Tuesday Apr 30, 2013 British & Irish Lions squad announcement - Sam Warburton named as captain

British & Irish Lions squad announcement - Sam Warburton named as captain
67
Comments

The 37-man Lions squad to tour Australia was revealed earlier today, with bookies favourite Sam Warburton named as captain. There were a few surprise inclusions, as well as some that were left out. Full squad below and video of announcement below.

British & Irish Lions 2013 squad:

Backs: Leigh Halfpenny, Stuart Hogg, Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe, Alex Cuthbert, Sean Maitland, George North, Jonathan Davies, Brian O’Driscoll, Jamie Roberts, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell, Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray, Mike Phillips, Ben Youngs.

Forwards: Dan Cole, Cian Healy, Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones, Matt Stevens, Mako Vunipola, Dylan Hartley, Richard Hibbard, Tom Youngs, Ian Evans, Richie Gray, Alun-Wyn Jones, Paul O’Connell, Geoff Parling, Tom Croft, Toby Faletau, Jamie Heaslip, Dan Lydiate, Sean O’Brien, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton

No Rory Best, no Jonny Wilkinson, no Chris Robshaw. Wallaby Quade Cooper’s cousin, Kiwi Sean Maitland, is included, as well as Matt Stevens, who retired from international rugby last year.

Coach Warren Gatland offered hope to those that missed out though, saying that there are a group of players who will no doubt be called up should their services be required.

“There was a robust debate about the squad and there were healthy discussions for every position. Some real quality players have missed out. We had a thorough process and it’s been tough.

“If you look at previous tours there’s six to eight players that always unfortunately get injured and you need to have replacements, so there’s going to be a key group of back-up players that will potentially be called upon to come out and join the tour,” Gatland explained.

Andy Irvine has since revealed that 33-year-old Jonny Wilkinson actually ruled himself out.

“The truth is Jonny wasn’t up for it. He ruled himself out,” Irvine told BBC Radio 5 live. “He told Warren that he feels his body isn’t in the right shape to complete a tour like this. I admire his honesty and integrity.”

The squad comprises of 15 Welshmen, 10 Englishmen, 9 Irishmen and 3 Scotsmen.

What is your initial reaction to the squad?

 

Time: 5:12
Credit: skysportsnews

67 Comments

  •  ravens6
    ravens6

    "Hartley will probably end up in the bin" To be honest I had him at least making it to the plane. That said, I'm not a bad judge of character, He's a lout. A better man is now on the plane and he can be very good in the loose, and on a good day at the office hit a postage stamp on the tip of any rows fingers 15m away.

    Reply
  •  coops
    coops

    Considering what Gatland said about selection - he'd base it on 6 nations performances and/or club form in games of a similar intensity - I find it hard to understand why Lydiate is going. He's a great player when fit, but all he's managed are 4 dead rubber games for the Dragons. Robshaw, meanwhile, is fit and was one of the players of the Six Nations. And I don't buy into the argument of 'there are 3 better 7s" - one played his best game of the tournament at 6, one can't get into the international side at 7 when everyone is fit, and the other is no more of an open side than Robshaw! Form would point to the bloke who finished towards the top of all the charts relevant to flankers and who got man of the match in 3 of England's games. I think he's incredibly unlucky. You can read my beer-related take on the Lions squad here: www.ruckedover.blogspot.com

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I have to admit, I have not really seen Lawes play at club level, and again I can't recall how many times I've seen him at international level, I believe in the games I've seen him in, he has "done his job"... But I don't recall seeing him do the "above and beyond" that perhaps should be the requirements of the Lions... So perhaps a lot of my opinion of Lawes is based on a distinct LACK of seeing him. Of course all that being said, he's still better than me....

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    As far as clanger 1 goes, Gray carries a lot of speed and definitely has a good carrying game (when on form). Lawes shows nothing IMO, he is tall, quite strong, but I see far more bodily strength in the likes of POC, and far more round the park stuff in Gray. As far as the bish-bish rugby, I agree, I think Australia is adopting a lot of an absorption technique rather than a brick wall, with the likes of Pocock and his huge turnover rates (if picked etc) I think this bashing technique won't get them far.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Ahh.. lol. ok I gotcha. Agreed!

    Reply
  •  juggernauter
    juggernauter

    Hartley's inclusion is a shocker, he'll end in the bin every time he hits the pitch. Regarding Maitland, it's funny how this guy played for a number of years in an oustanding Crusaders team, was a key part of their crazy attacking moves and overall exellence, always excelled while playing in what was the best team in the world for about three years in a row, and yet never made it into the All Blacks. Then he went to Glasgow, played some average games for Scotland in the 6N (which I think is evidently the 2nd Tier of international rugby) and makes the bloody Lions. This either speaks very well of Maitland or very bad of Scotland and WG. We shall see and I seriosuly wish he becomes a revelation! Can't wait for june.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    I wasnt paying enough attention, but in the build up to saracens HC semi final on sunday I heard them analysing Stevens, and someone said that he had recently been described by some front rower as 'one of the best scrummaging props in the world'. As I said I didn't hear the full thing, but if I heard right then that is quite an accolade for someone, particularly a forward with the handling game that Stevens has.

    Reply
  •  cheyanqui
    cheyanqui

    Agree. The problem with getting Wade to shine is to give him a chance, and a good setup man. Imagine if as a defender, you have to choose to tackle Tuilagi or Wade? Might as well go home.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    Sorry, I meant that because he is a 7 and not the best one we have, to play him we will be losing the better player. And as a result I do not like him being captain. I happen to think 7 or 8 are the best positions to captain from, they tend to work the hardest and be involved in more than most positions, a great platform to set an example and lead.

    Reply
  •  upthelowend
    upthelowend

    Croft can play both 6 and lock internationally (and has) and in my mind is a far greater talent than Robshaw. Sure Robshaw has the work rate but Croft has that x factor that you look for in a lion.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    "god, everyone knows the welsh are good but at the same rate they couldn't beat a dung beetle off a pile of shit in the southern hemisphere" Best sentence I've read for a while.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Lawes loves to put the hurt on the small guys, but his tackling on other forwards is shocking at international level. He's always looking for the Hollywood smash, rather than just doing his damn job properly.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I'm still shocked at the inclusion of Hibbard, Hartley and Stevens... I'm not really sure where Hibbard came from, he just appeared in the Welsh pack, I don't recall if he made big impacts? Maybe he did. Hartley... Well, he certainly doesn't bring a wealth of brains to the party, anything special? Not 100% sure, maybe he was just consistent in doing a hookers job in the 6N.. Stevens... Pardon? Who? The guy has retired, is that a sort of sympathy inclusion... "Ah come on, he went a bit wild did some cocaine got banned and missed out on huge amounts of rugby, lets cut him a break and bring him along" I mean I'd have thought even Euan 'don't play on Sundays' Murray would be a better option than Matt 'don't play no more' Stevens... :/ Also where is Corbisiero these days? He missed out the 6N due to injury didn't he? Is he back yet? Again, I'd figure someone who is/was injured but still in the game would be a better option than a retiree. Will be interesting to see which Welsh players Gatland actually omits on match day..seeing as he has pretty much a full Welsh team...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Jumbled that up, but you get the drift...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I share the same opinion as you on Robshaw... I don't see him matching any of the work rate of the other world 7's. It does worry me a bit to hear Warburton is captain because, as you said Tipuric should have that 7 shirt nailed to his back, so where is the captain going to play? Out of place at 6, 8? Second row?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Maybe our wires got crossed, but you said: "I don't like Warburton being captain, he is a 7." I agree with the latter part (not included) he is not the best 7. But that sentence was why mentioning 'His Humble Royal Highness Great Illustious King Richie' :P came about...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Not sure why you would include Lawes over Gray... I don't think Gray had a great 6N and h had injuries, but I don't see what all the fuss about Lawes is, he's not shown anything special IMO...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    That wasn't there when most people commented, hence the "has since revealed" is the key...

    Reply
  •  ljnumber8
    ljnumber8

    I think you are onto something. However Palu has never done enough IMO. Would you settle with Smith at 8 and Gill or, preferably, Hooper on the side? Mogg or Folau is a great battle. Neither capped Wallaby in a pretty bloody critical position, especially if the Lions choose to kick.

    Reply
  • Every player has bad days, Farrell was just unlucky to go through his right before the squad was announced. The part he did play in the Six Nations was pretty impressive, he was also pretty good during the November internationals, especially against the All Blacks. Even in club form he performs well under pressure. He's supposedly very strict in the way he conducts himself while training. Furthermore, maybe there's something in his style of play that the coaches think will work well against Aussie sides. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Remember when he got nominated for Player of the Year, and everyone tore him to bits? Remember what he did next? He tore Dan Carter to bits. I say he bounces back now too

    Reply
  • I made reference to this above, but I think Wade was probably kept out at Lancaster's insistence. Lancaster probably wants him on the plane to Argentina. However, Lancaster was probably expecting more of his players to get selected for the Lions to give Wade that space. By selecting so many Welsh players, I think Gatland really threw a wrench in England's works. The Argentina tour was all about development as their stars were in Australia but with so few of their players in the Lions squad England doesn't really have that wiggle room

    Reply
  •  ljnumber8
    ljnumber8

    Smith G.

    Reply
  •  ljnumber8
    ljnumber8

    So when will they be playing the SANZAR Lions? In theory that should make it more fair.

    Reply
  •  ravens6
    ravens6

    Well it came and went and we got what we expected, a Lion's squad to go to the southern hemisphere and get beaten by bad choices. 1, a poor captain and sub standard 7. 2, poor choices in the front row at hooker 3, poor choice with some of the rows in the engine room. Gray might be one of the tallest rows on the planet but the hookers that are throwing to him are questionable. Hartley will probably end up in the bin, as for the rest they couldn't hit the ground if they fell over. It all looks like Gatland is taking the welsh lads on tour that got him the job with the grand slam. Well roll on the summer and I hope to God I'm wrong!!!!

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    I don't think Sexton is nailed on to start, Gatland seems to have picked a conservative back set, and one that is probably better at tackling than running, which leads me to think that Farrells boot will be the weapon of choice.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    But his lineouts are unreliable, and we aren't going to beat the Aussies with a running game, so we need to be sure of our own ball where we can in the pack. I would've given it to POC, I hate him for being Irish, but he seems to rally anyone who is around him, and he typifies the gnarl and grind that will win us the series.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    Of course, but I can't understand how referencing McCaw makes any sense here, he's a forward, who is the captain of team that has no relevance to this thread.

    Reply
  •  vannrugby
    vannrugby

    And I guess 1.Robinson 2.Moore 3.Slipper 4.Simmons 5.Horwill 6.Higginbotham 7.Hooper 8.Palu 9.Genia 10.O'Connor 11.Ioane 12.Lealiifano 13.AAC 14.Folau 15.Mogg. If Deans comes to his mind 10.Cooper...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Definitely think the ball was dropped not picking Wilko, although I read somewhere Gatland had talked to him and he said he was completely committed to Toulon and wasn't 100% sure his body would hold out on the tour... But I'd pick him over Farrell, who I think is not quite there yet... Paul O'Connell? Did this guy pull on an Irish shirt this 6N's? I don't remember personally... Good choice picking Gray I think. Shame Visser missed out. Another Scot who I'd think would have missed out is I think a fly half who if I remember correctly broke his leg very recently.. Anyway early days, injuries can strike so who knows... Don't like the Dylan Fartley choice at hooker, guys a liability IMO, then again Best was no saint and his throwing was atrocious in the 6N...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Matt do live under a rock? Never heard of Richie McCaw?

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    Oops, I meant to reply to Facepalm with that. Anyway, Brown? Is that Mike, or Kelly, because I don't think either are the best in their positions - far from it. I think though you're being a bit simplistic. A captain has to lead the team and talk to them and create a team spirit and do all sorts of other things. I don't think Jones or Sexton would be at all appropriate for the role, even if they're two of the few guaranteed starters.

    Reply
  •  fatprop
    fatprop

    I have said it before they should be potentially the best in their position and Adam Jones fits the bill no chance he wont play only problem is injury, so why not Sexton ? im just picking from players available otherwise it would be Wilkinson or Brown

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    I wouldn't go for Best, myself. I think he definitely deserves to start, and he's a leader for Ireland and Ulster, but I wouldn't say he'd be the best captain for The Lions. You need someone who's internationally respected and someone who would be at ease among so many players he doesn't know, and I don't think Best would be suited to that. He seems a bit shy, and doesn't have that aura of unquestionable authority about him that other quiet captains have. I don't want to sound biased since I'm Irish, but I think O'Connell or BOD would have been perfect. Both great captain material, in my opinion two players who should definitely start, and two who are widely respected and know how to captain such a diverse group of players. O'Connell would have been a bit sudden, since he only came back recently, but I don't think anyone could question BOD as captain. Anyway, Irish bias apart, who else is there? Robshaw isn't good enough, Heaslip in my opinion deserves to start but that is definitely not the general public opinion (although that didn't stop Gatland picking Warburton), and nobody else sticks out to me as a good leader.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    Out of interest, who would your captain be? My pick before the tour was Rory Best. I thought he was a definite starter for the tests. Performs every game for Ireland and seems to be someone others look to.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    I agree with most people here in saying that I'm rather disappointed by this selection. In fact, I'd go further and say that I'm absolutely dumbfounded by it. There are obviously plenty of players that essentially pick themselves and so deserve to be there, but there are so many calls that seem either like Welsh bias or simply stupidity. Conor Murray, Mike Phillips and Sean Maitland simply don't deserve to be there. As an Irishman I'm happy that Murray is, because he's been super lately, but he hasn't proven himself, and nor has Maitland. The forwards though; God! Gethins, Vunipola, Stevens, Hartley, Evans, Gray, Croft; why are they there? Gethins warms the bench for his club, Vunipola is a decent substitue but not a good starter, I don't think I even need to explain the problem with Stevens and Hartley, Evans and Gray are completely average even if Gray was great in the past, and Tom Croft? He's so impressive that I forgot he even existed. Where in God's name are Rory Best, any other props, Donncha Ryan/Launchbury, and any other backrow forward? And Warburton as captain? The guy that most Welsh people think should be on the bench for Wales behind Tipuric? That's laughable. My overriding impression is that this is a Welsh-heavy team, coached by the Welsh coach, with a Welsh captain who in general is considered undeserving to start for his national team, who led his Welsh team to a three-nil defeat at home in November to an Australian team in disarray. I think that's absolute madness.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Jenkins can't even get into the Toulon team because a certain Mr Sheridan is keeping him out. Farcical.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Agree with ZeroB. Ashton shouldn't even be on the England tour to Argentina this summer. His tackling is appalling. He seriously needs some time out the international team to get his game together. Wade would be a much more exciting prospect, and might add a bit of creativity and surprise to our horrifically one-dimensional backline.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    After seeing a Gatland interview I really thought he would include Wade, shame. Whilst he doesn't deserve a spot it would have been amazing to see him out there.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    Haven't read the comments so apologies if there's repetition. My thoughts: Zebo for Bowe. Wilkinson for Farrell. Care for Phillips. Laidlaw for Murray. Any prop eligible to play for Stevens. Best for Hartley. Lawes for Gray. Hamilton for O'Connell. Robshaw for Croft. Beattie for Lydiate. Morgan for Heaslip. +2 Scotsman, +1 Englishman, -2 Irishman, -2 Welshman.

    Reply
  • Ow also, Beattie missing out was also a shame. Really don't rate Falateu and think both Beattie and Morgan should be on the plane ahead of him.

    Reply
  • Ryan Grant's omission is very disappointing. Especially when Stevens and Vinapolu selected ahead of him considering he is better in the scrum, defence and the loose. Best should have been selected - had a ropey 6 Nations but consistently the best hooker in the competition for many years, excellent leader and played very well for Ulster for a number of years - has done a hell of a lot more than Hartley and Youngs. I think Rowantree had a big influence on front 5 selection hence the English dominance. Very poor. Baffled by the two fly halfs and three scrum halves - Connor Murray is a surprise to me. Laidlaw's flexibility and kicking reliance would have maybe swung things in his favour. Sexton and Farrell are going to be at a high risk of injury/fatigue. So pleased to see Maitland and Hogg in there. Given the chance I think they'll tear the Aussies up and will be the "finds" of the tournament playing with teammates who can create the space for them. While disappointed behind the squad 100% 'mon the Lions.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    I think Wade, Zebo or that leinster centre, Madigan? could have brought an element of unpredictability to the backline that we are missing at the moment. The Aussies will have no worries about kicking long to any of our winger, because they know all they can do is crash it back.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    Absolutely, Tuilagi might bring the youth and sheer athleticism that BOD has lost as the years have gone on. But with BODs brains and Tuilagi's brawn, I think they will cause the Aussies the odd worry, if the forwards let them have the ball

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    I would love to see O'Brien let loose on the Aussies, batter them, wear them out and then bring Croft on for 20 or 30 minutes and ask them to chase him around the park. But as I said earlier, I think this is the problem with having Warburton as the captain, you either lose your best 6 so he can play there, or lose the (arguably) better 7 so he can play in his primary position. I would also like to see Heaslip start.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    I agree on principle, but I think Wilkinson is sort of an exception, he seems to be every inch the pro, and he has played with most of that back line before anyway. I thought they'd take James Hook as the utility, he can cover 10, 12, 13 and 15 if necessary.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    I'm not sure which AB captain you mean? If it's Umaga, who is the only one recently I can think of, then I still don't understand what you mean. Fair enough, this site would be boring if we all agreed.

    Reply
  •  fatprop
    fatprop

    I just don't understand how we only have 1 inside centre and 2 fly halves ? If you took Hook then you have good cover or a player like twelvetrees. Foden should have gone and maybe Morgan over the irish guys and Beattie should be the fourth scot in the squad. Robshaw is a good player but he is crap at decision making and isnt the best 7 (though neither is Warburton). Stevens is a fucking joke Muarry is just miles better. Now the captain is hard as no one is really nailed on apart from Adam Jones so why not make him captain he is the best player on the world for his position. It would always be a hard call but I think the squad is well balanced just the centres may not be good enough.

    Reply
  •  ando
    ando

    Thanks Gatland, you just made our job a little easier! Pretty underwhelmed by the squad selections. Come on Aussies!!

    Reply
  •  rugbybb12
    rugbybb12

    Also who is going to play fly-half in the mid-week games?

    Reply
  •  rugbybb12
    rugbybb12

    O'Driscoll is one of the most respected players in rugby so I think he should have been picked as captain. But I do understand that it is important that there is a good relationship between captain and coach. (Also I don't think that anybody can say that they're happy that Hartley is on the tour!)

    Reply
  • Agreed I can't understand croft, 6 only, over robshaw who can cover all three spots hell even lock if need be

    Reply
  • Agree Kearney should consider himself lucky and best unlucky

    Reply
  •  rodmac
    rodmac

    Well I think it looks a pretty solid squad and there's always going to be a few surprise omissions. As a Scot I'm pretty pleased the 3 guys got in, Hogg is a fantastic runner with similar ability to Robinson at beating a man one on one (possibly why Wade wasn't taken?). Maitland has plenty of try scoring experience against some of these Aussies on their home grounds and I reckon he could be a surprise test selection. Gray is pretty inconsistent but hopefully will regain some of his earlier barnstorming performances. For me Jonny Wilkinson had to be selected, I reckon he is still the best 10 around just now and for sure he will be on a plane before the 1st test due to an 'injury' of some sorts! I reckon with the size of players these days the backline is always gonna look a bit chunky but a Bod and Manu centre partnership looks well balanced and a North/cuthbert and Maitland wing option will also work. Anyway good luck to them it's gonna be fantastic!!

    Reply
  •  technomouse
    technomouse

    I'm amazed not to see Tom Wood in the squad. I don't think many players epitomise the spirit, pride and work of the Lions more than him. Regarded as the hardest trainer at Northampton and England. Lydiate is good, but has barely played this year/season and has barely had time to get back to fitness, let alone form.

    Reply
  • My understanding was that it's at 10 there was most room for a utility back. I would have dropped Mike Phillips at 9 but brought along Greg Laidlaw, who can play both 9 and 10. Not only would both positions be covered, but you would have goal kicking potential as well. At least this way if there is an injury to Sexton or Farrell, the replacement is someone who has already gelled with the squad, and not a late fly-in. No disrespect to Wilko, but as a late inclusion maybe he won't work so well with someone who had been there all tour.

    Reply
  • So after going on for months about how French based players can't come, Gatland goes ahead and selects his Welsh players (Phillips, Jenkins) anyway? In this, and other selections, it appears Gatland had his mind made up way too early. There appears to a lot of players omitted (Robshaw, Brown, Wade, Madigan) who national selectors probably pushed to keep out of the squad so as to be better prepared for their summer tours. Scotland, for example, will be playing in the quadrangular tournament against SA, Samoa, and Italy, so it's easy to see how they would want someone like Brown on that trip, but that still seems selfish to me. Whatever, Ireland are coming to Canada this summer, and it could bode well for us if half of their stars are in Sydney rather than Toronto!

    Reply
  •  besthookerintown
    besthookerintown

    To be honest Matt after reading your response I think you're dead right, I never actually took that into consideration the whole "Anglo-Welsh" relations. I still think that Robshaw is an outstanding player and this 6 nations really showed us that. But taking into account what you just said I suppose there is no real space for him on the plane. Taking into account though that Tipuric is the (debatable) best 7 in the NH, who should his back row buddies be. Being Irish I think O'Brein deserves the 6 jersey, its where he plays best. But with Warbuton in as captain this could see a squeeze in the back row!!!

    Reply
  •  jeroo
    jeroo

    I agree, pretty one dimensional out wide. Looking forward to seeing Tuilagi paired up with BOD or Roberts though!

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    If I were Australia I would be packing the protein into the forwards, and the backs can have the next few months off, they've got almost nothing to worry about.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    I would have gone with POC, plus Gatland said a few weeks ago that he doesn't think he has ever chosen a back to be the captain of a team. I don't like Warburton being captain, he is a 7, and he is not the best 7 even in Wales. So somehow we will be losing either a dedicated 6 to accommodate Warburton there, or we will be losing the Lions' best 7. It doesnt make any sense.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    I am a big England fan, but I don't see Robshaw's appeal. I'm sure there is more to him than I see, but it seems to me that his big selling points are his general work rate and his leadership. But there are players throughout that squad that do both of those things as well if not better. Healy, Cole and O'Brien get through just as much work or more. And BOD and POC seem to lead better than Robshaw. Also, Tipuric seems to be the standout 7 in the NH at the moment, so I don't really see any space for Robshaw to go. Plus with 15 welsh and 10 Englishmen there is going to be a lot of work to do to bring them together, so maybe one way to do that is by only having one leader from those countries. Having Robshaw around may have caused the English and Welsh to congregate separately.

    Reply
  •  jeroo
    jeroo

    Great to see Croft on the plane after such a serious injury. Would really have liked to see more of an xfactor from the wing options eg Zebo or Wade. Still - will back this squad 100% role on June! (also reckon Gatland might be waiting to see if Jonny makes it to the end of his season, then pop him on a plane to cover an inevitable injury to one of his 10's who will be included in every match day squad)

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    He is still a very talented player, he got shown up by Wilikinson on the weekend, but that in itself is no embarrassment. He does not have the ability to get a back line running that Sexton does, however, behind a dominant pack he is merciless, unforgiving and a relentless points machine. So if the weather is poor for the tests, or defences are ruling the game, he is a good choice to make the forward dominance that we should have tell on the score board. Would still like Wilkinson to have gone though.

    Reply
  •  besthookerintown
    besthookerintown

    I don't understand why there's no Donnacha Ryan and Mike McCarthy. They were consistently good for Ireland this season, when Paul O' Connell was still struggling to run. Richie Gray hasn't been in very good form either. And no Chris Robshaw is a very poor decision as well. People were tipping him to be captain and now he isn't even going. Think Gatland might think twice about that, considering Warbuton gets injured every second week! Apart from that looks like a good touring squad.

    Reply
  •  poccio
    poccio

    what about no Visser? I thought he would have fit in well...and Rory best certainly deserved to be there as did Wilko and Robshaw...anyway I look foward to see them play!

    Reply
  • I think best's lineout throwing has let him down once too often, although I can't say I like hartley too much myself. Agree with you on BoD but then again I'm as biased as you are for all the same reasons so fuck it. M'ON THE LIONS!

    Reply
  •  woodenman
    woodenman

    Rory Best has to be a better man for the job than Dylan Hartley? Would also like to see another fly half in there, can't see why you would only take two.

    Reply

Great Tries

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

View All

See It To Believe It

View All

Funnies

View All

Training Videos

View All

Player Features

View All
British & Irish Lions squad announcement - Sam Warburton named as captain | RugbyDump