bazzaj wrote:Irish players traditionally make the best tourists.
As a people we have great social skills and an ability to bond people together.
My brother told me that a top international company insists on Irish people going on overseas trips for that reason!
Successful Lions tours have Irish men at the core.
Even the 1989 side which was the first to have no Irish in its test side, relied on Donals donuts the midweek team captained by Donal Lenihan to get the tour on track by defeating ACT after being slaughtered in the first test.
The lowest representation was 2 in 1993 when only Mick Galway and Poppy were initially selected.
Unsurprisingly it was one of the most divided tours in history.
Rory Best might not have been a test Lion but all the noises out of the camp were that he was the most influential.
I said before it's those midweek players that are every bit as important as the test side to ensure a successful tour.
Don't underestimate Rorys contribution.
Jizzbeg, a fair smattering of common sense and the good Irish tourist has been acknowledged since I was a lad in weighty tomes on 3-month tours written by guys steeped in rugby and not someone who studied journalism but not sport as their route into things.
Sadly for all your good sense, unfortunately, people judge Lions players mainly on test matches, therefore Rory is an Ulster & Irish legend destined never to be considered a great Lion. All thanks to a despicable game playing NZ wretch & his English pal Big Ears, the ugliest man to come out of Welford Road & he has had no lack of opposition for that title. For me, the biggest turnoff is that he has had to play 3rd fiddle to two guys who make that glype from Northampton look talented.
Almost equally bizarre is that on the day that Gatland elevated Courtney Lawes, Hendy gave the best performance of any 2nd row on the entire tour albeit I didn't see the third test. Did Lawes produce anything of note? Not that I saw. Being Irish & not English or Welsh appeared to be a drawback, almost as bad as being a Scot when for my money, former Ulster current Scot, Tommy Seymour has been consistently better for several years than those two English gobshites starting the tests.
I may have mentioned I hate the Lions.With Gatland & Big Ears at the helm that won't change anytime soon, they look after their own players. It could hardly be more obvious.
As I mentioned before Bagster, Geechs acknowledges his greatest Lion as Jason Leonard due to the fact that he was dropped from the Saturday side but still put all his energy into preparing the front rowers that replaced him.
These people you speak of who don't acknowledge that only looking at test players contribution are the ones that need educated.
Certainly no player from the test sides would say that in victory.
Perversely I have heard the disjointed midweekers blamed for series defeat in 1993 and Healy and Dawsons antics cited in 2001.
I do find it bizarre however that the management apparently tapped into Rorys knowledge in team meetings acknowledging he has the wisdom with his experience with beating the All Blacks.
Then forget to pick him or based it on one throw v the blues more than likely, which only served to acknowledge their paranoia about his throwing yips.
Seymour was another who had a poor start on tour and he was outpaced wide which was the complete no no and death knoll for him.
In all fairness Gatlands picture boy George North was dropped for similar defensive flaws.
Hendy again was a victim of poor early tour form, a pre picked test side and a completely inflexible selection policy directly after the first test particularly concerning the Geographical 6.
However Jack Nowell had a similar tour trajectory and was still selected so maybe there is merit to what you say Bagster.
As you yourself said though Hendy doesn't consistently perform to that level and whilst he is capable of putting in a mom barnstorming display he's just as likely to do something stupid and cost the game.
Gatland was never going to roll that dice in the final test.
Hendy hopefully will be the major beneficiary on this tour as I feel he lifts his game to the level around him.
Hopefully he can now inspire our lads with those performances.
Now he has to that against the likes of the Dragons away when he's got the likes of p and Clive Ross in the same changing room.