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The Lions squad for 2021 prediction

ncurd

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I think the numbers also tell some story but most of it is there's nothing to really tell. The difference is negligible if trusted to carry

M/C
Hill - 4.9 (only made 10 carries)
Bernie - 4.21
Beard - 4.08
Gray - 3.96
AWJ - 3.56
Itoje - 3.52

As to most carries well AWJ is 5th highest for Wales, He'd 7th playing for Ireland, 6th Scotland, 6th England, 4th France (which is surprising), 5th Italy. Looking at where the cutoff point is at that umber he'd about where he should be in that stat if you consider him the 5th options for Wales.

So in both categories he's not setting the world alight, it just shows maybe the other teams should be using their 2nd rows as carriers more than they currently do (possibly).
 

Welsh Exile

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Pretty sure last time I looked at the stats from 6 nations just gone AWJ had more tackles, more carries and more metres per carry than any other second row.

He had a quiet end of '19 and '20, and I too was starting to question whether age had caught up with him, but he was fantastic in the 6 nations and deserves to be in the mix for a starting test spot on form alone. The fact that he's also the best captain available put's him right at the front of the queue atm. That can change of course though.

His lineout credentials 'aint great mind. Falls well behind the likes of Itoje there. Wales rely heavily on Tipuric as a jumper.

Yeah, I honestly don’t know where this narrative that AWJ is not playing well is coming from. It’s weird.
 

Welsh Exile

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I don't think it's as straight forward as that. It depends on the roles of each player. If a player like AWJ makes only 20 tackles in a match, but doesn't do much else, but he prevents the opposition from getting over the advantage line or scoring tries. Instead of having a guy make 5-7 tackles, have 3 carries with not a lot of metres gained and maybe 1 or 2 turnovers, then who is the better player?
Good point well made. You have to consider the role (not just the position) that the coach has asked the player to do and how it fits into the team.
 

Welsh Exile

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Had the most tackles, Welsh players in general ranked very high in tackles made.

If you count Beirne as a secondrow he had way more metres and carries than any other lock but obviously did play two games at 6. His m/c were also way higher. In terms of guys who just played secondrow AWJ had the most carries but Henderson had more metres and seemingly every Scottish lock weirdly had better m/c.

As you say his lineout ain't great. Only took three all tournament and stole one. Henderson had the most won for any secondrow with 15. Ryan is credited with the most steals 3 (in 3 games!) I know he lead the tournament in lineout steals but am unsure about the accuracy of the numbers. Ireland were credited with 14 lineout steals across the tournament but according to individual player stats there were only 8.


Tips took 11 lineouts I think. It would seem AWJ isn’t a main jumper these days. He doesn’t even call the line outs either. Appears we want to take some added responsibilities away from him and focus on his own game maybe.
 

Welsh Exile

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Seems to be a recent trend of hookers being captains, for the front row being able to talk to the ref etc


Itoje was a bit of a penalty count pushing boundaries the last six nations, but he did still have an impact on games on the field with his physicality, generally pain in the ass defense, and is brilliant in the clearout as well as a strong and fast/agile carrier. I think he's earned the right, as long as he isnt pants in the majority of warmup games

AWJ is a good player, and I think thats being overlooked a little here, but take everything out of it, Gats didnt start Sam Warburton despite him being Welsh and Tour captain in First test in 2017, favouring Obrien and OMahony instead. I think he'll want to win and be the most successful lions coach, even if he picked a team full of Englishmen to do it

I think it’s safe to say AWJ had an impact on our games this 6N. You can argue how much impact, I would say he had a pretty big impact, I guess you’d say he didn’t have much but his defensive contribution alone was huge imo.
 

dullonien

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Tips took 11 lineouts I think. It would seem AWJ isn’t a main jumper these days. He doesn’t even call the line outs either. Appears we want to take some added responsibilities away from him and focus on his own game maybe.

Don't think AWJ has regularly been the lineout caller for Wales. Beard calls when he plays, Charteris and Ianto were almoat certainly the callers when they played too. Not sure who calls when it's AWJ and Ball in the boiler room together as neither are great jumpers.

Had the most tackles, Welsh players in general ranked very high in tackles made.

If you count Beirne as a secondrow he had way more metres and carries than any other lock but obviously did play two games at 6. His m/c were also way higher. In terms of guys who just played secondrow AWJ had the most carries but Henderson had more metres and seemingly every Scottish lock weirdly had better m/c.

As you say his lineout ain't great. Only took three all tournament and stole one. Henderson had the most won for any secondrow with 15. Ryan is credited with the most steals 3 (in 3 games!) I know he lead the tournament in lineout steals but am unsure about the accuracy of the numbers. Ireland were credited with 14 lineout steals across the tournament but according to individual player stats there were only 8.


Fair enough, the stats always seem to jump around for a while after a tournament ends. Pretty sure it was the six nations official stats I was looking at too and AWJ was ahead in both number of carries and m/carry, even when considering Beirne. Starting to wonder if it was prior to the last round though now (with France/Scotland having a game in hand too.

Personally I'd be starting Beirne at lock with maybe a dual openside arrangement in the backrow. I don't think we'll beat SA at their own game, so would be looking to move their big pack around. Can understand the argument of having to match them physically too, and Beirne at 6 works well in that regard.
 

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What are the biggest potential mismatches on this tour versus a fully fit and healthy Springbok team?

If Marx is right, I don't see anyone in the Home Nations that can match his strength and physicality.
 

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If Marx is right, I don't see anyone in the Home Nations that can match his strength and physicality.
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TBeastT

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Would be surprised if Marx starts. Mbonambi was getting the nod ahead of him in the knock out stages of RWC; Marx’s darts just aren’t good enough.
 

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What are the biggest potential mismatches on this tour versus a fully fit and healthy Springbok team?

If AW Jones captains as expected our locks are likely to be him and Itoje. Neither bad players in their own right but a combination that looks distinctly underpowered vs Etzebeth and De Jager.
 

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You’d have to say they look better at 9 with Faf against whoever is going to be scrum half for the lions. I put Faf in the world class bracket but none of our options are in my opinion. Murray definitely was and could be but I don’t know if he worries anyone these days. Young’s has done well but not as good, Price is a tidy player but nothing more in my opinion and Tomos Williams has a high ceiling but hasn’t played much international rugby and isn’t at Faf’s level yet.
 

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You’d have to say they look better at 9 with Faf against whoever is going to be scrum half for the lions. I put Faf in the world class bracket but none of our options are in my opinion. Murray definitely was and could be but I don’t know if he worries anyone these days. Young’s has done well but not as good, Price is a tidy player but nothing more in my opinion and Tomos Williams has a high ceiling but hasn’t played much international rugby and isn’t at Faf’s level yet.
Wonder about the #8 as well. @TRF_heineken could opine of the position better than me, but it looked like Duane Vermeulen has played a superstar level throughout 2020-2021.
 

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Faletau is playing very well, though. Not back to his best yet but I wouldn’t say him and Vermeulen is a mismatch.
Good to know and thanks for responding. I'm hoping the Springboks have a healthy and prepared side with so many stars (De Jager, Psdt, Pollard) suffering major injuries in the past year.

In America, July/August are the dog days of sports viewership, so hopefully we have some good viewing options.
 

Welsh Exile

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Good to know and thanks for responding. I'm hoping the Springboks have a healthy and prepared side with so many stars (De Jager, Psdt, Pollard) suffering major injuries in the past year.

In America, July/August are the dog days of sports viewership, so hopefully we have some good viewing options.
I think that Etzebeth is injured as well. Only a finger injury though if I recall correctly so he should be alright I’d imagine.

Agree, we all want to see the best players available for selection.
 

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The Bulls have been managing Vermeulen rather well. And he was rested for the 2 warm-up games and he will also sit out the first 3 games of the Rainbow cup, along with Nyakane.

I think for the Boks, the main concern is at lock, with Lood, Etzebeth and Snyman all out injured. PSDT has recovered and is back in training, and could be played at lock with another flanker maybe coming in like Marcel Coetzee joining Kolisi and Vermeulen.

Our backrow stocks are stocked in abundance, with these guys mentioned above, as well as Marco van Staden, the Du Preez twins, Arno Botha, Nizaam Carr & a bunch of newbies.
 

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The Bulls have been managing Vermeulen rather well. And he was rested for the 2 warm-up games and he will also sit out the first 3 games of the Rainbow cup, along with Nyakane.

I think for the Boks, the main concern is at lock, with Lood, Etzebeth and Snyman all out injured. PSDT has recovered and is back in training, and could be played at lock with another flanker maybe coming in like Marcel Coetzee joining Kolisi and Vermeulen.

Our backrow stocks are stocked in abundance, with these guys mentioned above, as well as Marco van Staden, the Du Preez twins, Arno Botha, Nizaam Carr & a bunch of newbies.
Coetzee could be terrifying as part of that backrow. What do you feed those men... though he'll probably end up with another injury, the poor bloke
 

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To be honest it doesn’t matter who’s captain or who’s playing we’re going to wipe the floor with South Africa. I think they’re overrated tbh but, more importantly, massively undercooked. They might win one test but won’t be surprised if they don’t win any.
Yeah, you're right.

The Lions will win by 50 in each test.

As a South African who has lived in Cardiff for 17 years, your attitude is totally expected. I have never seen anything better.

I'm starting to miss England
 

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