• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

The Lions squad for 2021 prediction

Jakedood

Bench Player
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
656
Reaction score
333
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Ulster

Lol

Not wanting to sound harsh.
But in terms of achievements that isn't a very high one.

Rankings wise you are lower.
People seem to think that recent rugby = Six nations....

Remember you got trashed v Ireland in only December.
I think tis important to note that Scotland are a team with a club base of two professional clubs, and in general dont ahve the depth of players than England, Wales and Ireland have.
What I mean by this is the drop off in some positions is quite stark for Scotland but there are some undeniable facts about the team

1) Their Props combined to record the most successful scrummage in Six Nations penalty wise (Gatland said this but havent checked if true)
2) Finn Russell is an outstanding fly half who has matured in his game decisions, and doesnt make the big intercepts anymore... be very interested in how he goes behind a bigger pack than Scotland would usually have, with more potential for front foot ball
3) Ali Price isnt amazing but he's a good tempo SH in an area the lions arent filled with quality
4) Watson was player of the tournament and should be there
5) Stuart Hogg is potentially the best Full back in the world rn
6) DVDM is an arse
7) Harris is a godod line running 13 with great defense in the 13 channel.

Basing an entire teams results on the players selected isnt great, because in a team game like this, one or two poor performances makes everyone else look all the poorer. As such, while I;d maybe argue a little on the prop selection, more at TH for Sinckler who's just a whole other animal when he's got that emotion pounding through him, the others are fantastic players, and at least 3 of them have regularly made big game involvements on the biggest stage
 

Welsh Exile

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
1,414
Reaction score
433
I think tis important to note that Scotland are a team with a club base of two professional clubs, and in general dont ahve the depth of players than England, Wales and Ireland have.
What I mean by this is the drop off in some positions is quite stark for Scotland but there are some undeniable facts about the team

1) Their Props combined to record the most successful scrummage in Six Nations penalty wise (Gatland said this but havent checked if true)
2) Finn Russell is an outstanding fly half who has matured in his game decisions, and doesnt make the big intercepts anymore... be very interested in how he goes behind a bigger pack than Scotland would usually have, with more potential for front foot ball
3) Ali Price isnt amazing but he's a good tempo SH in an area the lions arent filled with quality
4) Watson was player of the tournament and should be there
5) Stuart Hogg is potentially the best Full back in the world rn
6) DVDM is an arse
7) Harris is a godod line running 13 with great defense in the 13 channel.

Basing an entire teams results on the players selected isnt great, because in a team game like this, one or two poor performances makes everyone else look all the poorer. As such, while I;d maybe argue a little on the prop selection, more at TH for Sinckler who's just a whole other animal when he's got that emotion pounding through him, the others are fantastic players, and at least 3 of them have regularly made big game involvements on the biggest stage
Can’t go along with Hogg as potentially best 15 in the world. Not even top 5 for me and I’d go Liam Williams ahead of him especially against the South Africans but he’s world class, for sure, and I won’t have any problems with him starting over Williams.
 

Jakedood

Bench Player
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
656
Reaction score
333
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Ulster

Can’t go along with Hogg as potentially best 15 in the world. Not even top 5 for me and I’d go Liam Williams ahead of him especially against the South Africans but he’s world class, for sure, and I won’t have any problems with him starting over Williams.
Liam Williams on his day is a good FB, but in a team that has had its struggles, and occasionally due to him taking too much responsibility, he's got gas, insane commitment levels, his boot is a cannon (often overlooked, but its massive, least size 14 :p) , and electric off both feet
He's a line breaker more than Williams, who may be slightly better under a high ball, but i don't see him surpassing Hogg in any other area?
That being said, I think it will be a welsh left wing, between either Williams or LRZ, if Liam finds some form

Maybe would take Barrett ahead of Hogg again purely for entertainment, and he's sooooo good, but unsure who else you'd put ahead?
 

Welsh Exile

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
1,414
Reaction score
433
Liam Williams on his day is a good FB, but in a team that has had its struggles, and occasionally due to him taking too much responsibility, he's got gas, insane commitment levels, his boot is a cannon (often overlooked, but its massive, least size 14 :p) , and electric off both feet
He's a line breaker more than Williams, who may be slightly better under a high ball, but i don't see him surpassing Hogg in any other area?
That being said, I think it will be a welsh left wing, between either Williams or LRZ, if Liam finds some form

Maybe would take Barrett ahead of Hogg again purely for entertainment, and he's sooooo good, but unsure who else you'd put ahead?
I think Jordie, Beauden, Will Jordan and Damien Mackenzie are all better rugby players.

Liam Williams is miles better than Hogg under the high ball. Hogg is 4ft 2 FFS. He’s got those little tiny legs. I think Hoggs pace is overstated as well, tbh. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still class but defensively Liam Williams is clearly better and as I say under the high ball too. I agree Hogg these days has the edge as a line breaker and kicking game is way better than Williams. I’d probably play Hogg against an Australia or someone but against a SA I’d go Liam.
 

TRF_Olyy

English Arrogance
Staff member
TRF Legend
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
100,005,344
Reaction score
9,681
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Sale

Williams has been in poor form, though - if it's enough to disqualify James Ryan from touring all together then it should be enough to see Williams miss out for Hogg, who was the best 15 in the 6N and arguably one of the best backs, and is tearing it up for Exeter as well
If they were both on top form then I'd probably go with Williams as well - I think SA will batter Hogg tbh - but we're not suggesting Gatland is a hypocrite are we?

Another thing to consider with Williams is he's very easy to wind up and he's cost Wales vs South Africa in the past
 

Jakedood

Bench Player
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
656
Reaction score
333
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Ulster

I think Jordie, Beauden, Will Jordan and Damien Mackenzie are all better rugby players.

Liam Williams is miles better than Hogg under the high ball. Hogg is 4ft 2 FFS. He’s got those little tiny legs. I think Hoggs pace is overstated as well, tbh. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still class but defensively Liam Williams is clearly better and as I say under the high ball too. I agree Hogg these days has the edge as a line breaker and kicking game is way better than Williams. I’d probably play Hogg against an Australia or someone but against a SA I’d go Liam.

He's got some leap though, and holds his own. Wouldnt outjump Folau or Kearney, but he's solid

Really? He makes outside breaks so often popping up outside 13, and his show and go's, people know he's going to run and still cant stop him. Its not even his top end pace so much as the rapid acceleration, which is arguably more important

To say Williams is better defensively, I'd argue that too. He's taller, but that doesnt make him better (Hogg is 5'11 btw)
Top back this up, Hogg had 16 tackle attempts in 6 nations, missed one. Liam WIlliams had 11 attempts, missed 3

Positionally too, he's come on leaps and bounds, dont often see the ball bouncing with him, and as Mentioned his boot is what I'd want in a kicking game anyway

One final point... Hogg beat 16 defenders with 5 clean breaks
Liam Williams had 0 Beaten defenders and 1 clean break

Surprised by how big this differential is actually, hot damn

 

Welsh Exile

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
1,414
Reaction score
433
Williams has been in poor form, though - if it's enough to disqualify James Ryan from touring all together then it should be enough to see Williams miss out for Hogg, who was the best 15 in the 6N and arguably one of the best backs, and is tearing it up for Exeter as well
If they were both on top form then I'd probably go with Williams as well - I think SA will batter Hogg tbh - but we're not suggesting Gatland is a hypocrite are we?

Another thing to consider with Williams is he's very easy to wind up and he's cost Wales vs South Africa in the past
Yeah this is very fair and I agree. I wouldn’t say Williams’ form has been poor, though, but he’s definitely not in top form either.

I really hope Gatland doesn’t play Williams on the wing. Like you I have concerns with Hogg against SA but I like him so won’t be ****** off or nothing. But if Hoog is starting then Liam needs to be on the bench and play 2 actual wingers on the wing. Or Tipuric, obviously.
 

Welsh Exile

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
1,414
Reaction score
433
He's got some leap though, and holds his own. Wouldnt outjump Folau or Kearney, but he's solid

Really? He makes outside breaks so often popping up outside 13, and his show and go's, people know he's going to run and still cant stop him. Its not even his top end pace so much as the rapid acceleration, which is arguably more important

To say Williams is better defensively, I'd argue that too. He's taller, but that doesnt make him better (Hogg is 5'11 btw)
Top back this up, Hogg had 16 tackle attempts in 6 nations, missed one. Liam WIlliams had 11 attempts, missed 3

Positionally too, he's come on leaps and bounds, dont often see the ball bouncing with him, and as Mentioned his boot is what I'd want in a kicking game anyway

One final point... Hogg beat 16 defenders with 5 clean breaks
Liam Williams had 0 Beaten defenders and 1 clean break

Yeah this is fair too. Couple of bad missed tackles this 6N that led to tries.

If Hogg is 5,11 I’m 6,4. The ever reliable internet has him down as 5,8. Which I admit seemed a tad short maybe.
 

Jakedood

Bench Player
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
656
Reaction score
333
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Ulster

Yeah this is fair too. Couple of bad missed tackles this 6N that led to tries.

If Hogg is 5,11 I’m 6,4. The ever reliable internet has him down as 5,8. Which I admit seemed a tad short maybe.
Its the attacking differential which really got me, can argue a missed tackle or two v some runners specifically but thats huge in terms of defenders beaten, albeit with 50% more carries
180cm I saw, so 5'10 maybe
 

Welsh Exile

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
1,414
Reaction score
433
Its the attacking differential which really got me, can argue a missed tackle or two v some runners specifically but thats huge in terms of defenders beaten, albeit with 50% more carries
180cm I saw, so 5'10 maybe
Sorry, just as a bit of a side note and totally unrelated to this thread, do you know anything about a 2nd row from Ulster called Jack Regan. Couldn’t get a contract at Ulster (after being in their academy) so went to NZ but Ospreys have signed him on a 3 year deal.

Apologies for the spam. I concede to the Williams debate at the moment. Good points well made.
 

Akker Van Der Tigs

Hall of Fame
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 13, 2013
Messages
19,040
Reaction score
4,035
Country Flag

South Africa

Club or Nation

Leicester

I can see Watson, Williams and Hogg being the back 3 anyway.

Like DVDM defense and position wise is a easy target.
LRZ a lot of potential but might well be down to how he performs training and midweek.

Leaves only Adams imo as likely pushing for that first test spot.
 

Welsh Exile

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
1,414
Reaction score
433
I’d personally like to see LRZ play as I’m biased and think he’s a special player. Don’t think Gatland will so with that in mind I really think Adams is underated. He’s really dependable and his all round game is very good. Plus I think he’s a good fit against SA imo. Watson very much the same, great all round game and very dependable. He has the edge over Adams in that he’s been there and done it but I like the sound of Adams and Watson. LRZ is my preference, though.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
2,545
Reaction score
451
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Northampton

I’d personally like to see LRZ play as I’m biased and think he’s a special player. Don’t think Gatland will so with that in mind I really think Adams is underated. He’s really dependable and his all round game is very good. Plus I think he’s a good fit against SA imo. Watson very much the same, great all round game and very dependable. He has the edge over Adams in that he’s been there and done it but I like the sound of Adams and Watson. LRZ is my preference, though.
How come you didn’t like Williams on the wing?
 

Welsh Exile

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
1,414
Reaction score
433
How come you didn’t like Williams on the wing?
It’s not so much that I don’t like him on the wing, he can perform perfectly well there, it’s more I think it doesn’t really utilise him and his strengths the best. On top of that I think we (the lions) have some great wingers in the squad who specialise in that position and I’d rather we use them over Williams if he’s not going to play 15. I don’t think it’s any secret Williams much prefers 15 too. If for nothing else I just feel he gets into games more and can have a bigger impact on matches when he’s at full back.

Having said all that he’s still a great finisher and has some pace (though I think he’s lost half a yard and I’m not sure he’s fast enough to be a truly devastating winger at the top level anymore) but I guess if you’ve got a good array of skills like Williams you can afford not to be the fastest in the world and still be good.
 

dullonien

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
5,455
Reaction score
316
Country Flag

Wales

My issue with Hogg is when he's good he's easily world class, one of the best runners in the game, with a great boot, but when he's slightly off he can be a complete liability!

One of the recent Exeter games (the one shown live on C4) he was appalling in the first half, with defensive errors, spilled balls, forward passes, offloads to no-one etc. To be fair he turned it around in the second half, but he was a mile off lions starter for most of that game.

Liam williams isn't as lethal ball in hand, but he's still very handy. He's better defensively and under the high ball, has better decision making, is far more aggressive in the carry and at the breakdown and is more consistent.

Saying all that, I'd love to see a back 3 of LRZ, Hogg & Watson/Adams. Nothing between Watson/Adams, both very similar all round players. LRZ has something I'm not sure any other player in the world has with his out and out pace. History has shown that young, confident wingers can do well, be that Skudder or Ioane for NZ, Stockdale for Ireland, an 18 y/o North for Wales, I'm sure the list could go on...

I also think Gats will be tempted to start with the looser, more exciting players, with options on the bench to tighten things up if needs be. He showed that in his final years with Wales by selecting Anscombe to start with Biggar on the bench to see the game out. So Liam on the bench for me to cover back 3.
 

Jakedood

Bench Player
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
656
Reaction score
333
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Ulster

My issue with Hogg is when he's good he's easily world class, one of the best runners in the game, with a great boot, but when he's slightly off he can be a complete liability!

One of the recent Exeter games (the one shown live on C4) he was appalling in the first half, with defensive errors, spilled balls, forward passes, offloads to no-one etc. To be fair he turned it around in the second half, but he was a mile off lions starter for most of that game.

Liam williams isn't as lethal ball in hand, but he's still very handy. He's better defensively and under the high ball, has better decision making, is far more aggressive in the carry and at the breakdown and is more consistent.

Saying all that, I'd love to see a back 3 of LRZ, Hogg & Watson/Adams. Nothing between Watson/Adams, both very similar all round players. LRZ has something I'm not sure any other player in the world has with his out and out pace. History has shown that young, confident wingers can do well, be that Skudder or Ioane for NZ, Stockdale for Ireland, an 18 y/o North for Wales, I'm sure the list could go on...

I also think Gats will be tempted to start with the looser, more exciting players, with options on the bench to tighten things up if needs be. He showed that in his final years with Wales by selecting Anscombe to start with Biggar on the bench to see the game out. So Liam on the bench for me to cover back 3.
I totally agree with the last bit, but the idea of Williams better defensively, I feel this is a phrase tossed around. As if theres a sense of "if you're a good attacker, you cant be a good defender", even though Hogg is a really solid tackler and actually a very good reader of the game, with the pace to also recover from being slightly out of position. I think its more the former with Hogg, due to historically being so good ball in hand, but the big thing for me as a full back and in tackles is commitment. Michael Lowry of Ulster is 80kgs and throws himself into the biggest men he can find with gusto, when you're whole heartedly committed you're unlikely to be run over. For the reverse of this, see Harry Mallinder

One of Hogg's fatal flaws however, as was maybe in that Chiefs game (although anyone can have a bad half, or game) is that he occasionally thinks he has to do everything for the team. He'd pass to himself if he could, and it got really standout for Scotland for a few years, I think 2018/19 in particular. Hopefully that isnt the case with the best B&I has to offer, but it is the one point I'd maybe worry about him

The other thing I'd note is, unless specifically targeted, more often than not, box kicks are from within the 5-15m channel, and the winger on that side is the one receiving said kicks due to dropping back in the pendulum system, so I almost think unless you're going more for the aerial bombs off of 10,, which does reduce the chasers a bit, then the aerial ability of the wingers is as important, if not more so than the full back. Watson is a very good exponent, and lets face it, Kolbe plays like a man 4 inches taller with his leap, but you'd still back Watson, Williams or even LRZ height wise to be able to handle that well enough?

Williams covering back 3 is a good shout.. But i have a funny feeling, especially if going dual playmakers, you'll see Elliot Daly on the 23 shirt. Oddas that sounds, Idk, seems like even for England, its the perfect place for him
 

Welsh Exile

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
1,414
Reaction score
433
I totally agree with the last bit, but the idea of Williams better defensively, I feel this is a phrase tossed around. As if theres a sense of "if you're a good attacker, you cant be a good defender", even though Hogg is a really solid tackler and actually a very good reader of the game, with the pace to also recover from being slightly out of position. I think its more the former with Hogg, due to historically being so good ball in hand, but the big thing for me as a full back and in tackles is commitment. Michael Lowry of Ulster is 80kgs and throws himself into the biggest men he can find with gusto, when you're whole heartedly committed you're unlikely to be run over. For the reverse of this, see Harry Mallinder

One of Hogg's fatal flaws however, as was maybe in that Chiefs game (although anyone can have a bad half, or game) is that he occasionally thinks he has to do everything for the team. He'd pass to himself if he could, and it got really standout for Scotland for a few years, I think 2018/19 in particular. Hopefully that isnt the case with the best B&I has to offer, but it is the one point I'd maybe worry about him

The other thing I'd note is, unless specifically targeted, more often than not, box kicks are from within the 5-15m channel, and the winger on that side is the one receiving said kicks due to dropping back in the pendulum system, so I almost think unless you're going more for the aerial bombs off of 10,, which does reduce the chasers a bit, then the aerial ability of the wingers is as important, if not more so than the full back. Watson is a very good exponent, and lets face it, Kolbe plays like a man 4 inches taller with his leap, but you'd still back Watson, Williams or even LRZ height wise to be able to handle that well enough?

Williams covering back 3 is a good shout.. But i have a funny feeling, especially if going dual playmakers, you'll see Elliot Daly on the 23 shirt. Oddas that sounds, Idk, seems like even for England, its the perfect place for him
Good post.

You won’t be surprised to hear that I see some of it differently particularly the bold bit

So, for me, this is exactly the reason why Williams is the better defender. I mean, Williams probably only weighs a kilo or 2 more than Hogg (if that) even though he is about a foot taller (joke) and I totally 100% agree with you on the commitment thing but this is one of Williams’ most valuable assets as a player. He is literally insane, certified nut case and probably not all there in the head (in terms of on the pitch) and while this does bring a whole other set of issues (cards etc) what it brings on the positive side is 100% commitment in the tackle. In fact, funnily enough, I think I was listening to SOB the other week talking about Williams and this very thing. Not only is he a fan of Tipuric but Williams as well it would seem. I’ll see if I can dig out the quote.

Having said all that I agree with the general gist and I definitely don’t think Hogg is weak in this regard just that especially against the South Africans, Williams’ extra height and his commitment in the tackle makes him better in that area for me.
 

Jakedood

Bench Player
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
656
Reaction score
333
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Ulster

Good post.

You won’t be surprised to hear that I see some of it differently particularly the bold bit

So, for me, this is exactly the reason why Williams is the better defender. In mean, Williams probably only weighs a kilo or 2 more than Hogg (if that) even though he is about a foot taller (joke) and I totally 100% agree with you on the commitment thing but this is one of Williams’ most valuable assets as a player. He is literally insane, certified nut case and probably not all there in the head (in terms of on the pitch) and while this does bring a whole other set of issues (cards etc) what it brings on the positive side is 100% commitment in the tackle. In fact, funnily enough, I think I was listening to SOB the other week talking about Williams and this very thing. Not only is he a fan of Tipuric but Williams as well it would seem. I’ll see if I can dig out the quote.

Having said all that I agree with the general gist and I definitely don’t think Hogg is weak in this regard just that especially against the South Africans, Williams’ extra height and his commitment in the tackle makes him better in that area for me.
So if they're both well committed defenders than you're looking at tackle technique more so?

Reading of the game is tougher to judge, and tackles missed stats arent everything, ie if Tipuric misses more tackles than Curry, but its because he's hiding on the wing and left all alone, one v one against Kolbe... thats just rough
Either way I wouldnt question either of these two defensively, despite the stats I posted above re Williams. But my Goodness, do you not get excited when Hogg hits that 13 channel at pace?

I remember seeing it 3/4 years ago v All blacks, when Scotland went the length of the field and Hogg just got tackled into touch by Barrett I think 3 yards short... but he made 3 line breaks in a row or something stupid
 

g6mcg

Bench Player
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
507
Reaction score
97
Country Flag

Scotland

I'd rather Hogg played but both are very good fullbacks. I'm not convinced Hogg is significantly weaker defensively - could equally go after Williams for having cost his team games through losing discipline under pressure. It's all pretty marginal and in most cases the player fans deem to be at fault for defensive issues is just unlucky to have been exposed by his teammates and/or gameplan.
 

Latest posts

Top