The Silverfern B&I Lions...



  • Whom do the 'fern see as the respective best players for the Lions...?

    Considering the AB's lineup vs Ireland on the weekend is probably our #1 lineup incl. Kaino and Crotty or SBW for Fekitoa - ALB stays in. Maybe Milner-Skudder for Dagg, maybe not. Its shaping to be a hell of a series...

    Personally, I don't think the Lions will be lucky enough to have all their best players available by the 1st test...they're going to be seriously battered by the time they get to the AB's

    Heres a most of a XV that have impressed me...
    1
    2 Best or Hartley
    3
    4, 5 from: Donnacha Ryan, Devon Toner, Courtney Lawes, (Marco Itoje will get in there somewhere) Irish Locks impressed me, they mostly held their own ball, and matched it well enough with Whitelock and Retallick in key locking areas. Retallick is the man because he just offers all the extras - can he start taking shots at goal ala John Eales?
    6 Robshaw maybe
    7 O'Brien (Warburton is overrated - O'Brien just wants to mix it with the AB's)
    8 Faletau
    9 Conor Murray
    10 Sexton
    11 North (looked good until injured in 2nd test?)
    12 Farrell
    13
    14
    15 Halfpenny

    I reckon the AB's will have parity in the Front Rows, advantage in Locks, maybe slight disadvantage in back row - depending on how Cane, Kaino, Read hold up.
    Pretty even in 9 & 10, thank god A.Smith has a super season to sort his shit out.
    Wings & Midfield even. I like the Crotty/ALB combo. How will SBW go outside Barrett?
    Ben Smith > than anything the B&I have.
    We won't have that advantage of going boom with 20min to go. We'll have to be up for it from 1st minute.



  • If you're going to do this probably you will need to start by watching the 6N as a minimum but probably the European rugby championship too. Watching NZ play Ireland twice and then chuck a few names just won't cut it.



  • I agree theres little point in starting this now as there is a whole 6-nations to go, but as I said, these are the guys that have impressed me thus far - and I was putting it out there for others to add to, or take away.
    Isn't speculation part of the fun?
    Work ourselves up into a lather, only for the AB's to skin them anyway?

    Can't state whom impressed me in a 6-nations that hasn't been played yet.

    Have I watched all of the End of Year tests? no.
    Have these players taken it up to the AB's recently? yes.
    Do I know much about props? no.
    Haven't really seen a centre that impresses me, nor a winger.



  • Interesting to consider but as Billy Tell says a bit early with the 6N to come. However based on form and to an extent rep, (injuries aside) if the fist XV were being picked today I'd go with:-

    1. Vunipola
    2. Hartley
    3. Really not sure.
    4. A-W Jones
    5. Itoje.
    6. SOB (out of position I know but he's not an out and out 7 anyway)
    7. Tipuric
    8. Vunipola (I just don't get the love for Faletau and Billy V has upped his fitness and developed some footwork)
    9. Murray (honourable mention to Rhys Webb)
    10. Sexton
    11. North
    12. Farrell
    13. Difficult, I like Daly but he's inexperienced. Probably J Davies.
    14. Zebo.
    15. Liam Williams or Brown, not sure


  • @Catogrande said in The Silverfern B&I Lions...:

    1. Liam Williams or Brown, not sure

    Hogg?



    1. Vunipola
    2. George
    3. Furlong
    4. Itoje
    5. Kruis
    6. Robshaw
    7. O'Brien
    8. Vunipola
    9. Murray
    10. Sexton
    11. Williams
    12. Farrell
    13. Daly
    14. Watson
    15. Hogg

    Too many Welshies with big reputations have been playing like sh*t for too long now. Only Liam Williams (despite his stupid face) deserves to be there. I'm sure Gatland will select more though.



    1. Vunipola

    2. Best

    3. Tahdg Furlong

    4. Itoje

    5. Johnny Gray

    6. Faletau

    7. O'Brien/Haskell

    8. Vunipola

    9. Conor Murray

    10. Farrell (is still a very good fly half despite playing @12 for England and Sexton is always injured and I don't like him )

    11. North

    12. Henshaw

    13. Elliot Daly (just has to overtake Jonathan Joseph first)

    14. Liam Williams

    15. Stuart Hogg

    16. Jamie George (Reckon he will overtake Hartley soon and is good value as an impact player)

    17. McGrath

    18. Someone dynamic, TBC

    19. Launchbury or Toner

    20. Tipuric or Van der Flier, both good impact

    21. Rhys Webb

    22. Finn Russell or Ford

    23. Anthony Watson or maybe a centre with some utility value, maybe Jonathan Davies, some experience to boot too.



  • In Vunipola (what a serious career turnaround he's had, from fat bosh merchant to serious player), Faletau, and Heaslip, the Lions are swimming in #8 talent. Their locks will be awesome, and the equal of ours. Front row is never a problem.

    The talent on show shouldn't be an issue, it's whether or not Gatland can actually pick it, and find a plan to compliment it. If he turns up with the 23 biggest blokes he can find and tries to bash us, then it's 3-0 to us.

    We won't win just by talent, and we won't win by depth. Our biggest advantage, as always, will be the ability of our entire 23 to play with the ball. And it's a settled cohesive side v a scratch team. Gatland will need to sort out how he uses the tour. In Aus he chopped and changed each week, and it took until the 3rd test to properly gel. He can't wait that long on this tour.



  • I reckon the Lions would do better if they picked a squad of 32. Spent some serious time bounding in camp, played a couple of games with their best XV and hit the AB's fresh.

    We're always a bit dusty that first test.

    I just can't see how the best 23 players the Lions have will make it to the first test. They are going to lose players during the games against the super sides - can you remember the last game the AB's didn't lose someone to injury (actually the Italian test maybe) but again, B.Smith, Cane out just in the last test.

    Hope we keep Cruden through even just one more year.



  • @Duluth said in The Silverfern B&I Lions...:

    @Catogrande said in The Silverfern B&I Lions...:

    1. Liam Williams or Brown, not sure

    Hogg?

    Good call. I'd forgotten about him.



  • Long way out still, but for what it's worth

    1. McGrath

    2. George

    3. Furlong

    4. Gray

    5. Kruis

    6. Itoje

    7. O'Brien

    8. Vunipola

    9. Murray

    10. Farrell

    11. Wiliams

    12. Henshaw

    13. Joseph

    14. Watson

    15. Hogg.

    16. Hartley

    17. Vunipola

    18. Cole

    19. Launchbury

    20. Stander

    21. Webb

    22. Sexton

    23. North

    Definitely a lot more depth than it looked like there would be a year or two ago, so reasonably confident that they'll be more competitive than the 2005 lot.



  • @Duluth said in The Silverfern B&I Lions...:

    @Catogrande said in The Silverfern B&I Lions...:

    1. Liam Williams or Brown, not sure

    Hogg?

    Halfpenny lost his mojo?



  • Halfpenny is excellent from the tee, but offers nothing much outside of that these days. If you're playing Farrell, there's really no need to waste a back three slot on him.



  • For mine

    15 Liam Williams (W). Was on fire in NZ, remains on fire. Hogg is an attacking alternative, but can be a bid dodgy in defence. Halfpenny if you want a goalkicker, but Farrell will provide that so HP not needed. Mike Brown as an outside bet.

    14 Anthony Watson (E).
    11 George North (W).

    Don't laugh but some of the Scots might be in with a shot on the wings, depending on 6N form.

    13 Robbie Henshaw (I)
    12 Owen Farrell (E)

    10 Jonny Sexton (I) - very injury prone though
    9 Conor Murray (I)

    8 Billy Vunipola (E). But you can make sensible arguments for Faletau & Heaslip
    7 Sean O'Brien (I). But you can make sensible arguments for Warburton, and I highly rate Van der Flier.
    6 CJ Stander (I) I'm not sure - depends whether he goes pure 6, or converts Itoje (E) or Henderson (I) into 6/locks for example.

    5 Itoje (E)
    4 Kruis (E) or AWJ (W) - who has refound some form

    3 Would have said Cole (E), but if Furlong (I) keeps up his form he could be a major bolter
    2 Hartley (E)
    1 McGrath (I)



  • I thought Connor Murray was poor on Saturday.

    Is he the best 9 in the Lions?

    Who is next cab off the rank?



  • @infidel said in The Silverfern B&I Lions...:

    I thought Connor Murray was poor on Saturday.

    Is he the best 9 in the Lions?

    Who is next cab off the rank?

    Rhys Webb Wales can be very good, the English scrumhalf Youngs, and I suppose the Scot Laidlaw but he is too slow.

    Webb has more of a running game than Murray and the combination makes a perfect 9/21 combo.



  • Billy V is 130kgs in mho he needs to work harder and lose 15kg or CCC are going to have to supply a sports bra. At the moment he's heavier than England's props



  • @Wreck-Diver

    Vunipola's been putting in stand out 80 minute performances for a while now. Has been England's best player this season imo and certainly not an obvious choice for a weak link here.

    Besides he's 126kg these days...



  • @Margin_Walker said in The Silverfern B&I Lions...:

    @Wreck-Diver

    Vunipola's been putting in stand out 80 minute performances for a while now. Has been England's best player this season imo and certainly not an obvious choice for a weak link here.

    Besides he's 126kg these days...

    I didn't say that he hasnt put in the work I still think he has a lot more too do. He does need a bra though he must have a bad tit rash after the game



  • @westcoastie said in The Silverfern B&I Lions...:

    Whom do the 'fern see as the respective best players for the Lions...?

    Considering the AB's lineup vs Ireland on the weekend is probably our #1 lineup incl. Kaino and Crotty or SBW for Fekitoa - ALB stays in. Maybe Milner-Skudder for Dagg, maybe not. Its shaping to be a hell of a series...

    Personally, I don't think the Lions will be lucky enough to have all their best players available by the 1st test...they're going to be seriously battered by the time they get to the AB's

    Heres a most of a XV that have impressed me...
    1
    2 Best or Hartley
    3
    4, 5 from: Donnacha Ryan, Devon Toner, Courtney Lawes, (Marco Itoje will get in there somewhere) Irish Locks impressed me, they mostly held their own ball, and matched it well enough with Whitelock and Retallick in key locking areas. Retallick is the man because he just offers all the extras - can he start taking shots at goal ala John Eales?
    6 Robshaw maybe
    7 O'Brien (Warburton is overrated - O'Brien just wants to mix it with the AB's)
    8 Faletau
    9 Conor Murray
    10 Sexton
    11 North (looked good until injured in 2nd test?)
    12 Farrell
    13
    14
    15 Halfpenny

    I reckon the AB's will have parity in the Front Rows, advantage in Locks, maybe slight disadvantage in back row - depending on how Cane, Kaino, Read hold up.
    Pretty even in 9 & 10, thank god A.Smith has a super season to sort his shit out.
    Wings & Midfield even. I like the Crotty/ALB combo. How will SBW go outside Barrett?
    Ben Smith > than anything the B&I have.
    We won't have that advantage of going boom with 20min to go. We'll have to be up for it from 1st minute.

    Laidlaw would be an option at 9 wouldn't he?

    Don't reckon 9 and 10 is even at all. In form Smith and TJP are better than any Lion and BB makes Sexton his bitch. Actually a Smith, BB, SBW, ALB axis would be a huge advantage IMHO.

    I'm most worried about the forwards and the air. Even if NMS is back his lack of height is a weakness under the high ball.


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