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Thursday Nov 8, 2012

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

Gavin Hastings picks his British & Irish Lions starting XV for 2013
45
Comments

Ahead of the Autumn Internationals and with seven months until the first Test, former British & Irish Lions captain Gavin Hastings has selected the players he would choose as the starting fifteen for the Lions tour of Australia next year.

Hastings, an official HSBC Ambassador for the 2013 tour, has picked a side based on players that have already played international rugby, and chose to mix youth with experience.

He’s opted for five England players, five Wales, three Ireland, and two Scotland.

Former Scotland fullback Hastings – who played 61 times for his country and six for the Lions – has decided to take Brian O’Driscoll on tour, citing his experience as invaluable. He also opted to go with Danny Care at number nine, rather than 2009 starter Mike Phillips.

Other interesting calls are that he’s chosen to bring in France based fullback Lee Byrne, but not select Wales captain Sam Warburton. Scotland’s Dutch born winger Tim Visser, who scored two tries on his Test debut against Fiji a few months back, gets a starting spot on the wing.

The Gavin Hastings Lions XV:
15. Lee Byrne, 14. George North, 13. Brian O’Driscoll, 12. Jonathan Davies, 11. Tim Visser, 10. Jonny Sexton, 9. Danny Care, 8. Nick Easter, 7. Chris Robshaw, 6. Stephen Ferris, 5. Courtney Lawes, 4. Richie Gray, 3. Adam Jones, 2. Matthew Rees, 1. Joe Marler

What do you think of his selections, and how would yours differ?

45 Comments

  • cal_46_rugby
    4:26 AM 14/12/2012

    Cant seem to understand why people are choosing Dylan Hartley in the Lions squad? He should be nowhere near a lions jersey! All that he would do is give away penalties and receive yellow cards which will only put pressure on the team and could cost them a series win!

    Reply
  • themull
    3:02 PM 15/11/2012

    Cant believe so many people are leaving out Ferris...He is in much better form than eitehr Heaslip or O' brien and should definitely be playing test match rugby if fit and if his form keeps up with last season's...He is a wrecking ball in attack and defense and would compliment Warburton excellently...

    Reply
  • themull
    2:56 PM 15/11/2012

    Sexton fold under pressure? He pretty much single handedly won that HC final against Northampton 2 seasons ago after being down big at half time...Every international team will have a back up fly half because its the most important position on the pitch...It's between Wilko and Sexton for me there and wouldnt complain at all if Wilko got it, but to claim Sexton folds under pressure is ridiculous.

    Reply
  • onthemoney
    12:40 PM 15/11/2012

    15 Rob Kearney 14 Leigh Halfpenny 13 Brian O'Driscoll 12 Jamie Roberts 11 George North/ Tim Visser/ Tommy Bowe/ Alex Cuthbert/ Chris Ashton (Doesn't really matter, so spoilt for choice) 10 Jonny Wilkinson 9 Mike Phillips/ Danny Care/ Ben Youngs (depending on form) 8 Jamie Heaslip 7 Sam Warburton 6 Sean O'Brien 5 Paul O'Connel 4 Luke Charteris 3 Adam Jones 2 Dylan Hartley 1 Cian Healy Bench: 16 Rory Best 17 Genthin Jenkins 18 Dan Coles 19 Richie Gray 20 Toby Faletau/Stephen Ferris/Dan Lydiate 21 One of the scrumhalves 22 Jonny Sexton 23 Keith Earls (centre/wing cover) From South Africa, so I'm the most unbiased;)

    Reply
  • kaibishin
    5:06 PM 13/11/2012

    Lions: 1. Gethin Jenkins 2. Rory Best 3. Adam Jones 4. Alun Wyn Jones 5. Donacha O'Callaghan 6. Tom Croft 7. Sam Warburton 8. Jamie Heaslip 9. Mike Philips 10. Jonny Sexton 11. George North 12. Jamie Roberts 13. Brian O'Driscoll (c) 14. Tommy Bowe 15. Rob Kearney 16. Cian Healy 17. Dan Cole 18. Dylan Hartley 19. Stephen Ferris 20. Ryan Jones 21. Danny Care 22. Jonny Wilkinson 23. Manu Tuilagi 24. Ben Foden

    Reply
  • fatprop
    7:36 PM 10/11/2012

    I agree with you apart from BOD, Phillips and Denton. BOD- three years ago was easily into the team and deserved to be there, but not now he is too slow and can not break away like in the HC final when he got through and Foden caught up with him over a short distance , that was a coupple years ago and he wont be any quicker. Phillips- I think that Care is a better player and Phillips is playing poorly in France also gets into fights too much and would likely get yellowed. Denton- I must have missed something with this guy looked good against England in six nations but apart from that he doesn't look that good would rather have Ferris or O'Brien.

    Reply
  • fatprop
    7:28 PM 10/11/2012

    I think that Davies try in the match against Ireland which they won late on North broke the line and did a great offload I may be confused with someone else but I am pretty sure that he did. But I do agree with you that we need a decent 13. I think Davies will be picked but thats because of Gatland as coach. Now if you look at players who can cause problems I think that Banahan can be brilliant on his day, not good enough for the lions perhaps but i think he can offload better than tuilagi and he can play on the wing and I saw him playing 12 and playing well. If fit should be playing for England. Personal opinion if you disagree fair enough. Also Joseph is a good player who can play well and offload well.

    Reply
  • pretzel
    2:42 AM 10/11/2012

    Out of interest.. you have put North in at 13 as you say he can defend and has pace.... however can he pass/offload? I have said before I rarely see these guys play unless its internationals, or on RD, but I have seen North sort of defend, and he can run, but being on the wing I can't recall him ever offloading or doing anything "tricky" which Ashton could capitalise on.... I think the NH is missing a decent 13 actually...

    Reply
  • reality
    10:16 PM 09/11/2012

    Ridiculous! No room for Peter Stringer, Andy Powell and Vainikolo? Evidently you've cracked nothing.

    Reply
  • reality
    10:13 PM 09/11/2012

    Thank you. I was going to go looking for the statistics, but you've done the work for me. Some old perceptions just can't seem to be put to bed. And nobody mentions his halfway line dropgoals either.

    Reply
  • reality
    8:00 PM 09/11/2012

    @Guy: Scott Hamilton got two caps for New Zealand. Does it mean he's a star All Black? No it doesn't. And Visser might have ten caps by next summer? Well, by the time the 2016 tour comes around, he might have 50 caps, so let's pick him right now for that tour. My question was a way of highlighting his lack of international rugby experience, and the fact that he has two caps does nothing to refute that point. I can't believe you think lack of international experience is a crappy excuse. Is the fact that there are better players a good enough reason? Keith Earls did and does amazing things for Munster, but at international level he has not been good, which has been the case with innumerable other players. That's why he won't be a starter for the Lions. If Visser's by far the best choice, then I hope they pick him. As it stand, is he the best choice? Clearly not.

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  • fatprop
    6:06 PM 09/11/2012

    My personal opinion is that we need to have centres that can tackle well and have pace, people keep talking about Tuilagi but Ioane will just come infield and just burn him for pace on the outside. This I feel is the same for BOD so at 13 I think that we could have a winger like North. He has the skill to play 13 and will have the pace for Ioane. So my team would be 15. Foden/Kearney both brilliant but Foden has the pace and hard surfaces will favour 14. Ashton/Bowe ashton has better running lines and on norths shoulder with the offload would be deadly 13. North 12. Roberts though people think he is boring Barritt could stop a range rover going over the advantage line rock in defence and needed if tuilagi plays because the understanding 11. Cuthbert personally like him more than north 10. Wilkinson is the best stand off 9. Care has amazing pace also like Youngs 8. Armitage can win ball has good physical presence unlike Ben 'i'm scared of south africa running at me so run away in the tackle' Morgan 7. Warburton is just briliant 6. Robshaw just because the ball winning skills 5. Lawes is a strong ball carrier 4. Ian Evans is a big carrier but I think Gray will go because armitage isnt a lineout threat 3. Cole scrumming monster can win ball 2. Hartley is a powerful runner good leader though if Best was picked wouldnt suprise me 1. Healy physical fast likes tackling Cooper 16. Best/Hartley 17. Jones 18. Corbisiero better scrummer than given credit for 19. AWJ because the lineout and flexiable for bck row 20. O'Brien/Ferris 21. Youngs 22. Sexton can cover 12 aswell 23. Bowe/Hogg This team has the defensive and attacking qualities needed and I am english but tried not to be too biased. Though 9 starting may say otherwise :)

    Reply
  • darabman
    3:54 PM 09/11/2012

    You need a captain in there, Armitage is a great, agile flanker but we want to command at the ruck and have someone to keep the pack contingent, alongside that I don't think Armitage has been playing enough domestic rugby. Bowe and North 100%!

    Reply
  • 11:10 AM 09/11/2012

    Back three: brown, visser, Hogg, north, kearney Centre: Manu, Roberts, Davies, bod (mentor) 10: sexton, wilko, priestland 9: lee Dixon, Phillips, Marshall (this kid is good and crazy fast) 8: Heaslip, faleteau 6: ferris, lydiate, Obrien 7: Armitage, rennie, warburton Locks: gray, poc (only if fit and in form), jones, lawes Props: jones, cole, healy, marler, jenkins Hook: best, young, cronin Medical joker/ lions first non British isles player: Adam kleeburger

    Reply
  • kettlerugby
    4:29 AM 09/11/2012

    Why do we persist with BOD...jog on! Manu, Roberts, Anthony Allen, Matt Tait, Davies, Barritt, Evans...yes I am English...give a damn

    Reply
  • iamashrimp
    1:59 AM 09/11/2012

    15. Rob Kearney - Best fullback in the world. 14. Alex Cuthbert - Just pips Bowe due to having a lot more power which will be useful agains a small aussie side. 13. Manu Tuilagi - Unstoppable Centre Good Luck Rob Horne. 12. Jonathan Davies - Quality Rugby player, consistent & seems to get on the scoresheet frequently. 11. George North - Massive Force on the wing and the ideal no 11. 10. Toby Flood - Is everyone forgetting he can kick whereas sexton cannot kick! 9. Ben Youngs - Ripped aussies to shreds last time he was out there. 8. Jamie Heaslip - Proven international performances at 8 unlike most UK 8s at the moment who struggle for consistency on the international stage. 7. Sam Warburton - Best no 7 in the northern hemisphere 6. Tom Croft - Quality all round game and better line out than most. 5. Courtney Lawes - Can't see a better partner for Gray and essaintly puts 4 back rowers in the team, would be Lydiate but don't think he could play lock that well. 4. Richie Gray - Best Lock in the UK has to be on that team sheet. 3. Dan Cole - Quality blindside and can't be overlooked 2. Dylan Hartley - Hate him but still brilliant hooker if he can sort out his line outs. 1. Gethin Jenkins - Obvious choice if fit but that's a big if.

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  • reality
    11:48 PM 08/11/2012

    They did well against Toulouse, yeah, but Toulouse barely looked interested for most of last season. The only reason they even got through to the quarter-final is because Connacht saved them in the final round by beating Harlequins in one of the biggest ever Heineken Cup upsets. And yeah, they played decent rugby for most of their Heineken Cup campaign, but they did lose to Cardiff, who aren't exactly great, and in the Rabo were way down at the bottom of the table. In summary, where it goes domestic league-Heineken Cup-international-Lions I don't think doing well in the first and reasonably well (in one season) in the second justifies going to the 4th. I think he's a fantastic player, but I think there are some even better players than him.

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  • guy
    11:41 PM 08/11/2012

    @reality The answer to your question 'has he even played for Scotland?' is either yes or no. 'Just barely' equals 'yes'. Besides: by the time the team is being selected, he might as well have 10 caps under his belt. Is your answer still going to be 'just barely' by then? Or will you come up with another crappy argument (e.g. nationality)?

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  • teamtom
    10:09 PM 08/11/2012

    Hastings didn't say that BOD was going to start he said he was guaranteed to go due to what he brings to any team, passion and experience.....

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  • teamtom
    9:53 PM 08/11/2012

    I am Scottish so biased but Edinburgh beat Toulose to get into semi- final (a half decent team?!?!) and they were incredible in the pool stages Beating racing metro 47-48 when they were 3 tries down with bout 15mins left. Haha I don't want to talk about this year though...

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  • teamtom
    9:45 PM 08/11/2012

    Visser comment makes no sense! he looks good cos he is scoring tries against OTHER teams good and bad and because he has broken the magners/Rabo direct, most tries in a season two years in a row!

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  • teamtom
    9:36 PM 08/11/2012

    SBW and Nonu have only paired up together twice and that was when Conrad smith was injured for beginning of this years Rugby championship and Nonu needed game time to replace SBW when he headed to Japan. They didn't work very well togethe as they are two big men with same style, taking impact and offload you don't want that at 13, u want a ball distributer!!

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  • pretzel
    9:23 PM 08/11/2012

    What is this? I am no great follower of the build up of the Lions, is this a real preliminary selection or just "one mans opinion"? I disagree with an awful lot of those selections... I don't see many of the players unless they play internationally, or unless they feature on RD, but I'd have picked Warburton over Robshaw, Nick Easter at 8? Really? Is he still around, I haven't heard of him in a long time (has he been injured? As others have said there are some perfectly "relatively" well established 8's around who are more dynamic, Faletau, and even relatively new Denton... As for Lawes, he has missed a huge amount of international game time, I remember him being Englands sort of secret weapon...oh wait, he's injured... ok, well THIS match he'll...oh injured again... As for BOD at 13... I'm sorry, but the guy is a brilliant player who still brings flair etc etc, but if the guy is still the first pick of the 13 shirt at his ripe old age then there are some big troubles ahead... granted I haven't seen a NH 13 play better than BOD did IN HIS DAY, but stamina, and that extra speed sure should count for a little more now that BOD has become a little more fragile, a little more weary etc....

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  • eggman
    9:10 PM 08/11/2012

    IMO the best 15 the Lions could play are: 15 Kearny 14 Bowe/Cuthbert (Visser) 13 Tuilagi 12 Roberts 11 North 10 Sexton 9 probably most difficult to pick, no real standout. Phillips was outclassed by Genia over summer, so maybe they should try something different. Care? Not really sure who to pick.. 8 Denton (huge game against Australia), Heaslip 7 Warburton (if he gets back to his WC form), otherwise Robshaw or Tipuric 6 O'Brien 5 Lydiate 4 Grey 3 Cole 2 Best 1 Healy If they play that side I think Australia will be in trouble. Should be an interesting series though

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  • barryt
    9:09 PM 08/11/2012

    half of my comment got cut out, i think there's a lesson here!

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  • barryt
    9:08 PM 08/11/2012

    I'd try to pick a side judging on Australia's strengths and who would gel into a game style to that purpose, I don't think australia have much depth in the tight 5, and a bulky yet dynamic front row should do the trick there, i'd go: 1. Healy. 2. Rees. 3. Cole As for the rows, Australia had to reley on Sharpe during the RC, so they might bring chisholm or someone (not up to speed on 2Rs in Aus) to cover, so i'd pick: Richie Gray, as he would thrive in a team like the lions, and his athleticism is a sure thing, tied in with O'Connell's experience and work rate on the ground would give me: 4. Gray. 5. O'Connell Backrow for me is the toughest to select, especially with Pocock and Salmo on form down there, Ferris had a field day against Aus in the world cup and again, going for an athletic pack I'd pick him for 6, assuming Warburton gets his form back, he has to be the guy to contend with Pocock's incredible work rate on the ground, finally for 8, to tie in a physical but dynamic backrow, is Heaslip for me. Great lineout option, smart player and will tie in with Warburton on the ground getting turnovers and hopefully outmuscling Pocock) So: 6. Ferris. 7. Warburton. 8. Heaslip Selection for nine, assumes that its Genia we'll be up against, probably one of the quickest and smartest 9 out there, and giving the current form, Danny Care has to get it, for his speed and his ability to ship the ball away from contact (i.e Pocock's playground) So: 9. Care I hate to say it but Sexton at the moment takes it for me. I'd like to see Laidlaw get a shot with a team with the calibur of the lions but we can't just give him a chance like that, and looking to england only yields farrell and flood, which I just can't see having a good time against Australias BR, giving sexton actually can properly tackle and take a hit, it has to be: 10. Sexton. For the wings, we have Digby to worry about, who likes to roam into the centres as a support runner, as well as being a threat outside, which is

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  • eggman
    9:06 PM 08/11/2012

    Not sure about all your Aussie selection. Barring injury and Robbie Deans I'd pick: 15: O'Connor 14: Mitchell 13: AAC 12: Tapuai 11: Ioane 10: KB /Cooper (if he gets his shit together, and that's a big if) 9: Genia 8: Palu 7: Pocock 6: Hooper (if he can adjust. Think Pocock's a better 7 than him.) Otherwise Higginbotham 5: Timani 4: Horwill 3: Kepu/Palmer 2: Moore (better in lineouts, otherwise equal) 1: Robinson However, I'm almost certain that Deans is going to pick McCabe since he loves him. So probably AAC will have to move around the backs or Taps gets dropped.

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  • mskomu
    9:02 PM 08/11/2012

    Of course it's too early to make final calls, but I think Lions tour is way too much for players who don't have experience on really big test matches. Wade is good but hasn't played for England other than 7's and Visser has 2 caps and on the other hand Australia has a very solid and experienced back line. National team is where you earn your spurs and then go to Lions, not the other way around. On the forward section, we're talking about the Wallabies, not Springboks. So I'd have a mobile pack that can disrupt half-backs, rather than big and heavy. We all saw how that worked in WC pool stage between AUS and IRE. So Healey definitely, I'd also go with Warburton. Things that Lions must be able to counter if they want to win: don't let Genia get quick ball from rucks and DON'T let him break through the line from rucks. Also Ioane needs to be watched, who's up to it?

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  • jimothy
    8:56 PM 08/11/2012

    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!!!!

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  • reality
    8:55 PM 08/11/2012

    Get my facts right? Calm down friend. If you read my post, you'll have seen that I asked if he had played international rugby, and the fact that he has 2 caps gives the answer "just barely". And the Heineken Cup and international matches are the same? For Leinster vs Clermont, maybe. For Edinburgh vs some other half decent team, not so much. And doing well against Fiji and Samoa is hardly a perfect indicator. With respect, there's a big difference between Pacific island teams and a team like Australia. Anyway, your team looks pretty good, except for Visser in my opinion. Realistically though, there'll probably be 10 Welsh and 5 everything else. I hope there won't, but there probably will.

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  • j8a1f3
    8:44 PM 08/11/2012

    The only shoo-ins for me are Best at 2, Sexton at 10 and North one one wing. A lot of depth for most positions: 15 Kearny/Halfpenny (Both great in counter, maybe Halfpenny for goal kicking) 14 North 13 Tuilagi (BOD will go but unlikely to start) 12 Davies/Roberts (Either but Roberts has had dire form so far this season) 11 Bowe (would love to see Visser challenge for a place) 10 Sexton (Wilkinson will go but not start, Flood/Hook on the bench for versatility) 9 Philips (Only cause Gats adores him, no real standout 9 right now imo) 1 Jenkins/Healy (Either would be great) 2 Best 3 Cole (A Jones has an injury habit, Rowntree as scrum coach will influence selection) 4 Gray/Charteris (Both very athletic and great lineout players) 5 Lawes/B Davies/AW Jones/O'Con/O'Cal/Ryan (Take your pick? Lawes if he fullfills potential) 6 Lydiate/Ferris (Tackling machines. Maybe Croft/R Jones on bench for versatility) 7 Armitage (I like to think so but Gats will go with Waburton if he sorts his current form out) 8 Heaslip/Denton/Faletau (Can't help but think Easter will tire at this level nowadays, Faletau's lack of height for lineouts hurts his chances)

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  • david11
    8:30 PM 08/11/2012

    what about ferris

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  • ukhamlet
    8:16 PM 08/11/2012

    On the basis that you want the best team, rather than just a collection of best players, you have to pick combinations as well as the best available players for each position. Back three: Halfpenny (best goal kicker), North (easily the best winger), Bowe / Cuthbert Centres: Brian O'Driscoll, Roberts / Davies Standoff Half: Sexton / Flood Scrum Half: Phillips Back row: Warburton (Capt), Denton, Ryan Jones / Dan Lydiate Locks: O'Connell / Gray or Evans / Gray - maybe Alun Wyn Jones and Lawes will get lucky Front row: Jenkins / Healey, Best / Rees, Adam Jones For me the combination of BoD and a big, hard, fast runner is essential, as is long range kicking, hence HP over Kearney (whose only attribute is catching high balls, his running is average at best). North will score lots of tries, as will Bowe or Cuthbert and having a third loose forward at scrum half is a major weapon - remember this is Aus, who are used to quick scrum-halves. Sexton is the form flyhalf, but I like Flood and he will challenge - his distribution is as good as the Irish fellah. Any British/Irish team without the best genuine openside flanker is just daft - Warburton is streets ahead of anyone else. The other loose forwards are moot, but Ryan Jones is in the form of his life right now. Denton gets the nod at 8 for his sheer enthusiasm. We're rich in locks, but Gray is the best we've got at the moment. In the front row, Adam Jones is peerless, the other two subject to form, but Gethin has a great engine and took the England front row to the cleaners in the 6N.

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  • jimothy
    8:04 PM 08/11/2012

    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!!!!!!!!!

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  • thegaffer89
    7:46 PM 08/11/2012

    Excellent point Jonathan. Reality, get your facts right. Visser also scored 4 tries in the Heineken Cup last season (which is virtually at the same standard as internationals) and two tries against England in a one off game for the Barbarians. Here's my XV: 1 Healy, 2 Best, 3 A Jones, 4 Gray, 5 O'Connell, 6 Ferris, 7 Warburton, 8 Heaslip, 9 Phillips, 10 Sexton, 11 Visser, 12 Roberts, 13 Tuilagi, 14 North, 15 Kearney. 7 irish, 5 welsh, 2 scots and 1 english. Thoughts anyone?

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  • 7:42 PM 08/11/2012

    Generally in line with what I would suggest, but I do take issue to some things. I think it's crazy to leave out Warburton, and I don't think Lawes is playing to Lions standard at the moment. In the centres I'd for sure bring BOD along but I don't know if I'd give him the start. And as for the wing, I do think Tommy Bowe or maybe Christian Wade ought to be given more attention. In pretty much all of these issues I think it comes down to being spoilt for choice - the wings he's got there would also be good, but putting in either bowe or wade would probably be just as effective. Six and one half dozen the other...

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  • reality
    5:41 PM 08/11/2012

    Is Gavin Hastings joking, or is a bit mad in the head? About half of the team is justifiable, but: Byrne - is he joking? Kearney is far better, and actually plays international rugby Tim Visser - has he even played for Scotland? Playing well in the Rabo 12 and in international rugby are two different things Danny Care - there's already an arrogant scrumhalf who isn't a team player called Mike Phillips. Why go for Care? Nick Easter - dear God Chris Robshaw - dear God Courtney Lawes - hasn't he been pretty crap for the last while? Matthew Rees - since the world cup, Rory Best has been the only decent hooker in Britain and Ireland.. Joe Marler - what does Cian Healy have to do to get picked? He's better, stronger, and faster than pretty much any other loosehead in world rugby. Gavin Hastings: he's surely having a laugh.

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  • welshosprey
    5:38 PM 08/11/2012

    We'll need halfpenny at 15 because none of our 10s are really good, reliable kickers. Robshaw is simply not a better 7 than warburton or tipuric but he could be a contender at 6. Would love to see visser on the lions tour racking up tries but I think they'll start north and bowe.

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  • guy
    5:25 PM 08/11/2012

    As a clog, I would love to see Visser have a go. But let's wait for the autumn internationals (can't wait for this weekend) and the Six Nations first.

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  • ratirugbier95
    5:19 PM 08/11/2012

    1.Cyan Healy, 2.Rory Best, 3.Adam Jones 4.Richie Gray, 5.Doncha O'Callaghan 6.Sean O'Brien, 8.David Denton, 7.Sam Warburton ---------------------------------------------------------------- 9.Ben Youngs, 10.Jonathan Sexton 12.Manu Tuilagi, 13.Brian O'Driscoll 11.George North,15.Rob Kearney,14.Chris Ashton

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  • georgedean93
    5:17 PM 08/11/2012

    Too Early to call but if all players are fit and available : 1. Cobesiero 2. Best 3. Cole 4. O'Connell (c) 5. Lawes 6. Croft 7. Armitage 8. Heaslip/Denton 9. Care 10. Sexton 11. Monye 12. Roberts, 13. Tualagi 14. North 15. Halfpenny

    Reply
  • 5:13 PM 08/11/2012

    Ok, from 1 to 15... 5- Lawes? I'd go with O'Connel or Brad Davies, either one a tough as nails, old school lock, to balance Richie Gray's natural athleticism 7- Sam Warburton for Robshaw, who is a much quieter leader, as oposed to Warburton, a Dusatoir type captain. 8- Easter? Don't know what have you been smoking, gavin, but I want some. I'd go with Faletau, Morgan or Denton, but not Heaslip. He is one of my favourite players, but he hasn't been imposing himself on his oposite number for quite a while and either on strength (Palu) or skill (Samo) he'll be left for dead. 9- Care? Have we forgotten what happened last time Phillips played for the Lions? No scrummie really stands out, but he seems slightly better, and has a better chance to contain Genia. 12/13-What?!?!?!? Playing Davies at 12 to accomodate Drico at 13? I've said it before, no disrespect, but Drico won't be starting in the tests, no way. Have you forgotten the 2 best centers in the NH? Roberts at 12 and Tuilagi at 13 might work like SBW and Nonu. Roberts certainly has the skills to distribute the ball instead of bashing all the time, and on size these two are a tough combo for ANY side. 15- Byrne? Aren't you forgetting a man that goes by the name of Rob Kearney? The standout fullback of the 6N? Hmmmm? Anyone? 8/7 Welsh, 3 Irish, 3/2 English and 2 Scots is heavy on the welsh side, but bar when france decides to click, they are the best NH side by a mile. I've allways been for picking the best player for each position regardless of the number of players selected by nation. No point in moking the saffa quota system if we do the same with the Lions, right? With this team the Lions can beat anyone, even the ABs. Their only problem will be injuries and time to glue the team together, and the nr of welsh players may actually help in that sense

    Reply
  • linton22
    5:13 PM 08/11/2012

    My list: 1. Healy 2. Dillon Hartley 3. Jones 4. Jones 5. Gray 6. O'rien 7. Warburton 8. Heaslip 9. Phillips 10. Sexton 11. North 12. Roberts 13. Davies 14. Bowe 15. Kearny

    Reply
  • cookies
    4:58 PM 08/11/2012

    Agree with some of the team but O'Connell will go and start, easter will not start dont rate him at all, warburton will play 7 and is a contender for 7, bowe will be on the team easily if fit and if kearney gets fit and back to his best he will start ahead of byrne!

    Reply
  • curates_egg
    4:58 PM 08/11/2012

    Obviously far too early to call at this stage in the season and everyone will have a different opinion. For me, its: 1 Healy 2 Best 3 Jones 4 Gray 5 Jones 6 O'Brien 7 Armitage 8 Heaslip 9 Care 10 Sexton 11 Visser 12 Roberts 13 BOD (if not fit then Davies) 14 North 15 Kearney Bench: Strauss, Jenkins, Ross, Ryan, Tipuric, Phillips, Hook, Brown/Foden

    Reply


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