Name your Lions team
With the Six Nations now over almost a week and the grin on my face slowly beginning to fade, it's time for what is by far the most fun part of the Lions tour- picking the side. Here's my provisional XV:
FB: L Byrne
LW: S Williams
RW: P Sackey
OC: B O'Driscoll
IC: T Shanklin
OH; R O'Gara (but Wilkinson if fit and on form)
SH: D Peel
8: J Heaslip (Ryan Jones is surely better, but Heaslip's season has been so vastly superior)
BF: T Croft
OF: D Wallace
L: P O'Connell
L: S Shaw (I'd love Nathan Hines in here, but realistically it's not a good idea)
P: G Jenkins
H: M Rees
P: P Vickery
Can't make my mind up about most of those positions, but especially the scrum-half, second second-row and hooker. Hum.
Wouldn't be surprised to see no England players at all really
The Lion in Winter
Sorry, I'm struggling now
Lion-O from Thundercats
The White Lion
World Cup Willie
1. M. Horan
2. M. Rees
3. P. Vickery
4. P. O Connell
5. A. Wyn Jones
6. R. Jones
8. J. Heaslip
9. T. O' Leary
11. S. Williams
12. D. Cipriani
13. B. O Driscoll (C)
14. S. Halfpenny
15. R. Kearney
No Lee Byrne Phlegm? He was the third or fourth "dead-cert" i had down. Cipriani will get munched in defence playing inside centre too. Although i'd like to see that so I'm inclined to agree with his selection there.
Going with "who I think will be picked" rather than "who I'd pick".
1. Sheridan (ENG)
2. Flannery (IRE)
3. Murray (SCO)
4. O'Connell* (IRE)
5. AW Jones (WAL)
6. R Jones (WAL)
7. D Wallace (IRE)
8. Heaslip (IRE)
9. Phillips (WAL)
10. Wilkinson (ENG)
11. S Williams (WAL)
12. D'Arcy (IRE)
13. O'Driscoll (IRE)
14. Bowe (IRE)
15. Byrne (WAL)
Nailed-on selections in bold, all four of them! Think Byrne's gone backwards slightly and if I was picking my team would have Armitage in there instead. Wallace is on sticky wicket too; Martyn Williams is probably the best specialist 7 in the NH still, had an ordinary time of things in the 6 Nations but will still tour and in SA the coaches might like a bit of extra bulk, so Joe Worsley might come in on a "fighting fire with fire" brief.
D'Arcy plays with BoD regularly so take 12 from Flutey, whose iffy defence counts against him too. Phillips is a monster of a scrum-half, so think that will get him 9 and Wilko is a default selection in that Geech knows he has the game to beat the Boks, which I'm not sure O'Gara or S Jones do.
You really think AW Jones is nailed-on?
Lee Byrne had a pretty good six nations i thought, awesome in a losing cause against France. Armitage has been outstanding but not for so long.
Still struggle to believe someone from RS Armagh could be in a Lions team, however good Tommy Bowe actually is.
Byrne was decent, yes, but if the side was picked on form Armitage would play ahead of him. Kearney had a good first couple of games and didn't let anyone down as the slam got closer, so full-back is an area of strength for the Lions.
Bowe is quality, tbf, regardless of his humble origins...
The 37-man squad's out today- the England, Scotland and Wales national captains all miss out. No Delon Armitage either.
Lee Byrne (28) Ospreys and Wales
Rob Kearney (23) Leinster and Ireland
Shane Williams (32) Ospreys and Wales
Leigh Halfpenny (20) Cardiff Blues and Wales
Ugo Monye (26) Harlequins and England
Luke Fitzgerald (21) Leinster and Ireland
Tommy Bowe (25) Ospreys and Ireland
Tom Shanklin (29) Cardiff Blues and Wales
Jamie Roberts (22) Cardiff Blues and Wales
Brian O'Driscoll (30) Leinster and Ireland
Keith Earls (21) Munster and Ireland
Riki Flutey (29) Wasps and England
Ronan O'Gara (32) Munster and Ireland
Stephen Jones (31) Llanelli Scarlets and Wales
Mike Phillips (26) Ospreys and Wales
Harry Ellis (26) Leicester and England
Tomas O'Leary (25) Munster and Ireland
Gethin Jenkins (28) Cardiff Blues and Wales
Adam Jones (28) Ospreys and Wales
Andrew Sheridan(29) Sale and England
Phil Vickery (33) Wasps and England
Euan Murray (28) Northampton and Scotland
Jerry Flannery (30) Munster and Ireland
Lee Mears (30) Bath and England
Matthew Rees (28) Llanelli Scarlets and Wales
Paul O'Connell, capt (29) Munster and Ireland
Alun Wyn Jones (23) Ospreys and Wales
Donncha O'Callaghan (30) Munster and Ireland
Nathan Hines (32) Perpignan and Scotland
Simon Shaw (35) Wasps and England
David Wallace (32) Munster and Ireland
Stephen Ferris (23) Ulster and Ireland
Alan Quinlan (34) Munster and Ireland
Joe Worsley (31) Wasps and England
Martyn Williams (33) Cardiff Blues and Wales
Jamie Heaslip (25) Leinster and Ireland
Andy Powell (27) Cardiff Blues and Wales
Yeesh. No Ryan Jones. Big call. No Armitage or Croft is BS tho, sorry.
Presence of Hines & Shaw says we're going to fight fire with fire. Expect lots of pagga in the midweek games.
EDIT: 3 of my XV didn't even make the squad! WTF do I know?!?
Flutey? Why didn't they just bring in Henry Paul, Hemi Taylor, Glenn Metcalfe, Sean Lineen and Lesley Vainikolo while they were at it?
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