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Lions 2017 [MOD WARNING IN OP]

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Well that is some awful news right there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,364 ✭✭✭✭ molloyjh


    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.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,065 ✭✭✭ ClanofLams


    awec wrote: »
    Well that is some awful news right there.

    Depends on your perspective. Ireland keep Schmidt for the 6N is more important for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭ Teferi


    molloyjh wrote: »
    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.

    What irish players do you reckon will be involved? Do you think it will be majority English/Welsh?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Irish guys who went to Australia:

    Rory Best
    Tom Court
    Cian Healy
    Paul O'Connell
    Sean O'Brien
    Jamie Heaslip
    Conor Murray
    Jonathan Sexton
    Brian O'Driscoll
    Tommy Bowe
    Simon Zebo
    Rob Kearney

    Breaking these guys down into categories (and ignoring all new players):

    Definitely not travelling in 2017
    POC
    BOD
    Best
    Court
    Bowe
    Kearney

    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
    Zebo
    SOB (needs to stay fit)

    Place on plane assured
    Murray
    Sexton


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,213 ✭✭✭✭ bilston


    I don't see too many nailed on Irish players at the moment, maybe just three actually

    Jack McGrath
    Conor Murray
    Jonny Sexton


    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.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭ Teferi


    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.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,711 ✭✭✭ Cosmo Kramer


    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.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    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!


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,364 ✭✭✭✭ molloyjh


    Teferi wrote: »
    What irish players do you reckon will be involved? Do you think it will be majority English/Welsh?

    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?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,213 ✭✭✭✭ bilston


    molloyjh wrote: »
    Teferi wrote: »
    What irish players do you reckon will be involved? Do you think it will be majority English/Welsh?

    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.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    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.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    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...)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,232 ✭✭✭ Yeah_Right


    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.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    swiwi_ wrote: »
    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.

    But, he dropped BOD?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    FWIW I think McGrath, Dillane, Henderson, a fully fit SOB, Heaslip, Murray, Sexton, Henshaw are all with a decent chance at touring.

    Probably the only nailed on is McGrath for me, there is a lot of Lions depth at lock, 9 and 10 in particular.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,536 former total


    I think the Lions is a great concept and Gatland is as good a choice of coach as anyone else. They're going to lose but sure winning isn't everything.

    Ireland will have 6-7 players in the squad, maybe more with a strong Six Nations.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    I will be shocked if there are as many as 6 or 7 irish players, and the idea we'd have more than that is pure fantasy to be honest. It's not being bitter at Gatland, I just think we don't have that many players who'd get into the team right now to play Gatland's way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    awec wrote: »
    I will be shocked if there are as many as 6 or 7 irish players, and the idea we'd have more than that is pure fantasy to be honest. It's not being bitter at Gatland, I just think we don't have that many players who'd get into the team right now to play Gatland's way.

    For the schedule they'll face they'll need 40+ players. Taking Scotland into account it's hard to see 30 players coming from Wales & England alone.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    awec wrote: »
    I will be shocked if there are as many as 6 or 7 irish players, and the idea we'd have more than that is pure fantasy to be honest. It's not being bitter at Gatland, I just think we don't have that many players who'd get into the team right now to play Gatland's way.

    In the starting team? Probably not going to have that many. If they pick Murray/Sexton we could get close, I reckon we'll have two in the pack and maybe Henshaw might get a chance in the backs because he fits the style. We could easilly end up with as few as 2/3 if Webb/Biggar start at half back.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    swiwi_ wrote: »
    For the schedule they'll face they'll need 40+ players. Taking Scotland into account it's hard to see 30 players coming from Wales & England alone.
    They only took 37 to Australia for the same number of fixtures and we had more guys back then who were nailed on for a call up.

    There were 25 from England and Wales in Australia.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,232 ✭✭✭ Yeah_Right


    How many players were in the original squad in 2013 and how many more were called up? I'm guessing there'll be 35 in the original party and another dozen will get called up. I just hope they don't go like 2005 with 45 players and 50 odd support staff.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    In the starting team? Probably not going to have that many. If they pick Murray/Sexton we could get close, I reckon we'll have two in the pack and maybe Henshaw might get a chance in the backs because he fits the style. We could easilly end up with as few as 2/3 if Webb/Biggar start at half back.
    I'm talking about the squad.

    Jaysus, in the starting test team I honestly don't think there is a single Irish player who is the clear choice in their position. Jack McGrath maybe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    awec wrote: »
    I'm talking about the squad.

    Jaysus, in the starting test team I honestly don't think there is a single Irish player who is the clear choice in their position. Jack McGrath maybe.

    Well we had the same numbers as the English last time despite doing horrifically in the 6 Nations (2nd from bottom) and none of our players showing any form internationally, so whatever you're smoking I wouldn't mind a little bit of that...

    We'll send a couple of front rowers, a few loose forwards, both our half backs and I'd be very surprised if Henshaw is our only outside back travelling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    Think the lions should go for speed at 9, I'd favour Webb. Fly half will depend on 6N form. Lions will need every point they can get so a top goalkicker is a must...Farrell in the mix, to send a further frisson of delight down the forums spine.

    As a neutral I look forward to the 6N jostling for positions.

    The single most locked on player HAS to be Itoje. If Gatland doesn't pick him then Hansen will...he is an all black after all...


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    swiwi_ wrote: »
    Think the lions should go for speed at 9, I'd favour Webb. Fly half will depend on 6N form. Lions will need every point they can get so a top goalkicker is a must...Farrell in the mix, to send a further frisson of delight down the forums spine.

    As a neutral I look forward to the 6N jostling for positions.

    The single most locked on player HAS to be Itoje. If Gatland doesn't pick him then Hansen will...he is an all black after all...

    I think Webb/Biggar are quite likely to play at half back.

    We need every point, if only we had the best kicker in world rugby available to us! A halfpenny for Gatland's thoughts on how he solves that problem!

    Farrell at 12 is possibly how they solve the continuity problems they had in the last series, a second pivot might be crucial. That's one of the major tactical decisions to be made by whoever takes the backs, go for the Gatlandesque 20-phase series of play or try play short-phase rugby and put ball carriers in midfield. That could be the decision that decides the series.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,536 former total


    There's going to a long season of grinding negativity here.

    But yeah I'd say 6 players minimum. Even that would be our lowest representation since 2001 when we were a much worse team.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Well we had the same numbers as the English last time despite doing horrifically in the 6 Nations (2nd from bottom) and none of our players showing any form internationally, so whatever you're smoking I wouldn't mind a little bit of that...

    We'll send a couple of front rowers, a few loose forwards, both our half backs and I'd be very surprised if Henshaw is our only outside back travelling.
    Last time we had POC, BOD and Bowe who were all absolute certs to tour.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    There's going to a long season of grinding negativity here.

    But yeah I'd say 6 players minimum. Even that would be our lowest representation since 2001 when we were a much worse team.
    Who are the 6 (or more) Irish players you feel are certain to tour?

    Nothing about being negative either, that's just rubbish. Being realistic more like. We are not a terrible team full of terrible players but we don't have too many guys who are certain to be on the plane next year.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    awec wrote: »
    Last time we had POC, BOD and Bowe who were all absolute certs to tour.

    How many certs you have to tour is completely irrelevant though. Last time Scotland had noone who was a cert and this time I'd say Hogg and Jonny Gray are both certs to tour based on last season, doesn't mean I think they'll have more players on tour.


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