The 2021 Lions

Mr Notherone

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Backs: Josh Adams, Bundee Aki, Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Gareth Davies, Owen Farrell, Chris Harris, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Conor Murray, Ali Price, Lewis Rees-Zammit, Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams.

Forwards: Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Zander Fagerson, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones (capt.), Wyn Jones, Courtney Lawes, Ken Owens, Andrew Porter, Sam Simmonds, Rory Sutherland, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Hamish Watson.

So there we have it. 11 English, 10 Welsh, 8 Scots and 8 Irish. A few surprises but a pretty well balanced squad. The mid-field looks a bit underpowered to me though, shame North wasn't available. Nice to see Gatland put two fingers up to Eddie and take Simmonds. I think Daly is lucky and there for his versatility. Surprised that Aki is included and that Slade is not. Some will be surprised that Jonathan Davies is missing, but I don't think he's the player he was. Sinkler is unlucky and so too is Navidi, although the back row is probably the most competitive area.

We'll have the usual few moans about the squad and then everyone will start picking the test team...I just hope everyone stays fit and that the squad makes it onto the plane.
 

delray

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11 English?? Wow, very surprised. Bar Itoje, the Saracens contingent can consider themselves very fortunate; playing Ampthill etc is no prep for playing the South Africans.
The great big lump who plays midfield for SA (playing in Ireland now?) will be licking his lips at the thought of getting stuck into any midfield combo we can come up with and Launchbury misses out again, although I think he's injured at the moment anyway.

Is the Tour likely to go ahead? I thought SA was not a good place to be re the Virus.
 

shortcircuit

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Sexton could count himself unlucky, proven Lions performer in the successful tours in Australia and NZ. Short of game time perhaps
 

PaulD

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A few surprises there . . . Jonny Hill, thought he was a 'passenger' in the England team, Ken Owens - never understood why Gatland selected him ahead of Dylan Hartley even when Owens was playing at his best - Courtney Lawes, I'm a huge fan but with his recent injury problems and lack of playing, I think it's a risky selection - and I do believe we're a touch light at scrum half.
 

Mr Notherone

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A few surprises there . . . Jonny Hill, thought he was a 'passenger' in the England team, Ken Owens - never understood why Gatland selected him ahead of Dylan Hartley even when Owens was playing at his best - Courtney Lawes, I'm a huge fan but with his recent injury problems and lack of playing, I think it's a risky selection - and I do believe we're a touch light at scrum half.
I thought Owens had a very strong 6N and a lot of pundits have him as test starter, we will see. There are three strong hookers. Perhaps Lawes is there to cover 6 too, injury apart he's been one of England's most consistent forwards. Agree that 9 looks light, but the more I think about it the mid-field is a bit worrying.

Couldn't think who Hill was...had to look him up :)
 

original cormorant

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A few surprises there . . . Jonny Hill, thought he was a 'passenger' in the England team, Ken Owens - never understood why Gatland selected him ahead of Dylan Hartley even when Owens was playing at his best - Courtney Lawes, I'm a huge fan but with his recent injury problems and lack of playing, I think it's a risky selection - and I do believe we're a touch light at scrum half.
I think you'll find Dylan Hartley missed lions tours through suspension rather than being ignored. If I remember correctly on the last tour he was suspended for calling Wayne Barnes an f..ing cheat after he had been selected. Consequently on the last tour the test hooker was Jamie George - so Owens was third in line(and probably still is).
 
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PaulD

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I think you'll find Dylan Hartley missed lions tours through suspension rather than being ignored.
Dylan missed one Lions Tour (2013) after he received an 11 week ban for abusing Wayne Barnes . . . I think he must have got to the front of the abusing queue.

He wasn't omitted because of a ban while he was England Captain in 2017.
 
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Backs: Josh Adams, Bundee Aki, Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Gareth Davies, Owen Farrell, Chris Harris, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Conor Murray, Ali Price, Lewis Rees-Zammit, Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams.

Forwards: Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Zander Fagerson, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones (capt.), Wyn Jones, Courtney Lawes, Ken Owens, Andrew Porter, Sam Simmonds, Rory Sutherland, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Hamish Watson.

So there we have it. 11 English, 10 Welsh, 8 Scots and 8 Irish. A few surprises but a pretty well balanced squad. The mid-field looks a bit underpowered to me though, shame North wasn't available. Nice to see Gatland put two fingers up to Eddie and take Simmonds. I think Daly is lucky and there for his versatility. Surprised that Aki is included and that Slade is not. Some will be surprised that Jonathan Davies is missing, but I don't think he's the player he was. Sinkler is unlucky and so too is Navidi, although the back row is probably the most competitive area.

We'll have the usual few moans about the squad and then everyone will start picking the test team...I just hope everyone stays fit and that the squad makes it onto the plane.
I reckon we got a bit lucky with 11 guys. Do Hill, Daly, Bundee Aki and Farrell deserve spots? Hard lines for Sinckler, Sexton, Garry Ringrose and the other Scottish back row guy though.

If Simmonds plays well it will be a slap in the face for Eddie Jones haha.
 

Mr Notherone

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I reckon we got a bit lucky with 11 guys. Do Hill, Daly, Bundee Aki and Farrell deserve spots? Hard lines for Sinckler, Sexton, Garry Ringrose and the other Scottish back row guy though.
Being a bit Orwellian, I'm sure all those selected deserve it, but some deserve it more than others...

Every four years at this stage you can come up with a very good XV comprising those who didn't make it...
Keenan, May, Slade, Redpath, Nowell, Sexton, Care, Marler, Kelleher, Sinkler, Gray, Launchbury, Ritchie, Underhill, Navidi.
 

PaulD

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I reckon we got a bit lucky with 11 guys. Do Hill, Daly, Bundee Aki and Farrell deserve spots?
Bundee Aki is Irish.

I have a deal of sympathy for Jonny May as I think a player of his proven skill and not least size could have been an asset in S Africa.
 
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Bundee Aki is Irish.

I have a deal of sympathy for Jonny May as I think a player of his proven skill and not least size could have been an asset in S Africa.
Yeah I know. Should have set out my sentence differently to specify that I think RIngrose was unlucky to not get picked over his compatriot in the midfield. Obviously Chris Harris and Robbie Henshaw still have that area covered well.

Jonny May is a bit of a shame. He seemed to be on fire in the Autumn Nations compared to the 6N and I think Gatland probably thought he'd dropped in form. The wingers on the sheet are all very capable though. Fingers crossed they can take on Kolbe!!!
 
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Being a bit Orwellian, I'm sure all those selected deserve it, but some deserve it more than others...

Every four years at this stage you can come up with a very good XV comprising those who didn't make it...
Keenan, May, Slade, Redpath, Nowell, Sexton, Care, Marler, Kelleher, Sinkler, Gray, Launchbury, Ritchie, Underhill, Navidi.
Suppose I am but I didn't mean my comment to come off that way. The players selected are still very capable as you say. I still reckon that the Lions are going to win 2-1 but don't want to jinx it!
 

PaulD

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Listening to Warren Gatland being interviewed yesterday, it was interesting to hear his view that he thought S Africa, as demonstrated in their World Cup success, had returned to their traditional focus of physical confrontation as the basis of their fundamental game plan.

Some years ago I had the estimable 'Broon frae Troon' working in my team. A beer (or two) with Gordon often promoted tales from his Lions Tours and particularly the '99' tour of S Africa in 1974. When you look at the 'rugby' you wonder how today's players would respond to the challenge . . . when the referee's role was clearly one of a barely interested spectator in contrast with today's on and off field 'officials'.

 

delray

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Being a bit Orwellian, I'm sure all those selected deserve it, but some deserve it more than others...

Every four years at this stage you can come up with a very good XV comprising those who didn't make it...
Keenan, May, Slade, Redpath, Nowell, Sexton, Care, Marler, Kelleher, Sinkler, Gray, Launchbury, Ritchie, Underhill, Navidi.
Good side! That front 5 could take on any permutation from the selected squad.
Highly paid sportsmen, well coached, unbelievably fit and strong leads to a levelling out at the top end hence differing views on the best/most suited to a tough tour.
Our rugby club old farts 'phone group was very active last night, the main bone' being Saracens players.
 

Mr Notherone

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When you look at the 'rugby' you wonder how today's players would respond to the challenge . . . when the referee's role was clearly one of a barely interested spectator in contrast with today's on and off field 'officials'.
Is there another mainstream sport that has changed so much in 50 years? can't think of one. It's easy to forget how violent the game was at all levels. Also, the law changes have profoundly changed the game. Take a look at footage of the famous 73 barbarians game..hardly any of the ball in play time could exist under current laws. It looks chaotic compared to the stop-start formula we watch now under television microscopes.
 

billy fish

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Bryan Williams would have been sent off early in the game if we applied today’s laws on tackle height. More in the past than present, Ireland had always benefitted from “chaos” rugby and teams had to learn to deal with it . That’s why it’s called test rugby.
 

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