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LIONS XV THREAD (FOR 6N BREAK W/E)
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Gravitas? What Gravitas?
Posted - 16 February 2017 12:52
As there's no rugby on this weekend, and no prediction thread to go at, hows about a Lions thread instead?

At the nearly half way mark, based on the last two weeks of action, this would be my pick. It's England heavy, but so am I, and so has the champioship been so far. I don't like picking Marler and Cole much either, but so far they've not been their usual penalty machine selves, so on that basis they go in:


1. Marler
2. Hartley (c)
3. Cole
4. Launchbury
5. Itoje
6. Stander
7. Haskell
8. Moriaty
9. Webb
10. Ford
11. Daly
12. Farrell
13. Ringrose
14. Gilroy
15. Hogg
Wellington
Posted - 16 February 2017 13:14
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Hartley isn't even the best hooker in the England team let along the British Isles.

1. Marler
2. Best
3. Cole
4. Toner
5. Launchbury
6. Itoje
7. Tipuirc
8. Billy (if fit) Moriaty / Heaslip if not.
9. Webb
10. Farrell
11. Daly / Earls
12. Henshaw
13. Ringrose
14. North
15. Hogg
Wellington
Posted - 16 February 2017 13:15
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would add that i never know what constitutes a good prob tbh so hard to pick which ones would be best.
Brad's big donger
Posted - 16 February 2017 13:18
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1 Allan Dell
2 Dylan Hartley (CAPTAIN)
3 Dan Cole
4 Joe Launchbury
5 Courtney Lawes
6 Maro Itoje
7 Tom Wood
8 Nathan Hughes
9 Danny Care
10 George Ford
11 Elliot Daly
12 Owen Farrell
13 Jonathan Joseph
14 Jack Nowell
15 Stuart Hogg
Wellington
Posted - 16 February 2017 13:22
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lol @ Brad.

Lawes? Danny Care? heh
aviator
Posted - 16 February 2017 13:29
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I doubt Hartley will be on the plane.

I quite like Weller's teamsheet. Brad has clearly been drinking.

(At my school/club/university the sheet started with the 15. Unless I am mistaken, which I often am.)
Gravitas? What Gravitas?
Posted - 16 February 2017 13:33
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To be clear I'm basing this on this year's 6N games so far, not perceived value of any given player (hence no Vunipolas and pick of Cole and Marler (who until now I had thought were the real weak links of this England team)). So Lawes should be in with a shout.
Wellington
Posted - 16 February 2017 13:49
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so you're picking a team of the tournament so far excluding Italy and France?

There are players who haven't played in the 6N who will make the team and also players who haven't played well but should still be in the team based on their club / historic form.
Martian Law
Posted - 16 February 2017 13:50
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I think this will be the XV (not necessarily what I think it should be)

1.M Vunipola
2.Best
3.Furlong
4.Wyn Jones
5.Itoje
6.Robshaw
7. Warburton
8.Heaslip
9.Murray
10.Sexton
11.L Williams
12.Farrell
13.J Davies
14.Watson
15.Hogg


Brad's big donger
Posted - 16 February 2017 14:01
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I don't see whinge jones making it out of the dirt trackers
aviator
Posted - 16 February 2017 14:02
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I believe that his name is Jones (Alun-Wyn). But I agree that he should be on the sheet.
aviator
Posted - 16 February 2017 14:02
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He may even be skipper.
12
Posted - 16 February 2017 14:20
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I have various potential XVs depending on whether we're talking about what I think Gatland will do, what he should do, or a form XV based on 6 Nations. If the latter:

Marler
Best / Owens
Furlong
Launchbury
J Gray
Stander
Warburton
Moriarty
Murray
Farrell
Nowell
Henshaw
Daly
L Williams
Hogg

Personally my preferred team would be very different.

Wellington
Posted - 16 February 2017 14:25
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Lions teams have never been picked on the basis of most recent 6N form. It might lead to a couple of people like Ringrose forcing their way into the team / squad but i suspect Gatland is canny enough to pick experienced hands who have a good track record rather than basing it on a relatively short sample period of games.
Brad's big donger
Posted - 16 February 2017 14:35
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Not much point picking anything other than aform 6N team at the moment though because there are a few more brutal 6N tests to be played, and then there is alot of rugby betweene now and the tour with premiership and pro 12 play offs and finals to get out of the way.

lots of scope for injuries to give a few bolters a seat on the plane....


Alun-whinge is not one of the top 4 locks in GB and Ireland.
aviator
Posted - 16 February 2017 14:49
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May be something in that Brad but he is Welsh and Gatland likes him.
Gravitas? What Gravitas?
Posted - 16 February 2017 15:13
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OK fair enough, possibly my OP rules were a little limited, so here is my, as we stand, taking into account the first two rounds of the 6N as being more determinative than past achievements, Lions 15

Vunipola
Hartley (c)
Cole
Launchbury
Itoje
Stander
Tipuric
Vunipola

Murray
Ford
May
Farrell
Joseph
Watson
Hogg

(I'm a bit concerned my back three is defensively suspect but they all go like kittens off a shovel so for now make it in)
Wellington
Posted - 16 February 2017 15:22
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Annoyingly i think we are going to take a spanking off the ABs
Gravitas? What Gravitas?
Posted - 16 February 2017 15:27
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We are going to get torn a new one. A scratch team taking on the best team to have ever played the game?*






*until 2019 when England will hold that mantle
intheregions
Posted - 16 February 2017 15:29
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I can see someone like Sean O'Brien getting the captaincy
kc101
Posted - 16 February 2017 16:07
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I think it is unlikely to go worse than 2005's miserable tour. That felt over-reliant on key players from an England team that had peaked over 2 years previously. But maybe I am kidding myself.
old git roundabout
Posted - 16 February 2017 16:33
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I'm declaring Saffa 'project' players ineligible.

1. Vunipola
2. George
3. Furlong
4. Kruis
5. Itoje
6. Warburton
7. Watson
8. Vunipola

9. Murray
10. Farrell
11. Seymour
12. Dunbar
13. Ringrose
14. Nowell
15 Hogg

Bench

16. McGrath
17. Owens
18. Launchbury
19 Haskell
20. Wigglesworth
21. Goode
22. Earls
old git roundabout
Posted - 16 February 2017 16:33
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Soz, Tipuric, not Haskell
Brad's big donger
Posted - 16 February 2017 16:34
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Richard Wigglesworth?!
kc101
Posted - 16 February 2017 16:59
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Strikes me putting Ringrose straight into the XV would be brave, but he'd just get steamrollered. Great judgment and reading of the game for his age, but he'd get targeted and the physicality of his play isn't there yet. He should certainly be on the plane though.
old git roundabout
Posted - 16 February 2017 17:06
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Wiggo can come on and give something different - best kicking scrum half in England. There's always a wildcard Lions selection from outside the 6N teams, eg Bentley, Stevens
Brad's big donger
Posted - 16 February 2017 17:30
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Like he did against Australia last time he played international rugby??!
old git roundabout
Posted - 16 February 2017 17:44
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better than fatty Youngs or Danny Two Step.

Gravitas? What Gravitas?
Posted - 16 February 2017 18:05
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Sadly OGR I think that tradition (it used to be one uncapped player I believe) has died a death.

That said, if I was going to take someone uncapped (or overlooked) it certainly wouldn't be Richard Wigglesworth.
Gravitas? What Gravitas?
Posted - 16 February 2017 18:06
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Christ he got 27 caps!
Spurius
Posted - 16 February 2017 18:12
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Most of these teams are a bit random with the exception of 12's (with the possible substitution of Webb and Biggar at half backs and maybe Zebo. And maybe Ringrose with Daly on the other wing).

What would your preferred 15 be?
old git roundabout
Posted - 16 February 2017 18:16
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Matt Stevens went last time.

The uncapped tradition is the Baa Baas - hence Wilkinson of Cambridge University played lock in the great 1973 match against New Zealand alongside the legends from the 1971 Lions Tour. He was never capped by England.
aviator
Posted - 16 February 2017 18:21
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Spurius, 15 - Hogg (first name on the list). And Goode ofc.
Jethro the Tubby Lutonian Goon
Posted - 16 February 2017 18:26
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1. Marler
2. Joseph
3. Cole
4. Launchbury
5. Wyn-Jones (c)
6. Itoje
7. Haskell
8. B Vunipola
9. Youngs
10. Ford
11. Daly
12. Farrell
13. Ringrose
14. Nowell
15. Hogg
aviator
Posted - 16 February 2017 19:09
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Laz, his name is Jones (Alun-Wyn) but I agree that he might be captain.
12
Posted - 16 February 2017 19:15
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FYI Hogg wouldn't be my full back. His defence is too limited.

Presently I'd be looking at Kearney, Watson, Daly, L Williams maybe. Hogg will be a great player for sure, but he's exposed so often.
aviator
Posted - 16 February 2017 19:19
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Nah, the first name on the list at 15 is:

15- Hogg (then Goode)
Brad's big donger
Posted - 16 February 2017 19:19
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Do you think Alan Whinge Jones can be captain if Wales come 5th in the six nations?
Meninist
Posted - 16 February 2017 19:54
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Hogg can't tackle!
Brad's big donger
Posted - 16 February 2017 19:57
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Dan Biggar disagrees....

aviator
Posted - 16 February 2017 20:00
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I have no (and less than some) reason to favour the Welsh but Gatland likes him so yes. Who else as captain? Hartley won't/shouldn't be on the aircraft.
Meninist
Posted - 16 February 2017 20:00
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1 Vunipola
2 George
3 Nel (if fit) / Furlong
4 Itoje (c)
5 Kruis
6 Stander
7 O'Brien
8 Vunipola

9 Murray
10 Sexton

12 Farrell
13 Joseph

11 Daly
14 Watson
15 L Williams
aviator
Posted - 16 February 2017 20:07
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15 Hogg
14 Nowell
13 Daly
12 Dunbar
11 Zebo
10 Farell
9 Youngs

8 Vunipola (b)
7 Tipuric
6 Haskell
5 Itoje
4 Jones (A-W) (c)
3 Cole
2 George
1 Vunipola (m)
Warwick Davis
Posted - 17 February 2017 07:25
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As 12 said above, the side Gatland will pick is not the side that is the top form in the 6N, nor will it be the side I'd pick. He's an incredibly conservative coach.

I'd go for:

1- Mako V
2-
Warwick Davis
Posted - 17 February 2017 07:28
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Argh.

1 Mako V
2- George
3 Furlong
4 Itoje
5 Launchbury
6 Stander
7 Tipuric
8 Billy V
9 Murray
10 Farrell
11 Daly
12 Henshaw
13 Joseph
14 Nowell
15 Hogg

But I'm too English centric looking at that. I must be able to do better in the backs. The pack I'm v happy with indeed. Not a Sarries fan but I can't see past including all those five.
Montagueh
Posted - 17 February 2017 10:22
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Hartley won't be on the plane...Jones likely to be captain, unless England win grand slam again, in which case Farrell will probably be captain, as Jones can't really justify his place in the starting 15, given the other locks out there, and Best and Laidlaw aren't definite starters, whereas Farrell is a certainty to play...
Spurius
Posted - 17 February 2017 11:33
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Anyone on this thread who has picked Itoje at flanker or Ford and Farrell in the same team or frankly JJ at outside centre is an Englishman with no fvcking idea about rugby and their views can be immediately discounted. Just so that's clear.
Duckworth Lewis
Posted - 17 February 2017 11:37
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what about that brilliant guy who played centre for england in the world cup? he might be playing rugby league now but he could come back to union
12
Posted - 17 February 2017 11:55
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Ford and Farrell I agree, although the 2 playmakers option works well for England.

JJ though, disagree. Genuine pace, lovely feet, decent pass usually, and by far the best 13 in the 6 Nations in terms of defensive organisation.

Options:

Davies - flatters to deceive in my view, lacks pace, panics too much for my liking, capable of some horrible errors.
Ringrose - prob not experienced enough.
Payne - too lightweight for me.
Huw Jones / Duncan Taylor - probably lacking experience / all round game
Daly not really experienced at 13 internationally.

I suppose depends on how you want the backline to function, but what are the options? JJ certainly not an egregious choice at the moment.


Saracens1876
Posted - 17 February 2017 12:05
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Will be interesting to see how Ford goes at Leicester next season.

Obviously I am biased but Farrell would be an interesting and brave choice but he has developed his running game and would be first choice kicker and fly half on present form.

Hartley is not the best England hooker and not match fit so would be surprised if he is picked.

Brad's big donger
Posted - 17 February 2017 12:14
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Hartley has until June to get match fit. He will be match fit by the end of the six nations. I expect he'll play the full 80 against Italy and 60 to 70 minutes for the Scotland and Ireland games.

The only thing that will stop him touring is getting banned for doing something stupid at Saints between now and then.
Gravitas? What Gravitas?
Posted - 17 February 2017 12:35
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If Hartley finishes the season as captain of England and England win the 6N then I don't see how you can leave him out (absent any more club bans), for leadership reasons alone. He's getting hauled off at the moment because he is not fully match fit.

Agree with 12 re JJ, the only other decent OC out there is Ringrose who is very green (pun intended) and would be targeted mercilessly by the ABs. JJ can defend and attack and put his wingers away.

Farrel and Ford is an odd one. Most people here (and pundits tbf) are suggesting Gatland pick the (current) 6N form team's 12 at 10, and drop their 10 altogether. Not saying it's wrong per se, but it's certainly unusual.

I'm going for the pair of them now because it's working for England. I doubt Gatland will.

It wouldn't surprise me however if Farrell lines up alongside Teo in Dublin in a month's time.
old git roundabout
Posted - 17 February 2017 12:41
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Ford will have a nightmare at Leicester until they rediscover their traditional strength up front.
12
Posted - 17 February 2017 12:47
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Agreed Ford - that Leicester pack needs to get sorted otherwise he'll be going backwards and get roasted (as most 10s do when pack going backwards).

Ford's been under the radar this season, but in the Welsh game his variety of passing was captivating at times. Kept the Welsh defence guessing where Farrell so often executes well but predictably.

Thing is, until this England side plays NZ there are lots of unanswered questions. Right now we'd get smoked. Fully fit, little bit more experienced, playing a little tighter gameplan-wise, who knows.
old git roundabout
Posted - 17 February 2017 12:49
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if Ireland can beat them, no reason why England can't.
12
Posted - 17 February 2017 12:51
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I don't think there's any doubt that most of the top teams can beat the All Blacks. We beat them with Brad Barritt in the back line ffs. But it's generally a one-off per country every now and then.
Gravitas? What Gravitas?
Posted - 17 February 2017 12:56
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Agree re Eng vs NZ, but then we don't play them till next year (not sure if it's in the summer down there or winter up here).

That said, there is a lot for this England team still to do.

1. Decide who we leave out when Billy V, Kruis and Robshaw are back
2. Decide who to play in the backrow - Hask is the form player at the moment, can't see Wood being long term, Itoje likely not the answer, too soon to say re Clifford
3. Work out the centres (I suspect this is it, but could see a shift to Farrell and Teo)
4. Work out who will replace Brown at fullback. Still don't have too much of an issue with him now, he's dependable in defence, but isn't beating the first tackler so much any more, and he won't be around in 2019.
Spurius
Posted - 17 February 2017 13:22
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Fair points re JJ, he had a shyt game v Wales by his standards but if on form her probably gets in.
Saracens1876
Posted - 17 February 2017 14:04
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lay off Brad 12. He may not be that attacking option England need but he did a job for them a couple of years ago and not much gets past him. I am quite pleased he can run the line for club as we were shite last week. Ditto Ashton.

Itoje is a world class lock not a world class number 6. Billy V is a world class number 8 so it is the flankers and think Haskell and Robshaw work very well as a trio with Billy.

Brown has lost a couple of yards of pace. So move Daly to full back.

Farrell may not be quite as good yet as other number 10's (Sexton) but is physically able to deal with the challenge and is having a big impact on England. Clifford was OK but very raw. OF's passing is much improved. Ford has the subtlety to his passing but is quite slight and not up for the big hits and his place kicking is awful at the moment.
12
Posted - 17 February 2017 14:08
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Spurius - ignoring form, who do you think is better at 13?

Sarries - Barritt's a fantastic club centre, and was a competent test centre. My point is that no world class test team could have Barritt there, as much because of what he doesn't offer as what he does. Strong defence is just an expectation these days, and Barritt offers little else.
Brad's big donger
Posted - 17 February 2017 14:19
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Itoje played lock last week with no 6 on his back. Go back and look at all the scrums. Lawes packed down at blindside wing forward wearing no 5 on his shirt.
Brad's big donger
Posted - 17 February 2017 14:20
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Itoje played lock last week with no 6 on his back. Go back and look at all the scrums. Lawes packed down at blindside wing forward wearing no 5 on his shirt.
Saracens1876
Posted - 17 February 2017 17:57
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fair argument 12.
(_I_) @ I\I g O
Posted - 17 February 2017 18:03
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I know a relation of one of the players advocated above and he (the relation) is a total ladypart . I once punched him right in the cock to stop him him kicking my m7 dave. I hope he gets the syph
Spurius
Posted - 17 February 2017 18:53
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12 - having actually thought about it now, and ignoring form, nobody.

I like Daly and Ringrose but I take your points about both.
Chambers
Posted - 17 February 2017 19:18
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Daly is quicker than Brown, certainly a better kicker, better positionally maybe, but under a high ball with two or three people chasing him down ? I'm not sure that has yet been tested.
BurtMoreover
Posted - 17 February 2017 19:30
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1 Mako Vunipola
2- Best (c)
3 Furlong
4 Itoje
5 Wyn-Jones
6 Stander
7 O'Brien
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Murray
10 Farrell
11 Byrne (or North if he clearly recovers from head knack)
12 Henshaw
13 Joseph
14 Zebo
15 Hogg

Having said that I reckon Webb and Biggar might be on course to peak for the Tour and might get 9 and 10 and if so Gatland will move Farrell to 12