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Gavin Hastings picks his British & Irish Lions starting XV for 2013

You're spot on about combinations! BOD and Roberts were fantastic on the last tour! But think Davis would give you a better option at 12. Better runner than Roberts and less predictable. With a head like BOD outside him I think that would really challenge the Auz back line.

North is the first name on the team sheet along with Ashton (I know he's an idiot but he's a world class finisher and would follow North, BOD and Davis brilliantly.) But with Cuthbert, Visser and Half-Penny you're spoilt for choice. I say HP on the wing as haven't seen Goode play international yet but he is awesome for Sarries. Having played 10 for a long time he provides another attacking option.

If you're looking for an in form fly half you just need to look at the Top 14. Wilko might not make it to the next WC but he is certainly up to the job next year. Doesn't fold under pressure like Sexton (which is why Ireland always have O'Gara on the bench) and is much bigger in defense than Flood. Plus what a boot!!! With HP at full back (I agree with you about Kearney) you have two fantastic kicking options.

9 - Danny Care, Phillips and Youngs. In that starting order.

Front row is a difficult choice. Adam Jones is world class but Dan Cole forced him out of the HC game early against Leicester! Front row from Jenkins, Sheridan, Cole, Jones, Murray, Hookers - Best and Hartley.

Second row - Gray and O'Connell - Goldilocks and the big bear!

Back row - see comment above :)

I can't wait. Love the LIONS!!!!

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Gavin Hastings picks his British & Irish Lions starting XV for 2013

There are a few points on here that are well made but people are obviously not watching much Premiership rugby!!! Easter is clearly the stand-out 8 of the whole league. Against Gloucester he made Morgan look incredibly ordinary (which of course we know he isn't)

He plays week in, week out in the Premiership and doesn't get the rotation breaks like the Irish/Welsh teams.

He doesn't play in the Rabo 12 where (realistically) a possible 3 teams could win it, all Irish. Ulster look amazing at the moment, wish Ruan was English (best player in the world?; him or Schalk Brits?)

Gavin Hasting rates him! He's Scotish and therefore bred to hate the English so he must be good :) Plus he's been there and so his opinion counts for more than ours!

Finally I wouldn't pick him either! He may be the stand out player but that isn't all it takes to be a Lion. Apparently he is poison in the changing room, constantly negative!

I wouldn't choose Robshaw over Warburton either, that's just odd, but to say he isn't a good leader is a funny thing to say unless you've actually been lead by him! Guessing there aren't may Harlequins or England players commenting on here! Look at the transformation from WC to 6N's!

Finally, watch S Armitage in the Top 14, AMAZING! Play him or Warburton at 8 and let the other play 7. With someone like Lydiate, Denton or Ferris at 6 that would be an awesome back row!

Sorry it's a long one!!!!!!!!!

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Referee Nigel Owens chats to the TMO, on an iPhone

One question; how does the man in a shirt coloured differently to everyone else's, who blows his whistle loudly in order to ATTRACT ATTENTION to himself, whose role it is to keep in the thick of things in order to make the correct decision, who everyone turns to when they believe a rule has been broken, a penalty scored, a try given, a conversion kicked, stay out of the limelight?

2 Years, 6 Months ago

Rugby Club Plays of the Week 2012 - Round 5

RED CARD - Lifts him beyond the horizontal and doesn't place him down safely :) Love the slow mo where you can see him munching grass!

RD - Can we please have a clip of the best hand off's ever? This must be in the top 3!!!

2 Years, 6 Months ago

Calum Clark banned for 32 weeks for breaking another player's arm

If he again commits an offence of this nature AGAIN then I would agree that he should be banned from the sport permanently. The original ban of 64 weeks should have stood.

2 Years, 6 Months ago

Calum Clark banned for 32 weeks for breaking another player's arm

Could not agree with you more Andyboy. CC's action on the field are instinctual and heat of the moment. It was downright disgraceful but I'm not sure we should be calling for his head on a platter just yet. If he again commits an offence of this nature then I would agree that he should be banned from the sport permanently. The original ban of 64 weeks should have stood.

What is worse in my eyes is, like you say, the reaction of the club. To attempt to defend this action is contemptible especially after watching what is clearly a deliberate attempt to hurt the another player. CC was not even looking at the ball when he pulled on the arm so could not have been aware if it was released or not and so was only doing it for one purpose, to injure!

Listening to Jim Mallinder (sp?) speak I always thought of him as an old fashioned and honest rugby player/coach who stood up for the values of the sport whilst combining them well with the commitments of the modern professional game. It turns out I was wrong and am pleased he decided not to pursue the role of England head coach!

2 Years, 6 Months ago

George North beats Alex Cuthbert to set up great Scarlets try

Wouldn't say he's the best winger in the Northern Hemisphere I'd say he is probably the best winger in the world at the moment. Before people start going off about this player and that, remember this is my opinion and not fact.

At 19 I think he is a very, very exciting player to watch and is probably one of the only players (minus Sam 'dump tackle' Warburton) who is guaranteed a place on the Lions tour.

My only problem with him is that, unlike Ben Morgan, he chose the wrong country :) I hope he has a long and exciting career as it is players like him that can light up a game!

2 Years, 6 Months ago

England defeat France in Paris in Six Nations classic

Yes because in a rugby match you often see the 14 other players standing still whilst one player runs in a try!!!!!!!!!!!

Next time watch the game closely and count how many players are just 'standing' on the field when the try is scored. That is not including those getting up off the ground or who have been in a previous phase of play or running to support. The try involved 4 players so almost a third of the team.

Can you explain how to score a team try? Is it only a team try when every player on the field has touched the ball in a passage of play? Was Ashtons try against Australia a team try or individual brilliance by Youngsm Lawes and then Ashton for example? The ball was only touched by 3 players on the way to the tryline but what about the turnover tackle including other players?

I'm just curious to know how you define a 'team' try?

Tommy Bowes awesome try against France was one of individual brilliance but the rest of the team had to get the ball to him first!

2 Years, 7 Months ago

Keven Mealamu struck with bottle after Bulls vs Blues game

I find it amazing that they still require fences around the pitch at these games. Even football matches in the uk have had these removed and everyone of those games is a tense and violent firework with fans constantly shouting abuse at each other. Is this a feature of all South African rugby stadiums?

2 Years, 7 Months ago

England defeat France in Paris in Six Nations classic

You say individual tries however the first one alone proves this comment to be incorrect. If you look at the players involved 1) Ashton makes the tackle 2)Farrell picks up the ball off loads in the tackle to Dickinson 3) Dickinson pass to Manu who showed more pace than I thought he had. I would say that was team involvement! The other two I agree with you partially but the ball has to be won before you can score tries and that requires the team.

2 Years, 7 Months ago

 
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