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Rugby thread (6 Nations, Heineken Cup etc)


Rex Grossman
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So, now that the 6 nations is (almost) done what are people's thoughts on the Lions team/squad? Who are the obvious standouts?

 

A few have played themselves into contention but just as many seem to have rules themselves out. Murray and Sexton got their timing right in playing back in to form, I thought both were on a serious decline a year ago. I can't see the heavy England numbers that I might have 6 months ago. 

 

The back three is full of quality choices and the centre partnership is tricky. The back-row is also very strong with so many different viable combinations.

 

Oh, and I've probably got some Wales bias going on...

 

Front Row: Jones, Owens, Furlong start with Sutherland, Sinkler and Healy in the mix. Can Vunipola be left behind? Will Marler make himself available? If so he could be a starter.

Locks: AW Jones and Henderson. Ryan close. I reckon they might go with Beirne in the second row? For me Itoje would be a super sub (can also cover back-row)

Backrow: Tipuric (probably too light weight for Gatland against SA) or Curry. Faletau a certainty.
Beirne at 6 or second row? Watson? Navidi would provide cover for all three and would love to see Simmons. What about CJ Stander?

 

Scrum half: Murray. Then Davies, or Youngs

Fly half: Sexton I reckon then Bigger? Russell may be too loose for Gatland

Centres: Can't work this one out. Henshaw for sure and then North? But I find it hard to leave out Davies (my hero). He's not been in the best form but Gatland might just think he needs him for his defensive abilities both individually and as an organiser of the whole backline

Wings: So much talent; Adams, Watson, Rees Zammit, Van der Merwe, Maitland, May, Earls. I reckon he will start with Adams and Watson

Full back: I love Williams but I guess Hogg will get the start

 

 

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I think Underhill might get a call up still, he's been in great form for Bath since coming back from injury and he was probably playing better than Curry before he got injured.

 

It would be interesting to see if Gatland has a look at Sam Simmonds as well, European player of the year last season and would give you genuine pace at 8, I agree that Faletau will probably be first choice but if you wanted an impact replacement you could do a lot worse.

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I can't speak too much about other nations but from Scotland I think these guys should be in the main squad at least: 

 

Hogg (can be stand-off too if needed) at FB, though Williams is good too.

 

Hamish Watson and the Gray brothers for forwards. Maybe Faegerson (sp?) also.

 

Van der Merwe, Maitland, Huw Jones, for backs. 

 

Fly-half Russell should be in the squad but bit too inconsistent to replace Farrell or Sexton as starter I suppose. Ali Price at scrum-half is spot on for me. 

 

 

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Just now, milko said:

Why didn't France boot it out at the end there? Very fun to watch. 

No idea, he was at the touch line. What patience and grit from Scotland. Van der Merwe made up for that shit tackle 10 fold.

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I think so. Some great attacking play from the forwards who did so hard much work. Not sure about the Redcar, but hey how we bloody won.

 

Pity we couldnt beat Wales, well done to them.

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2 minutes ago, Captain Novaforce said:

4th has never felt so sweet, enjoying a beer tonight with a rare victory

 

Looking at the points difference, it's so close that there's only a hair in it being joint third.

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Good on Scotland tonight. They started bloody well in the tournament and were a. It unlucky in other games I feel. 
 

Wales we’re lucky to win it I feel but some quality players and AWJ will make a great Lions captain again. 
 

France have some incredible talent but talk about playing to type. Almost arrogant really as if it wasn’t right that they should only win by 3. Scotland played very smart I thought. Tight and disciplined. 
 

England though. Disastrous but I’m pleased. It’s been a long time coming and they need a shake up. 9,10 and 12 for me all need to go. There are some decent youngsters waiting in the wings and some great talent in the back three that don’t see enough of the ball. Need to sort out the penalty count. 
 

But yeah, great tournament this year and with no crowds. 

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53 minutes ago, McFly said:

I think so. Some great attacking play from the forwards who did so hard much work. Not sure about the Redcar, but hey how we bloody won.

 

Pity we couldnt beat Wales, well done to them.

Red card was harsh.  Russell clearly didn’t mean it but the rules are pretty black and white on that now. 

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I'm still not convinced that the forearm went straight to the throat with that camera angle. I'd say that it was right at the top of the chest, and the body and head angle made it seem like the neck.

 

But it's done now, so I don't care enough to argue the point!

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8 hours ago, El Geet said:

Red card was harsh.  Russell clearly didn’t mean it but the rules are pretty black and white on that now. 

Yeah, it was kinda reckless rather than dangerous. 

 

Ritchie should go to Lions squad after that performance, awesome.

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Another great GBR podcast with Wayne Pivac especially the bits where he talks about how centralised contracts and getting the clubs to share info with each other and the WRU on S&C and style of playing at club level to filter into the  national team (Somethign NZ have been doing for decades) and how it could really benefit France and England.

 

 

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Oh man, such a narrow defeat for Wasps yesterday - but they left a few points on the field Inc that attacking first half.

 

And Northampton Saints pulled off a cracking comeback in the Challenge Cup, beating the Dragons 43-39.

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