British and Irish Lions Team

#1
Now that the dust is slowly settling after the 6N attention turns to who will be going to SA this summer. Possible squad:

Full-backs: L Byrne (Wales), R Kearney (Ireland),
Utility Backs: C Paterson (Scotland), J Hook (Wales)
Wings: S Williams (Wales), T Bowe (Ireland), T Evans (Scotland), L Fitzgerald (Ireland).
Centres: B O'Driscoll (Ireland), G Henson (Wales), T Shanklin (Wales), R Flutey (England).
Fly-halves: R O'Gara (Ireland), S Jones (Wales),
Scrum-halves: M Phillips (Wales), M Blair (Scotland), H Ellis (England)
Props: G Jenkins (Wales), E Murray (Scotland), P Vickery (England), A Jones (Wales), A Sheridan (England)
Hookers: R Ford (Scotland), J Flannery (Ireland), M Rees (Wales).
Locks: P O'Connell (Ireland and CAPTAIN), A-W Jones (Wales), S Shaw (England), N Kennedy (England).
Flankers: M Williams (Wales), D Wallace (Ireland), J Worsley (England), A Strokosch (Scotland), S Ferris (Ireland).
No 8s: J Heaslip (Ireland), R Jones (Wales).
 
#2
Royalmile

So FEW England players - now you know that won't be countenanced at a high level
 
#3
won't it just be the engerland team with a few Celts thrown in as usual

i mean they were the best team as usual were'nt they????
 
#4
royalmile said:
Now that the dust is slowly settling after the 6N attention turns to who will be going to SA this summer. Possible squad:

Full-backs: L Byrne (Wales), R Kearney (Ireland),
Utility Backs: C Paterson (Scotland), J Hook (Wales)
Wings: S Williams (Wales), T Bowe (Ireland), T Evans (Scotland), L Fitzgerald (Ireland).
Centres: B O'Driscoll (Ireland), G Henson (Wales), T Shanklin (Wales), R Flutey (England).
Fly-halves: R O'Gara (Ireland), S Jones (Wales),
Scrum-halves: M Phillips (Wales), M Blair (Scotland), H Ellis (England)
Props: G Jenkins (Wales), E Murray (Scotland), P Vickery (England), A Jones (Wales), A Sheridan (England)
Hookers: R Ford (Scotland), J Flannery (Ireland), M Rees (Wales).
Locks: P O'Connell (Ireland and CAPTAIN), A-W Jones (Wales), S Shaw (England), N Kennedy (England).
Flankers: M Williams (Wales), D Wallace (Ireland), J Worsley (England), A Strokosch (Scotland), S Ferris (Ireland).
No 8s: J Heaslip (Ireland), R Jones (Wales).
Worsley? Lets be serious for a second; Haskell and Croft are far better players and offer much more potential as future Lions. I can't fathom why Worsley is still in the England squad :?
 
#5
BobMugabe said:
Royalmile

So FEW England players - now you know that won't be countenanced at a high level
Read quite a few newpaper articles at the weekend and even the ex-England superstars tended not to expect as many fellow Englishmen on the squad as in previous years. the concensus was that there's a lot of developing players and that their day would come.
 
#6
This is a good 'un.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/rugby_union/article5950087.ece
Even these guys can't agree.
No problem with fewer England players this time round, getting better as a team, but lots of young 'uns with not enough experience. Worsley rates for his experience and heart, would not let the Lions down if included.
Ireland and Wales should be deservedly well represented after the last & Nations, but who should be in for Scotland? Apart from Evans and Paterson I haven't really seen anyone up to standard, and after saturday would be pushed to include any of them in a Lions Team.
 
#7
Worsley is a quality player and very, very influential in England's turnaround. vickery ought not to be allowed within fifty miles of Heathrow on the day the Lions depart - in case he infects them with his lack of zest, discipline and commitment...
 
#8
I am Welsh and hold no brief for any Englishman, but I agree with Cuddles. Worsley is quality. The Lions will face a hard trip to South Africa. The players selected will need to be talented, but physically and psychologically robust. Worsley falls into that category. Many of the current English side do not. They are far too prone to indiscipline of the sort that loses their team matches and they should not be allowed anywhere near the Lions squad, even in a midweek role.

Flutey and Shaw ... yes
Borthwick, Tindall, Armitage, Flood, Care, anyone yellow carded .... no.

We have the potential to put together a very good, talented and robust team. I look forward to seeing it.

O'Driscoll for captain. I don't see how it could be anyone else.
 
#9
royalmile said:
Now that the dust is slowly settling after the 6N attention turns to who will be going to SA this summer. Possible squad:

Full-backs: L Byrne (Wales), R Kearney (Ireland),
Utility Backs: C Paterson (Scotland), J Hook (Wales)
Wings: S Williams (Wales), T Bowe (Ireland), T Evans (Scotland), L Fitzgerald (Ireland).
Centres: B O'Driscoll (Ireland), G Henson (Wales), T Shanklin (Wales), R Flutey (England).
Fly-halves: R O'Gara (Ireland), S Jones (Wales),
Scrum-halves: M Phillips (Wales), M Blair (Scotland), H Ellis (England)
Props: G Jenkins (Wales), E Murray (Scotland), P Vickery (England), A Jones (Wales), A Sheridan (England)
Hookers: R Ford (Scotland), J Flannery (Ireland), M Rees (Wales).
Locks: P O'Connell (Ireland and CAPTAIN), A-W Jones (Wales), S Shaw (England), N Kennedy (England).
Flankers: M Williams (Wales), D Wallace (Ireland), J Worsley (England), A Strokosch (Scotland), S Ferris (Ireland).
No 8s: J Heaslip (Ireland), R Jones (Wales).
I'm Scottish and proud of it but you surely are joking when thinking of Paterson. There is no doubting his kicking but the rest of his game is pretty dismal.

So, on that bombshell he's out. McGeehan, take note!
 
#10
Here it is, just announced:
Lions squad:
Forwards: Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), Andy Powell (Wales), David Wallace (Ireland), Stephen Ferris (Ireland), Alan Quinlan (Ireland), Joe Worsley (England), Martyn Williams (Wales), Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales), Paul O'Connell (Ireland), Donnacha O'Callaghan (Ireland), Simon Shaw (England), Nathan Hines (Scotland), Gethin Jenkins (Wales), Adam Jones (Wales), Andrew Sheridan (England), Phil Vickery (England), Euan Murray (Scotland), Jerry Flannery (Ireland), Lee Mears (England), Matthew Rhys (Wales)

Backs: Lee Byrne (Wales), Ron Kearney (Ireland), Shane Williams (Wales), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Ugo Monye (England), Luke Fitzgerald (Ireland), Tommy Bowe (Ireland), Tom Shanklin (Wales), Jamie Robert (Wales), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), Keith Earls (Ireland), Ricki Flutey (England), Ronan O'Gara (Ireland), Stephen Jones (Wales), Mike Phillips (Wales), Harry Ellis (England), Tomas O'Leary (Ireland)
 
#11
royalmile said:
Here it is, just announced:
Lions squad:
Forwards: Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), Andy Powell (Wales), David Wallace (Ireland), Stephen Ferris (Ireland), Alan Quinlan (Ireland), Joe Worsley (England), Martyn Williams (Wales), Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales), Paul O'Connell (Ireland), Donnacha O'Callaghan (Ireland), Simon Shaw (England), Nathan Hines (Scotland), Gethin Jenkins (Wales), Adam Jones (Wales), Andrew Sheridan (England), Phil Vickery (England), Euan Murray (Scotland), Jerry Flannery (Ireland), Lee Mears (England), Matthew Rhys (Wales)

Backs: Lee Byrne (Wales), Ron Kearney (Ireland), Shane Williams (Wales), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Ugo Monye (England), Luke Fitzgerald (Ireland), Tommy Bowe (Ireland), Tom Shanklin (Wales), Jamie Robert (Wales), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), Keith Earls (Ireland), Ricki Flutey (England), Ronan O'Gara (Ireland), Stephen Jones (Wales), Mike Phillips (Wales), Harry Ellis (England), Tomas O'Leary (Ireland)
And a link to take you there:

Lions team
 
#12
Don't want to blow my own trumpet (well, I do really):

schweik said:
I am Welsh and hold no brief for any Englishman, but I agree with Cuddles. Worsley is quality. The Lions will face a hard trip to South Africa. The players selected will need to be talented, but physically and psychologically robust. Worsley falls into that category. Many of the current English side do not. They are far too prone to indiscipline of the sort that loses their team matches and they should not be allowed anywhere near the Lions squad, even in a midweek role.
That is the heart of McGeechan's thinking. Thus 27 from Ireland and Wales, only 8 from England. Worsley had to go.

schweik said:
Flutey and Shaw ... yes
Borthwick, Tindall, Armitage, Flood, Care, anyone yellow carded .... no.
Which is why I was bang on the money there


schweik said:
O'Driscoll for captain. I don't see how it could be anyone else.
But I got that one wrong!
 
#13
schweik said:
We have the potential to put together a very good, talented and robust team. I look forward to seeing it.
Now I think the big question is if the squad is a good well-rounded talented squad capable of playing at the highest level and winning the tests.
I don't think I am going to dispute the choices and rather than say that 'x' should have been included, (and you can never take all those who merit being in the team, like Croft) I would address each individual and ask if can he do a good job for the Lions. On balance I can't see anyone who is likely to let them down.
It now hinges on team selection.

Looking forward to it I must say.
 
#14
Squad is dreadful.

Main gripes:

1) Too many similar players (Quinlan / Powell)

2) Geech has obviously picked players who are not on form, contrary to what he said he would do: Shane Williams, for example, or Andy Powell (one trick pony, didn't even start for Cardiff last weekend).

3) No Plan B - Edwards' comments seem to indicate the plan will be to play negatively, try to contain SA and stop them scoring tries, then attempt to sneak it with decent kicking etc. So they've picked a bunch of heavy-duty forwards and two steady but unspectacular 10s. There's no spark.

4) No Croft - the lineout is their main weapon, so much so that they kick for touch knowing that they can challenge opposition throws. Cut them off at source, at the lineout, and it would send shockwaves through their team. No Kennedy, the best lineout operator in the GP, and no Croft, who also offers speed around the field. Big error.

5) No Armitage - symptomatic of public perception that English players are inferior to their Celtic rivals, England's best back has been left out.

England scored twice as many tries as Wales in the 6N, and more than Ireland. England also had the best defensive record (and that is apparently a key preoccupation with the coaching team).

Easter had the most carries, Mears the best throwing record (95%), Vickery made more tackles than any other prop, and Sheridan made more yards than any other loosehead.

Just seems counterintuitive to pick so few Englishmen, yet there are five Ospreys in the squad, a team that is widely regarded as being in terrible form. There are 4 English sides in the latter stages of the two European cups, and only 1 Welsh. England finished second in the 6N, Wales 4th. I'm half welsh, and pleased to see playerslike halfpenny in there, who I rate, but there are some really strange selections.

I predict 3-0 to the Saffers - Geech's planning seems to be based around the notion that we're playing the 97 side but the current Boks have come on a lot since then, and can play any sort of game they want to.
 
#16
Skua2, I don't know why I'm getting this impression - some form of intuition, I guess - but you're not English, by any chance, are you? It seems from your post that you think we should take 37 English players!

I do agree with you about Powell, though. One trick pony and too susceptible to losing the ball in contact. But other than that (and possibly Vickery, plus I don't know the two wild card Micks very well), all in all a good squad.

Shane Williams - IRB World player of the year. Yeah, why bother taking him when we could have some donkey from Nuneaton B team, who is bound to be a better bet?
 
#17
Fair guess!

Mother's Welsh though!

I absolutely don't think we should take 37 English players - Woodward's squad had a ridiculous number, for example.

I just think that we're bizarrely under-represented given many of the Welsh players in particular were losing form just as a very young England team were starting to find form and gel.

Vickery is well past it - so out of breath when he arrives at contact he flops on the ball and gives away penalties, plus he gives loads away at the scrum which is unforgiveable.

Williams on form is devastating. I think he should have gone on the trip - I was simply making the point that Geech is lying when he says he was picking purely on form - Williams is there based not on current form but how he played on last year's tour of SA and in the Autumn Internationals.

There are bound to be injuries though - I reckon at least a couple of players will get crocked before the season is over. Flankers the length and breadth of SA will be gunning for O'Gara's head too, they will target that channel. I imagine a replacement 10 will be on the plane sooner rather than later - hopefully Cips, who is flakey but at least offers something different and could respond to the challenge.

If the Lions get off to a good start on the tour and build some decent spirit they could do ok.
 
#18
Haskell is shit. I'm an Englishman and I'll admit that. No passion either, a mate of mine met him and said he was a right humourless cunt.

Alan fucking Quinlan. Why? Croft ahead of Quinlan any day of the week. He's 34, and hasn't played for Ireland for over a year now. Not right either that Armitage should have lost out, or even Toby Flood. You need 3 Fly-Halves on a tour like this, just as you need 3 Hookers and 3 Scrum Halves.

Tomas O Leary over Blair? Behave. Stringer is a better 9 than O Leary, and Blair has done well behind a developing pack with undeveloped backs for a while now.

Look at the Bokke back row. Its a toss up of Spies, Kankowski and Burger, with Fourie in there as well. Fast and strong. The best man for the job would have been Croft, to compete in the Line-Out as well.

Final point, is at Tight Head. Vickery should not go, on form it should be Julian White. Best scrummager England have ever produced. Right decision to leave out Hayes and Horan, as well as Dickinson, as they'll all get taken apart. White may be 36, but was one of two players that played all tests in 2005, and did a good job at 3. Discipline can be a bit shaky, but not as bad as Vickery, or some tourists of previous years, such as Danny Grewcock.

In summary then, I'd make the following changes:

Quinlan out, Croft in,
Vickery out, White in,
Armitage as an extra Full Back, can also cover Centre and Wing. As well as a goal kicker.

I know im English, and so are all my changes, but they seem pretty sensible to me!

Edited to add, Powell got found out by Worsley, and I'd rather have taken Ryan Jones instead. His game is too one-dimensional, stand by to see Burger lining up at Fly-Half to smash him on the burst.
 
#19
dogs_bollox said:
BobMugabe said:
Royalmile

So FEW England players - now you know that won't be countenanced at a high level
And a plethora of Scots I do see. Comensurate with their 6 Nations performances of course :D

D_B
No complaints from me over so few Scots due to fly out. We were cr*p all season. We gave both the All Blacks and South Africa a hard time in the autumn series, but they still beat us.
Yes there are a few Scots who would do well on the tour (Paterson, Blair, Cusiter, Ford and the Evans brothers) , but in truth others took their chances and deservedly got picked in front of them.
I would agree that Croft has been very unlucky but predict that he, Blair and perhaps Ford will fly out as BCRs during the tour.
Still think it will be 3-0 to SA though.
 
#20
So what do we think of the skipper then? Keith Wood (bowing now) was on the radio saying a Lions Captain really ought to be in the pack because of the physical nature of Lions matches. Don't see anyone better than O'Connell? That said, he's a GREAT Munster skipper but then Munster men are a breed of their own. Will it work in SA?

I do agree though that O'Driscoll could do without the mantle - just let him off his leash to play his normal blistering game.
 

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