Discussion in 'Other Sports Forum' started by Judge Jules, May 7, 2021.
Any thoughts, rugby fans? No Johnny May, no Allan Wainwright, Bundee Aki in?
You cant really argue with Gatlands judgement after what he’s achieved. The squad misses the mark for me though - Lions squads were always about x-factor and plucking the unconventional out of the home nations. A small discarded 8 and a titchy flanker isn’t exactly revolutionary. Not 100% on the choice of captain either.
Wouldn't argue about your first sentence - it was more a matter of wondering whether anyone could figure out what it was about May or Wainwright which might have held Gatland back from selecting them, or what his reasons might have been for putting Aki in.
If your reference to that titchy flanker refers to Watson, I'm in two minds. He is small, but he contributes so much. My mind goes back to a previous Lions tour of S.Africa when Tom Smith and Paul Wallace, neither a man-mountain, went out there as the probable midweek props and ended up as the (winning) Test pairing.
Surprised at your reservations about AWJ. It's been said that he's now on the downward slope of his career, but I can't really say I noticed that in the Six Nations and his captaincy in the final Test in the last Lions tour Down Under was crucial to winning that game and with it the series. I'm also reminded of another previous Lions S.Africa tour when Simon Shaw - whom I'd always considered rather overrated - got selected in his late 30s and was absolutely magnificent, playing far and away the best rugby I ever saw from him. Gatland was always going to nominate AWJ anyway - I ought to have put money on it when Gatland got the gig!
Yeah Watson. It’s a decent choice but not exactly brave or cutting edge; and that’s as weird and whacky as he’s got. I don’t see any of those brave Lions selections really, it all just feels a bit, well, safe. Same as with the captain. Would have been interesting to give it to Itoje, but that’s not Gatlands style
Well, FWIW it wouldn't surprise me to see Itoje as his deputy. I suspect the two of them are slated for the Test engine-room.
Incidentally, Rees-Zammit does strike me as a bit of a gamble, being as new as he is. Given that his surname denotes part-Maltese ancestry I'll be watching him with some interest.
I have an affiliation with Malta!!
I am biased but I would have liked to see Sinkler or Marler. I’m not a fan of Cowan Dickie, and George doesn’t convince me as anything other than a good backup hooker.
I am also showing my age by thinking the Lions should show better form than the home nations with their Southern Hemisphere draft ins. I LOVE Faletau, but I’m not sure he should be touring. And he is better positioned than a bunch of those others (with the Scottish South Africans raising my blood pressure most of all)
I'd have taken Sinkler for sure. He's a warrior and you need that in S.Africa arguably more than anywhere. Marler's the right standard but - and this isn't a criticism of him - I wonder whether his head's in the right place at the moment.
Tend to agree about the S.hemisphere interlopers but that's a symptom of the daft sophistry which has adulterated the whole question of nationality in footy as well.
Agreed. I feel like it’s more (or should be more) pronounced with the Lions though. This is the final outpost of the amateur days, playing because it’s an honour rather than for financial reasons, and I think that means you have to uphold the highest integrity. It should simply be a case of having been born in the UK&I end of story.
Gatland will have an issue with Farrell too, which will be interesting to watch.
All the best people do. Mine's a pretty close one as my dad was from there and I lived there between the ages of 2 and 8. I'm not fluent in the language (except for swear words, of which Maltese has a rich and varied range) but I could get by if pushed.
Trivia fact of the week: Carra is half Maltese by blood. His mum's a Scouser but both her parents were Maltese.
My dads from Liverpool and has a family connection there! Never been, but it’s on the list for next year
I haven't watched anything other than the Ireland games of late so I don't have an opinion on a large amount of the selections.
Aki is the type of player Gatland has shown love for over the course of his career , physical but very limited. So it's not surprising to see him get the nod even if I personally wouldn't have him in an Ireland squad never mind a Lion's one.
I wouldn't have taken Murray either, Ireland okay their best rugby without him. Sexton has played so little it's difficult to try to rely on him and he would go into every game with a bullseye on his back.
I've never seen the Scottish winger that's in the squad have a good game. But he's probably not going to get a look in anyway.
There's not really a lot of controversy in the pack apart from Ryan being left out. Courtney Lawes seems to benefit from the preference for physical and brain-dead players.
If Will Connors was fit I'd have liked to see him in the squad , he's a devastatingly effective 7 but there's plenty of competition at 7 in the squad.
Courtney Lawes is everything I expect from a second row
Right down to the cauliflower ears.
Sinckler made it on the plane in the end and will make an impact on the series for sure but the Boks will target him so he has to keep a hold of his temper.
This series could come down to the officiating with all the red cards in rugby nowadays, some for just unfortunate collisions. And it will be interesting to see the refereeing interpretation of the scrums and if the Beast is allowed to burrow in and disrupt our ball or if it's finally called illegal.
Ronan Kelleher is sticking around with the squad after training with them for a week.
I thought he'd have a decent shot at taking the third hooker spot in the squad because right now he's perfect for the bench spot in the test squad. He's a high energy type, strong ball carrier, good ok the ground.
He's not better than the English two right now, but he'd be very useful in the squad. More so than Owens.
Yeah, I have to say Owens has consistently seemed to me like the kind of player who's got where he has for lack of real competition more than for any other reason - Wales' Lucas, in effect.
Team to play Japan, I think Watson has since pulled out. Tipuric at 7 instead. I think it's largely a second choice side with a few first reamers thrown in
15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808
5. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)
Thanks for that. I don't know what shape Japanese rugby's in at the moment, but the kind of display they can put up if they're fully firing will run that team close.
Japan weren't up to much today.
AWJ confirmed out for the tour after injuring his shoulder early on in the game. I think second row is one of the real strengths in the squad so I don't think it dents the Lions chances.