Samu Manoa Huge Hit on Billy Twelvetrees


Female Streaker has no regrets


Step and unbelievable dummy sets up try


Just how fast is Carlin Isles?


The Human Hurdle Attempt


Springboks edge All Blacks in thriller


Sam Burgess breaks cheekbone, plays on


Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins


Prop lays into fullback with big shot

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

British & Irish Lions 2009 Squad

British & Irish Lions 2009 Squad

The squad for the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa has been revealed at a press conference in London. There have been one or two surprises but all in all its a powerful squad with a fine mix of experience and youth.

Irishman Paul OConnell is now officially confirmed as captain of the 37 man squad that comprises of 14 Irish players, 13 Welsh, 8 English, and two Scottish.

Some perhaps surprising omissions were that of Ryan Jones, Gavin Henson, Mike Blair, Tom Croft and Steve Borthwick.

There were call ups for Munster and Irish pair Keith Earls and Alan Quinlan, Leigh Halfpenny, and the inclusion of 36 year old Simon Shaw, a former Lion who carries all the experience needed for a tour like this.



The 2009 British & Irish Lions
Backs: Lee Byrne, Rob Kearney, Shane Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Ugo Monye, Luke Fitzgerald, Tommy Bowe, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Brian O'Driscoll, Keith Earls, Riki Flutey, Ronan O'Gara, Stephen Jones, Mike Phillips, Harry Ellis, Tomas O'Leary.

Forwards: Jamie Heaslip, Andy Powell, David Wallace, Stephen Ferris, Alan Quinlan, Joe Worsley, Martyn Williams, Alun Wyn-Jones, Paul O'Connell (capt), Donncha O'Callaghan, Simon Shaw, Nathan Hines, Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones, Andrew Sheridan, Phil Vickery, Euan Murray, Jerry Flannery, Lee Mears, Matthew Rees.

Check out the Tour Fixtures here

Posted at 2:05 am | 131 comments

Viewing 131 comments

Anonymous April 21, 2009 1:30 pm

shame croft didnt get a place

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 1:31 pm

Cant wait to see them smashed by the Springbok, i predict a 3-0 series for SA

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 1:33 pm

To the last Anon, they said the same in 97 ;)

· Reply · Report

Patron April 21, 2009 1:34 pm

Congrats to all selected
especially the outside players..

Quinlan, Earls, Roberts, Hines i didnt expect to see them but I trust that the selectors know what they are doing. 2-1 win to the Lions

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 1:43 pm

Great squad, real exciting, was worried it might be the Wasps Lions but delighted now that it's the Munster Lions instead!

· Reply · Report

SR April 21, 2009 1:45 pm

fantastic players involved.....wont mean anything if they dont gel on the field though!!

· Reply · Report

RyeBye April 21, 2009 1:47 pm

Pitty Croft did'nt make it, but im hapy to see Simon Shaw did

cant say I expected Quinlan or Earls but I'm happy with the squad, also a real shame for Dillon armitage thought he might have been in with a shout

RyeBye

· Reply · Report

Tim April 21, 2009 1:50 pm

can't believe croft and kennedy aren't going. also a pity lewsey doesn't get a chance to bow out on a lions tour. still prob a fair squad even if there are a few surprises

· Reply · Report

.JTS April 21, 2009 2:07 pm

What a year for Ugo Monye. People questioned his choice to stick with the relegated Quins instead of moving elsewhere. In one year he has become an England regular and won a call-up to the Lions squad as is arguably in with a shout for the test team.

Rugby. It's a funny old game.

· Reply · Report

no9 April 21, 2009 2:14 pm

its a good squad but i'm a bit dissapointed that players like mike blair and simon danielli who have both been on form for their respective clubs are not included on the touring party. some players such as ugo monye and harry ellis i believe shouldn't be going two inconsistant players.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 2:18 pm

Why is Borthwick a surprising omission? He's shit.

A great club player, nothing more.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 2:19 pm

Glad to see Ugo Monye and Quinlan going, two physical players definitely needed in south africa

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 2:28 pm

I guess they meant "surprising" as he's the England captain (Borthwick).

· Reply · Report

KP April 21, 2009 2:44 pm

Right.

Pity Thom Evans didn't make the cut, but there's plenty of strong wings going anyway. And Delon Armitage. But again, a lot of competition.

Bit disappointed Flutey is going, he's talented but he's played against the Lions for Maoris and personally, I don't think someone who's played against the Lions should be allowed to play for the Lions. But that's my own opinion.

Croft should have been picked over Shaw. Yes he's toured before, but he's just a bit shit. He won't be able to cut it with the big boys, but then I don't expect to see him in the test match teams.

Best decisions made for scrumhalves, three great scrummies, all at the top of their games atm, though Phillips had a rough one against O'Leary in Munster.

I'm liking the inclusion of Halfpenny and Earls, two very young but very talented players. Halfpenny with pace and a surprising amount of strength, and Earls with skill to burn (and can play centre wing and fullback).

There's still a bit of a Wasps bias when you look at some of the England selections (I'm English and not a Wasps fan - make from that what you will) in the squad. I'd have picked Julian White over Vickery, as Vickey is gonna get pinged by the refs down there at every scrum, and White is a better scrummager.

In all I think it's a pretty fair squad selection, with the three best home nations making up the majority of the squad, though it's always good to have a few Scots in your team. I can see that Geeks has gone for brawn and aggression in the pack to counter the Saffers, with pace and guile in the backs. If there's injuries, which I expect there will be, then I reckon the likes of Armitage, Evans and Croft will be on the next plane. If either ROG or Jones gets boshed, then Hook will be going.

I can see it being tight, maybe another 2-1 to the Lions, but coming down to the last game.

Bring on May 30th!!!!

P.S. Apologies for the length of this comment, but I'm bored stiff trying to finish dissertation!

· Reply · Report

Yaoi April 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Shocked to see andy powell chosen instead of ryan jones.
No cipriani though so im a happy guy

· Reply · Report

MadMax April 21, 2009 2:59 pm

Croft should be in there. Not too surprised by the rest. Except Shaw and Vickery should be anywhere near the Lions... No wasp should be on the plane!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 3:07 pm

The problem with not taking Croft or Jones is that I don't see this backrow as having any lineout jumpers of note....

· Reply · Report

aussie rugby fan April 21, 2009 3:21 pm

this team is going to get smashed 3-0

· Reply · Report

eating is cheating April 21, 2009 3:24 pm

fantastic team bit gutted for rory best....would rank him above matthew rees but chuffed with earls hes on fire for munster!!!

· Reply · Report

Eoghan April 21, 2009 3:25 pm

Good observation...Quinlan does tale of the line for Munster and has done for the past for Ireland.

I'm surprised Croft didn't make it ahead of Andy Powell. I think Powell is a very specific selection for power over football.

Otherwise, I think its a squad with a lot of integrity as if McGeechan says he is picking on form and left out Earls or Quinlan he is not being honest. You could pick out a couple of other surprising omissions but in the context of a squad of 36 I would say broadly...fair 'nuff.

The other thing to bear in mind is that in case of injury you can have a replacement in camp the next day with no jet-lag issues, unlike NZ/Aus...probably influenced taking only two out-halves for instance.

It looks better on paper than I thought it would - can't wait for the tour to start on - come on you Lions !

· Reply · Report

Third Centre April 21, 2009 3:25 pm

Quinlan and Ferris are pretty good lineout options.....

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 3:31 pm

Andy powell will be more effective than ryan jones in south africa.
Not sure about quinlan being picked ahead of croft.
only 2 fly halves- that means we will see a lot of O'Gara and he will be exposed for the shit player he really is; he will be nowhere near that starting line up i am sure of it.
Overall, very happy with the line up.

hught

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 3:33 pm

was at first very surprised by the omission of delon armitage but looking at it i think geechs is pickng the players who are the best in their respective position which makes perfect sense. kearney and byrne are ahead of armitage, he could play on the wing but halfpenny and monye and out and out wingers so take them.

very surprised croft isnt going, hes quick, good in lineout and is prob the only player ever who could play second row, flanker and wing but then we're getting to the best in their respective position.

shaw is the good tourist their all on about. knows hell be a midweek player but can be there to support the team. plus he adds bulk in the scrum and geechs knows him well. was shaw in the 2001 squad? if he was then hes a 4 time lion which is a remarkable achievement. even if hes wasnt 3 time is still pretty damn good

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 3:34 pm

Sickened that Powell is in on front of Ryan Jones,
but its a great team and if they gel well I think there gonna take the series 2-1, but its gonna be close

Conor

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 3:34 pm

i also like hes only taken ROG and s. jones for 10. their the 2 best, we all know it, they know it so let them get as much game time as possible and slug it out for whos first choice. a 3rd choice 10 would only be doing what theyd be doing at home, sat on their arse.

· Reply · Report

Eoghan April 21, 2009 3:39 pm

at hught...yeah...I'd say O'Gara is cacking himself at being exposed...real bottler he is.

*ahem*

:D

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 3:44 pm

Im sorry to be seeing such a full irish contingent! Irish players have never done well against southern hemisphere teams. I dont see the Lions doing so well and as for O Connel for captain, not the best choice even if he is a talismatic player but hes just aggression, need a captain witha leveled head and balanced!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 3:48 pm

Andy Powell got picked ahead of Ryan Jones bsed on committment and will to win. R.Jones seems to be in a big sulk after Wales failure to live up to expectations and also dissapointing results/personal performances at club level

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 3:48 pm

Simon Shaw toured SA with England in 1994 and with the Lions in 1997.

Geech knows him well and he is a large lump who will be a midweek candidate. He will not let the side down. His size will be needed in SA.

· Reply · Report

I cud be a lion! :) April 21, 2009 3:49 pm

whohow dude, paulie o connell can be calm when he must be calm!
paul o connell is unbelievable!
(have u seen d vids here lol!)

guys r ye being serious about ROG? being a bottler and stuff?

i couldnt believe ryan jones and mike blair arent there
thank u god cipriani aint there!

· Reply · Report

arranr, blair should April 21, 2009 3:53 pm

WTF!!!!!!
that is a really bad team, compared to what they could have had.
BLAIR!!!!!! wheres is he??
SHAW!!!! he's not even that good
FORD!!!! on form
EARLS, QUINLAN!!!! jesus christ and MONYE!!!

this has got to be the weakest lions side ever, i still think tthey will win 2-1 but they could have won 3-0

· Reply · Report

Madflyhalf April 21, 2009 4:00 pm

Why Gerald Davies (and the screen too) said "Ugo MOYNE"??? O_O

Anyway, it's a very fair selection, though I think the omissions of Ross Ford and Blair from Scotland is a little shame.
Ford is more in form than Matthew Rees, and I would have pick Blair instead of Harry Ellis.

And I'm still saying that 5 props in SA aren't enough!
Bring Horan or whoever could play more midweek matches!

Well, it will be a very balanced team: a combination of dynamic players (Wallace, Heaslip, Powell, Roberts, BOD, Flannery, A-W Jones), with "conservative-play" players (M. Williams, POC, Shaw, S. Jones, Vickery, Mears) and flaired ones even if not experienced (Fitzgerald, Halfpenny, Earls), will allow McGeechan to field a very good team for each situation of SA rugby.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 4:01 pm

glad to see young halfpenny get a chance. not sure bout monye tho, inconcicdent? harry ellis another doubt very much out of form, blair shouldve been instead of him. wouldve expected to see yapp going if only to gain experience? but hopefully all of the players will get the job done.

· Reply · Report

kapitalismus April 21, 2009 4:03 pm

Well, this'll be a physical tour, and when ROG is having a bad match, the other side know it and they gun for him - capitalizing on his (sometimes) weak tackling skills...so I can't say that I'm not at least a little worried.

He's clearly a world-class player, though, and when he's on a roll, he's one of the best no. 10's in the world.

I'm hoping that the Lions trounce SA and OZ and make a decent go at NZ.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 4:20 pm

all the irish guys look class in the jerseys and so does andy powell
like they belong in them

monye, mears, vickery, shaw, quinlan, halfpenny, flutey, ellis and adam jones shouldnt be there.

Croft, hook, blair and hayes should be there for back up.

· Reply · Report

no9 April 21, 2009 4:27 pm

i still think that monye deosn't have enough experiance.
i'm also hoping that one off the
no9's takes a hard hit and allows mike blair the chance to show the lions staff why he is captain of scotland.
some people are questioning the selection of andy powell over ryan jones. ryan jones is not on form and andy powell is, simple.
having said that if i was selecting players from their form i might not have gone for shane williams.
i would rather see stringer over o'leary(much more secure and a good link from forwards to backs)

· Reply · Report

stoojay April 21, 2009 4:32 pm

I think the series is lost....SA will go with a pack that will outmuscle even our biggest forwards...Matfield, Smith, Spies, Smit, Burger anyone????
They are all better ball players too; simple comparisons:

Powell vs Burger. Winner? Burger.

O'conner Vs Matfield. Winner? Matfield (player of RCW2007)

Smit v Flannery. Winner? Smit.

You can do this with any position and we come up short in nearly all of them.
Plus we have only two stand off's and both are guff and will be targeted early on on the tour.
Plus Shaw and Quinlan are liabilities in that they are too old and only on the fringes of their national teams. What will they add? Apologists answer: 'Experience'. Real Answer: Nothing.

Plus Blair is a million times better than Ellis, but it is his own fault he is not going cos he let himself down in the SN.

· Reply · Report

Back on Track April 21, 2009 4:33 pm

O'Leary is probably a mistake. SH teams will make the Lions pay if O'Leary can't get the ball out fast - something he's definitely not all that great at.

I agree he is fast and has a good boot, and he can tackle, but if you give the SH teams too much time, they'll be able to shut down the offense runs too easily.

There isn't a better scrummy in the whole of the British and Irish isles?

· Reply · Report

damnit April 21, 2009 4:39 pm

Mike Blair or Stringer deffo should have been there.

· Reply · Report

mark April 21, 2009 4:48 pm

someone like hook who can slot into flyhalf might have been useful even though he hasn't had the best season.o'gara could easily end up getting injured with springbok flankers and centres running down his channel in every game he plays,so a third recognised flyhalf should be going.i suppose flutey will do!

it's a shame croft isn't going either.other than heaslip and powell there isn't much pace in the pack to compete with the likes of pierre spies,who apparently has been timed at 10.7 seconds over 100m!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 5:10 pm

I am scottish, and as for those saying Blair should be in there, he had a rubbish 6N, Geech said that he picked on form, and that reflects it. Ross Ford had a chance in the 6N to cement his place on tour, but did not seize it either. I would have taken Thom Evans, having a fantastic season.

Cusiter would be a better suited scrum half than both blair and ellis, as he has more fight to get the ball out, and dig for it when he needs to.

· Reply · Report

nacho April 21, 2009 5:15 pm

i cant understand why they didnt pick ryan Jones he is a lion. the others chices are ok. Maybe y wanna see one last time wilko but hes noy in shape. Go Ryan

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 5:24 pm

Andy powell is average compared to ryan jones.

· Reply · Report

Jack April 21, 2009 5:25 pm

Why an earth are Armitage and Croft not on the team? They are extremely exciting players who would suit the hard surfaces perfectly. In terms of form they both had fantastic 6 nations and are excellent for their clubs. Real shame.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 5:44 pm

Congrats to all the players!
Although tom croft and gareth cooper should have made the squad instead of a couple of the munster boys and mike blair instead of harry ellis.

And i think that vickery and shaw are just over the hill, with all due respect, but it seems that vickery is the best last choice, although i would have taken Ian Gough over shaw, or perhaps Borthwick.

I would have liked Ryan Jones to go too, but he really isn't pulling any strings at the moment, it's a real shame, but croft really deserved to go.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 5:47 pm

poor ospreys form has meant that great players like ryan jones and hook arenot picked,
i think we need another fly half.
some more scots would be nice, maybee the evans' or blair/cusiter, they are both better than ellis, as is peel, who is a sharper than phillips.
can't believe worsley is in, he is so cumbersome and useless.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 5:50 pm

vickery is an aweful player, the only thing he used to do well was bend the rules, but he can't get away with it at international level, just look at the penalty count against him in 6N. there are better scrummagers around, he and worsley are just wasp picks.

· Reply · Report

cheyanqui April 21, 2009 5:53 pm

not a fan of Nathan Hines, but I agree with the astute observations made by various posters...

it is vastly important to pick a tour squad that can not only win the test matches, but can withstand the "physical statements" made in the mid-week / provincial fixtures.

Warm-up matches against physical teams can be anything but -- ask BOD about Bayonne 2007 or ROG about Duncan McRae.

Factor in the overall rugby style in ZA, and the "physicality" is multiplied manyfold.

My surprise Omissions: Ryan Jones, Jason White, Simon Danielli (I forgot about him but someone reminded me of his great play),

My WTF did they pick him: Vickery

· Reply · Report

Jonny April 21, 2009 5:58 pm

"I am scottish, and as for those saying Blair should be in there, he had a rubbish 6N, Geech said that he picked on form, and that reflects it. Ross Ford had a chance in the 6N to cement his place on tour, but did not seize it either. I would have taken Thom Evans, having a fantastic season."

Blair had a rubiish first 2 games. Since then he's improved and had two very good games for Edinburgh which would tell you he's on form. Is Shane Williams on form? Is Andy Powell? Is Harry Ellis? Is Mike Phillips? By this logic, he should have been in. So should Ford over Rees.

· Reply · Report

Darius April 21, 2009 6:05 pm

Good squad, alot of potential. Not sure about Powell ahead of Jones, or Worsley/Quinlan ahead of Croft, but it's still a strong and dynamic enough pack to cope with the Boks.

My major issue was the ommission of Danny Care, especially with the inclusion of Ellis. Hugely talented player with alot to offer on hard ground

· Reply · Report

themull April 21, 2009 6:05 pm

Two changes I defo would have made would have been Stringer over O' Leary and Jones over Powell....Hook should probably come along as the Boks will no doubt be targeting the ten channel alot with powerful runners and O' Gara's tackling is not up to scratch...All in all a very strong side but If O' Leary plays the way he has been for Ireland then the ball to the backs will be much to slow...

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 6:15 pm

OK, Blair had a poor 6 nation but he had been the best scrum half in the northern hemisphere (possibly the world) for ages, WTF!!!

· Reply · Report

dr April 21, 2009 6:29 pm

shit lions squad, they have been picked to defend.
Well let me tell u this, the boks can defend too but they can attack azwill! lol

· Reply · Report

Tito_Kohout April 21, 2009 6:38 pm

General consensus seems to be that Croft, Armitage, Blair, and A Jones should have made the squad, and I agree, but my main concern is the 10 shirt. I'd be interested to hear everyone's opinion about a good fourth outside half, after O'Gara, Jones, and Hook. I think the odds of O'Gara getting hurt are fair to good, so if there's another injury after him then the Lions are screwed. Who would be the fourth number 10?

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 6:42 pm

I hate Heaslip
Signed, Secondrow

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 6:42 pm

lol when was blair the best in europe or in the world?
when all 9s are on form i would rate them as:

Peel
Phillips
Ellisalde
Ellis
Mignoni
Yachvili

can you say mike is better than all of these players. Just my opinion.

· Reply · Report

Humper April 21, 2009 7:12 pm

heres my view:
Julian White should be in instead of Vickery.
Also Jason White over Shaw
Dissappointed to see Armitage isn't going but apart from that I think we (lions- i'm english) have a good chance

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 7:13 pm

Blair,Jones your half good players arnt going us boks are going to kill you

· Reply · Report

Luke April 21, 2009 7:17 pm

"I hate Heaslip," hate on, but he is prob the most dynamic #8 from the 4 countries and had a very strong 6 nations... and we know Geech is picking on form.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 7:55 pm

go on ireland new record for us.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 7:57 pm

agree with themull strings much better ten oleary no pace in olarys passing takes 2 steps before each pass

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 8:08 pm

good squad, but pity armitage werent in it, i personally think hes a great player. and too all those people saying that there gna get hammered, lets just wait and see.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 8:13 pm

and plus joe worsley is class and whoever says he isnt look at the game against wales, took down powell every time and made him lok silly

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 8:18 pm

Somebody get O'Gara a new photo...

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 8:34 pm

Worsley deserved his place. He never misses a tackle and he will be a good mid weeker.

· Reply · Report

GroundForks April 21, 2009 8:44 pm

Anyone with a brain can see this is a quality squad with no dumb selections like wilkinson/cipriani.
Its got a great mix of youth, experience and in form players.
Lions to win 2-1
With O gara and Shane the stars of the tour.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 8:46 pm

not so many scots...

· Reply · Report

James April 21, 2009 8:48 pm

How are they all in the Lions shirts? Are they added on in photoshop or somehting! Haha!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 8:49 pm

good side overall-may aswell state im half kiwi and welsh.-but wouldnt pick Mears he can run around but i question his ste piece-maybe rory Best or that big Scot. Excellent second rows but i recon Croft will be good cover for injury along with Ryan Jones. Might have gone with Foden for scrum half for versatility and unpredictability.-Dont think Flutey should have gone-Hook maybe instead of him or D'arcy.Maybe Varndell or sombody to match Habana if needed,anyway depends what team they are trying to construct. Much better than 2005 where ageing english players got the cut on the back of 2003. go the lions,shall be supporting you this time!
gogrugbynut

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 9:10 pm

"Somebody get O'Gara a new photo..."

Hahaaa, I know, he looks like he's trying to seduce the cameraman or something.

· Reply · Report

Manfred April 21, 2009 9:36 pm

I think

Wings
OUT:Ugo Monye(Typical 100 mts sprinter, but with a rugby ball)

IN:Tom Evans or Simon Danielli

Props
OUT:Phil Vickery( = PENALTIES)

IN: John Hayes (has the physicality and experience to go to SA)

Back Row
OUT:Stephen Ferris,Alan Quinlan and ANDY POWELL(He just doesn't know how to play rugby,just running straight against the tacklers,like a poor imitation of Shalk Burger)

IN:Tom Croft (DEFINITELY),Ryan Jones or Simon Taylor.

Centres
OUT:Riki Flutey

IN:(Personal decision)Gordon D'arcy

Scrum-halves
OUT:Harry Ellis (He takes 3 hours to pass the ball to the backs)

IN:Mike Blair or Chris Cusiter


NOBODY REMEMBERS:

Chris Paterson (best kicker in the world,but as a winger.... average)



and Really deserved to go , but they missed them:

Tom Croft & DELON ARMITAGE(the best player of england in 6N I think)




and I would like to see Lewsey on that tour, but Mcgeechan knows what is doing .

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 9:38 pm

Obviously still a good team. But it is quite a way off most of the lions squads that as the critics had beens predicting.
I see this as a bad sign, others will not.
It is a very one dimentional squad and tbh there arent very many players that i am very excited about watching. I am more excited about watching SA, they have so much more strength and depth, and so many more exciting rugby players. Just my opinion

· Reply · Report

MHN April 21, 2009 9:46 pm

John Hayes is missing...

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 9:50 pm

Rees over Ford seems odd as does Quinlan and Powell (surely Strokosch is a future Lion then).

Armitage is unlucky but Byrne and Kearney have earned their places.

Monye is a little lucky and Cueto and Evans can feel unlucky not to be going.

Vickery and Ellis seem odd selections to me, but no Henson, no Cipriani. I'll take that.

One of the things that I have always questioned is how hard it may be to look good in a bad team (e.g. Scottish players such as Barclay have a hard time looking good in a crap team performance).

Overall though I think it is an interesting team to take on the Boks. Boks are favourites, but who knows......

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 9:54 pm

Delighted to see earls on the tour,i think that if he gets a chance he could really make a big impact...i think jones and o gara at out half are good calls,however i think james hook would really have been a good addition because of his ability to run and trouble defenses,ferris and worsley will have a great battle for the test 6 shirt..also alot depends on the battle between o connell and matfield..its a largely a good test team,though i fear the south african back row...burger smit and spice,i think the lions will do well but the spring boks will take the series 2-1

james

· Reply · Report

Liam J April 21, 2009 10:04 pm

I'm deffinately happy with the squad and i think it is one of the best picked in a few tours but I'm Welsh and think there were better English players to be picked, i am surprised Nick Easter didnt get a slot even though the back row positions are a well contested position as he fits in on the flank and no 8 so he can shuffle as well but i am guessing he is high on the list to get a call up for an injury later on, i would have like to see Max Evans of Scotland in the mix as well because everytime i have seen him play he has lit the game up in some way or another. I'm not too pleased Phil Vickery and Andrew Sheridan are in to be honest an think there are better more disciplined props to be chosen though. those centres look like they could play very exciting rugby with different styles to choose from. It's nice to see a wide variety of styles in each position to choose from is what i think i am liking the looks of most. CANNOT WAIT NOW!!

· Reply · Report

Proflyactive April 21, 2009 10:30 pm

Can't believe Croft ain't going! That's a travesty! Hook and Jones for first back ups though... Gotta love the bulk of the antipodean attitude on here! 3-0? I say we'll make a game of it! Hopefully with Shane and 1/2penny doing the job on the wings, especially as Shane did 5 players in one go to score against the boks last year when Wales were struggling against them... Remember that one bokke? Habanna got done by Shane! ;-)

· Reply · Report

Jon April 21, 2009 10:35 pm

What would be your first choice Bok line-up for the tour? Would make an interesting comparison for man on man.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 21, 2009 11:41 pm

ok my starting 15;

1.Euan Murray
2.Matthew Reece
3.Andrew Sheridan

4.Paul o'Connell
5.Simon Shaw

6.Andy Powell
7.Martyn Williams
8.Jaime Heaslip

9.Hary Ellis
10.Stephen Jones
12.Tom Shanklin
13.B.O.D.
14.Shane Williams
11.Tommy Bowe
15.Lee Byrne

· Reply · Report

mise April 21, 2009 11:58 pm

Bits in order of country:

Quinlan and earls are out of leftfield alright but munster's form is astounding at the moment, and they are central to that.
Obviously its form up til v recently selection is based on.

Munster could take on most international teams right now. (Even just look at those not elegible for selection for Lions - Munster would run anyone close at international level)

Earls will suit the hard ground, and Quinlan will add a bit of animal midweek madness: which the Lions will need in the backrow.

Leamy might have suited the toughness needed in backrow in SA too, but not enough game time recently.

O Leary does offer a bit of protection to the out half

(Munster: does it have roughly the same population in total as England's rugby playing population?!)


S Williams: not on form but if anyone not on form should be brought, its prob him, so an OK call. He might find space.

Armitage: would have suited SA's hard ground and is in great form (would have been handy as another kicker too)

Vickery: v lucky - maybe unlucky for Irish and British (!) Lions if he does play and give away a pletora of pens.


To those comparing man for man: simply put - u could compare a probable squad player to a SA team player and come up with SA on top alright. But team vs team is closer.

Whatever about omissions, a small simple touring group is better than the 45 man ridiculosity of the last tour. (not a word I use too often that, but that tour merited it!)

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 22, 2009 12:05 am

"Props
OUT:Phil Vickery( = PENALTIES)

IN: John Hayes (has the physicality and experience to go to SA)"
Agree

"Back Row
OUT:Stephen Ferris,Alan Quinlan and ANDY POWELL(He just doesn't know how to play rugby,just running straight against the tacklers,like a poor imitation of Shalk Burger)"
TOTALLY AGREED

"IN:Tom Croft (DEFINITELY),Ryan Jones or Simon Taylor."
Agree

"NOBODY REMEMBERS:
Chris Paterson (best kicker in the world,but as a winger.... average)"
I thought about that one, really weird. Agree

"Tom Croft"
Agree

And the reason of my hate towards Heaslip is that he never releases the ball, but not in the Shanklin way, Heaslip keeps grabbing the ball two days after he was tackled. In my opinion he'll cost a lot to the Lions

· Reply · Report

No.7 April 22, 2009 12:29 am

Pretty good looking team on paper will be interesting to see them perform.

although i would have picked one or two other players im sure geeks and the other guys had plenty of time gathering notes and deliberating so im pretty sure its a sound bunch...........WITTTTTTTH EXCEPTION!!!

and that exception is phil vickery.....seriously, what the f*ck is that fat slow worthless piece of sh*t doing even getting a look in let alone being on the paper!! i mean this guy is no doubt world class, but he does more damage to his own team than to the opposition.....Penalty after penalty after penalty, and its not just your simple, caught on the wrong side shit, its your "vickery's side is juuuust about to score, oh no penalty against them" and "vickery's side have juuuuust saved themselves from a near try, oh no penalty against them" its the same old stuff!

anyway..........

· Reply · Report

Nico April 22, 2009 1:20 am

Was hoping to see some fine running. Not so convinced anymore with a slow 9 and not so much support from the third row in the open (missing Croft). SA to win the series but decent and logical side though.

· Reply · Report

puzzled April 22, 2009 2:38 am

What, no Willie John McBride?

· Reply · Report

rumbleinthejungle April 22, 2009 8:17 am

I remember Hines being a nuisance to his own side in the '08 6N...I didn't watch much of Scotland this year, so I don't know what he's like currently...but hopefully he doesn't compound on top of Vickery's fat foul-committing ass...that would be disastrous.

The more comments I read here, the more worried I am about this squad's attacking capabilities...you can put the world's fastest, most clever, best wingers and fullbacks on any squad you want, but if the ball doesn't get to them, then what's the point?

· Reply · Report

Patrick April 22, 2009 8:32 am

I'm a munster man so i'm delighted with the number we have in the squad but there's some people who can consider themselves v. unlucky. Ford, Croft (how was Andy Powell picked!!), Peel/Blair/Care (Ellis isn't even the best 9 at Leicester).
Also how did they manage to extend the squad to 37 and still only pick 2 fly-halves. There isn't even anyone in the outside backs who can step in to 10 and do a job. This means that Jones and RoG are going to have to tog out for every single game on the tour, they'll be smashed to bits before the tests start!

· Reply · Report

Patrick April 22, 2009 8:41 am

To Stoojay above, i don't agree at all with you when you say Matfield is a better over all player than O'Connell. Matfield and Botha are easily the best 2nd row pairing in the world but that's because Botha does all the ugly work... carries all the ball, hits all the rucks, makes all the tackles. Matfield is an unbelievalble athlete in the lineout but doesn't do much else and we saw that in the tri nations last year when Botha was missing, SA won no quick ball at all because Matfield/Bekker played too loose and weren't clearing people away.

O'Connell does everything you could want from a lock and i've a sneeking suspicion himself and Wyn Jones will steal a fair share of lineout ball off the Boks this summer too!
Come on the Lions!

· Reply · Report

Flooz April 22, 2009 10:02 am

this lions team is a pretty good side, but i'm a bit surprised by the choice of some players such like "tanned" powell, hines, roberts,quinlan or monye...

the non-selection of armitage, cipriani,henson or evans show that we will see a munster type of play.

mc geechan have chosen the performance than the entertainment

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 22, 2009 10:30 am

Regarding the 10 spot, Fluety will more than likely fill in there for the odd mid-week game and if anything does happen to Jones or ROG, they'll just call up a replacement. SA is only a few hours away, relax ;)

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 22, 2009 10:35 am

Those slating Powell, he'll be used muchlike the Blues have used him as late. To come off the bench with 20 minutes to go, he's straight to the point and very aggresive. Don't forget he was man of the match against the Boks last year too.

· Reply · Report

welshno7 April 22, 2009 11:16 am

good chance ryan jones will come in because there's guranteed to be an injury and he offers so much , ball carrier , jumper , grafter and a great team leader

· Reply · Report

Third Centre April 22, 2009 11:50 am

I remember reading an interview with Ferris ages ago and he was going to get his picture taken in Lions gear. Apparently loads of players are asked to do this so they can publicity photos ready.

Feel sorry for Paterson, Armitage, Croft, Thom Evans, Blair and Hayes.

Well done to all the players. Hopefully they can do us proud

· Reply · Report

Scott April 22, 2009 11:53 am

As a Scot it is disappointing to see so few Scottish players in there but think that the selection was completely fair. Scotland has one of the best squads that they have had for a long time and there were a number of players with a real shout for the Lions after the Autumn test matches but a lot of them played themselves out of contention with poor performances in the Six Nations. Mike Blair is the most notable who everyone was saying that he was a sure thing for Lions selection after the Autumn tests but performances during the six nations which were average at best have quite rightly ruled him out. If Hadden ha given Cusiter more game time in the 6 nations then I reckon he may have been selecte for the Lions as he put in solid performaces when he did get on. I think Strokosch and Taylor (both back row) were unlucky to miss out as they are work horses at both club and International level and if the tour is going to be a war of attrition up front as it is being billed as then they would provide a key contribution.
With regard to the the arguement over Mike Blair being the best scrum half in the world (a few people were arguing about this in these posts) I think that he was labelled the "on-form scrum half in the world" after the Autumn tests, which at the time was probably true and also holds different meaning to World's best player.
Congratulations to all of the players selected, overall it is a fair selection although there are a few selections I am unsure of. Not sure about Ellis or Flutey in the back line and not sure about Joe Worsley. O'gara is so poor defensively and will be a real target for the South Africans who will constantly attack that channel. For this reason O'Gara is a real liability and one of the forwards will have to be assigned to him to help him in defence, though he is such a good player in other areas that he warrants selection. I agree with most of Manfred's comments about who he would swap into the squad, especially that Evans was unlucky to miss out.
I think the low Scottish representation is perfectly fair based on performace though the players I have mentioned can feel unlucky that they won't be travelling to South Africa.
All in all a fair selection though the backs look a bit weak against a large, fast South African team.

· Reply · Report

andy April 22, 2009 1:06 pm

I'm pretty happy with the selection.

A few complaints.

I think Croft should have gone.

i'm not sure about Fluteys involvement.

I would have taken Lewsey.

· Reply · Report

Where's Ian Keately? April 22, 2009 1:19 pm

Kapitalimus clearly doesnt understand what a lions tour is.....

· Reply · Report

sontanye! April 22, 2009 2:16 pm

...............what i want to see is the very first SA game is someone to run at o'gara and to be flattened......i really think ROG needs the confidence, i mean the guy is an awesome player on offence but like everyone says his tackling is a bit weak, he seems like one of the school boys who is just that little bit worried about being hurt. which is quite ironic when you look at people like stringer who, proves that size can sometimes be everything (and ofcourse sometimes nothing) yet he was always trying to get involved.

pissed about vickery being in the side, he is useless and fat and gives more help to the oppo (pens) that help to his own side...... (me being from devon, and playing cornish sides) vickery is one of those old boys, ive played against cornish sides and they have them, they are the old out of shape out of brains past it players, that really want to just stamp on anything that moves so that they can look hard....they do nothing for their teams and really are a waste of time and hey what a surprise vickery is from cornwall........

personally id pick flannery over smit anyday (in a dream team) flannery is an awesome player and anything he lacks he makes up for in aggression and spirit!!!

i think powell is an awesome player, im sure he will do just as much damage to burger!!!

looking forward to this tour!!!

· Reply · Report

WhyWhy? April 22, 2009 3:37 pm

Ohh, only 2 Scots
Why is there no Thom Evans, he has amazing paste.
Also Blair, he would flourish if he were to be surrounded by fellow talented players.
Also PATERSON!
The best goal kicker 100%
And a utility back, he can play:
Wing
Full-Back
Fly half

· Reply · Report

LeftWing April 22, 2009 3:49 pm

How can it be that there 2 fly halfs in the squad. If they get injured (or targeted in the warm-up games) who will fill in?
Why is there no Paterson?
.The best goal kicker (100% in this years six nations and world cup, 36 kicks in a row)
.Can play wing, fullback, fly half
. has achived 95 caps for his country
. The top points scorer for his country
The squad boggles the mind.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 22, 2009 5:17 pm

paterson isnt in because jones and ROG are perfectly good kickers (when o'gara's on form, lets hope he doesnt have another ire/eng disaster!) and although he is a utility back the fullback/wing spots were hardly in contention, it was always going to be byrne, kearny (possibly not so definate), bowe, williams etc. paterson's a good player but not suited for the squad this time. in my opinion anyway :P

also looking forward to seeing steven ferris flatten some boks! although i believe we (lions) will lose 2-1

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 22, 2009 5:18 pm

face it

LIONS DOES NOT MATTER!!!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 22, 2009 5:26 pm

Hayes simply has to be called up.
solid scrummager,
Very disciplined,
fantastic tackler,
never stops workin,
in form,
the finest lineout lifter in the world.
One of the reasons o connell is so good at lineout time is that hes got a 6"4 man "Throwing" him into the air for an extra few inches.

Sheridan, Vickery and adam jones are absolutely terrible.
no form.
lazy
concede penalties.
Ian McGeechan simply must bring him to SA or the set piece will crumble without him

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 22, 2009 5:57 pm

Very surprised that Matthew Rees got the call up. He hasn't been particularly good this year and his lineout throwing is still very shaky. Even though he's certainly not 1st choice, the thought that there is a possibility of him throwing against Victor Matfield scares me. I would have taken Rory Best instead. If they wanted a physical presence, why not take Ross Ford or Dylan Hartley? They're much more physical than Rees is, plus they are both better come lineout time.

Can't believe Harry Ellis has made the team. I don't even regard him among the 5 best English scrumhalves, never mind Britain and Ireland. Even though Mike Blair had a very poor 6 nations, when he's at his best (i.e. against South Africa in the Autumn test), he is easily one the world's best 9s. I'd have taken Cusiter, Stringer, Care and Peel over Ellis.

· Reply · Report

PLEASE READ MY COMME April 22, 2009 6:50 pm

If only these players were on form and fit!!

Tom Rees
Ryan Jones
Blair
eoin reddan


PLayers on form and unlucky are;

delon armtiage
tom croft
haskell
max evans

some people who say that quinlan is a good call because he can cover second row and back row and is very expierinced then why not someone like simon taylor or jason white both play second row and and backrow and even if not hitting form are always reliable and physcical!!
anyway its the lions loss at the end of day, scotland will have a strong squad as will england!!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 22, 2009 7:25 pm

Quinny will be a bitta craic too!
id say thats actually one reason hes goin lol!

youd want that tho

· Reply · Report

Goodie April 22, 2009 8:20 pm

Manfred

Care to explain why ferris shouldn't be going?

He is big enough, tackles hard, runs hard and regardless of the name facing him he will never take a backwards step. He's the sort of non-flash workhorse the Lions need to do the donkey work for the try scorers. Its going to be a war in the pack, they need him. Not to mention he is in great form.

Croft for Powell. No harm to him but hope Powell is unable to travel and is replaced by Croft.

Is it just me or is it a coincidence that only the Irish Captain was picked, with the other Irish leader getting Lions captain. Know each other well from the irish squad, consistancy and familiarity in leadership? wants to keep some other big personalities away too perhaps, adam jones, CIPRIANI, HENSON...

Its a group of guys who will battle for each other and the jersey. Tourist, a squad of them. Not individuals.

· Reply · Report

pappy25 April 22, 2009 8:40 pm

happy to see Quinny gettin d call up, he's one of those guys playing on the edge getting away with murder, a bad bastard to play against but great to have on your team, he'll be in d thick of it for the midweek games. Pity about Blair but Ellis will get injured as soon as he gets off the plane and Blair should be jetting in as cover. baffled by Shaw's inclusion. Earls is my favourite call up, fair play to Geech for makin d call. don't understand d fuss over Croft not going,he's average. Hayes should be there without a doubt. surprised by O'Leary's call up. also would have liked to see one of the Evans boys, they're decent players, can't remember which one is better tho! can't wait now...when does it start?

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 23, 2009 8:38 am

This is a general idea of the SA team. Although it is to be said that there could be a bunch of changes as some of the bigger names may be usurped by on-form players in the super 14 right now. The bok selection may surprise a few people.

But this is the team most SA fans predict.

1 Beast
2 Smit
3 Jannie DuP
4 Botha
5 Matfield
6 Burger
7 Smith
8 Spies

9 Du Preez
10 James
11 Habana
12 DeVilliers
13 Fourie
14 JPP
15 Terblanche

16 CJ / BJ / Steenkamp
17 Bismarck
18 Rossouw / Bekker
19 Brussouw / Kankowski
20 Kockott
21 Pienaar
22 F Steyn

· Reply · Report

Kenny April 23, 2009 8:44 am

Anonymous said...
Quinny will be a bitta craic too!
id say thats actually one reason hes goin lol!

youd want that tho

What a total load of bollox, I doubt they picked him cause hes great craic and how wud u know if hes great craic, s he a good friend of yours or something.

Quinlan is a definite midweek player for the club test and doesnt have the engine for the main tests against SA. Thats why him and Shaw are there. Ferris will take his place in the main games.
Would have brought Stringer instead of Ellis as well for quicker ball to the backs.
Hope Ugo Monye keeps the bench nice and warm cause he should not be going.

I agree on the props to a degree will be sheridan and murray starting the main tests for a strong stable scrum cause SA scrum aint the best. This will give time and space to the backs to work something but you can be sure of one thing all the training will be on defence.
These tests will be an attempt at what Ireland did in the 6N. Very very tight defence and some offence but paramount to the re tactics will be very very strong defence and look to totally frustrate the boks. Therefore you can expect O Driscoll and possibly Shanklin in the middle to keep it air tight in the middle with Ferris and Heaslip and Wallace and Phillips as the scrum half cause hes a big guy as well.

· Reply · Report

Kenny April 23, 2009 8:47 am

isnt Jean De Villiers injured till mid May as well i have seen a few guys here putting him in their starting team, i read the he got a really nasty groin injury and could be out completely.
Dont take it as bible just read it on planetrugby. Please tell me if im wrong.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 23, 2009 9:28 am

Not too many English or Scottish players ey.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 23, 2009 9:34 am

I can't wait until it kicks off. The squad has a nice blend of power, pace and brains. And Geech has avoided players that are liable to cause upset in the camp. Your Henson, Cipriani, Healey type characters.

SA are overly confident, just like 1997.

They still haven't settled on a dedicated kicker or certain combinations. JDV is likely to miss the tests, Burger is off form. The Sharks looked jaded against a fairly average Crusaders performance.

Decent coaching staff plus an indepth and varied squad selection, should give for a decent close test series, hopefully wiping away the disaster that Sir Cliver created in 2005.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 23, 2009 11:28 am

It is tough on croft not to go, and a lot of people have been saying that they are suprized about Quinlan going, but if you remember 97, there were a few "questionable" choices, that turned out to be inspired- who saw Jeremy Davidson playing like he did?...

Should be a good tour, but I think that this is going to be a much tougher test series than 97 :)... Will be definately buying the sky sports pakage to watch it lol

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 23, 2009 4:27 pm

Should be Julian White going - not Phil Vickery. White by far the best tighthead we have up here and can destroy the opposite front row when he's firing right. Vickery a poor choice due to Wasps favouritism. Not the force he was with ball in hand years ago and will get pinged left right and centre at the set piece. White would have caused real problems for the saffers in the set piece....

· Reply · Report

Let the Lions Roar April 23, 2009 5:20 pm

Dissapointed to see Shaw picked over Croft, who has the pace to make the team and test the likes of Spies and Smith around the rucks. Good to see some big forwards in there, our scrum should dominate but shoring up the line-out must be a key priority in order to slow down the Boks distribution. In the backs we may lack physicallity, upping the chances of players like Roberts and Shanklin. Powell will be good on the hard ground of South Africa, as will players like Shane Williams and Riki Flutey.

Tough call, but the South Africans are so settled and gelled as team it will be hard to undo them. Some great strategy and leadership will be needed to make the tour succesful.

· Reply · Report

Jonno April 23, 2009 6:02 pm

Real shame bout croft and i thing that Geordan murphy should be way up there for selection

1: Euan Murray
2: Mathew Rees
3: Andrew Sheridan

4: Alun Wyn Jones
5: Paul O'Connell

6: Joe Worsley (he can and will tackle anything)
7: David Wallace
8: Jamie Heaslip

9: Harry Ellis
10: ROG

11: Shane Williams
12: Jamie Roberts
13: BOD
14: Ugo Monye
15: Lee Byrne

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 23, 2009 6:32 pm

1: Euan Murray
2: Mathew Rees
3: Andrew Sheridan

4: Simon Shaw
5: Paul O'Connell

6: Joe Worsley
7: David Wallace
8: Jamie Heaslip

9: Harry Ellis
10: ROG

11: Thom Evans
12: Tom Shanklin
13: BOD
14: Ugo Monye
15: Delon Armitage

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 23, 2009 9:14 pm

Yo kenny,
37 goin, quilan obviously hasnt a chance of gettin test team
but would you rather have some prick in SA bitching about not playing?
or having a bit of banter with the rest of the lads,
if the group doesnt get on they wont win,
and no smartass i dont know him personally, but ive heard loasda stories from people round munster


jackass

· Reply · Report

JoshButterill April 24, 2009 4:05 am

Starting 15;

1.Andrew Sheridan
2.Jerry Flannery
3. Adam Jones
4. Simon Shaw
5. Paul O'Connol
6.Joe Worsely (he's going to be very important down there)
7. David Wallace
8. Andy Powell (he'll take it to the boks)

9. Mike phillips (boss du preez hopefully)
10. Ronan O'Gara

11.Shane Williams
12. Riki flutey
13. Brian O'Driscol
14. Ugo Monye (chance of staying with habana)
15. lee Byrne

16. Mathew Rees
17. Euan Murray
18. Alun Wyn-Jones
19. Jamie Heaslip
20. Thomas O'Leary
21. Stephen Jones
22. Tom Shanklin/ Jamie Roberts

O'Gara needs to keep his cool, if he bottles it and fucks his kicking up the series will be lost there and then

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 24, 2009 2:17 pm

a lot of people seem to hate powell.....im not sure why...personally i like the guy, he works hard round the pitch and is a good player.....he comes accross as a great laugh aswell, anything you read about him pretty much says so....e.g. when he was 3 and a half he had a routine check up and was asked whether he could stand on one leg, he replied "yes, but then i'll fall over"

i think with his ego which no doubt is the same size as the guy he will give the boks something to remember.....in all honesty a big of ego is what half these players need, especially ROG (awesome player and everything, but if someone tells him to sit down early on, he normally does)

· Reply · Report

probably biased wels April 24, 2009 6:18 pm

test team

1.g jenkins
2.j flannery
3.e murray
4.a wyn jones
5.p o'connell
6.a powell (need a ball carrier)
7.m williams
8.j heaslip
9.m phillips
10.s jones
11.s williams
12.j roberts
13.b o'driscoll
14.t bowe
15.l byrne


16.m rees
17.a sheridan
18.d o'callaghan
19.d wallace
20.t o'leary
21.r o'gara
22.t shanklin

· Reply · Report

A-non-e-mouse April 24, 2009 8:58 pm

"Probably biased welshman"... ....i cant believe you even put probably....

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 24, 2009 10:38 pm

danny care????

im surprised ellis is placed over him on overall season form! but thats just my opinion I dont think either would start in the 3 big tests.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 25, 2009 12:53 am

i think including simon shaw was a big mistake, he's too old now, and he's not really done anything special so i can't really understand why they picked him. Leaving Tom Croft out was a bit harsh as well he was awesome in the six-nations.

· Reply · Report

stephen April 25, 2009 3:19 pm

get andy powell out of that squad!!! tomas o leary also out now so mike blair is in (hopefully) GET SIMON SHAW OUT OF THERE TOO!!!!!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 25, 2009 7:54 pm

"get andy powell out of that squad!!!"

Why?

· Reply · Report

david April 26, 2009 12:05 am

as a welsh and ospreys supporter i am glad ryan jones isnt going, he is overweight, slow, lazy and nothing compared to what he was in 2005 when breaking tackles and making them was a regular occurrence, so i hope this disappointment gives him the kick in the a** for next season

· Reply · Report

Anonymous April 27, 2009 1:05 am

presume they're hoping earls will have the same effect o driscoll did in 2001

· Reply · Report

Swampy April 27, 2009 8:58 pm

does anyone realise this makes fluety the first player ever to play for and against the lions?

· Reply · Report

Give Cowan A Beer April 28, 2009 8:55 am

Damn that crowd sounded bored...

The Boks got this easy.

· Reply · Report

Back Line Boy! May 03, 2009 9:55 pm

Some people on here underestimate english, how is monye rubbish hes probably the fastest man there, infact easily. joe worsely can tackle anything. ok i know vickery shouldnt really be there but hes not rubbish, shaw is good.
Also i think the Evans' brothers could have been involved, lots of speed and power. And armitage has speed to burn, a great jump and catch, brave. but saying that its a great team and im looking forward to it.

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley May 28, 2009 12:46 pm

Ok my predictions! bare with me!
Im a limerick man and a diehard munster supporter. While obviously Paulie was the man to captin the team, he IS the best second row in europe, handsdown. what makes him this? his determination to be the best he can be. anyone who knows about forward play in the game must surely admire him.
The key to beating the springboks is in the front 5. they have the best secondrow partnership in the world and surely paulie must be on top of his game along with jones(i reckon) to get the better of them. to do this, they need a) a good lineout thrower, and b) good lifters. this is where the lions are lacking. the injury to fla is a disaster, no point beating around the bush he was going to start at hooker. his lineouts were like BULLETS. the pace, the precision gave o connel and donnacha for munster and indeed ireland that extra protection. if you look at props, murray and jenkins are the two form props and are odds on to start, while i agree with this, i cannot believe that john hayes hasn been picked to tour. like all props the mature with old age. im not sayin hayes is a good scrummager-far from it- but they are playin a south africa team that reportedly want to recall both van der lind and botha from leinster and ulster. this means their scrum is worrying for them. i do not think hayes would have hindered the scrum. the reason i suggest hayes and he is widely regarded as the BEST one man lifter in europe. at 6"4 and 20 odd stone, being able to FLING o connell into the air would make it easier to disrupt lineout ball.
now onto the backs, the injury to tomas was a disaster, no more for o gara. the feeling around some parts of limerick for last 7/8 months or so, is that o gara hasnt been putting in the same type of performances he has done and i cannot see him being partnered by philips. also is tackling is more than suspect and surely will be targeted.
I am sure people do not agree with the above but its my opinion, but this is where it gets more creative. Hands up who knows keith Earls? people in munster and ireland surely do. but who else? this BOY has been ripping up the heineken cup and magners league all season. now people point out the leinster game in the semi which was terribly disappointing for a munster supporter. what back do you know at 20 years of age can perform well when he doesnt have the ball? he touched the ball less than 5 times such was the measure of performance of the leinster players and he made a few good breaks. you can be rest assured the people of south africa dont know the man from young munster. I would put him up against habana, it wont faze him one bit and i think he could do more damage than bowe or halfpenney.
As you know the second and third tests are being played at altitude and the legend that is rocky elsom says that the altitude does NOT affect your rugby. he says people who are not used to it, will come down with flu like syndroms. it does affext your fitness an hour into the game. this is something the lions should be wary of.
here is my team:
1.Euan murray
2.lee mears
3.gethin jenkins
4.alun-wyn jones
5.paul o Connell
6.Tom Croft
7.David Wallace
8.Jamie Heaslip
9.Mike Philips
10.Stephen Jones
11.Shane Williams
12.Jamie Roberts
13.Brian o Driscoll
14.Keith Earls
15.Lee Byrne

What do you think, i know the majority are irish and welsh but what can i say scotland and england havent done anything in years?

· Reply · Report

Commenting as Guest | Register or Login

All comments are moderated and will be removed immediately if offensive.
 
Site Meter