Lions in SA

salarchaser

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Ok, so the 6 nations is behind us and outside domestic rugby, the Lions is the international focus.
Lots of debate in the build up to selection of the squad, no doubt.
Then plenty of debate as the games unfold.

So, the management team has been finalised after a few challenges for Gats with late withdrawals.

The first selection meeting has been held.
50+ names discussed, not all current internationals.
Its reported that 50% of the touring 36 were agreed upon with the remainder up for grabs.
Ouside influences, such as the players in the premiership final, seem to bring some selections into doubt.

Getting real now.
 

mows

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Might be different this time with Townsend in the setup.
Gregors book is called
" the subtle guide of not giving scottish jerseys to Edinburgh players unless you really have to"
168492172_5339298756143404_2011029393632281290_n.jpg
 

salarchaser

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Im sure there will be mixed impact for premiership players.
Sarries players are fine as they aren't involved.
Gats will take a few out of sorts players as he has previous for getting the best out of players just on the training paddock.
Its players not in the '23' that may miss out.

Back row and 9 will take some sorting. Back row as there are so many strong candidates, 9 because there aren't.
9 and 10 could well be where we win or lose the tour. No real stand out candidates in either position for me.
If the coaches don't get it right it could be a big problem.
Again though, Gats also has a reputation for getting the best out of limited resources with a game plan to suit what is available.

Interesting times.
 

ozzyian

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Again though, Gats also has a reputation for getting the best out of limited resources with a game plan to suit what is available.
eh?:)

I've never seen such profligacy as was displayed on that ABs tour. They should have been competitive there instead of leading for 4 mins over the 3 games.

I quite like that Wales online site. Two areas where it could be improved a little are if they had a few more ads to make it nicer to scroll through and if they didn't talk so much one eyed tosh:)


edit, post looked overly argumentative in hindsight - plenty of time for that after the selections :)
 
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Handel

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Im sure there will be mixed impact for premiership players.
Sarries players are fine as they aren't involved.
Gats will take a few out of sorts players as he has previous for getting the best out of players just on the training paddock.
Its players not in the '23' that may miss out.

Back row and 9 will take some sorting. Back row as there are so many strong candidates, 9 because there aren't.
9 and 10 could well be where we win or lose the tour. No real stand out candidates in either position for me.
If the coaches don't get it right it could be a big problem.
Again though, Gats also has a reputation for getting the best out of limited resources with a game plan to suit what is available.

Interesting times.
The whole premiership thing isn't to do with the premiership final, it is to do with money. The Lions first game and the training camp that precedes it are outside the international window. So the premiership clubs want to be paid to release their players for that game and the training camp. And for this purpose Saracens are a premiership club as they are a shareholder in Premiership Rugby Limited - there are 13 shareholders.

We haven't seen the revised fixture list yet. If all the games are at altitude it will make kicking, especially goal kicking, even more important than normal. They shoe-horned Neil Jenkins into the 1997 side at full back just to kick the goals. At altitude 70 yards was within range. Now it is Neil Jenkins who decides who takes the kicks. I can see him wanting someone who Townsend doesn't want in the back division. I can't see Russell playing 10 unless Farrell is at 12 or Halfpenny is at 15. There is Daly of course............
 

salarchaser

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Has Paul O'Connell been on the loopy juice?
Apparently, he thinks Farrell is the 'standout leader for the lions'. :unsure:
In my opinion, one thing this 6 nations showed us is that Farrell is no leader.

No doubt there will be numerous emotuve sound bites over the next month or so.
 

Aled

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Yes Nos Da John Dawes, another one of the classics leaves us.
Condolences to family and friends.
Aled
 

billy fish

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I was there when Dawes and Pullin were involved in “ the try” , ” what a score”. Both sadly passed away . The camera man didn’t get the full Dawes dummy but luckily we had Cliff Morgan to describe it .
 

Handel

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A timely reminder of why he should not be on the plane to SA, never mind the starting 10.
If Hogg is to play 15 and Russell 10 then Farrell has to play 12 as Hogg and Russell are not remotely good enough goal kickers for a tour to SA. If Farrell doesn't play then Halfpenny has to play 15 for Russell to play 10 and I doubt Halfpenny will tour. It is a conundrum. Stuart Barnes wrote a column in The Times recently in which he suggested that Hogg is too unreliable to make the Lions first team. The whole of the back 3 have to be completely reliable under the high ball and his first choice back 3 were Keenan, Watson and Williams. If you leave out Farrell as well and you accept that Sexton is too old, Biggar is the last man standing. Who would be a selector?
 

Roag Fisher

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If Hogg is to play 15 and Russell 10 then Farrell has to play 12 as Hogg and Russell are not remotely good enough goal kickers for a tour to SA. If Farrell doesn't play then Halfpenny has to play 15 for Russell to play 10 and I doubt Halfpenny will tour. It is a conundrum. Stuart Barnes wrote a column in The Times recently in which he suggested that Hogg is too unreliable to make the Lions first team. The whole of the back 3 have to be completely reliable under the high ball and his first choice back 3 were Keenan, Watson and Williams. If you leave out Farrell as well and you accept that Sexton is too old, Biggar is the last man standing. Who would be a selector?
Farrell is a liability. Aside from that, taking him along could be taken as a signal that his "tackling" is acceptable. It is not.
 

salarchaser

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Farrell is a liability. Aside from that, taking him along could be taken as a signal that his "tackling" is acceptable. It is not.
You can imagine the SA management talking about his tackling and getting in the ear of the refs from the minute he gets on the plane.
And rightly so.
When you see the reds dished out this season for ' reckkess' contact with the head, where he continually gets away with head hunting.
I dont care what the rules are or who the perpetrator is, as long as the rules are applied consistently.
 

Handel

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You can imagine the SA management talking about his tackling and getting in the ear of the refs from the minute he gets on the plane.
And rightly so.
When you see the reds dished out this season for ' reckkess' contact with the head, where he continually gets away with head hunting.
I dont care what the rules are or who the perpetrator is, as long as the rules are applied consistently.
This is all a bit negative. I was trying to get Roag Fisher to say who he would pick not who he wouldn't. International selectors have always had to undergo balancing acts with some players. The ABs always picked Meads even though he was a thug. They picked Richard Loe - even worse. But then they have history and it did come back to bite them in 2017. Wales to their embarrassment picked Brian Thomas back in the 1960s, should have been locked up. More recently SA picked Bakkies Botha, utter thug. By contrast Woodward left out Grewcock (mentally unbalanced, should have been banned from playing) in 2001/2 and replaced him with Kay - but with Kay and Shaw available he had choices. OK life has moved on and there are more people watching so some of those I have mentioned would not have been worth the risk.

So getting back to the subject the Lions selectors have a balancing act. Farrell is the man in possession of the 12 shirt (from 2017 in NZ) and is a good (but not great) goal kicker. If they play him at 12 he gives them options. There aren't a lot of choices at 12. Wales play Jon Davies out of position there. I am not sure who Scotland's first choice is. So Henshaw and, perhaps, Tuilangi (!). And then we get back to goal kicking. In SA goal kicking matters, particularly at altitude. Go back to the 1997 tour and the Lions shoe horned Neil Jenkins into the team. He wasn't worth a place except he was a great (over used word but true in his case) goal kicker.

There is some footage on YouTube of one of the earlier games on that tour, the home team gave away a penalty at a lineout closer to the Lions goal line than their 10 metre line, the Lions captain turned to Jenkins who signalled he could kick it, on trotted the boy with the bucket of sand, derision whistled from all parts of the home crowd, Jenkins kicked the penalty, after it went over absolute silence, Jenkins didn't start jumping around like some soccer player he trotted back to position as if it was the most normal thing in the world, and the kick had 10 metres to spare having travelled at least 70. Kicking matters at altitude in SA.
 

Roag Fisher

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So is that a shorthand way of saying you would play Biggar at 10?
At the moment, Sexton is the best of them. But getting to an age where he is prone to breaking down.
Who gets the 10 shirt will be determined what game plan the coaches have, and who the centres are going to be. For all we know, the likes of Hogg, Russel, or any A N Other may have been under instructions to practice their kicking for the last month.
Whilst Biggar is a very good player, I really hate the fact he is such a gobshite (that is near as bad in my mind as the Farrell head shots) so maybe I cannot answer your question in a rational manner!
 

Handel

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At the moment, Sexton is the best of them. But getting to an age where he is prone to breaking down.
Who gets the 10 shirt will be determined what game plan the coaches have, and who the centres are going to be. For all we know, the likes of Hogg, Russel, or any A N Other may have been under instructions to practice their kicking for the last month.
Whilst Biggar is a very good player, I really hate the fact he is such a gobshite (that is near as bad in my mind as the Farrell head shots) so maybe I cannot answer your question in a rational manner!
Sexton does seem to go off early a lot and he would certainly be a target for the SA backrow. Practicing kicking before the tour worked for Barry John in 1971 but realistically things have moved on and we know now who the international class kickers are. If you leave out Halfpenny, Farrell and Biggar you are left with Sexton and you still need a sub on the bench.
 
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