Who will replace Alan Quinlan?

With the news that Alan Quinlan’s ban means he will not travel with the Lions, the hunt is on for his replacement.

Tom Croft appears to be the standout candidate, and his exclusion in the first place was the biggest talking point when the squad was announced. He seems to be finishing the season in fine form, and would offer an extra dimension to the Lions attack.

Ryan Jones is probably also being considered. Jones would fit more easily with the brute force gameplan that has been indicated by the squad selection, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the nod.

James Haskell shouldn’t be ruled out, given his Wasps connections, but I think that would be an error and would prefer to see either of Croft or Jones above Haskell.

Who else is in contention? I can’t think of many others that would merit selection.

14 thoughts on “Who will replace Alan Quinlan?

  1. croft is the man for me, oustanding form since the original squad was announced. it’s hardly a like-for-like replacement as he’s a different player to quinlan, but he should nevertheless be there…

    quinlan – in spite of the attempt to close ranks anything much less would have been a travesty. serve him right for wearing those silly mits!

    let’s hope the potential for further injury is greatly reduced now. looks like the celtic sides are resting most of their lions, although scarlets used 2 of them as subs yesterday. few, perhaps none at all, will be on show this weekend with little to play for in the magners and harry ellis not first choice at leicester at present. but there’s still the heineken cup of course – kearney/ fitzgerald/ BOD/ heaslip, plus possibly ellis and croft, all have one more high-octane game before they get to check-in…

  2. As a Welshman im hoping that Ryan Jones is not selected. His recent form has been abject and his leadership skills seem to be nonexistant at the moment. He’s not a shade of the player he was during the last Lions tour and the Welsh GrandSlam of 2005 and the fact that Andy Powell has ousted him from the 8 spot for Wales should tell you everything you need to know about how well he is currently playing.

    Personaly I would like to see Alasdair Strokosch called up.

  3. I can’t see Jones being picked, his form is not good. If he can’t get picked with being a skipper of a national side and with two of the Lions selectors his boss, he’s not going to get called up now. Croft will go.

  4. Left-field but is Easter in contention? Surely falls into the bracket of “good tourist” and would be one of those happy keeping the midweek team firing in the knowledge that if he were to get called up into the test team he would be solid.

    Assuming that’s what Quinlan’s role was going to be…

    I know we don’t necessarily need another 8 but we’ve got two other 6’s in Worsley and Ferris.

  5. I think james haskell should go. He lost his shirt to croft this year but he is more physical, and physicality being the basis for this tours selections, i think he will fit in well.

  6. The introduction of Croft would bring that extra dimension and option which was so lacking in the original squad selection. Also, if we want to take them on up front, picking him in the back row will allow us to pick a big brute like Shaw or Hines in the 2nd row. Neither are world class in the lineout but having Croft there frees them from that responsibility so they can concentrate on causing some damage up front.

    He’s the form man as well. The idea of picking on form is looking increasingly dubious though. Just about every 50-50 shout went in favour of someone from Cardiff and Munster the week after they had had good wins in the Heineken Cup quarters. And what happened in the next round? Class players should be backed to produce the goods on a Lions tour (provided they’re not over the hill like in 2005). Having said that, Croft has been playing out of his skin for months so I think has graduated from ‘in form player’ to simply ‘genuinely class player’.

  7. Can’t see any way Croft does not go now. Should have been in from the beginning in my view. Picking Worseley but not Croft was crazy in my view. I think Croft can be equally useful in the type of gameplan the selectors appear to be envisioning, and he is no lightweight. He’s also played consistently well all season.

  8. Depends on if they pick on form or experience and reputation. If they are picking on form then I cannot see anyone but Croft being selected. If they are going for experience then Jones will tour. Either way, I think whoever replaces Quinlan will be mainly there for the mid week games and unfortunately will have to play the best rugby of their lives to be in competition for the test shirt.

    Personally I’m slightly more intrigued as to who will replace Shanklin. Again, will they be picking on form or on experience? Possible suggests for contenders are – Tindall (experience), Tait (form + wildcard), Evans (form + wildcard), Patterson (simply for his boot + utility back), Armitage (form + utility back). The first 3 are specialist outside centres so may stand more or a chance of being selected, however I personally think Armitage now stands a very good chance of touring. Or will they go with a completely different option and pick a fly half who also plays centre – Geraghty? Cipriani? Wilkinson?

  9. As for Quinlin, Croft is the only candidate, there simply isn’t a coach cruel enough to deny him the chance; I think that he will struggle to make the test team but a tour is a long time and he has the talent to make an impression.

    The extra back is a far more open affair, as BOD is the star of the show cover is not so crucial even if he can breakdown there is sufficient cover in form of Earls, Fitzgerld and Roberts, I think Roberts moving to 13 would be the most obvious choice. There simply isn’t another outside centre in that league: Tait is too light, Evans defence is not good enough, Tindall is too slow, Hipkiss doesn’t have the hands and Henson is injured.

    If Roberts plays at 13 then Flutey can play at 12 and offer more creativity while Roberts offers the grunt.

    I still support the idea of taking another 10, for cover if nothing else, in that case the two wild card options would be Gerghaty and Vesty; Vesty has the form and the confidence and can play 12 as well, he also adds an attacking option to the position. Gerghaty again offers the attcking option and can cover both positions however he has been injured a long time and I doubt either of the two has a substancial possibility of making the team.

    I think the most realistic choice is Lewsy, he wil tackle for his life in the midweek game and will bring experience to the squad, Geech also likes him.

  10. Listened to most of the worlds’ opinion on “Quinlan the Barbarian”.
    I do hope most of you have played our graceful and at sometimes brutal game????
    There for the Grace of God go I!
    Anyone to cast the first stone??????????????????????

  11. replacement for shanklin and cover for halfpenny now out for 1st two weeks must be james hook – can cover 10-12-13 and certainly the best kicker out of all the others mentioned – its a no brainer

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