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2021 British & Irish Lions Squad

Groundhog

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What a load of poop.
What about the players who got dominated by the Leinster team that got dominated.
Yeah this is bullshit. Mad that he didn't watch the Exeter game where Simmonds was absolutely blunted and Hill got outplayed by a mile. Ryan punished for playing for a team that actually makes it to the semis??? It's a wonder none of the Welsh and Scottish players were discounted for how awful their club sides are. Boks by 90 let's go!
 
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The Alpha Bro

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Devon Toner must be raging reading that after dominating Hill. #Justice4Dev
 

Yoshimitsu

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Genuinely perplexed at Sinkler not going. Makes no sense to me
Apparently Kyle is a massive bell end. That won't have helped his chances. I suspect Mr Gatland craves a tight ship. There are no rogues in that selection........ Warren doesn't require characters just absolute commitment to the cause. The interesting on to wtach will be Finn.

"How many beers have you had?"

"When's my plane home then?"
 

Yoshimitsu

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What evidence is there that Kyle is a "massive bell end"?
Fair challenge but when Gatland says this “I thought he [Sinckler] defended well, carried the ball well, his set-piece was good, and there’s no doubt he is a fantastic rugby player. He’s just got a few demons to deal with.” you can see why he may choose someone interested in playing the game rather than "fighting demons".

Actually pause for thought Kyle's achieved more in the game than I ever could or would. But by his own admission he has struggled to adjust after his switch to Bristol. He's also combustible and has a tendency to gob off at refs. Those probably play against him, I'll retract the "bell end" accusation and soften it to "not someone Warren Gatland thinks is good enough for this squad" which if anything is more damning given that he's chosen Fagerson and Porter over him...
 

Bang76

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Bit of a miss mash of stuff in the squad selection. Gatland want a team to stand toe to t oe in a physical battle with the boks. He will be happy in winning the series on a penalty shootout. Farrell vs pollard. That's why aki is picked, he is probably the most physical centre in the squad. I believe the lions will lose this in the tight 5. We have no hooker. And bar furlong were not as good as the boks in the front row. The 4 world Cup locks for the boks are on target to be fit for these tests and again I think that they have the edge here. Itoje is the only lions lock that would get in the South African team. Wyn Jones is not a great leader and its a reflection of the lack of leadership in the group that he is captain. Farrell should lead the squad but gatland will never pick a back to lead.
This test series will be all about physical grunt and unfortunately this South African side are a cut above in that game. We only have to look at the world Cup final to see how they broke up an England team that were better prepared than the lions will be and I would suggest suggest better team than the lions.
Am baffled by the inclusion of zammit, adams and Simmons, all are to physically immature for this test series.
 

Kiwiwomble

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hey, might have missed it earlier, is there news on broadcasters around the world?
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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Fair challenge but when Gatland says this “I thought he [Sinckler] defended well, carried the ball well, his set-piece was good, and there’s no doubt he is a fantastic rugby player. He’s just got a few demons to deal with.” you can see why he may choose someone interested in playing the game rather than "fighting demons".

Actually pause for thought Kyle's achieved more in the game than I ever could or would. But by his own admission he has struggled to adjust after his switch to Bristol. He's also combustible and has a tendency to gob off at refs. Those probably play against him, I'll retract the "bell end" accusation and soften it to "not someone Warren Gatland thinks is good enough for this squad" which if anything is more damning given that he's chosen Fagerson and Porter over him...
This is BS when in the same squad he picked ‘back chat’ Farrell.
 

Curls

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Having had a while to digest it all my thoughts are a bit clearer on the squad.

It seems clear that AWJ was picked to captain the squad and test team. I dont think Gatland wants a repeat of 2017 when Warburton was pushed out of the first test lineup. As such Hill is picked as cover that wont challenge for the jersey. It was said Ryan wasn't picked because he has not been playing consistently well. However Ryan has had the handicap of playing top level pro rugby while Itoje for example is playing semi pro.

Given what we've seen of rugby this season its reasonable to assume atleast 1 Lion will be ruled out due to a red card suspension before the tour or in the build up games.

If you look at the squad there is a worrying lack of quality depth. If I was the Boks I'd be chuffed because it looks like Warren ball is the plan and they'll be more than willing to roll the heavy units to combat it.
There are several awful looking combos looming based on recent form. Itoje is obviously a serious player but he was almost a liability in the 6 nations. As said above hes also playing Semi pro rugby at the moment.
Imagine a backline in the first test of Murray, Russell, Daly, Farrell, Aki, VDM, Hogg. I think the Boks would devour them. One of Farrell or Aki are bound to headshot somebody. I'm not overly convinced Russell will deal with being slapped around by the Boks either. Its ironic that Sextons past ability to ship these knocks and still keep killing it has lead to his inability to ship any knocks and his omission from the squad.
The Boks will probably target the lineout as there is no clear form lineout operator picked. Hill was dominated by Toner in the HEC and Itoje was dominated by Ryan in the 6 nations. AWJ and the Welsh lineout were not consistent either.
Simmonds pick is a nice headline but what happens if as happened in the HEC the step up in standard doesn't suit him? Faletau is again probably nailed on at 6/8 for the tests so its between Simmonds and Conan for the bench.
Watson for me is actually one of the only standouts for me who should start.

Anyway I'm not too hopeful. Likely there will be call ups but with Covid etc I'm not sure how that will work?

Heres a likely starting 15:

Jones
Cowen-D
Furlong
Itoje
AWJ
Faletau
Watson
Conan
Murray
Biggar
VDM
Henshaw
Aki
Rees Zammit
Hogg
 

Bang76

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Having had a while to digest it all my thoughts are a bit clearer on the squad.

It seems clear that AWJ was picked to captain the squad and test team. I dont think Gatland wants a repeat of 2017 when Warburton was pushed out of the first test lineup. As such Hill is picked as cover that wont challenge for the jersey. It was said Ryan wasn't picked because he has not been playing consistently well. However Ryan has had the handicap of playing top level pro rugby while Itoje for example is playing semi pro.

Given what we've seen of rugby this season its reasonable to assume atleast 1 Lion will be ruled out due to a red card suspension before the tour or in the build up games.

If you look at the squad there is a worrying lack of quality depth. If I was the Boks I'd be chuffed because it looks like Warren ball is the plan and they'll be more than willing to roll the heavy units to combat it.
There are several awful looking combos looming based on recent form. Itoje is obviously a serious player but he was almost a liability in the 6 nations. As said above hes also playing Semi pro rugby at the moment.
Imagine a backline in the first test of Murray, Russell, Daly, Farrell, Aki, VDM, Hogg. I think the Boks would devour them. One of Farrell or Aki are bound to headshot somebody. I'm not overly convinced Russell will deal with being slapped around by the Boks either. Its ironic that Sextons past ability to ship these knocks and still keep killing it has lead to his inability to ship any knocks and his omission from the squad.
The Boks will probably target the lineout as there is no clear form lineout operator picked. Hill was dominated by Toner in the HEC and Itoje was dominated by Ryan in the 6 nations. AWJ and the Welsh lineout were not consistent either.
Simmonds pick is a nice headline but what happens if as happened in the HEC the step up in standard doesn't suit him? Faletau is again probably nailed on at 6/8 for the tests so its between Simmonds and Conan for the bench.
Watson for me is actually one of the only standouts for me who should start.

Anyway I'm not too hopeful. Likely there will be call ups but with Covid etc I'm not sure how that will work?

Heres a likely starting 15:

Jones
Cowen-D
Furlong
Itoje
AWJ
Faletau
Watson
Conan
Murray
Biggar
VDM
Henshaw
Aki
Rees Zammit
Hogg
Great points. I think we will be eaten up in the tight 5. Simmons was devoured by lenister and us far to small a no 8. Murray best day behind him. We've no line out and I have never seen the attraction of Russell, you expect consistency with your international 10. Gatland seems to want to batter his way to victory but I fear he's picking a fight with a bigger animal.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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Great points. I think we will be eaten up in the tight 5. Simmons was devoured by lenister and us far to small a no 8. Murray best day behind him. We've no line out and I have never seen the attraction of Russell, you expect consistency with your international 10. Gatland seems to want to batter his way to victory but I fear he's picking a fight with a bigger animal.
Simmons has been smashing through people in every game but the Leinster one. It’s stupid to use the one off as a rule.

Notwithstanding I don’t think he’s ready for the lions 8 jersey but I do wonder if Gatland has him down as either the 20 shirt in the tests for his pace or as second choice 6.
 

Umaga's Witness

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Money on
10. Biggar
12. Farrell
13. Henshaw

shudder
Same
Not enough warenball happening there
Surely if he plays Farrell at 12, then Russell plays at 10, no??
Too weak/light in defence and gainline for him to play both Russell and farrell I reckon. (I don’t mean shoulders to the head)
Russell Henshaw aki is another possibility though, or farrell Henshaw Harris

What a load of poop.
What about the players who got dominated by the Leinster team that got dominated.
Yeah, if your rationale is dumb then just don’t try to justify it.
What’s the worst 15 we can make from this lot then:

1 Mako
2 George
3 Fagerson
4 Hill
5 AWJ
6 Conan
7 Itoje
8 Simmonds
9 Price
10 Farrel
11 VDM
12 Aki
13 Harris
14 Williams
15 Daly
Lol, if you’re allowed to put itoje at 7 then why not try
1.Price
2.Murray
3.Adams
Etc
 

Akker Van Der Tigs

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Simmons has been smashing through people in every game but the Leinster one. It’s stupid to use the one off as a rule.

Notwithstanding I don’t think he’s ready for the lions 8 jersey but I do wonder if Gatland has him down as either the 20 shirt in the tests for his pace or as second choice 6.

It's not though every game that Exeter can't pummel with the forwards he goes quiet.
 

The Oggmonster

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Gatland does have a history of pointing to one specific game to justify certain players being excluded . He did it in 2017 when Scotland beat Ireland & Wales comfortably at Murrayfield but then got pumped at Twickenham in the last game in what admittedly was a poor showing defensively but they also suffered badly from injuries that day with Ali Price ending up on the wing.

I'd have had Ryan in ahead of both Hill and AWJ as I believe he could be a huge weapon in the lineout and think he would thrive in the heat of battle. He was a beast in the lineout against Scotland in this year's 6N. I still hope POC will join as lineout coach.

I sense there is a big admiration from Gatland on the way Exeter play and we could see some Exeter-esque moves on the cards with Simmonds, LCD and Hill in the squad on top of Warrenball.
 

Umaga's Witness

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Has gatland ever gone for a 6 2 bench?
 

Mumbles119

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*Disclaimer: I will state these are purely my subjective personal opinions, before I incur the wrath of Welsh Exile (insert smiley winky face here)

Would have included:

Francis, not Mako
Ringrose, not Aki
Ryan, not Hill
Stander/Doris, not Simmonds
Slade, not Daly
Sinckler, not AWJ
Ritchie, not Lawes
Underhill, not Tipuric
May, not Adams

Tour captain : Hogg

Note on AWJ: I completely see why he is there with credit, leadership, experience etc... but personal preference is to have greatest talent available on pitch.
Plus, I feel a smaller squad size would make the need for front row more important than six second rows.

However I’m not a coach, just a hobbit. So hoping the boys do well, no matter what.
 

TRF_Olyy

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It's not though every game that Exeter can't pummel with the forwards he goes quiet.
It's usually the gargantuan flankers that Chiefs have that do the smashing, as well
Simmonds plays more like your linkman 7 than a traditional 8 - support lines, burst of speed to find a weak shoulder/get away from the tackle etc. - he doesn't really bulldoze people
 

Jakedood

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It's usually the gargantuan flankers that Chiefs have that do the smashing, as well
Simmonds plays more like your linkman 7 than a traditional 8 - support lines, burst of speed to find a weak shoulder/get away from the tackle etc. - he doesn't really bulldoze people
A lot of 8's dont these days. Keiran Read wasnt a bulldozer, Faletau isnt a bulldozer. Its about quick feet at the line, speed, and skills in the offload etc when ball carrying for most of the top ones. I'd say the SA of Coetzee/Vermeulen and Billy would be the exceptions to this
 

Welsh Exile

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*Disclaimer: I will state these are purely my subjective personal opinions, before I incur the wrath of Welsh Exile (insert smiley winky face here)

Would have included:

Francis, not Mako
Ringrose, not Aki
Ryan, not Hill
Stander/Doris, not Simmonds
Slade, not Daly
Sinckler, not AWJ
Ritchie, not Lawes
Underhill, not Tipuric
May, not Adams

Tour captain : Hogg

Note on AWJ: I completely see why he is there with credit, leadership, experience etc... but personal preference is to have greatest talent available on pitch.
Plus, I feel a smaller squad size would make the need for front row more important than six second rows.

However I’m not a coach, just a hobbit. So hoping the boys do well, no matter what.
Replacing a second row with a tight head?

AWJ, on form alone, was arguably the in form lock of the 6N.

I’ll ignore the Tipuric omission (though I love Underhill to be fair)
 

BPM

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Simmons has been smashing through people in every game but the Leinster one. It’s stupid to use the one off as a rule.

Notwithstanding I don’t think he’s ready for the lions 8 jersey but I do wonder if Gatland has him down as either the 20 shirt in the tests for his pace or as second choice 6.
Never a 6.

As others have said, Simmonds isn’t the player that is going to smash through people. Most of the time, he’s popping up and using his acceleration to break the line after the likes of Ewers and Vermeulen have done the smash work.

My issue with him is that he’s mostly invisible when Exeter are on the back foot. If Exeter’s heavy carriers are being neutralised (as all but Ewers were against Leinster), he gets closed down as a ball in hand threat and he doesn’t have the breakdown game to be particularly influential in other ways. His defence is good and he’ll make plenty of tackles when required, but that’s just the minimum you’d expect from a test calibre player.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Simmonds but I don’t think he’s good enough to build a gameplan around for England, let alone the Lions.
 

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