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Sir Ian McGeechan on Coaching and Leading the Lions

I suppose here is the spot for comments?
No Wilkinson and just 37 not 38 players? Maybe its a club issue, but wilkinson shuda travelled surely? just 2 outhalves.

and robshaw zebo should feel hard done by (zebo a recent bloomer, but v exciting)

Maitland? Stevens? a bit dubious/debatable for a couple of reasons.

5 Years, 1 Month ago

Clermont through to first ever Heineken Cup Final after tense win over Munster

Funny and interesting point at the end there Vanadyel. And has been said, lots of countries do impose limits of players, mostly through international caps 'bribe'.

All protectionisms impose limits and sometimes that can be, or seem, unfair: but of course there are numerous ways, sometimes unintended, that unfairness emerge. Esp in an unbridled pure capitalist system.

My own feeling on the Irish recent dominance of the H cup was that it was in part caused by some judicious national-provincial player management, helped in no small part by a tax intensive for retiring players.

Before professionalisation, almost all Irish players played in the UK, and it was a dark dark time for the national squad. They were appalling.

Of course Leinster ended up loosing N Hines to....Claremont because of the rules/limits in Irl.......

5 Years, 1 Month ago

Clermont through to first ever Heineken Cup Final after tense win over Munster

Man city have a really long history too. They also had the best U23 team in Britain, locally built up, before the money came in. Then that disappeared into the ether.

This final represents big money. That's unquestionable. And its something rugby fans think about from time to time - and this is an apt time to think about it, because this final has these teams in it because of big money.

Yes, they have real fans and long histories, more than many teams do. But that alone would not have gotten them into the final.

Sometimes, things are protected and for good reason: Irish club numbers of foreign players for eg. (and of course in life outside rugby that happens too, and again for good reason - PGI DOC PDO etc in food)

Of course every single fan would like their individual club to have loadsa money. That's a pointlessly obvious and myopic notion.

But something is lost when the game becomes primarily about the worlds top 100 players in each hemisphere playing almost exclusively for whoever pays the most.

This is especially the case if there are weak or no rules on balancing the books (even soccer is getting rid of that one soon, thankfully).

One of the many effects of this is that fans become irreverent cheerleaders as the years roll by: replaceable by other, better paying fans if they don't like the arrangement.

When this happens, rugby may be a large spectator sport, but it will be something only slightly more relevant than 3d cinema or an xbox.


@colombes you are making presumptions. I know that well paid players can try hard etc

@vanadaryl thanks for the extra info (the 4th Irish club qualified this time around because Leinster won last time. And if the negotiations go a particular way about how the H cup works, Italian and Scottish teams may end up never even getting close to competing)

And obv there is more to this than the two french clubs btw - its at a trend, a dynamic in the game that's worth examining.

5 Years, 1 Month ago

Clermont through to first ever Heineken Cup Final after tense win over Munster

finally the big big budgets in France are starting to work at H cup level:

these 2 finalists have budgets many multiples of munsters...and yet, that second kick through almost yielded a try near the end for munster, and you know o gard would have converted for 16-17.

Ah well. The man-cityification of rugby rolls relentlessly on.

5 Years, 1 Month ago

Elliot Daly clearance kick lands straight in the bin

I love how comedy old school the bin is too! classic

5 Years, 1 Month ago

Paul O'Connell knocks out Dave Kearney with clumsy kick to the head

its a funny one (as in strange)

You just can't imagine him doing it deliberately - its not his style at all - and yet it looks so clear cut.

One thing - Kearney was already at least winded and groggy when he hit the ground hand. (and then he took that boot to the head!)

Moment of complete madness by POC.

5 Years, 2 Months ago

Ian Madigan chip from behind tryline and winning try vs Glasgow Warriors

after a couple of replays and I'll still struggling to follow his sidestep there for that try. V impressive.

5 Years, 2 Months ago

Italy give Lo Cicero famous send off with historic win over Ireland

Good point on the wales match Nixx, good tactics reduced the negative 'impact' of size....but still, all told, I'd rather have that bit of bulk...

See here for comment from a former Irish International on this topic:

5 Years, 3 Months ago

Italy give Lo Cicero famous send off with historic win over Ireland

Those 5.11 guys may be listed as 5.11 on their provincial team sites, but really? Earls 5.11? They are all v light/skinny too. (and he's listed at 5.10 on the ireland site- but then, he's also listed as 14.1 stone - really?!! Earls 14.1 stone?)

BOD and D'Arcy are listed as 5.10, and sometimes as 5.9 in various places.

Gilroy 6 ft? Do you really think so?

And 5.11 is close to 6 ft, fair enough. But they are quite small by modern international standards, and they are light. And for some reason, most of the newer players are smaller than the likes of Horgan, Bowe, trimble, fitzy- ierecent or other available /injured backs. And they are smaller than many dominant international backs these days.

The combo of not that tall and quite light is the problem, and is the main, non pedantic point.

Maybe you could respond to the actual basic point- "our backs are quite small aren't they" - points rather than just nit pick? Because they are quite small, esp when taking height and weight into account.

5 Years, 3 Months ago

Italy give Lo Cicero famous send off with historic win over Ireland

Damn! No excuse now for Kidney picking those small guys.

5 Years, 3 Months ago