Lions selection – February 09

Rather than getting too depressed about the fact that Wales are likely to put 30 points on England at the weekend, I thought time was better spent considering the Lions team when all those Welsh stars will be on our side.

I think you’ll agree that this video is a couple of hours well spent! Put the sound up for full viewing pleasure, and then let me have your thoughts. Might be one or two surprises in there. We’ll review this every month or two as players perform well or badly, so if you can make a convincing case for a particular player, I’ll update the team accordingly and send you a t-shirt.


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38 thoughts on “Lions selection – February 09

  1. 15) Lee Byrne
    14) Shane Williams
    13) Brian O’Driscal
    12) Gavin Henson
    11) Paul Sackey/ Chris Paterson
    10) James Hook/ Ronan O’Gara/ Stephen Jones
    9) Mike Phillips
    1) Andrew Shredan
    2) Jerry Flanery
    3) Adam Jones
    4) Paul O’ Connell
    5) Alyn Wyn Jones
    6) Ryan Jones (c)
    7) Martyn Williams
    8) Jamie Heaslip

    16) Matthew Rees
    17) Gethin Jenkins
    18) Nathan Hines
    19) James Haskell
    20) Harry Ellis
    21) Ronan O’Gara/ Stephen Jones
    22) Jamie Roberts
    23) Luke Fitzgerald
    24) Rob Kearney
    25) Danny Cipriani

  2. Love the effort that has gone into this! Good work, good tune as well.

    Don’t think I’d pick Hartley, although there are usually some players that come good whilst on tour and he could be one of them. Id go for flannery at hooker.

    Not many Englishmen around!

  3. I’m a passionate England fan. This is my Lions team at the mo.

    1. Gethin Jenkins
    2. Rory Best
    3. Euan Murray
    4. Alun Wyn Jones
    5. Paul O’Connell
    6. Ryan Jones
    7. Martyn Williams
    8. Jamie Heaslip
    9. Mike Blair/Phillips
    10. James Hook
    11. Shane Williams
    12. Jamie Roberts
    13. Brian O’Driscoll
    14. Leigh Halfpenny
    15. Lee Byrne

    Spot the Englishman.

  4. I can’t argue with any of your choices really except at number 7. Surely Martin Williams brings so much more with his hefty experience and gamesmanship, shouldn’t he be first on the team sheet?

  5. Can’t believe everyone’s picking O’Driscoll, he’s not on form at all.

    1. Andrew Sheridan
    2. Ross Ford
    3. Euan Murray
    4. Paul O’Connell
    5. Alun Wyn Jones / Nick Kennedy (the 6 Nations should answer this one)
    6. Ryan Jones (Haskell is on better form but much better at blind-side. Tom Rees is always a consideration but you have to fancy picking an all-Welsh back row)
    7. Martyn Williams (clearly keeps Haskell out of the side)
    8. Andy Powell
    9. Mike Phillips / Mike Blair (impossible to choose for me)
    10. James Hook (but this is a strategy question – take O’Gara if you emphasise forward play over backs)
    11. Shane Williams
    12. Gavin Henson
    13. Luke Fitzgerald / Mathew Tait (how can England keep ignoring him)
    14. David Strettle, if fit. If not, Paul Sackey.
    15. Lee Byrne

  6. O’Driscoll not on form? Did you see that try against France? And taking of form how do you justify Sheridan of over Gethin Jenkins? Apart from that Andy, I pretty much agree though. Maybe a shout for Heaslip at 6 and I’d be keen on Kearney at 15 but Byrne has emerged as a quality player.

  7. If O’Driscoll plays well for the rest of the Six Nations then I shall change my mind, but I just can’t buy into one-off performances when he’s not been playing to his usual standard for so long. Top players never lose the instinct to make great plays, they just stop making them.

    You make a good point on Sheridan though, although he’s the only potential Lions prop that anyone from the Southern Hemisphere would be scared of.

    Out of the two positions, we have far more choice of quality players at centre than prop. It’s almost worth inviting Italy to join just so we have access to Martin Castrogiovanni! Given the nightmare that the Scottish scrum had against Wales you also have to think carefully about picking Ford/Murray at 2 and 3, despite the fact that they were my easy choices prior to the Six Nations.

    Byrne is an excellent runner from deep and secure under the high-ball, which is why I choose him over Rob Kearney. Fair point though. As for Jamie Heaslip, experience is vital against the Saffers back row of Burger, Smith and Rossouw/Spies. You’ve got to go for Jones in that situation.

  8. I agree Kemlo, BOD’s try at the weekend brought back fond memories of the Gabba, 2001. He is pure class and would be one of the first names on the team sheet for me. Last time I recall an England centre scoring a try like that was Greenwood against the boks.

  9. I think we’re overstating the lack of Englishmen – if Geechs follows the lead of SCW and takes a press secretary and a lawyer, we must be in with a shout.

  10. I think the majority of the team is good, although I don’t think there are many certainties apart from Lee Byrne, Paul O’Connell and Shane Williams. Most positions are up for grabs and there were many in the first round of Six Nations matches that staked a claim (i.e. Jamie Roberts & Jamie Heaslip) and also those who didn’t (i.e. Andrew Sheridan & Jason White).
    My 22 at the moment would be:
    15. L.Byrne (Wales)
    14. P.Sackey (England)
    13. B.O’Driscoll (Ireland)
    12. J.Roberts (Wales)
    11. S.Williams (Wales)
    10. J.Hook (Wales)
    9. M.Blair (Scotland)
    1. G.Jenkins (Wales)
    2. R.Ford (Scotland)
    3. E.Murray (Scotland)
    4. A.W.Jones (Wales)
    5. P.O’Connell (Ireland) Capt.
    6. J.Haskell (England)
    7. P.Wallace (Ireland)
    8. A.Powell (Wales)

    16. A.Sheridan (England)
    17. J.Flannery (Ireland)
    18. Nick Kennedy (England)
    19. R.Jones (Wales)
    20. M.Philips (Wales)
    21. G.Henson (Wales)
    22. R.Kearney (Ireland)

  11. 1.Gareath Thomas
    2.Lee Mears
    3.Phil Vickery
    4.Steve Borthwick
    5.Paul O’Connell (Capt)
    6.Ryan Jones
    7.David Wallace
    8.Andy Powell
    9.Mike Blair
    10.Ronan O’Gara
    11.Shane Williams
    12.Gavin Henson
    13.Brian O’Driscoll
    14.Luke Fitzgerald

  12. LOL, Borthwick as a Lions test player. I can’t believe he is getting a game for England, he was an embarrassment against Italy and I will eat my hat if he even makes the Lions tour party.

  13. After the first round of matches, this is my XV

    15. Kearney
    14. Fitzgerald
    13. O’Driscoll
    12. Henson
    11. S Williams
    10. Hook
    9. O’Leary
    8. Heaslip
    7. M. Williams
    6. R. Jones
    5. O’Connell
    4. O’Callaghan
    3. Vickery
    2. Flannery
    1. Genkins

  14. i dont understand why people are picking gavin henson. he is not even playin well for ospreys, besides he will only pull out last minute injured. thats coming from a welsh man. the bloke is a joke.

  15. 15) Lee Byrne
    14) Shane Williams
    13) Brian O’Driscal
    12) jamie roberts
    11) Luke Fitzgerald
    10) Stephen Jones
    9) Mike Phillips
    1) G Genkins
    2) Jerry Flanery
    3) Adam Jones
    4) Paul O’ Connell
    5) Alyn Wyn Jones
    6) Ryan Jones (c)
    7) Martyn Williams
    8) Adam Powell

  16. 15 Lee Byrne
    14 Shane Williams
    13 Brian O’Driscoll
    12 Jamie Roberts
    11 Rob Kearney
    10 Ronan O’Gara
    9 Mike Phillips
    1 Gethin Jenkins
    2 Jerry Flannery
    3 Adam Jones
    4 Paul O’Connell
    5 Alun Wyn Jones
    6 James Haskell
    7 Martin Williams
    8 Adam Powell

    This is how I see it after Round One. I thought Blair (admittedly behind a battered pack) was actually quite poor. Phillips was much better. I couldn’t pick Ryan Jones because he didn’t play but, for me, he has a lot to prove. I don’t think he’s an automatic choice. Heaslip might push Powell. It’ll look very different by the end of the Six Nations, that’s for sure.

  17. 15. Lee Byrne
    14. Paul Sackey
    13. Brian O’ Driscoll
    12. Gavin Henson
    11. Shane Williams
    10. Stephen Jones (if wilkinson is unfit)
    9. Mike Blair
    8. Andy Powell
    7. David Wallace
    6. Ryan Jones
    5. Nathan Hines
    4. Paul O’ Connell
    3. Euan Murray
    2. Ross Ford
    1. Gethin Jenkins


    16 Andrew Sheridan
    17. Lee Mears
    18. John Hayes/Phil Vickery
    19. Alun Wyn Jones/ Simon Shaw
    20. James Haskell
    21. Joe Worsley/ Simon Taylor
    22. Jamie Heaslip
    23. Dwayne Peel
    24. James Hook/Ronan O’ Gara
    25. Tom Shanklin
    26. Jamie Roberts/ Riki Flutey
    27. Thom Evans
    28. Luke Fitzgerald
    29. Gordon D’Arcy
    30. Dylan Armitage/ Josh Lewsey

    I’ve gone for power over pace as the Boks are such a strong side. 1 England player in the strating 15 shows just how things have changed. O’Connell for captaincy. The guy who put Borthwick in like Martin Johnson obviously doesn’t watch rugby matches as he would be my 5th choice England lock never mind lions team.

  18. What a difficult choice – so many good solid players around.
    I certainly believe there is enough quality in the squad to beat the Boks but certainly there are not many ‘outstanding’/world class players to choose from.

    Due to politics/team harmony and game plan I have gone for the following:

    15. Byrne – quality
    14. Halfpenny (due to cover for kicking, in case No 10 blows up!)
    13. O’Driscol – not captain – let him concentrate on creating his own magic
    12. Henson – if he is the right frame of mind (if not J.Roberts – solid!)
    11. Twinkle toes Williams – game breaker
    10. Cipprianni (Hook)- Huge ask but squad needs flair and an Englishman
    9. Peel – I just think he will get that huge Bok backrow moving around park
    8. R. Jones – Captain and calming influence in a fiery cauldron – quality!
    7. M. Williams – again speed and cunning to prise away ball
    6. Wallace – My team needs bulk but Wallace has better hands than Haskell
    5. Wyn Jones (Hines?) – he does need to win more lineout ball though
    4. O’Connell – he is crucial and has got to be on fire for Lions to win tour
    3. Murray – if fit (if not I have been hugely impressed with Adam Jones)
    2. Flannery – and then Rory Best – train them together for continuity
    1. Gethin Jenkins – with Sheridan (if he can wake up!) coming on as impact

  19. 15.Kearney/Byrne -this spot could even be swayed by the last game of the 6 nations!
    14. Halfpenny – exciting young player who the boks wont know what to expect from him
    13.O’Driscoll – can you imagine leaving him out?
    12. Roberts
    10.O’Gara – but this will depend on what style of game they want to play
    9. Blair – but O’leary is the on form scrum half at the moment..
    8.Powell – but a back up is required.. he is slightly one dimensional
    7.Wallace – but its tight between him and M.Williams
    5. O’Connell
    4. Hines – if he comes back from injury well, the two welsh locks are pushing that spot
    3. im undecided, because no one has impressed my recently, but i would love to see John Hayes in there!
    2. Flannery
    1. Jenkins

  20. Being an Englishman, I would love to see large portion of the Lions team made up of English players – but I want us to win in SA so I have cunningly left them out. Depending on fitness, I would go with the following XV for the Tests:

    15. Lee Byrne
    14. Leigh Halfpenny
    13. Brian O’Driscoll
    12. Jamie Roberts
    11. Shane Williams
    10. Stephen Jones
    9. Mike Phillips
    8. Andy Powell
    7. Tom Rees (if fit)
    6. Ryan Jones (Captain)
    5. Alun Wyn Jones
    4. Paul O’Connel
    3. Adam Jones
    2. Lee Mears
    1. Gethin Jenkins

    16. Andrew Sheridan
    17. Jerry Flannery
    18. Nick Kennedy
    19. Jamie Heaslip
    20. Dwayne Peel
    21. James Hook
    22. Rob Kearney

    Non Test

    15. Rob Kearney
    14. Chris Patterson
    13. Max Evans
    12. Rikki Flutey
    11. Tommy Bowe
    10. James Hook
    9. Dwayne Peel
    8. Jamie Heaslip
    7. Martyn Williams
    6. Ryan Jones (Captain)
    5. Donncha O’Callaghan
    4. Nick Kennedy
    3. Phil Vickery
    2. Jerry Flannery
    1. Andrew Sheridan

    16. John Hayes
    17. Rory Best
    18. Tom Croft
    19. Danny Care
    20. Ronan O’Gara
    21. Tom Shanklin
    22. Leigh Halfpenny

    I would love to put people like Delon Armitage, Josh Lewsey, Luke Fitzgerald, Thom Evans and Shane Geraghty in, but couldn’t find room in either squad. I would However take them on tour, if they’ll fit on the plane

  21. Tommy two good teams there , I’m keeping my powder dry until after the 6 nations for my team but Ryan Jones certainly laid down a marker against England and not just on the playing score .

    Powell I’ve got more reservations on now Heaslip has certainly impressed in the first two games , I might start with him and bring Powell on for impact.

    Halfpenny impresses more and more in each game he plays and if this continues as you say I can see him making the test team.

    Henson has sunk off the graph at the moment unless they want someone to manage the squad pool tournament of course :-)

  22. Pontylad, you have an excellent point about Henson. Personally cannot understand why he would be even considered. He hasn’t played well for Ospreys, or for Wales, and he is more likely to be found down the hairdressers instead of on the rugby pitch!

    Who reckons Cipriani will be on the plane? Got a nasty feeling he will be, and even more nasty feeling he’ll be involved in a fair few games!!!

    With the talent that we have available this tour, I’ll be shocked if we don’t win the series. How nice would it be to whitewash the Boks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Tommy, Henson would of course be up on the pool table ! He irritates the hell out of me but I can see him being picked against France or at least being on the bench . He does have talent to burn but thats it he’s burning it .The tactic of Worsley smashing into Jamie Roberts would hardly have worked with Henson at inside centre and Roberts outside , Worsley could smash into Henson all day but his ability to pass out of the tackle is second to none Roberts then gets the ball in space. Convincing myself now against my gut instincts that he should be in but he’s got so much baggage is it worth it ?

    Cipriani no no no he’s turning into a Henson mini-me.

    Given say 6 mths together as a squad and numerous warm up games then the odds would favour the Lions talent , the difficulty is distilling that into 6 weeks against an established international team who are World Champions.Bit of a trick to pull off but not impossible see “Gatland turns world cup flops into Grand Slam champs ” in about the same period.

  24. Andy powell hasnt been great this year guys. Heaslip is the formed 8 at the moment. wallace is needed for his try scoring abilities. You can muck about in the mud all day and get the better of your opposite number. Thats ok if you can punish them with the points.

    Were in trouble for a fly half I’m afraid. Jones runs horrisontals, hook takes 20 minutes to warm up. Cippriana has had the convidence blasted out of him from the worst england manager EVER!, johnny is recovering from Injury. When O Gara has his thinking cap on He’s the best in the world but fails to impress in the green jersey and favours the red{munster]. Patterson has the experience to out play all of these but has had his forwards let him down.

    Too much pundit hype about blair. O leary and Philips will be called.

    Henson is lucky to be on the welch side! Jamie Roberts is outstanding and o driscol will complement him nicely.

    Williams, and Bowe!.. Who else?

    Byrne and kearney, Fifteens.

    1. Sheirdan [solid ball carrier]
    2. Flannery [good thrower and solid the front row]]
    3. adam jones {strong and dynamic]
    5. O Connell {captain] because geechen picks forwards for captain
    4. O callahan [why seperate the best line out duo in the six nations and euro cup]
    6. martyn williams [Exceptional leader and challenger]
    7. Wallace [number 7 with a 12 on the inside]
    8. Heaslip [so fast for forward, unstoppable when in full flight]
    9. O leary [Keen, always piling pressure and inviting the opposition]
    10. Patterson [cos there’s no one else playing well]
    11. Williams
    12. Roberts
    13. O Driscoll
    14. Bowe
    15. Bryne [as not be irish and completley bias, even though theres no seperation between the two].

    O gara
    Alun Wyn Jones

  25. 15:Rob Kearney(best full back at the moment even though lee bryne is still outstanding)
    14:leigh Halfpenny(great finisher and takes great lines)
    13:Brian O’Driscoll(c)(no words to describe him)
    12:Gordon D’arcy(back on form, lack of good 12s in britain and ireland and he complements o’driscoll well)
    11:Shane Williams(brilliant)
    10:Ronan O’Gara(most experience, big game player, solid)
    9:Mike Blair(brilliant)
    8:Jamie Healslip(playing brilliant, great ball carrier, finds space. better than powell as ireland use more than one ball carrier(wallace below, ferris, o’connell etc…)
    7:David Wallace(amazing, martyn williams is good but wallace is better)
    6:Ryan Jones(leader and solid big game player)
    5:Paul O’Connell(no competition for his place)
    4:Al-Wyn Jones(great player)
    3:Euan Murray(best tight-head scrummager, decent ball carrier and solid in rucks)
    2:Jerry Flannery(fantasic in loose, solid in set-piece, intelligent player)
    1:Andrew Sheridan(for the scrum and carrying)
    16:Ross Ford
    17:Gethin Jenkins
    18:Nick Kennedy
    19:Martyn Williams
    20:Tomas O’Leary
    21:James Hook
    22:Lee Bryne/Luke Fitzgerald

  26. how can O’Gara not be onit! unbelivable player
    14. sackey
    13 odriscoll
    12 henson/roberts
    11 williams
    10 o’gara
    9 philips
    8 heaslip
    7 wallace
    6 ryan jones
    5 oconnell
    4.alan wyn jones/ o’callaghn
    3. john hayes
    1 sheridan/ euan murray
    yes i rewalise hardli ne players from england and scotland and hats because they dont deserve them! they arent good teams! mybe cipriana sub. and mybe nick kenneddy in squad aswell with flutey. and the evans’ and patterson adn blair! thats ur anglo/scot contingent. no other good players.

  27. 15) Byrne
    14) Bowe
    13) BOD
    12) Roberts
    11) Williams
    10) S.Jones
    9) Blair
    1) Gethin Jenkins
    2) Flannery
    3) Euan Murray
    4) POC (C)
    5) A. Jones
    6) R.Jones
    7) Wallace
    8) Heaslip

    16) Sheridan
    17) Mears
    18) DOC
    19) M.Williams
    20) Phillips
    21) O’Gara
    22) Kearney

  28. 1) Jones
    2) Flannery
    3) Sheridan
    4) O’Connell
    5) Wyn-Jones
    6) Jones
    7) Williams
    8) Heaslip
    9) Peel/Philips
    10) Hook/O’Gara
    11) Williams
    12) O’Driscoll (Capt)
    13) Shanklin
    14) Fitzgerald
    15) Byrne

    16) Murray
    17) Best/Ford
    18) Jenkins
    19) Wallace
    20) Peel/Philips
    21) O’Gara/Hook
    22) Kearney/D’Arcy

  29. Don’t know much about front row so can’t back up my picks with much. Heaslip a bit inexperienced for such a pivotal test position but best performing eligible no.8 in 6Nations so far, although quieter against England on Sat. Perhaps needs a plan B? Despite England match O’Gara still has to be most reliable 10 in Europe, and 90% of time super big match mentality. Hook more talented footballer and has x-factor. O’Driscoll & Shanklin ncomfortably two best centres in Europe, ahead of Roberts & Cameo D’Arcy. Good to see vintage Tindall on Saturday though, he’s a winner. Bench will be a v tough call after 3 front row subs, Geech might go 5 & 2? Kearney has done well but not the attacking threat that Lee Byrne has been over past 2 years at top level. As I said don’t know a lot about front row but Rory Best would be good off the bench. PS Paul O’Connell can’t be captain, he is an outstanding player but too old school for captaincy, ie headbashing build-ups etc. Only good if what you’re saying is intelligent/relevant.

  30. To keep the momentum going but rather than produce a list, here’s my view of the movers as of this past weekend:
    Backs: Kearney goes up a bit, Byrne maybe back a bit. Shanklin and O’Driscoll edging away even if I don’t see them as a pairing. Shane Williams plateaus, I think… watch Tommy Bowe. Stephen Jones for 10 and, based more upon past experience and fundamental skill, Peel is edging Philips with O’Leary pushing both (Blair gone from the reckoning at present). An Irish back-row with Powell, just possibly taking 8 – Ryan Jones slipping. O’Connell and Gough for second-row, I think AWJ has work to do, great player that he is. Then Welsh props with Flannery in between. I honestly can’t find a space for an Englshman or Scot as things stand… perhaps Martin Johnson to handle the media given his weekend performance??

  31. Dennis the only Scot I would consider is Euan Murray who did very well against a strong Italian front row he’d be interchangeable off the bench with Adam Jones. Flannery has the “hooker” look about him a sort of mad come on the world stare so I’d take him and Gethin Jenkins the loosehead.

    Englishmen maybe Cueto for the one spare wing position -Shane has the other sown up as they will be looking at his High Veldt tries from last year not his France game where he didn’t see the ball -I like Bowe though and think he’s been underated.Shanklin plays in O’Driscoll’s position and I have to accept that BOD is in the same position as Shane and you need to find reasons to leave him out rather than in (none at the moment).

    I think AWJ’s workrate will be needed on hard grounds and paired with O’Connell there is a better balance than O’Connell with Gough.,

    Back row I’d like the French one but can’t have them , I think Ryan Jones did go back a bit and Powell looks one dimensional even Martin Williams not up to his usual standard against France so maybe a final trial against Ireland will decide it.

    Peel I prefer to Phillips . Stephen Jones looking at O’Gara yes -Hook as a dark horse if he starts and performs against Italy .

    Inside centre a problem at the moment , Jamie Roberts has been worked out and though I think he will graft other options on to his game in due course time is too short before the tour. D’Arcy can’t get a start for Ireland so one Mr Henson has to decide does he want to be known as the companion for a pop celebrity or a proper rugby player -he should start against Italy and then has the Irish game to prove it .

    Byrne made one or two mistakes against France but scored a cracking try and didn’t miss a tackle -his one on Harlinoduquoy as he burst for the line was especially good (and brave!) not his fault the try was scored after this so I don’t think he’s gone back really.

    Martin Johnson -team disciplinarian maybe or possibly diplomat !!

  32. They need to have a diverse squad and learn from the mistakes made on the new zealand tour. A solid forward back is needed with sheridan, Flannery and Jenkins in the front row. O’connell and Borthwick, these are two very disciplined and respected players which is needed in the team. Haskell has played well in the six nations and Wallace. Nick easter has looked promising in the latest england matches but Heaslip is a strong and fast forward.
    Backs backs…. this is tricky. A strong character is needed for fly half which Ronan Ogara would be the most obvious choice because he is the most experienced player and taking a player like Wilkinson and praying for his fitness and recovery to be 100% complete is risky. Shane Williams gives speed and agility which is needed in the team with Gavin Hensons good tackling technique but he is an off and on player and is more of a product these days. Riki flutey has been playing decent but roberts is also good. Don’t move odriscoll form his 13 place, that is his home. Matt Cueto and fitgerald for 14 and Darren armitage for 15. He played very well against France and is an up and ccoming player.
    Don’t forget players like mathew tait who is very athletic but to become top quality he needs to work on his balls skills

  33. 15) byrne
    14) byrne
    13) byrne
    12) byrne
    11) byrne
    10) byrne
    1) o connell
    2) o connell
    3) o connell
    4) o connell
    5) o connell
    6) o connell
    7) o connell
    8) o connell

    lets be honest, these two are the only N hemisphere players who would stand half a chance of getting in the SA 15

  34. Interesting selection Jay. If we’re being honest, I’m unsure if you actually watched the six nations, or any rugby at all for that matter?

    Why is it that so many people are writing off northern hemisphere players?

    The Boks are a good team with good players, but they are not unbeatable (England nearly proved that in the 2007 RWC final with a poor team).

  35. wat a dread ful seltection lee bryne at 15 and no tom croft or moyer

    15 armitage ( burn will only feed montgomery whos a much better kicker then he is

    14 Moyer ( real pace needed on the wingers to stop the S.A defence and they need to be strong runners so they can break the line

    13 o dris Capt (standard)

    12 flutey

    11 bowe

    10 look at either Jones, O’gara or even cipri as a wild card entry

    9 between philphs and ellis

    8 powwel

    7 croft

    6 jones

    5 shaw

    4 connel

    3 vickery the english front 3 collectively the best in the world

    2 mears

    1 sheriden


    Ben foden (wildcard)
    Tom vandel if he shows any really good form
    Shane wiliam
    M williams
    Sakey- only cus the wasps caches are part of teh selection commitee !!!!

    lions have to set up to beat S.A they carnt send there best team cus they will literally just get raped ….. hard


  36. Another interesting selection. If you don’t mind Matty I’m gonna to give my thoughts on it:

    15. Armitage – has look the most impressive out of the 3 potentials (bryne, kearney, armitage) but doubtful to make starting xv. Will definitely tour.
    14. Monye – very fast, very powerful (especially in breaking lines) and I’d like to see him tour but with such strong competition from Cueto/Williams/Bowe/Fitzgerald/Evans, I’ll be surprised if he makes the squad.
    13. O’Driscoll – no ones arguing this one. But we need options in case of injury. Tindall? Roberts? Evans?
    12. Flutey – has looked very promising and would be my starting 12, but Roberts especially is pushing for the position.
    11. Bowe – same as Monye. Strong competition for the wingers position.
    10. Jones/O’Gara/Cipriani – no one knows, but I’d be tempted to put money on Cipriani being given a chance. He definitely has the talent but his basics are poor and so is his kicking. Will be included in the touring squad.
    9. Phillips vs Ellis? Ellis every time based on the 6n. However my starting choice would be Peel if fit.
    8. Powell – great bulldozer, but lacks other skills. Would either start Jones or Heaslip here.
    7. Croft – amazing player, but with the likes of Wallace/Williams/Rees/Jones/Heaslip/Worsley, I’ll be surprised if he makes the squad unfortunately.
    6. Jones – no. There is only one man for this starting position and that is Worsley. He is like a man possessed when he’s on the field and will knock the Boks back all day long if needs be. Good all round skills too.
    5. Shaw – no. Kennedy or Alun Wyn Jones should get the nodd to start. May make squad if injuries occur.
    4. O’Connell – same as O’Driscoll, we need options just in case of injury, in which case I’d be more than happy to see Shaw get the nodd.
    3. Vickery – no. The raging bull has stopped raging. Still a great player but Jones/Jenkins/Hayes are more likely to start ahead of Vickery.
    2. Mears – Would personally start Ford but Mears is a good all rounder. Flannery and Rees are also strong contenders.
    1. Sheridan – if only for his brute force. Needs to work on his scrummaging though as he’s getting pulled up by the refs a lot at the mo.

    I do find it amazing how no one has mentioned Chris Patterson. He has been playing well, had a fairly good 6n and has the best boot in the northen hemisphere!!!

  37. id say now we would have t put colm’the bull’ hanifan at prop as cover for john hayes.he has a massive back on him. an absolute beast of a man. and hes very quick,though when its feeding time. a guaranteed lions tourist.



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