MOD WARNING: This thread or the Lions tour is not to be used as a provincial pissing contest. Any provincial bickering or jabbing will result in bans.
Ah we all knew he'd be named as coach. Its disappointing but as it stands I can't see Ireland being hugely represented anyway. Combine that with Gatland as coach and NZ as our opponents (and what that means competitively) and it's not something that's going to garner huge interest here. It's a foregone conclusion with little Irish involvement.
Depends on your perspective. Ireland keep Schmidt for the 6N is more important for me.
What irish players do you reckon will be involved? Do you think it will be majority English/Welsh?
Irish guys who went to Australia:
Breaking these guys down into categories (and ignoring all new players):
Definitely not travelling in 2017
Most likely not going to travel, due to form or age or alternate options from other nations
Healy (Jack McGrath will take his spot)
Heaslip (I think he'll only bring 2 number 8s in Faletau and Vunipola)
Fighting for a spot
SOB (needs to stay fit)
Place on plane assured
I don't see too many nailed on Irish players at the moment, maybe just three actually
The likes of Iain Henderson, Sean O'Brien (if fit), Jamie Heaslip, Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne have a very decent chance, but I wouldn't bet the house on any of them.
Dillane as a dark horse bolter? If he puts in a good six nations, I could see him going and being part of the midweek team.
I thought it was a foregone conclusion anyway, let him off with them. They're on a hiding to nothing out there next summer, the fewer of our lads that are involved the better as far as I'm concerned. He got the easy tour in Australia and nearly messed it up, now he's getting the hardest tour. This will be the making or, more likely, the breaking of him.
They will get well paid!
As a few have already said McGrath, Murray and Sexton are the only nailed on Irish players. I think Toner might have a shot if he goes well this season. Other than that Heaslip and SOB are possibles but I wouldn't think are in the mix as it stands. Henshaw maybe. That's about it. Unless Stander can force his way in?
Toner might have a chance as an alternative to the big beefy English second rows, but it is a really competitive position. Kruis, Itoje and Launchbury from England, AWJ from Wales, Johnny Gray from Scotland and Toner and maybe Henderson from Ireland. I'd say Kruis, Itoje and AWJ are pretty much nailed on at the moment.
There were 5 locks in 2013. This time you'd imagine that Itoje and Wyn Jones are absolute certainties (Wyn Jones possible as captain). After them I'd think Jonny Gray and Ian Henderson are likely and then probably one more of the English guys (Kruis or Launchbury or someone like that). I'd say Toner will be very lucky to travel, doesn't fit Gatland's style at all.
For all the toy-throwing, people forget that our forwards were excellent in 2013, among the best forward packs the Lions have produced. I don't really see how Toner fits into that style and it'll be absolutely essential for the Lions to be dominant up front. Henderson is our most likely Lock imo.
Jeepers there is too much bitter lemon already. Sure Gatland is persona non grata on this forum, but the Lions are your team and they will have Irish representation for sure.
Your other options are...indifference...or supporting NZ...
C'mon people we need some healthy banter for the series not a damp squib.
(I think everything in Ireland seems to fall into 2 categories: sainthood or devil incarnate, middle ground doesn't exist...)
Gatland would go for Charteris over Toner. Similar players but WG is familiar with one.
As others have said, there's three Irish players who barring injury will definitely be going. There's probably another 8-10 who are contenders depending on form and injuries for them and the others in their positions.