Lions 2021

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Bart S
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by Bart S » Fri May 07, 2021 3:42 pm

Lawes apparently didnt get contacted either which seems bizarre

rumncoke
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by rumncoke » Fri May 07, 2021 4:53 pm

A book to be read by all re the Lions

"When the going gets Tough"

With 4 games before the tests -- with all positions on the test side open ? There is good odds that after the 4th match there could be a number of players sidelined --- how successful the test side is could well depend on how well some take the the fact they are in the match day 23 and what could be the test side 30 with 7 players set aside to fill in for the injured thus come the first test 13 are potential "no hopers " a couple of bad tourists in that 13 could ruin morale.
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jean valjean
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by jean valjean » Fri May 07, 2021 5:18 pm

What about the theory that stander didn't get picked on the premise he will be in SA by the time of the tour and is an ideal call up should an injury occur in any of the back 5?

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Snipe Watson
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by Snipe Watson » Fri May 07, 2021 5:25 pm

The absence of a timezone issue makes call-ups from BST much easier.

Lurgan Lad
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by Lurgan Lad » Fri May 07, 2021 7:28 pm

Biggest shocks to me were Jonny May and Vunipola not getting picked. I get it that you need to compete against South Africa physically, but didn't Habana play for them, why couldn't May play against them?

justinr73
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by justinr73 » Fri May 07, 2021 8:07 pm

Too early for LRZ IMHO but, equally, he could go over there and score a few.

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Snipe Watson
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by Snipe Watson » Fri May 07, 2021 10:22 pm

justinr73 wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 8:07 pm
Too early for LRZ IMHO but, equally, he could go over there and score a few.
I disagree. He's quality and I'd put him is the test team tomorrow.

jean valjean
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by jean valjean » Sun May 09, 2021 12:31 pm

The bitterness is rife in this one.....love it.

https://m.independent.ie/sport/columnis ... 03252.html

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Jackie Brown
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by Jackie Brown » Sun May 09, 2021 1:22 pm

Behind a paywall. Wanna copy and paste?
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volvo
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by volvo » Sun May 09, 2021 2:42 pm

There ya go Jackie, usual one sidedness just as jean says. Hendi not good enough for test but Ryan et al are the "chosen Ones" :duh:



Premium


Gatland’s indulgent Lions selection isn’t just an insult to Irish rugby, it’s an insult to the intelligence
Eamonn Sweeney

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland. Photo: David Davies/PA
Johnny Sexton
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland. Photo: David Davies/PA
May 09 2021 02:30 AM

Warren Gatland’s Lions selection isn’t just an insult to Irish rugby, it’s an insult to the intelligence. Its weird combination of hubris and whimsicality suggests the New Zealander is so convinced of victory over a South African team which hasn’t played since 2019 he feels able to indulge himself.

Ireland’s eight player representation is our lowest since 2001. Making this particularly galling is that England have more than anyone else after a year in which they suffered comprehensive defeats against the other three home nations.

The perversity of the selection is perfectly encapsulated by the omission of James Ryan. This day last week you’d have found few dissenters from the view that the Leinster lock was at worst the third best second-row in the Six Nations. Now it appears he doesn’t rank in the first half dozen.

There have been some suggestions that Ryan has been in poor form and that this might be a wake up call for him. But few people were mentioning this precipitous slump before Thursday’s decision.

Ryan did disappoint against La Rochelle when he looked short of match fitness after an injury-disrupted season. But it’s hard to find evidence of decline in a Six Nations where he missed the games against England and France and had to go off injured after 24 minutes against Wales.

He had an excellent game against Scotland, contributing a couple of lineout steals and some crucial tackles and turnovers and finished last season’s international campaign well, outplaying Alun Wyn Jones in the Nations Cup win over Wales and leading the team in tackles against the Scots.Lack of action since the turn of the year has seen Ryan slip down the Test match pecking order. But he’d surely have benefitted from a concerted spell of action on tour and has a much bigger potential upside than the two English locks selected ahead of him.

Courtney Lawes looks past his best, while the inclusion of Johnny Hill is baffling. In England’s worst ever Six Nations campaign, Hill was one of their very worst performers. His inclusion, and that of Sam Simmonds, suggests great weight is being placed on Exeter’s performances at club level.

But it’s less than a month since Leinster, having gifted Exeter a 14-point lead inside seven minutes, outscored them by 34-8 for the rest of the game. Hill did play well that day, but Simmonds was anonymous as Leinster overpowered Exeter up front.

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Hooker Luke Cowan Dickie was overshadowed by Rónan Kelleher in the quarter-final, yet it is the Exeter man who will travel. Perhaps it’s unfair to judge players on the basis of one game, but that’s precisely what Gatland seemed to do when he invoked Leinster’s performance against La Rochelle as proof that their forwards lack the requisite toughness.

That’s presumably his explanation for the omission of Ryan, Kelleher and Cian Healy, but it’s hard to see why Leinster players are being punished for underperformance in one big European game while Exeter players are forgiven theirs in another.

In any case, Gatland seems to have disproved his own argument by the selection of Jack Conan over CJ Stander. Conan is the epitome of the Leinster forward whose skills are not entirely matched by his physicality, whereas his Munster counterpart’s status as perhaps the toughest back-row forward available made him seem tailor-made for the task ahead.

Coming off an outstanding Six Nations campaign and with the advantage of local knowledge, Stander would surely have been primed for a glorious swansong against his fellow countrymen.

The selections at centre are odder still. Robbie Henshaw will surely be an automatic choice, but it’s hard to feel much confidence about Elliott Daly, Chris Harris or Bundee Aki as his prospective Test partner. Daly is a winger-gum-fullback in poor form, Harris is a journeyman whose inclusion speaks volumes for the persuasive powers of Gregor Townsend and Aki’s main contribution to Ireland’s Six Nations campaign was a foolish red card which almost let England back into the game.

Does anyone really think those three are superior to Henry Slade, Jonathan Davies and Garry Ringrose? Gatland could play Owen Farrell in the centre but that would reduce his options at outhalf to Dan Biggar and no-one else. There’s little point in bringing Finn Russell when there are few other flair players to link up with him.

Against Scotland and England, Johnny Sexton provided evidence that he remained the best outhalf available to the Lions. Maybe he wouldn’t have lasted the pace in South Africa, but he was worth a gamble given that no number 10 is better suited to playing the kind of tight game Gatland’s choice of personnel leaves him wedded to. The coach’s comments about Sexton’s lack of “durability” and Leinster’s lack of strength sound like those of a man just looking for excuses to leave out the players in question. Suggestions that the Lions have been picked on current form ignore the fact that Saracens, currently lying third in the second flight of an English league which was outclassed this year in European rugby competion, have five representatives.

The situation for Ireland is even worse than that underwhelming figure of eight suggests. Ryan, Sexton, Kelleher and Ringrose might all have turned into Test contenders. Aki, Conan, Andrew Porter and Iain Henderson appear destined for the midweek shift. Henshaw and Tadhg Furlong look like automatic Test choices, but Conor Murray and Tadhg Beirne seem borderline selections at the moment.

The absence of an Irish input in the selection panel cost us. It’s hard to imagine Andy Farrell would have gone along with the choices of Aki and Conan over Ringrose and Stander. He wouldn’t do that for Ireland.

No Lions team has ever travelled with such a massive inbuilt advantage. The ravages of Covid mean South Africa’s players have not played Test rugby since winning the 2019 World Cup final, while their opponents have enjoyed two full seasons of international action.


The Springboks should be in an impossible position. But Gatland’s selection may have given them a chance. We’ll see if he gets away with it.

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Jackie Brown
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by Jackie Brown » Sun May 09, 2021 3:37 pm

Ahhhh sweet sweet tears.
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Grey Wolf
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by Grey Wolf » Sun May 09, 2021 3:37 pm

A nauseating read


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Dave
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by Dave » Sun May 09, 2021 4:09 pm

James Ryan was the third best lock in the 6 nations?? He only played 23 mins against Wales. Played against Italy and then taken off against Scotland. He missed the best performance against England. Statistically Hendo was the best lock in the 6 nations. Ryan is a great player but he hasn't been at his own high standards. Still plenty of time with the inevitable injuries to come.
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solidarity
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by solidarity » Sun May 09, 2021 4:12 pm

A good rant is always a bit of fun. He has at least one point... some of Gatland's choices do seem bizarre, to say the least.

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Dave
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Re: Lions 2021

Post by Dave » Sun May 09, 2021 4:31 pm

solidarity wrote:A good rant is always a bit of fun. He has at least one point... some of Gatland's choices do seem bizarre, to say the least.
Definitely, he also seems like he wants criticism and revels in it. He just loves the power trip perhaps.
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