Lions in SA

Handel

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Edwards had it all as a player and a passer , dive spin passes both ways included . He was” amateur “ , so why can’t the professional players with all the time given to skills coaching make a better job of it ?
Robert Jones was a really good passer and gave Rob Andrew time and space. I’ve never rated Youngs as a passer but he can make a telling break and has a reasonable box kick. It can only be this that keeps him in the England side .
Very good question about modern coaching.
I never saw Dickie Jeeps play. Until Matt Dawson came along the best English scrum half I had seen was Nigel Starmer-Smith. He used to tell a lovely story of when he went up to Oxford with a bit of a reputation as a 9 he arrived first at the porters lodge. The head porter commented that he had this reputation as a 9 and then pointed at the steps up to hall and asked if he could pass the ball that far as Mr Brace had been able to - Onllwyn Brace the Welsh scrum half. Starmer-Smith's reply is not recorded but he said later that the steps were so far away he could hardly see them let alone pass to them. Of course the head porter may have been exaggerating!
 

salarchaser

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Very good question about modern coaching.
I never saw Dickie Jeeps play. Until Matt Dawson came along the best English scrum half I had seen was Nigel Starmer-Smith. He used to tell a lovely story of when he went up to Oxford with a bit of a reputation as a 9 he arrived first at the porters lodge. The head porter commented that he had this reputation as a 9 and then pointed at the steps up to hall and asked if he could pass the ball that far as Mr Brace had been able to - Onllwyn Brace the Welsh scrum half. Starmer-Smith's reply is not recorded but he said later that the steps were so far away he could hardly see them let alone pass to them. Of course the head porter may have been exaggerating!
N S-M was a very good 9 in his day. Quite liked him as presenter as well.
As previously mentioned, Robert Jones is one of the best passers of a ball ever. Terry Holmes wasnt bad either.
Not the biggest passer, but one who pulled the strings swiftly was Stringer.

With professionalism, there should be little excuse for poor key skills in key positions. Passing off both hands, 9s and 10s kicking with both feet.
Even Edwards would often pass "blind ' to use his right hand rather than his left (wonder if he's equally proficient with a double hander LH up :ROFLMAO: ) and its why he developed his dive pass. Its how he improvised.

Many snooker players have become proficient with their 'wrong' hand. Whatever gives you an edge.
Rugby players have plenty time to develop those skills, and specific coaches to help them with those developments.
 

ozzyian

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I have not read anything yet in the french newspaper regarding this issue.

That will depend a lot on what happens during the top 14 play off as Racing 92 is ranked 3rd at the moment and will play.
What is sure is that for the French club presidents, the Lions selection is not their affair, and in France apart from the avid rugby fans, many top 14 rugby followers don't even know what the Lions tour is. It is seen here as a bristish affair.
Remember 4 years ago the tension between Halfpenny and Boudjellal at Toulon. It finally went well for the welsh.
But in this regard, unfortunately i am not sure Racing 92 president Lorrenzeti will be much more accomodating.

In my opinion that would be a shame because the Lions needs a different kind of fly half at a substitute. That's a neutral and non affective opinion, but I believe that Biggar is the most complete fly half for starting (liability issues, defense, kicking game, leadership). He ticks all the boxes, which at the moment none of the others do
This is a good attempt at waking the slumbering giant across the Irish Sea
 

pfeul

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Watched the Bath agains Montpellier semifinal

A much more entertaining game than the poor Toulouse vs Bordeaux semifinal.

Watson was just amazing at full back under any high ball he had to receive! I don't see him much playing apart from when he plays with the english team. I rate him a lot and found he gets better and better. Tonight he was phenomenal.
Is there any competition between him and Hoggs for the full back jersey?
 

Handel

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Watched the Bath agains Montpellier semifinal

A much more entertaining game than the poor Toulouse vs Bordeaux semifinal.

Watson was just amazing at full back under any high ball he had to receive! I don't see him much playing apart from when he plays with the english team. I rate him a lot and found he gets better and better. Tonight he was phenomenal.
Is there any competition between him and Hoggs for the full back jersey?
I watched the Toulouse game. There were some seriously large forwards playing but they didn't appear to have the aerobic fitness associated with the modern game. Maybe the disruption to Bordeaux's preparation spoilt the whole game. Putting the pressures of captaincy on Jalibert looked like a mistake. How long have the Arnold brothers been playing for Toulouse?

Clearly I should have watched the Bath game.

Many England supporters think Watson should be playing 15 even of it is just a reshuffle of Watson to 15, May to 14 and Daly to 11 (where he played for the Lions in 2017). Don't be surprised if the Lions back three are Hogg, Watson and Williams.

Youngs has solved a problem by making himself unavailable for the Lions tour.
 

salarchaser

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Watched the Bath agains Montpellier semifinal

A much more entertaining game than the poor Toulouse vs Bordeaux semifinal.

Watson was just amazing at full back under any high ball he had to receive! I don't see him much playing apart from when he plays with the english team. I rate him a lot and found he gets better and better. Tonight he was phenomenal.
Is there any competition between him and Hoggs for the full back jersey?
Gatland likes all his back 3 to be comfortable under the high ball. In the past he's seen them as interchangeable.

I like Watson as a player in attack and defense. Silky runner.
 

pfeul

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I watched the Toulouse game. There were some seriously large forwards playing but they didn't appear to have the aerobic fitness associated with the modern game. Maybe the disruption to Bordeaux's preparation spoilt the whole game. Putting the pressures of captaincy on Jalibert looked like a mistake. How long have the Arnold brothers been playing for Toulouse?

Clearly I should have watched the Bath game.

Many England supporters think Watson should be playing 15 even of it is just a reshuffle of Watson to 15, May to 14 and Daly to 11 (where he played for the Lions in 2017). Don't be surprised if the Lions back three are Hogg, Watson and Williams.

Youngs has solved a problem by making himself unavailable for the Lions tour.

The Arnold brothers are both at Toulouse since 2019. Richie had one year in 2016 or 2017 if my memory serves me well.

Yes the Toulouse Bordeaux was no great game.
Partly because of the very poor weather. Also because of the lack of preparation of Bordeaux.
Bordeaux's coach Urios was the former coach of Oyonnax and Castres which are renowned to be the worse places to go for any playing team in the top14.
Bordeaux has been playing high pace rugby during the last two seasons which is in the European standard.
But you can be sure that when things go wrong (no preparation because of covid) and Urios can transform any team as the worst nightmare to play against in the old slow top14 tradition.
That happened yesterday
Today's game should be very different
 

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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.

No Sexton.

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.

No Billy Vunipola
 

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Bundee Aki, really.... :) I rate him but strange. No Jaimie Ritchie, a real shame I think, I imagine he's on the replacements short list.
 

salarchaser

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Bundee Aki, really.... :) I rate him but strange. No Jaimie Ritchie, a real shame I think, I imagine he's on the replacements short list.
No Ryan either. Probably him and May the bigger surprises.

No real biggies in there.
If Jon Davies, Ryan, May and Navidi were going or Daly, Gareth Davies, Lawes not, there wouldnt be any greater debate.

Very few warm up or midweek games so little time for players to play themselves into the test team. Gatland will need to pretty much know his test team before they fly.
 

Handel

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The selection at centre highlights a weakness in British and Irish rugby. How do you get a decent centre selection out of that lot?

Is Daly at 13 the answer to who kicks at goal if Hogg and Russell play and Farrell doesn’t?
 

ozzyian

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No Ryan either. Probably him and May the bigger surprises.

No real biggies in there.
If Jon Davies, Ryan, May and Navidi were going or Daly, Gareth Davies, Lawes not, there wouldnt be any greater debate.

Very few warm up or midweek games so little time for players to play themselves into the test team. Gatland will need to pretty much know his test team before they fly.
I suspect the Saturday team is pretty much already decided before the announcement with Gatland. A shame because I think pre Gatland they really did make the team up based on what they saw in the leadup.
 

Aled

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Surprised Sinkler isnt going and J Davies seems like he may be a spent force, personally i quite like the look of the squad on the whole. Really really pleased for our local boy Wyn Jones, i hope he has a good tour.
So its starting to feel real now!
Cheers
Aled
 

salarchaser

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I suspect the Saturday team is pretty much already decided before the announcement with Gatland. A shame because I think pre Gatland they really did make the team up based on what they saw in the leadup.
I think on Gatland's first tour to Aus there were 5 build up games. Before that there were 6 or more.
Tours have been getting shorter.
There is no game between the 1st and 2nd tests this time.
I think coaches have to go out with the test team in mind.
Tough on the 'dirt trackers'. After their last game, two and a half weeks of being cannon fodder for the test team.☹
 

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Yes - really?!! Very little creativity in that midfield methinks. I’d have taken Slade over Daley every time.
Quite surprised to see Harris there, he had one absolute monster game (v Eng) in the 6N. I think he's good defensively but a surprise. Has Aki been injured? anyone know
 

Handel

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Yes - really?!! Very little creativity in that midfield methinks. I’d have taken Slade over Daley every time.
Slade is a better centre than all those picked but the reason Daly is picked is clear, goal kicking. Without Halfpenny and Sexton the party has only Biggar and Farrell as reliable kickers and neither has Daly’s length. And of course Daly was in the test team in 2017 so Gatland and Jenkins know him well.
 

pfeul

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Slade is a better centre than all those picked but the reason Daly is picked is clear, goal kicking. Without Halfpenny and Sexton the party has only Biggar and Farrell as reliable kickers and neither has Daly’s length. And of course Daly was in the test team in 2017 so Gatland and Jenkins know him well


Kicking is a big part of the game and a squad selection is based on compromise, but I also believe Slade will miss.
I don't know the premiership very well but among all the 6N and European Cup I've seen over the last 2 years, he's IMO by far the best UK center.

What is funny is that for once I see some interest in having scrum halves kicking, which albeit Laidlaw, has always been seen as a french oddity. That helps having center who are not necesseraly kickers.
 

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The selection at centre highlights a weakness in British and Irish rugby. How do you get a decent centre selection out of that lot?

Is Daly at 13 the answer to who kicks at goal if Hogg and Russell play and Farrell doesn’t?
Did Gatland make any extensive research with genealogists to check if Fickou has some old bristish great grandparent? ;)
 

Handel

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Did Gatland make any extensive research with genealogists to check if Fickou has some old bristish great grandparent? ;)
I am not sure what the selection rules are. Is he eligible for the Lions if he has played for France? Anyway the home nations need to have a look at some of those French midfield players 😎.
 

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As expected, Jacky Lorrenzeti has confrmed that in case Racing 92 is qualified for the Top 14 final on June 26, Russel will have to play for his club and will not be available for the Lions for their first game against Japan.

Time for the development of a new diplomatic incident...
 
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