British and Irish Lions team for Second Test versus South Africa

The British and Irish Lions team to face South Africa in the crucial Second Test has just been announced.

The widely anticipated changes to the front row have indeed been made, whilst Simon Shaw comes in to the second row.

Rob Kearney starts ahead of Lee Byrne, whilst Fitzgerald comes in for Ugo Monye on the left wing. Monye, Mears, Vickery and Byrne drop out of the 22 altogether.

What do you think? Can they level the series?

15. Kearney
14. Bowe
13. O’Driscoll
12. Roberts
11. Fitzgerald
10. Jones
9. Phillips
8. Heaslip
7. Wallace
6. Croft
5. O’Connell
4. Shaw
3. Jones
2. Rees
1. Jenkins

Replacements: Ford, Sheridan, Jones, Williams, Ellis, O’Gara, Shane Williams.

19 thoughts on “British and Irish Lions team for Second Test versus South Africa

  1. Why put O’Gara (who’s basically just the same kid of player as Jones) on the bench, when you could put a potential match-turner/winner in Hook (who could if needed also cover inside centre)…?

  2. Yeah, agree that that is a slightly odd selection. I’d rather see Hook coming on with half an hour to go if we are trailing. Maybe McGeechan is being an optimist, expecting us to build a lead and then O’Gara can come on, kick for the corners and defend it?

  3. Not sure about Shaw. After Vickery went off last week Jones shored up the scrum. The problems weren’t necessarily of Wyn Jones’ doing last week. I think we’ll miss his work rate on the pitch.

    Surprised about Monye – I know he fluffed 3 chances, but I didn’t think he’d get completely dropped.

  4. Hook showed on Tuesday that he can’t close out a game they way O’Gara can. In fact he hasn’t shown any sign of being up to playing at this level, the only thing he has going for him is his versatility.

    “Surprised about Monye – I know he fluffed 3 chances, but I didn’t think he’d get completely dropped.”

    Funniest thing I’ve read in ages. Good one!

  5. I’m inclined to agree with Bryce. The Lions need a strong finisher, and Monye wasted too many chances. Fitz has been finishing pretty well, so deserves his place.

  6. Point taken on Monye, but does Shane Williams really deserve a place on the bench? It’s almost like the management team felt a bit bad for him and didn’t want him to got too upset given that he has been ‘trying really hard’ and ‘giving it his all’, despite looking pretty average all tour.

    All that said, I look forward to him coming on with ten to go on Saturday and scoring the winning try to prove me completely wrong!

  7. True Fitz has been finishing well, but so has Monye (excluding last sat). Plus Fitz’s kicking is a liability and one that i’d expect the boks to take advantage of. Well done to Shaw. Wyn Jones hasn’t done anything wrong all tour, but they have obviously decided they need big ball carriers and extra weight in the pack. Why S. Jones is still picked is beyond me. His kicking last week was awful, so too was his defence and more importantly his game control was none existent. Would much rather have seen O’gara (and i don’t even like him) start this week as his form has been better, with Hook on the bench. Good call to drop Vickery – proved on sat he is past playing this level of rugby. Feel sorry Mears – don’t think he didn’t much wrong last week (apart from a few wayward lineout throws and being too small). Would like to see Jenkins switched to no. 3 and have Sheridan have a go at destroying Smit. Only other person i think has been unlucky is M. Williams. His last 2 games have been outstanding performances.

    O yes, one last thing. How the hell can Shane Williams be in the squad? Especially when Monye has been dropped. How can you justify dropping one player, who has had 1 BAD game all tour (only because he didn’t score those tries on sat), and replacing him with another player, who hasn’t had 1 GOOD game all tour (and hasn’t even managed to score a single try). I know there will be those screaming “but he can create magic” or “he was world player of the year 08” – thats all well and good, but if he hasn’t been performing to that standard recently (or even shown signs of it) what makes you think that he will do it on sat? Here’s a list of players that should have been ahead of Williams for a place on the bench (solely on current performances only)

    1. Hook
    2. Monye
    3. Flutey
    4. Earls
    5. Byrne
    6. Darcy

    Good team, but poor decision to include Shane Williams!!!

  8. I hope Frodo Baggins aka Shane Williams doesn’t read this – he’ll probably cry himself to sleep for the rest of his life. O well

  9. Am I the only one who thinks Phillips is very, very lucky to retain his place? His laboured pass was one of our bigger problems last Saturday.

  10. a few thoughts:

    * shaw at the top of his game is a great player, age isn’t a factor, pleased for him

    * you can’t drop the captain, but there’s a lesson here: don’t pick the test captain in advance of the whole party

    * williams v wallace must have been close, is the welshman 100 pc fit?

    * heaslip lucky that his rival for number 8 isn’t in the reckoning

    * if hook fit he should be on bench

    * mears and monye unlucky to drop totally out of the squad, even if monye’s second error was a bad one. i’d credit good defence for the first half incident

    * let’s see if sheridan can make an impact when he comes on, i think he’s over-rated, but deserves the opportunity

    * french referee this weekend, could be different… at least he won’t be in the tv booth trying, but failing, to communicate withe the ref over the intercom…

    * steve, number 9 (appropriately!), you may not be the only one, but i think phillips is by some disatnce the best available candidate for scrum half jersey

  11. a test team without Nugget!!!!!!!!!!! still not certain SA hold him in high regard and there would have been some psychology in that alone……………………. Mears unlucky Monye should have been bench bound Wyn-Jones what a cutting decision but will tour next time. Heaslip’s in coz He doesn’t drop or get turned over as much as Powell. In hindsight you would be glad of Easter out there !!

  12. I’d rather start with ROG or Hook than Jones at 10.

    I’ll be watching the other Jones carefully in the first few scrums – not convinced he did much better than Vickery until the beast went off last week (he got popped up a couple of times, but the ref ignored it as the boks had moved the ball pretty quickly). He should find it easier with Rees beside him.

    I hope we do better on our own throw in this time. Keep it simple.

    I agree ty, the rotund fellow at 8 would offer an attractive option for this game.

    The boks looked tired in the final quarter last week, and they won’t have got any fitter. Hold them in the first half and be ready to give them the run around late on. Oh, and one more thing – would love to see someone put one on that gobby sh*t Habana.

  13. Bench tactics will be interesting…I would think we’ll see Sheridan and M Williams not long after half time. The latter should be able to dominate the breakdown against the tiring Boks and hopefully get the ball to our impressive back line.

    I’m quite optimistic (but I usually am).

  14. i really can’t agree with anyone who’s advocating andy powell as a possible solution. only john hayes is lower down my list of test picks…

    after sleeping on it, i’m now worried about the springboks. as lions’ fans – mostly – we’ve been worried about our own selection and possible improvements leading up to the second test, but i fear that the hosts will also have been massively self-critical about their display last saturday – certainly with the second half of it – and are likely to prove significantly harder to deal with…

  15. the problem is that none of the scrum halfs are on form but even still phillips takes way to long to get that ball out BOD and j roberts,

  16. A lot of talk about Lions selection…. the SA press have roasted the SA coach for his ineptitude (am not sure what the score would have been had he not meddled). Reckon ‘boks will be a better outfit having had at least one game to gel. Loftus? Was there in 74 when they won 28-9 (after Bennet’s try the whole Loftus crowd, to a man, stood up & applauded. Am not sure if I have ever seen that at Twickenham? Big P, notorious SA arrogance? Perhaps we read different english newspapers? If only once certain spectators could say well done & well played to the oppo instead of continually blaming the ref & chiding their own team, very sad indeed.

    Let’s hope for a good game in the right spirit.

  17. hold on a sec… what the lions need is d bull hayes in the lineouts to fire o’connell up for the ball . we’ve seen so many examples of this at munster and ireland and is mainly why o connell is so highly rated in the lineout…

    ronan o gara is unlucky not to start never mind make the bench . jones is a boring out half and a decent goal kicker but cant perform under pressure . ROG , however is always trying something different (cross kicks, grubbers, etc) . He is a quality kicker: drop goals, penalties/conversions and kicking for touch. O ‘ Gara is a great deal better than Jones , as we all saw in the Ireland V Wales 6 nations match earlier this year…
    the only reason Jones is picked is because of his relationship with Philipps

  18. in making predictions, we’re all hostages to subsequent events, but DMIDZ’s talking up of o’gara 13 hours before he played a key role in losing the game takes the biccie…

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