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Friday Apr 19, 2013

Jason Robinson picks BOD as captain in starting British & Irish Lions XV

Jason Robinson picks BOD as captain in starting British & Irish Lions XV
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Comments

With the British & Irish Lions squad announcement less than two weeks away, on 30th April, HSBC Ambassador and Lions legend Jason Robinson has now selected his starting XV for the Test series against the Wallabies.

The former dual-code international was impressed by what he saw in the Six Nations, subsequently naming a side that features eight Welsh internationals, and an all Welsh backrow.

He’s gone with Leigh Halpenny as a starter, but on the wing rather than fullback, opting for Ireland’s Rob Kearney instead. In the midfield he’s gone with what could be a lethal partnership, as he’s named Manu Tuilagi and Brian O’Driscoll, with the latter as squad captain.

If you’re wondering about the scenery, Robinson was speaking from the HSBC Rugby Festival Doha.

JASON ROBINSON’S 2013 BRITISH & IRISH LIONS STARTING XV

BACKSFORWARDS
15 Rob Kearney (Ireland)
14 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
13 Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) ©
12 Manu Tuilagi (England)
11 George North (Wales)
10 Jonathan Sexton (Ireland)
9 Mike Phillips (Wales)
1 Cian Healy (Ireland)
2 Rory Best (Ireland)
3 Adam Jones (Wales)
4 Joe Launchbury (England)
5 Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales)
6 Sam Warburton (Wales)
7 Justin Tipuric (Wales)
8 Toby Faletau (Wales)

As the tour approaches, what do you think of the team he has selected?

49 Comments

  • 3:37 PM 22/04/2013

    Too many people are selecting with blinkers on and choosing people based on past reputation. Hopefully Gatland will have more sense. Not going to be an easy job for him - don't envy his selection at all. What I do know is regardless of who is picked (even if I disagree with the choice) and where they come from I'll be behind them 100%. C'mon the Lions.

    Reply
  • 3:33 PM 22/04/2013

    Yes Ryan Grant. Do none of you watch Scotland games? Outstanding in every test match (autumn internationals and six nations) and has been immense for Glasgow in Rabo Direct. Can scrum, run, pass and tackle. Not a total meathead and will start the tests.

    Reply
  • 3:27 PM 22/04/2013

    Denton was quite because Johnnie Beattie was playing. Who rampaged with ball in hand put in massive hits in defence and did the hard stuff at the rucks and mauls. Playing very well in France. On the plane. And probably starting no. 8

    Reply
  • 3:21 PM 22/04/2013

    Eh? Ryan Grant will probably start in the test team. He's much better than the gym monkey Cian Healey. Try and see the highlights on the Glasgow v Osprey game on Friday night. He was up against Jones and more than held his own. You've read it here first folks. Also Beattie will be on the plane. Laidlaw might also make it along. And Tim Visser and Sean Maitland both have big shouts. Denton, not a chance.

    Reply
  • 3:17 PM 22/04/2013

    Under the high balls yes. Hogg's counter attacking was (and is) better. Both on the plane ahead of Kearney.

    Reply
  • themull
    1:48 PM 22/04/2013

    The last time Ireland played Australia, Healy won MOTM and the Irish scrum was dominant for large portions of the game

    Reply
  • cmac
    11:09 PM 21/04/2013

    Is there any alternative to Healy? Because although his work rate and ball in hand skills are great, he is a terrible scrummager and I feel this has cost Ireland quite a lot in the past. If we go down and have Healy start we're going to be annihilated in the scrum.

    Reply
  • brawnybalboa
    5:20 PM 21/04/2013

    In an ideal world an even number of English, Irish, Scottish & Welsh players would tour, and we would see this reflected in the starting XV. Unfortunately this cannot realistically happen. Partly due to the varying success and quality of the players. Also in part due to the logjam and dearth of options at certain positions. At the end of the day are the players good enough? Don't get me wrong, I would love to see Youngs passing out to Sexton to unleash the firepower of Tuilagi, Visser & North outside! But I cannot see Gatland picking inferior players due to politics.

    Reply
  • brawnybalboa
    4:40 PM 21/04/2013

    I agree. I do genuinely feel it is a shame that England may not provide that many wingers. Realistically Cuthbert, North, Visser, Zebo & Bowe are the likely candidates. Varndell, Wade, Monye, Sharples & Strettle are all players who need a look in the national set up (hopefully during the Argentina tour).

    Reply
  • brawnybalboa
    1:44 PM 21/04/2013

    Pretty much spot on, however I would imagine that if 5 props go, Gatland will choose a player who can cover both sides. For this reason I would see Gethin Jenkins going over one of the Tight Heads (probably Cole as Murray is available for all games). Hines might sneak in, but I see it more likely Jim Hamilton will go. He was outstanding all tournament. I do not see both English locks going as I see O'Connell or Ian Evans (who has had two successive impressive 6 nations) going. Back row looks good. I would hope Gatland does bring the three 6.5's (6's who play 7's) in Robshaw, O'Brien and Brown as they are good players. Warburton, Tipuric & Armitage are the best 3 out and out 7's in Lions contention. I wouldn't take Wilkinson, Sexton & Owen Farrell together. In my mind it is Sexton + Wikinson or Farrell. Might see Laidlaw go as the 3rd option as he can cover 9 & 10 whilst providing a kicking option. I do see a creative centre such as JD2, Twelvetrees or Marshall going as Roberts & Tuilagi are busters not passers. Judging by current form I think Bowe will sneak into the Lions squad over Maitland. I cannot see Ash the Splash going as he is too temperamental. Finally looking at fullback, I feel they may have to bring Kearney to bring the total to 4. Purely as Hogg, Halfpenny & Brown can play on the wing.

    Reply
  • brawnybalboa
    1:26 PM 21/04/2013

    If Falatau was distinctly average, the other 8's were below average. He does the hard work and the basics very well. He doesn't bowl over players like some 8's, but he reliably crosses the gain line and his defensive work is outstanding (made 75 tackles during the tournament) Sam Warburton & Justin Tipuric will go as the Lions will want to carry specialist 7's in the squad. Robshaw & Brown are really 6.5's than out and out 7's, and O'Brien is a 6. Back row is arguably the deepest area for Lions selection. It contains all 4 international captains (Heaslip, Robshaw, Warburton & Brown), previous Lions (Jones & Croft), last years player of the six nations (Lydiate) before we even talk about Morgan, Beattie, Armitage, Falatau, Tipuric.

    Reply
  • brawnybalboa
    2:34 AM 21/04/2013

    If he gets healthy soon enough, I wonder what the odds are of Ryan Jones being included in the Lions squad, potentially as Midweek captain? He is a highly respected player who shone big style during the six nations, and has the versatility to play Lock, 6 & 8! We are all infatuated with Robshaw due to his leadership, tackling numbers and carries. All things that Jones is particularly good at!

    Reply
  • brawnybalboa
    2:27 AM 21/04/2013

    they must have been to the Mike Phillips school of Scrum Halfing!

    Reply
  • brawnybalboa
    2:25 AM 21/04/2013

    If I was picking a match day 23 for the first test, it would be as follows. 1: Healey (<- Jenkins) 2: Hibbard (<- Best) 3: A Jones (<- Cole) 4: Grey 5: AW Jones (<- Parling) 6: O'Brien (<-Tipuric to 7 and Warburton to 6) 7: Warburton 8: Heaslip 9: Phillips (<- Youngs) 10: Sexton 11: North (<- Kearney to 15 and Halfpenny to 11) 12: Roberts 13: Tuilagi (<- O'Driscoll) 14: Cuthbert 15: Halfpenny 16: Jenkins 17: Best 18: Cole 19: Parling 20: Tipuric 21: Youngs 22: O'Driscoll 23: Kearney I am working on the basis that Gatland will be using the Welsh blueprint from the last few years. 60 years of smashing the opponent before pulling away in the last 20 due to better fitness. Therefore I have chosen brute size and power over skill and speed in the first XV. I still feel that the following may force their ways into the match-day 23: Scotland: Grant, Visser, Wier, Hamilton England: Twelvetrees, Farrell, Croft, Robshaw Ireland: O'Connell, Zebo, Bowe

    Reply
  • brawnybalboa
    1:57 AM 21/04/2013

    Falatau outperformed all other potential Lions 8's over the course of the tournament. Morgan got injured, Denton was surprisingly quite & Heaslip didn't exactly cover himself with glory. Tom Wood is a decent flanker, but not an international quality 8 and will not tour. Warburton has done enough in a late run, he had a man of the match performance against Scotland and had a cracking game against England. He also has continued with with the Blues. Although I would like to see Sean O'Brien at 6 as he is an immense ball carrier and tackler. Adam Jones is pretty much the only player guaranteed to be on the first test XV. Entering the tournament him and Cole were neck and neck, but Jones was faultless against Italy, Scotland & England and has been in great form for the Ospreys. Cole will most like be on the bench.

    Reply
  • mcquickscopez
    11:59 PM 20/04/2013

    Cant believe some people are debating sexton, best by a mile. Possibly second best 10 in the world

    Reply
  • 6:55 PM 20/04/2013

    Look you need O'Brien in the team. End of story. The man is unstoppable. Warburton can't get in the Welsh side so why put him in the Lions. He's not the player he was at the world cup. Zebo perhaps on wing with Halfpenny at fullback would make more sense in my opinion. And of course BOD as captain.

    Reply
  • themull
    6:30 PM 20/04/2013

    Most bookies have stopped taking bets on lions captain and Warburton has now moved to very short odds...Not that Warburton as captain would be bad, but for the Lions I've always thought a more senior player as captain would be better...

    Reply
  • jacobbutler10
    3:44 PM 20/04/2013

    I agree with the back row, and I would have O'brien on the bench. Imagine the impact he would have on the game when some Aussies are tiring. Leigh Halfpenny is a definite starter at 15, his all round game is superb. Whilst in the second-row I would pick Parling or Ian Evans over Launchbury. Finally I would pick Jonathan Davies in the centre instead of Tuilagi. Davies is solid in defence and does just as much work throughout the game, and just imagine Tuilagi coming off the bench later on. Compared to some other pundits I think Robinson's team isn't that bad.

    Reply
  • jeppy89
    2:05 PM 20/04/2013

    Digby iaone would eat Christian wade.

    Reply
  • ewancm
    1:07 PM 20/04/2013

    Surprised Beattie never gets included in these lists...the perfect 8 IMO! Wade should definitely be the 'bolter', with pace like his he would be a nightmare for Aussie's coming on on the hour mark!

    Reply
  • matt
    1:07 PM 20/04/2013

    I don't rate Visser at all, he seems to be a good club player, and maybe a solid international, but Scotland have been very shallow in back three options for a few years now and I think that Visser's arrival on the scene has been slightly over hyped due to the previous drought.

    Reply
  • matt
    12:58 PM 20/04/2013

    fair point, but what I mean is that there is a huge wealth of experience and knowledge in that ginger head, and that might be more valuable to the lions than what is in his legs

    Reply
  • matt
    12:56 PM 20/04/2013

    I wouldn't be unhappy seeing that on a team sheet

    Reply
  • matt
    12:55 PM 20/04/2013

    I think halfpenny gets the nod because he was faultless under high balls and his counter attacking was a cut above any other 15 in the comp. Also he brings the long range goal kicking option, not just the run of the mill conversions

    Reply
  • welshosprey
    12:22 PM 20/04/2013

    My ideal backrow would be 6- Robshaw 7- Tipuric 8- O'Brien But that probably won't happen

    Reply
  • leinstar
    7:23 AM 20/04/2013

    1) Healey 2) Best 3) Jones / Cole 4) Gray 5) PoC 6) SoB 7) Tipuric 8) Faletau 9) Care/Youngs (please, please god anyone but Phillips) 10) Sexton 11) North (should be no debate here) 12) Tuilagi (see above) 13) BoD. 14) Brown 15) Halfpenny Kearney and Hogg will travel nonetheless so it's all up for grabs there. Big fan of Launchbury but experience counts. If PoC matches up next HC Semi Final time he'll certainly make a headache for selectors.

    Reply
  • macmurchu
    6:50 AM 20/04/2013

    You want POC to be on tour, not play in a test and remain calm? Do you know who Paul O'Connell is?

    Reply
  • macmurchu
    6:50 AM 20/04/2013

    You want POC to be on tour, not play in a test and remain calm? Do you know who Paul O'Connell is?

    Reply
  • neville07581
    1:08 AM 20/04/2013

    Denton?!

    Reply
  • neville07581
    1:07 AM 20/04/2013

    I guess, but I don't think Ireland should be so heavily represented. Basically I think it shouldn't be Rob Kearney...and maybe not Sexton. Also think Mike Phillips is overrated. (yes, I do know he's welsh)

    Reply
  • cmac
    12:39 AM 20/04/2013

    Isn't the main reason he was so good in the Six Nations because he took over kicking duties? If they pick someone else to do the kicking I think it's a pretty even contest (a lot closer than some seem to think anyway) between Hogg, Kearney and Halfpenny, though I'd probably pick Halfpenny in the end.

    Reply
  • themull
    12:15 AM 20/04/2013

    Seems like a lot of people underestiamte Rob Kearny, as they did during the last lions tour when he ended up just losing out to Roberts for best lions player of the series...he was European Player of the year last season too..the reason he dos not seem to be involved as much this season is because teams are actively avoiding kicking the ball to him, due to how good he is..he is probably the best in the world at FB under the high ball, has a monster boot and is always reliable to set up good ball when returning kicks... hard to argue any of Robinson's selection..Hamilton at lock is an option for me and if Best's form doesn't improve he could be under pressure at hooker too..Wouldn't be terrible having an all Welsh backrow, but can't see any way in hell you leave O' Brien out of the team..The man gets through an enormous amount of work throughout the course of a game in both attack and defence, making impact in both areas...he also has the plus of being a major cog in the backrow which dominated Aus at the WC...

    Reply
  • neville07581
    12:06 AM 20/04/2013

    I don't really understand how Ireland features so heavily in this line up, yet they finished 5th. And another point, I'd definitely have Christian Wade on the bench. If you haven't seen him, check him out. He ripped up Leinster in Amlin

    Reply
  • link137
    11:56 PM 19/04/2013

    @Juancho Seriously, you are going to be that pedantic about Tuilagi? @Irish Rugby Fan I have to say I disagree with your comments about Best. He has been in great form this year for Ulster/Ireland and in my opinion I think he has earned the starting jersey for the Lions with Hibbard on the bench. Anyways, I seriously hope that Ferris makes a return in time to stake a claim to head to Oz. It would be fantastic to see him at 6, Warburton/Tipuric at 7 and O'Brien at 8. That could be the most devastating back row the Lions could put together but I doubt it will come to fruition.

    Reply
  • fatprop
    10:37 PM 19/04/2013

    Yes, but it is the weakess point in the team at 12 you have marshall , scott and barritt none of which are really good enough. 13 tuilagi aint that great but is by far the best o'driscoll , lamont and davies so you have got problems

    Reply
  • drg
    9:58 PM 19/04/2013

    The thing about the Lions is that whilst winning is the best out come, they SHOULD in theory be like a baa baa's team, against all odd trying to pull something useful out of the bag. The odds are ALWAYS against the Lions, really if you want something consistent then you really need to pick the entire Welsh team..lets face it, they won the 6 Nations... This should be a super XV team, I'd pick Gray over Launchbury. Denton is less sluggish than Faletau, but maybe they need a good strong 8..

    Reply
  • matt
    9:45 PM 19/04/2013

    Do you not think Tuilagi and Roberts a little to similar to play well together?

    Reply
  • matt
    9:44 PM 19/04/2013

    I think the opposite of the English 9s, I find it incredibly frustrating watching them pick the ball up, take 2 steps and then pass it, take someone who knows their job is to pass.

    Reply
  • matt
    9:43 PM 19/04/2013

    I agree it does seem a little harsh on those two, but then again I'd rather see the Lions win, even if there are only a couple of English lads. As for Scotland, Richie Gray, Denton and Hogg are about their only prospects in my mind, and they're all in fiercely contested areas. There is a lot to be said for picking players that are used to playing together.

    Reply
  • matt
    9:40 PM 19/04/2013

    I think he should go on the tour, but I'm not certain he's the one you want to be starting with. His role could be more back room orientated, and maybe coming on for the last 25 or so to keep a calm head on things if games are tight.

    Reply
  • matt
    9:39 PM 19/04/2013

    Swapping it around isn't enough, you have to drop one of them, which would it be? I'm a proud Englishman, but I don't think Robshaw can handle any of the number 7s Australia will throw at us.

    Reply
  • matt
    9:37 PM 19/04/2013

    I agree, I think Zebo should be on the wing, haven't seen him play since the 6N but if he keeps his form up then he should be there. I don't have a single memory of Kearney from the 6N, very surprised to see him there

    Reply
  • fatprop
    9:27 PM 19/04/2013

    1.Healy 2.Hibbard 3.Jones 4.Wyn-Jones 5.Ryan 6.Croft 7.Tipuric 8.Warburton 9.Phillips 10.Sexton 11.North 12.Roberts 13.Tuilagi 14.Hogg 15.Halfpenny

    Reply
  • facepalm
    8:47 PM 19/04/2013

    Really don't think Phillips should start as 9.

    Reply
  • 7:51 PM 19/04/2013

    I'm sure either Halfpenny or Kearney would be fantastic as fullback, I think Halfpenny had the luck of being on the winning team and therefore had more chance to shine than Kearney. However I don't understand the reasoning of playing a fullback on the wing if you've got class wingers like Cuthbert, Visser and Zebo (just a few) available. Also this starting lineup seems quite harsh towards Scotland and England wouldn't you agree?

    Reply
  • lardinio
    7:48 PM 19/04/2013

    Personally, I think there will be a fair few changes in selection before the tour. 6 nations will have had the biggest say. But come tour, some may loose a bit of form and some will come through. Back row is an interesting place - Faletau, Tipuric, Warburton, Croft, Wood, O'Brien, Robshaw, Beattie all have a case to be on the plane. I think Jason has the backs nearly right, but probably Halfpenny at fullback and Cuthbert on the wing, and may be a bolter at fly half come the first test.

    Reply
  • midas247
    7:21 PM 19/04/2013

    Personally think that Sean O'Brien has to be included in any starting back row.

    Reply
  • welshosprey
    7:21 PM 19/04/2013

    Good team apart from Kearney, what is Robsinson thinking there? The backrow could be swapped around to accommodate Robshaw maybe too.

    Reply


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Jason Robinson picks BOD as captain in starting British & Irish Lions XV | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos