B&I Lions vs National side

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by Cruz_del_Sur, May 19, 2020.

  1. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur First XV

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    The thing that looks "weird" to me is that, at least on paper, RSA/AUS/NZ have to play against what is technically a combined team of the NH's very best (minus France, sure). Why not face the SH equivalent then.

    From an audience point of view, it's hard to sell a game like Lions vs Australia if Australia lost the last 6 games to England, Wales, and Ireland (say 2 each in the 2 previous years to the Lions tour).

    The issue i have with the barbarians idea is that those are not games where all players take it 100%. There are exceptions (baba's vs Argentina come to mind) but those are games where you take chances, try weird stuff, etc.

    If the SH were to take this seriously i'd like to watch that Lions vs SH game. Take Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and even Arg from the equation to level up for France. Make it the best of 3, no silly games prior or in between.

    I'm not talking about replacing the tour. Just pick a non wc and non lions tour year and schedule around it. Although if that were the case it'd make more sense to take France, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Arg in instead of excluding them. Won't make much difference tho. Basically you give two coaches the freedom to pick whatever team they want from half the planet and then face each other.
     
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  3. Umaga's Witness

    Umaga's Witness First XV

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    A lions tour is all about the tour. I don’t know the history and am too lazy to search the internet but I suspect it originated in the form it’s in because travelling on a ship across the world was a big deal, so it was impractical to get England, Wales, etc to do such tours separately and, because it was amateur, the availability of players to go on such a tour would have been limited. Pooling the resources thus allowed you to gather a team together. Nowadays, for the countries involved, it’s still an epically awesome thing, especially as tours don’t happen anymore. Maybe it makes less sense for the lions to tour Australia now, but there is still something special about one country up against a group of countries, which you wouldn’t get if you just had Ireland do a proper tour of Australia. In fact, I don’t think there’d be that much interest in Australia of such a tour.

    so what you’re suggesting, as you yourself pointed out, is not a substitute for a lions tour, doesn’t achieve a lot of the similar objectives, the only thing similar is the interest in selecting and watching a ‘best of’ team.

    I think the most interesting ‘best of’ game/series would be the World Cup winner vs rest of world, played the year after the World Cup, with the World Cup winner changing their eligibility criteria for that game/ series to ensure they can use players that were available for their World Cup win but have since gone to play overseas. Then, after a team won the World Cup they could try and an even greater level of world domination, and the rest of the world could get behind the rest of world 15 as some sort of revenge.

    then maybe you just bring back tours as well, more generally. The host country would need to be equals or better than the touring team, to give meaning to the midweek games. If the touring team is equals you culminate with a test series, if they are lesser you culminate with a single test. You could then have the likes of Samoa touring Europe, playing Toulon, or Leinster, saracens, Cardiff, Glasgow, etc. I’m sure the northern hemisphere fans would watch those games.
     
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  4. The Oggmonster

    The Oggmonster First XV

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    Yes some of the home nations can beat Australia, SA and NZ in one off tests but beating any of these three nations in a best of three test series in their own backyard is no mean feat. Home advantage seems to make more of a difference now than it ever did before.

    Secondly, the Lions have a brutal schedule ahead of the tests while the host nation have the option to cherry pick which games their international players, if at all, participate in ahead of the three tests.

    Finally the host nation will have been able to work on a system for months if not years and the players and coaches will all know each other well. The Lions on the other hand only have a couple of months to bond, train together and and execute a game plan. I liken a Lions tour as a bit like going overseas into battle with many guys you don't know that well. Nothing more satisfying than giving the enemy a pumping in their own backyard having had less favourable conditions.
     
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