• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

B&I Lions vs National side

Cruz_del_Sur

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
3,690
Country Flag
Argentina
Club or Nation
CASI
Was just listening to BOD's interview and when asked to pick between "Green and Red", he stopped for a sec, thought about it and picked Red. He also picked Lions Tour over RWC.

I guess this is something hard to empathize with if you are a non B&I citizen/supporter but is this the norm? In the unlikely scenario of having to chose between those two will most players pick Lions? Disregarding money, course.
 
I don't think so, certainly not this generation.

I think as a player it might be different as the lions is that much more exclusive - but again, I think the older generation gets more misty eyed over the lions than the younger does (bar Sinckler, anyway)



Edit: Don't get me wrong, I love the Lions tours - I just can't envisage a situation where I'd support them over England.
 
Last edited:
To be fair it's going to differ drastically depending on how many tours you've been on. Someone like BOD who went on 4 tours and picked up 8 caps is going to be significantly more passionate about the team than someone like Nowell who's picked up a total of ~40 minutes of game time. So of course the current younger gen don't get as misty eyed as they haven't had that experience as part of the squad/team.
 
Yeah, I'd like to hear the full context of the interview. Still apart from TABby I'd say most Irish fans and players hold the Lions as the pinnacle. I don't think a majority would choose the Lions over Ireland but Lions is still considered very special and to even have something of a mythical factor. It probably helps that a number of Irish legends have their legacy firmly entwined with Lions history and for certain time periods it was players only real chance of success on a world stage. Even when the national team wasn't playing well we always seemed to have one or two guys who could go and be standouts on Lions tours, until 2017 the club I play for had produced more Lions than Scotland.

Also as Toby says BOD's particular context is different to most players. Four tours and some of the biggest moments of his career. '01 is something many of the Irish players from that tour have spoken about as an eye-opening experience. It was the first time most of them realised what professionalism really was in rugby and had a huge impact on their development.
 
Maybe he was being asked which club he always dreamed of playing at while stuck at Leinster:
Munster or Connacht?
That's less insulting, he's not even Ster's GOAT unlike Ireland.

To answer you question Cruz, I find it fairly insulting/disappointing to hear, especially from a guy who underachieved trophy wise in pretty much the first decade of his career.
It's also BS, he won a Lion's tour against a **** Aussie side when he was past his peak, while he was in teams way off the pace in three world cups at his peak. If he actually rates the former higher than an achievement he never sniffed at he wouldn't have been the player he was.
 
Maybe he was being asked which club he always dreamed of playing at while stuck at Leinster:
Munster or Connacht?
Certainly not that as there is little or no love lost between BOD and Munster.

I think it is a context issue. The Lions team is obviously harder to make as there is a bigger pool. 4 Nations as opposed to 1. So that is the pinnacle.

However if you asked any player from any nation I'm sure a Grand Slam win or a RWC win is worth more than any Lions tour win.

I'd agree with The Alpha Bro too that the Lions tours recently are a bit overrated.

It is slightly disappointing that Aus even won 1 game in 2013 and while NZ tour was a good result the fact is the standard was poor and it was a declining NZ team.
The last real good battle was the 2009 tour where South Africa were in prime condition and it was a battle.


Also if BOD rates the Aus tour as a bigger achievement. Lets not forget it was said his dropping was a big reason for the win.
 
Here is the interview. Bits and pieces are in spanish but nothing relevant and BOD's answers are all in english. The specific question was part of a quick Q&A, so no context really.



The relevant part is at 32:28.
 
For what it's worth, I've also heard Dallaglio say that he considers the '97 Lions Tour as the pinnacle of his career, above a 6N Grand Slam and a RWC win in 2003. I think your view of the Lions might depend on your age, and how you first got into rugby. I started playing rugby at school in 1973, and at that time England were poor. However, as a 10 year old kid, I was captivated by the Unbeaten Lions Tour in 1974, and the likes of JPR, Gareth, Fergus, Willie John became childhood heroes, far more exciting and inspiring than whatever carthorses were dropping and fumbling the ball at Twickenham. So for me, I think I enjoy following the Lions more than England.
 
Players from the other side, the countries that get toured, would much prefer lions tours over world cups. And certainly from a fans perspective, world cups will get wider viewership, but from proper fans who actually know the rules the lions tours are far more interesting. They only come around once every 12 years for a start.
 
i don't know if he'd rather play for the lions than ireland, but if you look at his career at makes sense that he would appreciate his lions career more than his ireland career (even including that he was a victim of assault and battery while wearing the red).

Lions tours are something special and he was able to get a win against Australia, while in World cups it's Ireland and he never got past a quarterfinal. The media scrutiny (now at least, don't know what early 2000s) is much more intense in Ireland than it is for a Lions tour, where losing is almost expected.

edit: also just psychologically*, I'd believe that if someone likes two things equal they will retrospectively yearn for the thing they only got to do once every four years rather than the thing they did a couple times a year every year.

* I have no idea, am not going to read academia for this.
 
For what it's worth, I've also heard Dallaglio say that he considers the '97 Lions Tour as the pinnacle of his career, above a 6N Grand Slam and a RWC win in 2003. I think your view of the Lions might depend on your age, and how you first got into rugby. I started playing rugby at school in 1973, and at that time England were poor. However, as a 10 year old kid, I was captivated by the Unbeaten Lions Tour in 1974, and the likes of JPR, Gareth, Fergus, Willie John became childhood heroes, far more exciting and inspiring than whatever carthorses were dropping and fumbling the ball at Twickenham. So for me, I think I enjoy following the Lions more than England.
Interesting take. Thanks. You put a lot of emphasis in performance. I saw it more about a sense of belonging. Not so much about what the scoreboard said at the end of the game but about the people you were representing.
 
Interesting take. Thanks. You put a lot of emphasis in performance. I saw it more about a sense of belonging. Not so much about what the scoreboard said at the end of the game but about the people you were representing.

Only speaking personally, but I've always felt the Lions "represented " me just as much as England did ................ The only team I've ever really felt a bond with, in terms of belonging, in terms of "they're my team on the pitch representing me" is Lancashire, back in the amateur days, when there was a legitimate County Championship............. In many ways, I view England as just another team from London, and not as representing me.
 
Interesting take. Thanks. You put a lot of emphasis in performance. I saw it more about a sense of belonging. Not so much about what the scoreboard said at the end of the game but about the people you were representing.
Yep, and they were known as the British Lions up until the 2001 tour, hard to feel represented here!

Apart from BOD I don't think anyone with an Irish passport would feel the same way as Nick, it's Ireland first. (Different for the likes of Best or Ferris which is fair) I don't want the Lions to win as much as I want the Tri Nations sides to lose, if they toured France I'd get my Toulouse jersey out, but I am in the minority there most do actively support them.
 
What I take from players saying the Lions is the pinnacle of their career isn't that deep. I think it stands to reason that being recognized as one of the best players in Britain and Ireland in a four year cycle is a huge personal achievement, especially if said tour is a success given how rare that is/was through the years.
Like a guy like O'Driscoll played for his country 133 times. He played 8 Lions tests. When BO'D says "red over green" I read that as the Lions being a huge personal achievement in comparison to making a national team and probably an incredible personal experience, being tilted onto his head for allowing a smile to curl his lips during a haka aside.
From a personal point of view, I still love the Lions and the romantic notion of players from rival countries coming together to take on a big bad bully from the Southern Hemisphere. I love the party atmosphere of the tour, the weird midweek teams and the novelty of rooting for an English person in any facet of life (bar Tigs Man's brave battle with erectile disfunction) on their weird colonialism come back tour. A series would never beat a World Cup win for me of course, although I'm never likely to have that moral dilemma, and probably wouldn't compare to Munster winning Europe, but it's still a special one.
Gatland can ******* blow me tho. BO'D would have gashed the Aussies up.
 
Hypothetical: If from now onwards instead of playing Aus/NZ/RSA the lions were to face a team made by SANZAAR's best, would you

a) like it
b) object
c) be indifferent
?
 
The Lions are a big deal but from a fan point of view over here I don't think they're as big as the 6N let alone the World Cup. Personally I've never been much into them, they're on Sky and 2/3 of them are in the worst time zones possible. It's just hard to get excited about rugby when you have to go to the pub at 10 in the morning to watch it.

Plus most online forums become semi unreadable during them, they might as well just be a four yearly "let's all argue who has better players" competition.

From a player point of view I can understand why it would be different, it's recogition that you're among the best in your hemisphere and you get to go and face off against the best from one of the worlds leading rugby countries (or Australia). It'd be pretty cool to go on a tour with all the other elite rugby players that you've spent the previous few years playing against. They look really good on personal achievements as well, '2 (or whatever number) time Lions tourist' is a pretty cool label to have.

Did BOD ever have a happy Lions tour? We won't talk about 2005 and 2013, he scored a cool try in 2001 fair enough but 2009 was hardly a happy picnic either.
 
Hypothetical: If from now onwards instead of playing Aus/NZ/RSA the lions were to face a team made by SANZAAR's best, would you

a) like it
b) object
c) be indifferent
?

I'd object to it if it was the tour, but if it was a midweek box office all star fest featuring finn russell v. quade cooper sign me up. Instead of playing second tier professionals for one of the games give me a southern hemisphere bad boys barbarians.
 

Latest posts

Top