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2021 British & Irish Lions Squad

TBeastT

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Jonny Hill is the finest lock in the home nations and it’s not a debate.

But with all seriousness why is he there?
 

Umaga's Witness

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He never has been Gats favourite has he? I remember a lot of grumbling that Gats never picked him to start with the lydiate/Warburton combination around, but since then Gats has really seemed to value dual opensides, so we'll see what happens
Hendy's a dopey boy at times, occasionally appears like he's juts rolled out of bed to play. I'll blame it on that ;)
He also plays the likes of moriarty or navidi at 8, and Sam cane for the chiefs. That’s why I was surprised he picked three 8s and t made navidis omission even stranger.
p.s. are you guys aware that gatland lost every game with the chiefs in super rugby aotearoa last year? Every game. He took an unstructured creative team and made them play warrenball.
On tighthead Furlong aside last time out we had him and Sinckler as our test pair. Its kinda hard to think they shouldn't be this time out. Definitely better than Jones and Cole or Vickery way back in 2009 but I think the requirements of prop have changed in the last decade a fair amount. As players like Furlong, Sickler and Mako (like at least 2 years ago now) have shown and you can't just turn up and be a scrummaging machine. Those players were pretty damn good back then for the standards of the time. As noted I don't think they are quite as good as last time out.

Think I'd call even that 'evens' rather than just better.
I think the jury is still out. After The all blacks got beaten by Ireland the second time the selectors stated that their props needed to be more mobile to keep up to the likes of England and Ireland, which ultimately resulted in Owen franks not making the World Cup. And then, at the World Cup, South Africa showed how important scrummaging can be in finals.

And, if you have a dominant scrum in the modern game, that is a bigger advantage than you can get in any other area, as you can get scrum penalties at least most times you feed the scrum.

so if I was a selector I’d look at it like this:
First, are there players available playing professional rugby that could dominate this particular opposition in facing, to the extent I can win at least three or four penalties. If yes, pick them, if no move to next step.

Are there any players that can prevent the opposition winning three or more penalties against us. If yes, within thise meeting this criteria pick those whose other skills are best. If no, move in to next step.

Pick loose forwards as your front row


In saying all that, a lot has to be said for scrum coaching. An under appreciated art in New Zealand that has made mad gains in the last four or so years. You’ll often see a team get completely dominated in the scrum one week then make improvements. And a lot of effort goes into, successfully, analysing the opposition scrum. It’s actually become difficult at times to predict what scrum will dominate in a game, especially after the first four or five games of the season, or in the second time two teams play each other.

I think this is largely due to coaches having gone to the nh to learn the tricks, similar to how the nh has learnt from the sh to play more open rugby.

Its a bit of a shame, I preferred the cartoon like characterizations that were applicable when I was a kid - that the nh were the masters of the set piece and the sh the masters of the loose. Made for a more interesting story and interesting games to see one style up against another. It’s now becoming more like there is one style that is best and it’s just how well you execute that matters.

what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, tangents. They’re basically lines representing the slope, or first derivative, if a curve at a given point.
 

Yoshimitsu

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Gatland's an odd fish. I swear the Simmonds call-up is partly just to annoy Eddie. Sam's a tremendous player but he's not a Gatland player and he's not making the test team. The Boks will enjoy rag-dolling the little fella. To play Simmonds you need two massive and mental flank forwards which er haven't been selected. You have to play a certain way to extract the magic from Simmonds and Leinster showed exactly how to nullify it. Guess what that was? Basically beating the crap out of them. Who in international rugby prides themselves in beating the crap out of the oppo? If you're going the bosh route then Billy V is still a better pick than Sam. Nathan Hughes is a better pick than Sam and he's er... rediscovering his form.......

Owen Farrell - I admire the guy. Clearly a top professional but he's absolutely limited. He's a better than average 10 and bang average 12. He also brings a decent chance of doing something that gets him sent off (or just annoys the ref). Yes I realise his international record says different but he's got away with a few and eventually (especially now) he won't and it'll be bye bye test match. The idea that the chippy northern mentalist can play himself back into form is bizarre. Honestly bar Sinckler I reckon O Farrell probably has the worst case of PTSD when it comes to the Boks. He watched his team get hammered and he could do nothing to stop it.

Jonny Hill - This is really a wtf? selection. He's just not that good. He's hardly shone in and England shirt and I remain unconvinced that he's an integral part of Chief's success. If I were Ryan I'd have my voodoo doll out (not really they are pros and no one wishes injuries...).

Elliot Daly - Townsend's logic is a bit odd here and he admits it. If Elliot turned up and played my U10's squad I'm pretty sure he'd look decent (as long as none of the kids kicked it at him). It's like the fact someone can boot it really far has become sort or currency in international rugby. Can you imagine an All Blacks interview where one of the questions is "how far away can you get the ball from our goal line?"......

TBH I can't make a great team out of this squad. There's a gaping hole in 12/13. We have bits but not a whole. Additionally the forwards are going to lose. Lots of admiration for AWJ, clearly a titan for the Welsh but against the Boks? Nah....
 

Tallshort

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FB_IMG_1620451860049.jpg
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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He also plays the likes of moriarty or navidi at 8, and Sam cane for the chiefs. That’s why I was surprised he picked three 8s and t made navidis omission even stranger.
p.s. are you guys aware that gatland lost every game with the chiefs in super rugby aotearoa last year? Every game. He took an unstructured creative team and made them play warrenball.

I think the jury is still out. After The all blacks got beaten by Ireland the second time the selectors stated that their props needed to be more mobile to keep up to the likes of England and Ireland, which ultimately resulted in Owen franks not making the World Cup. And then, at the World Cup, South Africa showed how important scrummaging can be in finals.

And, if you have a dominant scrum in the modern game, that is a bigger advantage than you can get in any other area, as you can get scrum penalties at least most times you feed the scrum.

so if I was a selector I’d look at it like this:
First, are there players available playing professional rugby that could dominate this particular opposition in facing, to the extent I can win at least three or four penalties. If yes, pick them, if no move to next step.

Are there any players that can prevent the opposition winning three or more penalties against us. If yes, within thise meeting this criteria pick those whose other skills are best. If no, move in to next step.

Pick loose forwards as your front row


In saying all that, a lot has to be said for scrum coaching. An under appreciated art in New Zealand that has made mad gains in the last four or so years. You’ll often see a team get completely dominated in the scrum one week then make improvements. And a lot of effort goes into, successfully, analysing the opposition scrum. It’s actually become difficult at times to predict what scrum will dominate in a game, especially after the first four or five games of the season, or in the second time two teams play each other.

I think this is largely due to coaches having gone to the nh to learn the tricks, similar to how the nh has learnt from the sh to play more open rugby.

Its a bit of a shame, I preferred the cartoon like characterizations that were applicable when I was a kid - that the nh were the masters of the set piece and the sh the masters of the loose. Made for a more interesting story and interesting games to see one style up against another. It’s now becoming more like there is one style that is best and it’s just how well you execute that matters.

what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, tangents. They’re basically lines representing the slope, or first derivative, if a curve at a given point.
Really wasn’t aware of gatlands record with the Chiefs, is it that bad?
 

Curls

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Backrow - A strong point but pretty much every Lions tour I can remember has had a strong backrow contingent and it's hard to see Simmonds and Conan making it onto many other planes. We also don't have a natural 6. I think we're probably better than SA here and it's a strong group but other tours were probably better.

I think you're a bit unfair on Conan. He has been dogged with injury since 2019 but he's a decent all rounder. He might not bulldoze people but he can break a tackle and play the ball once he's in the open. He has great athletic ability as was shown in the Earls try against England.
Again I do feel for Doris as on the trajectory he was on he would most likely have toured and been an asset.

Anyone else think Gatland picked Simmonds as a 2 fingers to Eddie? He has a great hatred of guys named Eddie.
 

Welsh Exile

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BOD’s starting 15. I’ll let him off Farrell at 12 with that outstanding pic at 7. Well played Brian. Another Irish legend who knows the score.

1. Wyn Jones
2. George
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. AWJ
6. Curry
7. Tipuric
8. Faletau
9. Murray
10. Biggar
11. Liam Williams
12. Farrell
13. Henshaw
14. Watson
15. Hogg
 

The_Blindside

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British Irish Lions

I can see the test team 23 looking something like this:

1. Wyn Jones
2. George
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. Jones (Captain)
6. Beirne
7. Curry
8. Faletau

9. Murray
10. Russell

11. Williams
12. Farrell (think Gatland will pick him for his kicking ability, despite us seeing this tail off for England.)
13. Henshaw
14. Watson
15. Hogg - if he survive to the test matches. Otherwise Williams.

16. Owens
17. Vunipola. But think that would be a mistake as he’ll destabilise the scrum come 50mins. Don’t know enough of Sutherland yet and Porter could be picked here as he can cover this side.
18. Porter if not picked in the 17 shirt, otherwise Fagerson.
19. Henderson/Lawes. Either.
20. Tipuric
21. Davies
22. Daly - to cover wing and 13.
23. Aki - to cover 12 if he shifts Farrell to 10.
 

MarkyH

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Out of those picked I feel this will be the team, and quite possibly the team I would pick. I'm not a Farrell fan at all, but he will pick him over Russell at 10. I have a sneaky feeling he will play Daly at 13 which will be a proper 12/13 Combo with Henshaw. Also an added boot. And pace. I'm not a Daly hater, despite being a Wasps and Sarries hater!

1. Wyn Jones
2. George
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. AWJ
6. Beirne
7. Curry
8. Faletau
9. Murray
10. Farrell
11. LRZ
12. Henshaw
13. Daly
14. Watson
15. Hogg

Mako, Owens, Porter, Henderson, Tips, Davies, Russel, Williams
 

MarkyH

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I think theres a good argument for not picking players who aren't going to be happy to be midweek players. Instead of picking the best 37. Pick what you think is a great 23. Like EJ did in the WC, the edge of the squad was players who weren't gonna moan. And Tbf, it worked.
 

MarkyH

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Also there is no way he will go Finn and Farrell. Farrell doesn't like a maverick at 10 if he's at 12 (remember his strop when Cipriani kicked through for May to score vs SA on the last Eng tour) Farrell has to be in charge. And he's a teachers pet. And a dwad!
 

Son of glyndwr

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It is when you think of how bad Russell was in the games Scotland won and then was worse in the heads up v Sexton. Russell has been so poor and has a contrived reputation winning him undeserved plaudits whereas Sexton is the reverse.

Very strange when Gatland sticks with the tried and tested for the most part and the only test he's coached the Lions for that Sexton didn't start was shambolic.

Add in Russell's attitude problems and the likelihood being that he won't be the golden boy like he is with Scotland, such a bad shout for me.

Hopefully Sexton gets another good season out of this and Gats fails fairly miserably.
Wake up m8 there’s no way sicknote would have lasted the tour that’s why he int on the plane harsh but true
 

Son of glyndwr

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I think theres a good argument for not picking players who aren't going to be happy to be midweek players. Instead of picking the best 37. Pick what you think is a great 23. Like EJ did in the WC, the edge of the squad was players who weren't gonna moan. And Tbf, it worked.
Worked ? You lost m8
 
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