Tom Court called into Lions squad

courtIreland loose-head prop Tom Court has been called up to the Lions squad as injury cover for Alex Corbisiero, who continues to struggle with a calf injury. The Ulsterman was in Australia already, which is why he has been preferred to other options who would not have been able to make it out in time go straight onto the bench for Tuesday’s game against the Rebels.

Ryan Grant comes into the starting line-up as Mako Vunipola drops out all together, to give him the chance to potentially start at the weekend in the second test.

Elsewhere in the squad, Paul O’Connell is struggling with an arm injury but will remain with the squad to have it monitored.

25 thoughts on “Tom Court called into Lions squad

    1. Who would you have called up instead?

      Court is not far off being the next in line (considering all who have been injured)

      Also, his proximity is a massive factor.

      On a separate note, I thought Grant was due to start anyway? Mako was on the bench…

      What would this mean for the 2nd test if Corbs isn’t fit? Starting Mako (weak scrum) and having either Grant or Court on the bench? I would rather shift Steven to test bench loosehead (no more midweeks to keep him fresh for) so mako and jones start, Steven and cole on the bench

      1. Simo… Paul James, Joe Marler, Dave Kilcoyne? Genuine second choice players from their nations.

        Court was selected because he was in Australia already, it certainly wasn’t because he deserved to wear the red shirt.

        1. Steve, I said “not far” to illustrate that I knew there were better options. All whom you have named are better.

          BUT I wouldn’t say they are miles better. To call one of them in would mean that they wouldn’t make it in time for the rebels game, therefore they would have to be promoted straight into the test bench (or it would be pointless calling anyone)

          Personally, I wouldn’t feel comfortable chucking any of them straight onto the test bench. Throwing court onto the midweek bench on the other hand… Totally different matter.

          As I said, his proximity is a huge factor, and calling m up s far more logical than calling one of the others round the world.

          Or other point. Marler genuine 2nd choice? Hardly. Corbs is the clear fav. Mako 2nd. Mako has just been consigned to the impact sub role, so Marler gets a start instead. If all are fit, mako is higher than Marler. Lawes plays a similar role for England. Attwood won’t make the 23 when parling is back because SL wants impact players on his bench.

          Going back to court, don’t get me wrong, I think all you listed are better players, but they simply wouldn’t make the rebels game in time. Moral of the story, go on holiday where the lions tour, and your chances of a call up are greatly increased.

  1. Medical staff MUST work some of the magic they did with North. These two were crucial in the first test, we need them both fit and firing for the 2nd test.

  2. At this stage of a tour, why Tom “i like to be walked backwards” court? surely sheridan could have been asked at the very least

    1. He was in Brisbane, therefore would make it in time for the rebels game. Everyone else would not have made it in time.

      On your comments about him walking backwards, I assume you are talking to the 6Ns match against England when he was destroyed in the scrum. He did come on as a tighthead, when in reality he is actually a loosehead prop. This is largely attributed to why things went so badly.

      1. Very true, and tbf he wasn’t walking backwards, he was walking sideways, it was the scrum that was going backwards haha. and I am going to go on holiday to Aus at this rate, any expats want a game? :P

  3. That’s no excuse! Michael hooper looked a fine centre when he shifted there from the back row haha

    1. Off course it’s an excuse? tighthead and loosehead are completely different!, Hooper didn’t look so fine for the 2nd try did he? there are definitely better options than Court but he is in Australia and he is nowhere near as bad as people like to make him out to be, from a scrummaging point of view he’s been very dominant this season in the pro 12

  4. Why haven’t they bought in Andrew Sheridan from the outset. He’s been the inform prop and kept out Gethin Jenkins for most of the season! Indeed he is such a capable prop and can play both corners of the front row.

  5. I really do hope Corbisero recovers in time for the second test – he is crucial. Played so well in both the tight and the loose yesterday. fingers crossed!

  6. The other area that worries me is how exposed we are if Sexton gets injured.To,me Farrell,is a distant 2nd in class.And I fully agree Sheridan should have picked instead of Corbs especially since his calf is dicey.I remain a worried man

    1. With regards to Sexton/Farrell debate, it is correct that there is a difference but only in experience. I think Farrell is a 10 to watch and will excel in ability and skill much further than Sexton. Farrell could be a game changer had we not won the 1st test and if we lose the 2nd which I am sure we won’t could be the gamble needed. With his lack of experience and therefore lack of fear, he could create real problems for the Aussies as there isn’t too much data on him, some but not a lot, which makes him a danger. How many times have we seen him make a decision that we think looks wrong only for things to fall right for him and the team, and yes they have gone wrong but he has no fear in at least making that choice

      1. the problem is all he can do is kick at goal and tackle, he needs to show a little more if he’s going to challenge sexton, his attacking game is really lacking and his kicking out oif hand isn’t great either, i’d bring him on last 20 to close it out but really he plays far to deep to cause them any problems.

  7. Gatland has got to call up Sheridan. can you imagine what he, adam Jones and hibbard would do to the Australian scrum….

    1. One change with the Jones, Hibbard and sheridan, I am now convinced that Tom Youngs has earned his stripes and is the better alround player for that position. His accuracy in the line-outs; which was the major area of concern, was excellent, and when you go back and analyse his contribution; which sadly I have done, he was outstanding both, tackle rate, carry rate, lineout and scrum strike. You can’t ask for better. I did the analysis because I had a nagging query about his selection but believe me he has proved himself; well in my minds eye, just hope you all agree.

  8. I like Sheridan, don’t get me wrong, but this is all about promoting a player currently on tour and bringing in cover for midweek games. Court will be available for the Tuesday game if the Lions really desperately need to bring on a sub this week or the midweek next week so one of the props already on tour (sadly probably Stevens) will get promoted to the test bench. Calling up Sheridan would mean that there would be no prop substitute tomorrow, short of calling in one of the test starters, which isn’t ideal.

    1. Would put Grant on the bench over Stevens, despite him not showing much against the Brumbies.

      Can’t imagine Gatland would do the same

      1. I’d agree with you to be honest. I think Grant is more useful than Stevens and his poor showing against the Brumbies I tend to feel is more down to the rest of the pack and indeed set piece. Best’s line out was poor, 4th and 5th choice second row pushing behind you, a lot of unfamiliarity in the team generally. People are unlikely to gel in an instant.

        Given that Grant is starting today with Cole and Hibbard leads me to assume that this will be the bench front row on Saturday. Given Gatland’s crazy tactic of switching the entire front row, this is an opportunity for them to become familiar with each other when they all come on at once on 65 minutes (and inevitably get penalised because the ref will assume that fresh players are infringing and the opposition front row will play to that)

    2. Well put. This isn’t about who the 6th best loosehead in B&I is, it is who is best loosehead I can call up on a Sunday and put on a bench on Tues. Pretty good option to have locally with some boots!

  9. Hibbard with Sheridan and Jones is a heavier front row which might destroy Australia at scrum time. Completely agree however that Tom Youngs has earned the right to no. 2 shirt.

    Does the call up of court presumably for midweek cover mean that gatland cannot call up Sheridan too? Forgive me if I am missing something obvious.

  10. nothing stopping him calling up Sheridan, but why bother? Court isn’t a replacement for Corbs. Mako replaces Corbs, which means someone already on tour will go on the bench. Probably Stevens. Having Mako on midweek and test duty isn’t ideal so bring someone in who can give him a rest – i.e. Tom Court.

    Calling up Sheridan would mean he would not play the midweek game. Really speaking, the squad dynamic and the practice that’s already gone into the team and calls etc would make it very difficult for him to get into the test side for this weekend and – without a midweek game to get up to scratch – difficult for the 2nd test.

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