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The Lions squad for 2021 prediction

RedruthRFC

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Again, I agree with a lot of what you say but it’s all about getting inside Gats head and I just wonder whether with people like the ones mentioned whether their poor form won’t be a major issue for him.
Yeah, everything I've said is my thought process / rationale coupled with what I can glean from how he has treated players in the past. He's party to a lot more information than I am and presumably by has decided how he wants his team to play to win the series.
There’s also players like Simmonds, Marler and Underhill who have played no international rugby recently that a lot of people seem to believe are in his thinking. I actually think if Rhys Webb wasn’t injured he’d have a half decent chance of going. He’s no different to most coaches, he has his favourites but we’ll see how much credit they have with him come squad selection/first test.
I would take even a part fit Sam Underhill on tour as long as the prognosis is good. I rate him that highly and think he matches up well against the Springboks. I'd be surprised if Gatland doesn't hold him in high regard too.

I'd be on the phone to Marler asking if he wants to tour, he's at least the third best option out there IMO. I'd want to do a lot of talking to make sure that him going is right for both player and team though. Given that he didn't want to commit to the 6N, I'd be surprised if he said yes though.

I'm not sold on Simmonds for this tour. All he brings that you can't get from elsewhere is a crazy amount of pace / acceleration for a back rower. I wouldn't see that as a sufficiently valuable asset to take him in favour of the experienced internationals available. He looks good for Exeter playing at the base of a dominant pack with the space if affords. Behind a pack who will be doing well to get parity, I can't see him looking good. The only time I really remember him standing out for England was against Italy, who gave him a platform to use his pace.
 

living sacrifice

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I’m a massive Simmonds fan but I can’t see a reason for him to be a lion right now. At 8 we have two strong options the Tongan and South African (I jest) and in the back row we have more harder hitting options which is what we need about South Africa. If we want pace we have Tuitupric but he’s not going to be anyway near the starting shirt the the other more physical and more rounded back rows.
 

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For me, Mako is definately behind Jones (who brings more in the lose than many give him credit for) and Sutherland for me. Mako is probably third in the pecking order, but I'd leave him at home because I just can't see how you could consider sticking him on the field against South Africa. We now know that what happened in the RWC final wasn't a one off and there's every chance that it costs the whole team the watch when it happens.

I wouldn't take Mako, but I suspect the scrum issues were in large part due to having Lawes behind him. The importance of locks as scrummagers isn't obviously visible but does have a massive impact IMO.

Do people buy the thing Chris Foy is spreading about it being limited to a squad of 36? Given current plan appears to be to play all the tour games that seems small (especially given the possible need for replacements to quarantine).
 

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I can't see why we need either of the Vunipolas. They are penalty machines and shouldn't be anywhere near the tour.

My XV
1 Wyn-Jones
2 LCD
3 Furlong
4 Itoje
5 AWJ
6 Curry
7 Watson
8 Falateau
9 Murray
10 Russell
11 Williams (tempted to put LRZ but he can't tackle and SA will run at him all day)
12 Henshaw
13 North
14 Watson
15 Hogg

16 Unsure
17 Owens
18 Sinckler
19 Ryan
20 Stander
21 Tipuric
22 Davies
23 Farrell

North can cover the wings, Farrell the centre and Tipuric if we're desperate. A forwards heavy bench to keep matching SA's physicality.
 
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LIONSxv

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I can't see why we need either of the Vunipolas. They are penalty machines and shouldn't be anywhere near the tour.

My XV
1 Wyn-Jones
2 LCD
3 Furlong
4 Itoje
5 AWJ
6 Curry
7 Watson
8 Falateau
9 Murray
10 Russell
11 Williams (tempted to put LRZ but he can't tackle and SA will run at him all day)
12 Henshaw
13 North
14 Watson
15 Hogg

16 Unsure
17 Owens
18 Sinckler
19 Ryan
20 Stander
21 Tipuric
22 Davies
23 Farrell

North can cover the wings, Farrell the centre and Tipuric if we're desperate. A forwards heavy bench to keep matching SA's physicality.
 

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Question: Why is Watson a regular selection on the wing by most fans??

He meant absolutely nothing in the WC Final, and had a very hard time trying to contain Kolbe... Is there no one else?
 

TRF_Olyy

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Question: Why is Watson a regular selection on the wing by most fans??

He meant absolutely nothing in the WC Final, and had a very hard time trying to contain Kolbe... Is there no one else?
I know you just want to dunk on England, but they were on opposite wings
 

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I know you just want to dunk on England, but they were on opposite wings
That makes him even worse, Am and Mapimpi running past him like he's a prop forward...
 

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Vine Ok GIF
 

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I know what you mean. I think both Watson and Slade are classy players and both are in decent form but I’m not sure whether either of them gets in my starting 15. Watson I could put in easier but even then I think Adams is just as good if not better as he just seems a bit more tenacious. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see North moved back onto the wing with J Davies at 13 alongside Henshaw if that is the case then your talking about Liam Williams, Adams, LRZ, Watson, Van de Merwe, May and 1 or 2 others all fighting it out for 1 position.
 

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J Davies at 13
He's going to need an absolutely unreal Rainbow Cup to even get on the plane if we're going off recent form (though...Gatland, so we probably aren't)

North had a big 6N and should probably be the frontrunner for the 13 shirt. I've never been a fan of him at 13, but he was very good.
I rate Harries massively, but doubt he'll tour,
Slade I could see touring but his international form has never matched his club form, and he's not really a Gatland 13. Think he'll be a midweek player - that he could cover 15 and 10 in dirtroad games will count in his favour as well.
North is very much a Gatland 13, and Gatland has always loved North.
I would worry about his fragility against the intensity of the Boks defence, though - don't want to see him getting KOd again
 

Welsh Exile

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He's going to need an absolutely unreal Rainbow Cup to even get on the plane if we're going off recent form (though...Gatland, so we probably aren't)

North had a big 6N and should probably be the frontrunner for the 13 shirt. I've never been a fan of him at 13, but he was very good.
I rate Harries massively, but doubt he'll tour,
Slade I could see touring but his international form has never matched his club form, and he's not really a Gatland 13. Think he'll be a midweek player - that he could cover 15 and 10 in dirtroad games will count in his favour as well.
North is very much a Gatland 13, and Gatland has always loved North.
I would worry about his fragility against the intensity of the Boks defence, though - don't want to see him getting KOd again

Yeah agree with all of this. I just think Gats loves J Davies and like you rightly say, Gatland won’t be going off form alone. Tbf to Davies he played his best game in quite a while in that France game. I take your points though.

I had the same concerns about North at 13 from a defensive point of view but he came out of that pretty well. My gut says he’s done enough to show Gats he should be Lions 13 but I’m not sold on that feeling at all. I think North starts but I’m 50/50 whether that is in the wing or center. Time will tell.
 

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I mean if we are going to talk world cup form...
It's just that he doesn't look like the player that could pose a threat to the Springboks out wide. Johnny May is faster and seems to have a lot more skill than Watson.

And Kolbe has been in great form for his french club, and Mapimpi and some of our other wings are all back in SA preparing and looking fit and hungry to play. I also wouldn't be surprised if Kurt-Lee Arendse also features in the bok squad, who is just as good a stepper as Kolbe, and is a little faster than Kolbe...
 

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It's just that he doesn't look like the player that could pose a threat to the Springboks out wide. Johnny May is faster and seems to have a lot more skill than Watson.

And Kolbe has been in great form for his french club, and Mapimpi and some of our other wings are all back in SA preparing and looking fit and hungry to play. I also wouldn't be surprised if Kurt-Lee Arendse also features in the bok squad, who is just as good a stepper as Kolbe, and is a little faster than Kolbe...

What wingers do you think would cause SA most problems?
 

big ginger 8

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It's just that he doesn't look like the player that could pose a threat to the Springboks out wide. Johnny May is faster and seems to have a lot more skill than Watson.

And Kolbe has been in great form for his french club, and Mapimpi and some of our other wings are all back in SA preparing and looking fit and hungry to play. I also wouldn't be surprised if Kurt-Lee Arendse also features in the bok squad, who is just as good a stepper as Kolbe, and is a little faster than Kolbe...

Did you watch the six nations this year?
 

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Did you watch the six nations this year?
I don't think they would want to lower themselves to watching such inferior rugby.

It's just that he doesn't look like the player that could pose a threat to the Springboks out wide. Johnny May is faster and seems to have a lot more skill than Watson.

And Kolbe has been in great form for his french club, and Mapimpi and some of our other wings are all back in SA preparing and looking fit and hungry to play. I also wouldn't be surprised if Kurt-Lee Arendse also features in the bok squad, who is just as good a stepper as Kolbe, and is a little faster than Kolbe...

You haven't been watching much of Watson then... He's one of the in form wingers as shown by managing to still stand out in an otherwise awful England team. Given a bit more space than England were giving him, he will regularly be tearing through defences. I'd rate him above Mapimpi 9 times out of 10. Kolbe is a different class and anyone would struggle with him but Watson and May both kept the NZ wingers quiet, something South Africa and every other team failed to do.
 

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What wingers do you think would cause SA most problems?
Well, it would be a mistake not to pick Van Der Merwe I think, big and strong, fast, in form, and he understands Afrikaans.

Other guys to consider I think would be that Reese-Zammit fellow, who is very fast and nippy. Adams, Lowe, Earls.

Or even look at having Liam Williams or Stuart Hogg on the wing, who's a bit more solid defensively.

It's just that when I hear Watson being in the wing, I don't tremble in fear that he's going to win the game on his own for the team.
 

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Watson I could put in easier but even then I think Adams is just as good if not better as he just seems a bit more tenacious.
I'd take a little issue with this tbh, I know there's an inherent bias of the players you watch more etc, as always the case, but Watson is electric in any form of space, strong under the high ball... his only weakness is he does occasionally leave the outside channel open on kick chases, but hopefully can fix that positionally
Adams is a good finisher, very good, but he doesnt have the X factor of the acceleration and electric sidestep Watson does, for me anyway. He's stronger yes, but thats about it from what I can see
 

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