.

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Post by RDW Wed 11 Aug 2021, 12:16 am

It's a good point that a winning tour isn't necessarily the be all an end all for fans - 2009 is my favourite for various reasons, and we lost!

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 11 Aug 2021, 2:49 am

RDW wrote:It's a good point that a winning tour isn't necessarily the be all an end all for fans - 2009 is my favourite for various reasons, and we lost!
Can't really think of another sport where the visiting team's supporters are roughly equal in number to the home team's supporters in every game, whether warm-ups or test.   And the visiting team's supporters only have this opportunity once every four years.   Almost everyone wearing Lions red.  And in each and every tour, excepting this year, almost every host city turns into the most extraordinary of places

I believe Lions tours are not going anywhere simply because they bring so much to the host nations and to the touring supporters as well, even if for just a short time, usually ending with the hosts and visitors as comrades in arms.   I think as long as there is big £ to be made, market forces will protect the brand and the tours.  The goal is to restrict the national unions and the clubs from being barriers to progress and giving our players the breaks they need.

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Post by RDW Wed 11 Aug 2021, 4:43 am

As someone currently in Australia, I can't wait for 4 years time! If I'm still living here of course.

More so than any nation, the Aussie love a huge sporting event and I think it will be a great spectacle. I think the national team is back on an upward curve too - will be interesting to see where they are in 4 years time given how young the current team is.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 11 Aug 2021, 11:09 am

We can’t wait either RDW. 606v2 tour to Oz for the Lions. We’re all crashing at your place!
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Post by RDW Wed 11 Aug 2021, 11:20 am

The Oracle wrote:We can’t wait either RDW. 606v2 tour to Oz for the Lions. We’re all crashing at your place!

Erm

I have fair guest rates...

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 13 Aug 2021, 10:42 am

RDW wrote:As someone currently in Australia, I can't wait for 4 years time! If I'm still living here of course.

Do you miss cold, pouring rain and Irn Bru that much?

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Post by The Oracle Fri 13 Aug 2021, 7:36 pm

Rory Best says there was an over reliance on Scots and Welsh in the Lions this year, and suggested bias. I think it was about 3 Welsh players in the 23 for the first 2 tests, yet 6 Irish players! Talking out of his lispy ar$e!

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/rory-best-over-reliance-on-welsh-and-scots-suggests-bias-in-lions-selection/?fbclid=IwAR2DNFzztL7xjFHweoUYw0PW3nll2_Obhymy-h-4KVtISRpsNhDnKvMS6ME

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 13 Aug 2021, 8:13 pm

First test was;

9 English
4 Welsh
5 Irish
5 Scottish

That was after Wyn Jones pulled out bringing Vunipola onto the bench, this is all easy to look up.

3rd test

8 English
5 Irish
7 Welsh
3 Scottish

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 14 Aug 2021, 1:10 am

I wonder whom Best would have taken instead of the players selected? I really don't think many players who were selected to tour shouldn't have been there, even with the benefit of hindsight.

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Post by RDW Sat 14 Aug 2021, 1:33 am

Probably fair to say when it comes to any Irish pundit they're meaning Sexton!

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 14 Aug 2021, 3:25 am

I reckon you are right.  

Best was speaking after the tour.  But after the tour, I don't think Sexton could have fixed what was not working for the Lions.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat 14 Aug 2021, 9:59 am

The Oracle wrote:Rory Best says there was an over reliance on Scots and Welsh in the Lions this year, and suggested bias. I think it was about 3 Welsh players in the 23 for the first 2 tests, yet 6 Irish players! Talking out of his lispy ar$e!

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/rory-best-over-reliance-on-welsh-and-scots-suggests-bias-in-lions-selection/?fbclid=IwAR2DNFzztL7xjFHweoUYw0PW3nll2_Obhymy-h-4KVtISRpsNhDnKvMS6ME



Fair enough you disagree with his opinion but to do so but not understanding the English language makes you look foolish.

There is a difference between an over reliance and absolute numbers.

Also making fun of a speech impediment - really in this day and age.
What a prat !

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 14 Aug 2021, 10:37 am

What a prat… makes me think of Keith Wood and Alan Quinlan every time they open their big traps. Just my opinion though.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat 14 Aug 2021, 10:56 am

Opinions are fine and we are all entitled to them.

Making fun of someones speech impediment is a pathetic way to react
A failure to understand the English language is unfortunate.

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Post by The Oracle Sat 14 Aug 2021, 11:40 am

Yeah fair comment on the speech thing, Geoff. Poor from me. Apologies.

Still think the guy is a bit of a bell. And no, I don’t feel I’ve misunderstood the English language. He was talking specifically about this tour and specifically called out an over reliance on Welsh and Scots. It’s not an over reliance when their numbers were so small and there were other Welsh and Scots overlooked in favour of English and Irish players. He’s called the selectors out as biased. Said it himself. But like you say, difference of opinion which is fine.
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Post by doctor_grey Sat 14 Aug 2021, 7:11 pm

Not totally surprising, Finn Russell criticises the Lions style of play. Not really a heck f a lot different than what some of us have been saying.

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/finn-russell-openly-questions-warren-gatlands-lions-tactics/

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 14 Aug 2021, 7:56 pm

He also went on to praise the rugby played… It’ll be interesting to see how SA do on their NH tour. It looks like they can go unbeaten, so I imagine there’ll be a few red faces around here.

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Post by The Oracle Sat 14 Aug 2021, 8:04 pm

I know players are also entitled to their opinions but it kinda sticks in the throat a bit for me when they come out after the tournament b*tching and criticising. Happy to take the coin during the tournament and say nothing, but once they’ve secured their cheque afterwards they come out with the backstabbing. Seems to happen every tour since I’ve been watching (except maybe ‘97?). I’d have for more respect for them if they came out with it during the tournament and not when they’re home all secure and cozy with the Lions cheque cleared in their bank account. Not saying he’s wrong either. And I don’t want gagging orders on players as such. But it just seems so ‘soccer’. Just feel that it’s another rugby value that’s being eroded a little as the game moves further and further away from the amateur era.
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