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SimplyGiggs

Lions Tour to NZ 2017

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Squad is official. Sam Warburton captain.

Biggest stories? Most likely will be the exclusion of Ford, Launchbury and Hartley. The latter is no surprise to me, his performances have been left wanting - Jamie George a better choice. In reality it will be an uphill struggle regardless of who is touring, but a pretty good squad on the whole.

Edited by SimplyGiggs

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I'm guessing launchbury missed out to increase the diversity of the squad. Wales are a little overrepresented given their form. Biggar and halfpenny are especially lucky to be included. Otherwise i think its a decent squad. There are are lot of positions where there is little to choose between the candidates. 

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Launchbury had a good Six Nation, shame for him. Delighted for Henderson, though. He's had a good season for Ulster and was fantastic against England. He was always an amazing talent, even at schools level - he played against my brother a couple of times. Nice to see Payne get called up too.

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I think it's a pretty difficult test team to pick. Especially right now with a lot of rugby to play. Based on the type of game the Lions will most likely play and Gatland's history, this is my best guess:

Hogg, Halfpenny, Joseph, Farrell, North, Sexton, Murray; Vunipola, Owens, Furlong, Itoje, AW Jones, Warburton, Stander, Vunipola.

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I listened to it on the radio about halfway through the first half. I wouldn't call it a disaster but it's a worryingly unconvincing win against a weak side.

Even playing poorly the lions should be winning by at least 20 points. Doesn't this demonstrate that some of the players in that starting xi aren't good enough or lacking form. If new zealand went on tour and had a similar type of result they'd be slaughtered. This is why they are number one in the world.

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It doesn't really look like the lions have a hope in hell of winning a series against the all blacks. I do like a number of the non english players but one can't see at the moment how a lions team with gatland as coach can even reach the levels of england under jones, never mind win this series.

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1 hour ago, TheBeardedOne said:

A great win. Probably near a full strength lions team. To win the test series though i think we have to improve further by scoring more tries. 

They'll never out play the All Blacks, there needs to be more fluidity and there's not enough time. Most likely route to wins this series is controlled defence, tight set piece and strong forward ball carriers.

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On 6/10/2017 at 15:21, SimplyGiggs said:

They'll never out play the All Blacks, there needs to be more fluidity and there's not enough time. Most likely route to wins this series is controlled defence, tight set piece and strong forward ball carriers.

The lions need to stick to what they do well but when opportunities arise near the all black line they need to be a lot more clinical than they have been so far.

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The likely test side that has beaten the maoris and crusaders will surely give the all blacks more of a run for their money than clive woodwards lions. They look very strong in the front five with the saracens combinations and the irish back row and half backs. Jonathan davies and teo won't let anyone down but i think there is a lack of spark out wide and fullback. 

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15 Halfpenny (by default, Hogg will be missed)
14 North
13 J. Davies
12 Farrell
11 Watson
10 Sexton
9 Murray
8 Faleatu
7 O'Brien
6 O'Mahoney
5 Itoje
4 Wyn Davies
3 Furlong
2 George
1 Vunipola

Pretty sure that's what we'll see. I think playing both Farrell and Sexton is what they'll end up doing. Gotta gree with @TheBeardedOne though. That back 3 is lacking...
Warburton will be on the bench but I wouldn't be surprised if he starts.

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47 minutes ago, dualtamac said:

15 Halfpenny (by default, Hogg will be missed)
14 North
13 J. Davies
12 Farrell
11 Watson
10 Sexton
9 Murray
8 Faleatu
7 O'Brien
6 O'Mahoney
5 Itoje
4 Wyn Davies
3 Furlong
2 George
1 Vunipola

Pretty sure that's what we'll see. I think playing both Farrell and Sexton is what they'll end up doing. Gotta gree with @TheBeardedOne though. That back 3 is lacking...
Warburton will be on the bench but I wouldn't be surprised if he starts.

Te'o has been one of the few standouts and has to play. If Farrell is fit, Sexton should only be on the bench.

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4 minutes ago, SimplyGiggs said:

Te'o has been one of the few standouts and has to play. If Farrell is fit, Sexton should only be on the bench.

I think Te'o has been fantastic and I wouldn't be shocked or disappointed if he starts. Just a feeling they'll try the two playmakers. If it's a battle between Farrell and Sexton for 10 Farrell wins no questions.

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Backs: Liam Williams (Wales); Anthony Watson (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Ben Te'o (England), Elliot Daly (England); Owen Farrell (England), Conor Murray (Ireland).

Forwards: Maka Vunipola (England), Jamie George (England), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland); Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), George Kruis (England); Peter O'Mahony (capt, Ireland), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Taulupe Faletau (Wales)

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Actually pretty happy with the back three finally. They can go. Even though I thought Nowell comfortably outperformed Daly against the Chiefs.

Delighted for Peter O'Mahony, would have been my overall captain. A player's player.

 

I think this team has a real chance. 

Replacements: 16. Ken Owens, 17. Jack McGrath, 18. Kyle Sinckler, 19. Maro Itoje, 20. Sam Warburton, 21. Rhys Webb, 22. Jonathan Sexton, 23. Leigh Halfpenny.

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3 hours ago, dualtamac said:

Actually pretty happy with the back three finally. They can go. Even though I thought Nowell comfortably outperformed Daly against the Chiefs.

Delighted for Peter O'Mahony, would have been my overall captain. A player's player.

 

I think this team has a real chance. 

Replacements: 16. Ken Owens, 17. Jack McGrath, 18. Kyle Sinckler, 19. Maro Itoje, 20. Sam Warburton, 21. Rhys Webb, 22. Jonathan Sexton, 23. Leigh Halfpenny.

Totally agreed with North being left out - Daly or Nowell was a toss up all along, I would've played Itoje over AWJ to start, even though I understand the decision

Also I'm very much in the minority here but not overly sold on Liam over Halfpenny FB even though he's more of an attacking threat - I guess without halfpenny's kicking it's favourable to some exdtent though

Overall happy with the team, still think we're getting stuffed but happy with Gatland's selection

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