Lions Scout Notes – 6th Feb

Chris Robshaw

Chris Robshaw
Once again Owen Farrell was fantastic with the boot as England got their Six Nations campaign off to a flyer. However it was his captain that will be in contention for a Lions spot if he continues with performances such as this. His accolades sadly read like a bog standard job application but his amazing work ethic and leadership skills certainly didn’t go unnoticed. It is these basic qualities which have epitomised England of late and things look bright for the team in the tournament and for Robshaw’s chances of getting into Warren Gatland’s reckoning, as Clive Woodward stated, “Robshaw’s stock just keeps rising”.

Simon Zebo
A difficult choice between Zebo and Best was swung not only by a piece of skill Messi would have been proud of, but for his contribution to Ireland’s defensive effort. It’s refreshing to see a winger who is not merely lightning fast but has other aspects to his game. There was a noticeable injection into the Welsh side in the second half whenever their wingers found space to run. So the stifling first up tackles put in by Zebo and Gilroy early on helped to subdue an already lacklustre performance. An attacking prowess and a defensive determination stand the young in winger in good stead for Lions selection.

Johnnie Beattie
The Scout disagrees with the player ratings published earlier in the week, and Johnnie Beattie will have taken heart from French performances in more ways than one this weekend. While Italy’s victory will have set out a rallying call to their fellow underdogs, the Scottish number 8 has certainly benefited from his French sabbatical. He is looking rejuvenated as he proved with a stand-out performance against a strong English side, some solid carries combined with a physical presence at the break down has given Scotland more firepower and threat. Continued consistency will put him in with a shout of making it on the tour.

Alex Cuthbert
Both wingers injected real spark into the Welsh resurgence in the second half especially when coming in off their lines. Cuthbert’s well taken try exemplified the dynamism the Welsh backline can possess; especially when the centres are actually passing the ball to a person. Cuthbert is not a guarantee for a starting position on the Lions tour but both wingers will have certainly put their hand up for selection.

By Jono Frank

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

13 thoughts on “Lions Scout Notes – 6th Feb

  1. Have to say that I agree with you more than the player ratings, although Hogg probably would have been my choice for Scotland.

  2. I think it’s worth mentioning that in terms of fullback I think Halfpenny won his battle with Kearney so is now in pole position for 15.

    1. Agree totally. asn’t putting Hogg in front of Halfpenny. Hes been the model of consistency for a long time now. Definite Lions starter in my eyes. Kearney might improve with more international game time though which would be good

    2. Halfpenny is a quality fb and you may be right but Kearney is just back from injury and might need some time to get back into the swing of things. I agree provisionally.

  3. Agree on Beattie, heplayed well in a pack that was getting mangled.

    N8 is a problem for the Lions, Hisleap is probably in Pole position but he is not safe, then morgan is playing well, but we are thin in that position.

    1. I really don’t thin 8 is a problem for the Lions. Faletau, Morgan, Heaslip, and Beattie are the starters for their respective countries at the moment, but there is plenty of time for other contenders to put their hands up for selection. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Billy Vunipola get a few games for England at 8 before the selectors announce the squad.

  4. What a great showing of talent last weekend! I hope that this weekend can match in enjoyment factor. If I were to pick a Lions team right at this moment, based on form and fitness, then it would look something like:

    1. C. Healy
    2. R. Best
    3. D. Cole
    4. G. Parling
    5. R. Gray
    6. S. O’Brien
    7. C. Robshaw
    8. T. Faletau

    9. B. Youngs
    10. J. Sexton
    11. G. North
    12. M. Tuilagi
    13. B. O’Driscoll
    14. C. Ashton
    15. R. Kearney

    16. A. Sheridan
    17. A. Jones
    18. R. Hibbard
    19. J. Launchbury
    20. J. Tupiric
    21. D. Care
    22. O. Farrell
    23. L. Halfpenny

    1. Agree with all of your team expect Gray. I just can’t see the hype about him. He looks lazy to me in a Sale shirt and not much better when playing for Scotland. I would have Donnacha Ryan in there for him.

      I’m also not convinced that North is in great form; so I would have Zebo in there.

      Other than that I agree with the whole team.

  5. There is so much talent at outside centre.

    Im not a fan of moving Tuilagi to 12 because i think it is a waste of his ability to run in the space in the outside channels. So Would keep him at 13 if he played.

    Now BODs thrown himself back into conetention.

    Also there is Jonathan Davies who is also a great player, although his performance on saturday wouldnt have done him many favours.

    Similarily fullback has got depth.

    Halfpenny is probably leading atm but Kearney is game changer and at his best probably better than Halfpenny.

    Hogg is also a very dangerous player to have in your side and could excel even more with a midfield that actually got the ball to him.

    Not to mention Goode and Brown, two more who are well in contenion.

    props as well: Healy, Ross, Jenkins, Jones, Cole, Marler, Grant

    By the end of the 6 nations we could have the makings of a very very strong squad.

    what other positions are there that have a similar wealth of talent?

    1. I would say the back row has a ridiculous amount of options:

      Ferris, Lydiate, O’Brien, Wood, Haskell, Croft, Brown, Robshaw, Warburton, Tipuric, Denton, Beattie, Morgan, Falatau, Heaslip.

      There is probably a couple I have missed but that whole list could be in the plane.

  6. Lions XV based just on this weekend;



    In the long run, there would surely be adjustments, but that’s what this weekend tells me. Beattie is the only Scot who looks really in the race to wear the shirt, although Hogg is a wild card, the only thing dissuading me from giving it to him long term is his inexperience and lack of consistency.

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