Lions in SA

Aled

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I too feel for Porter, he is top notch prop. No surprise that Sinkler got picked however. There could be a few more injuries in coming weeks, and another player or two will have a chance.
 

salarchaser

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Hmmm, not good.
Hopefully all warm up games happen or the tests could be a lottery and the tour a farce.

The British and Irish Lions' opening tour opponents in South Africa have been hit by a coronavirus outbreak.

SA Rugby announced that Saturday's PRO14 Rainbow Cup game between the Emirates Lions and DHL Stormers in Cape Town has been cancelled.
 

ozzyian

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Not really Lions related but I'm sure this Glasgow 'try of the season' will get some smiles. Rufus McClean's double ridiculous step meant the defender missed him by about 10 feet :) Once again, some very good young players at Glasgow, keep an eye on Dobie the scrum half, he's got a big future ahead, I think he's still only about 16;)

 

Handel

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I have just spent a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon watching the English premiership semi finals. If you didn't watch Bristol v Quins then try and find a recording, great game.

Relevance to the Lions? Well that was the other game. Cowan-Dickie was man of the match and rightly so. I can see him being Lions first choice. The Lions are quite right to have left Tuilangi at home. I am not sure they are right to leave Slade behind - leaving aside his weird views on vaccines. That Jonny Hill is a bit of a penalty machine. S Simmonds and T Curry both went well. And Hogg was dropped to the Exeter bench and didn't do anything when he came on. It would be very interesting to know what Baxter thinks about him.

Sale have done South Africa some favours by keeping some of their players match fit. The no 8 looks very useful.

But what struck me across the four teams was how not one of the goalkickers kicks the ball straight, they all bend it in flight. One of them was South African and no surprise he was the best kicker of the four.
 

Aled

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Disappointed that I wont be seeing Hamish Watson in a Lions shirt on Saturday, he's had training ground knock leading to concussion.
 

salarchaser

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Disappointed that I wont be seeing Hamish Watson in a Lions shirt on Saturday, he's had training ground knock leading to concussion.
With short tours its hard to force your way into the test team. You need all the opportunities you can get.
Unfortunately, this one will pass him by.
Hope he gets through his RtP protocols quickly.
 

Handel

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Well, that was a costly warm up game. Alan Wyn and Tipuric out of the tour.
And Tipuric wasn't even meant to be playing. He must be cursing. I can't recall a Lions tour getting off to such a difficult start. There are players who have had to withdraw - Flannery through injury, Hartley through being a moron but never the captain through injury. And we haven't heard how Cowan-Dickie is after getting knocked out yesterday.

Not sure about a scrum half as captain, they are never there at the end.

Talking about Cowan-Dickie, great game yesterday at Twickenham.
 

Aled

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Two good warriors not going on the tour. Not a good day for Welsh sport yesterday!
Anyway good luck to the new boys going, and i am still looking forward to seeing Watson in a Lions shirt!
Cheers
Aled
 

salarchaser

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Two good warriors not going on the tour. Not a good day for Welsh sport yesterday!
Anyway good luck to the new boys going, and i am still looking forward to seeing Watson in a Lions shirt!
Cheers
Aled
On a positive for wales, two empty spaces in the Welsh squad for a couple youngsters to step into. The 2nd row cupboard is looking a bit bare with Hill already pushed out given his move to Japan though.

Watched the 20s against ireland on friday. A loss, but an entertaining game with some good younsters on both sides.
 

salarchaser

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And Tipuric wasn't even meant to be playing. He must be cursing. I can't recall a Lions tour getting off to such a difficult start. There are players who have had to withdraw - Flannery through injury, Hartley through being a moron but never the captain through injury. And we haven't heard how Cowan-Dickie is after getting knocked out yesterday.

Not sure about a scrum half as captain, they are never there at the end.

Talking about Cowan-Dickie, great game yesterday at Twickenham.
And we've already lost Porter this time round.

Agree on scrumhalves as captains. Also have their heads in the thick of everything so have enough to worry about without the captaincy.

Biggar looked good as did Williams and the two centres looked strong.
That van de Merwe is a lump.
Japanese handling must be the benchmark for the rest of world rugby. Great skills.
 

Handel

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On a positive for wales, two empty spaces in the Welsh squad for a couple youngsters to step into. The 2nd row cupboard is looking a bit bare with Hill already pushed out given his move to Japan though.

Watched the 20s against ireland on friday. A loss, but an entertaining game with some good younsters on both sides.
Pivac needs to stop being precious and pick Reffell from Leicester to replace Navidi. Outstanding player and he was the Wales U20 captain.

The Exeter lock who came on for the U20s is supposed to be quite good?
 

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Re Alun WJs injury not only do I feel for him and the loss of his chance of a fourth tour but it's also a bit of a disaster for Ali Price. With Murrays promotion to tour captain that just about puts paid to anything other than the provincial fixtures games for Price. A shame really, 9 isn't a strong position in this squad and I was sort of thinking that he was becoming one of Scotlands best chances of getting a player into the big games.

Him and his old flat mate Russel are up this Saturday against the (confusingly named) Emirates Lions - Joburg I'm hoping for some slick work from the pair of them. Must admit to looking forward to this but reserve the right to cool dramatically if my suspicions about Scottish players missing out on the big games proves correct.
 
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salarchaser

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Re Alun WJs injury not only do I feel for him and the loss of his chance of a fourth tour but it's also a bit of a disaster for Ali Price. With Murrays promotion to tour captain that just about puts paid to anything other than the provincial fixtures games for Price. A shame really, 9 isn't a strong position in this squad and I was sort of thinking that he was becoming one of Scotlands best chances of getting a player into the big games.

Him and his old flat mate Russel are up this Saturday against the (confusingly named) Emirates Lions - Joburg I'm hoping for some slick work from the pair of them. Must admit to looking forward to this but reserve the right to cool dramatically if my suspicions about Scottish players missing out on the big games proves correct.
Must tip the scales in Murray's favour.
Not sure there are (m)any spots nailed on, so difficult to select a captain.

Tipuric must be doubly gutted given he wasnt even supposed to be playing. 😖
 

Aled

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Great to see Hogg captaining the side, i'm also really looking forward to seeing Hamish Watson in a Lions shirt...at last!
 

Handel

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Given injuries, tomorrow's forward pack could be what Gatland had in mind as first choice before they set off. I have never been a fan of Lawes at 6 but that is where he plays these days. I trust Beirne will be first choice, he is simply a better player.

The big test is in midfield, can Russell play with Farrell? He has been given Price at 9 and Hogg as captain. Price has a lot riding on this as well.

Is Watson injured? Not even in the XXIII.
 

salarchaser

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Is Watson injured? Not even in the XXIII.
???

If you're talking the Hamish varienty hes starting, if youre talking Anthony, I dont think its his turn. He came off the bench against Japan and given Gatland's 'everyone will get a start in the first 3 games' I assume he will start the next one.

I like him as a player. I feel it'll come down to his and Williams defensive capabilities and van der Merwe's bish, bash, bosh going forward.
Not sure there's a lot between Williams and Watson to be fair.
 

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???

If you're talking the Hamish varienty hes starting, if youre talking Anthony, I dont think its his turn. He came off the bench against Japan and given Gatland's 'everyone will get a start in the first 3 games' I assume he will start the next one.

I like him as a player. I feel it'll come down to his and Williams defensive capabilities and van der Merwe's bish, bash, bosh going forward.
Not sure there's a lot between Williams and Watson to be fair.
Adams will have started both games, Watson neither. I would have thought it was his turn which is why I wonder if he is injured. I can see why Daly won't have started a game - because the Sarries players joined the party late - but he is in the matchday squad.
 

salarchaser

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Adams will have started both games, Watson neither. I would have thought it was his turn which is why I wonder if he is injured. I can see why Daly won't have started a game - because the Sarries players joined the party late - but he is in the matchday squad.
Fair point.
Who knows what goes on in Gatlands mind?
Im sure he has a plan, he always does.
He's probably got a fair idea of his starting back 3 and will be shuffling the pack so all 3 get to the saturday without playing a full game on the wednesday.
I fancy watson, williams and adams as the starting back 3 for the tests.
All defensively sound, good under the high ball and good broken field runners.
The centres will provide the bosh and the broken field.
 

Handel

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Fair point.
Who knows what goes on in Gatlands mind?
Im sure he has a plan, he always does.
He's probably got a fair idea of his starting back 3 and will be shuffling the pack so all 3 get to the saturday without playing a full game on the wednesday.
I fancy watson, williams and adams as the starting back 3 for the tests.
All defensively sound, good under the high ball and good broken field runners.
The centres will provide the bosh and the broken field.
Williams and Watson are certainly the men in possession of the shirts from four years ago. Intriguing how the back three is such an area of strength and centre an area of comparatively weakness.
 

salarchaser

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Williams and Watson are certainly the men in possession of the shirts from four years ago. Intriguing how the back three is such an area of strength and centre an area of comparatively weakness.
Front row and back row full of riches as is the back 3.
Centres the weakest link. Good options at half backs but no longer world class in my eyes. Maybe stronger at 10 than 9.
Can't make my mind up at 2nd row. Some good players, but not sure we have the enforcers to deal with the 'boks in the tight. I'm in the minority, but never quite convinced by Itoje. He's quite a loose player for a lock and relies on the other 4 of the front 5 to allow him to do that. You never see him smash a ruck or a maul, he's too often dabbling on the fringes. Looks good when it comes off, but feel we'll need all hands to the pump in the tight.

As I mentioned above, Gatland no doubt has a plan.
 
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