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tda - I think Ali Hogg is in with a good chance at full-back - probably between him and Halfpenny although Kearney could still be in with a shout. and Jim Hamilton has stood up as a good disruptive 2nd row this season - he's been impressive enough to make a starting XV in my view
I like Hogg too (stuart btw) but he has a way to go to keep Halfpenny out. He'll make the plane and keep him on his toes though. we'll see how scotland v wales goes
Kelly Brown will go too as a solid all-rounder, and maybe laidlaw although his defence is very suspect.
are we going to be boring and post our Lions XVs?
and yeah I like hamilton. he's a tough guy.
oops - Stuart Hogg....that's the problem with you Scots - you all have the same surnames.....unlike us Welsh....
Kelly Brown - maybe. there's a lot of competition for the flanks with the likes of Robshaw, Warburton, Wood, Tipuric, O'Brian etc and the guys like Beattie, Ryan Jones and Lawes who can play in a number of positions
For me, the problem the Lions face is the same one they've faced for the last few tours, the half backs. Probably in pole position at the moment are the English half-backs, and they are okay but not what I'd think of as Lions test half-backs (maybe Youngs when he is at his best, but he is inconsistent). Sexton keeps looking like he should be and then doesn't quite perform to expectations. There are any number of good forwards, centres, FBs, wingers, but all the candidates at 9 and 10 have their limitations.
The likes of Gregor Townsend, Rob Andrew, Dewi Morris, Matt Dawson, Mike Phillips, even Stephen Jones were not really up the mark, on recent tours. Honourable exception - Robert Jones (and Howlers would have been).
F/B is ridiculous, you could take any of 6 excellent players (Hogg, Kearney, 1/2p, Byrne, Foden, Goode).
Sexton is the obvious choice at 10 for the Lions but as you say, he's inconsistent when he's not kicking. Farrell has no game beyond kicking and arguing with other players. Biggar at least tries to attack with the ball in hand but he's not quick enough to be a true attacking player.
and at No 9 I prefer Care to Youngs, and Philips offers his 9th forward game to a tour.
Gatland will be struggling with the half back choices
FB, Care is also very good when at his best but inconsistent. In form for Quins at the moment, though.
Mike P has always struggled against Genia, but I can see Gatland going for him.
Fingers crossed for Murrayfield, eh? I've got a ticket for the game in Cardiff the week after, I think we'll struggle in that one if we haven't beaten the Scots reasonably well.
Care/Youngs and Philips offers an interesting match play against opposition - different styles of play which can catch opponents out as they will need time to adapt to whoever comes on as a replacement.
I think we might struggle a bit in Murrayfield - I don't have a good feeling for that game. and whatever the status of the 6N is going into the Cardiff game against England, it should be a good game - either we get stuffed if we lose to Scotland, or it will be tight with all to play for. I will be in France watching it as I'm on a skiing week with my birthday the day after - much like last year when we won the GS on my birthday and I was in Chatel skiing.
why the hell can't the 6N choose a final match date that doesn't clash with my birthday as I always ski then?? how bloody inconsiderate of them....
March 9: Scotland v Wales, 2.30pm and Ireland v France, 5pm
March 10: England v Italy, 3pm
March 16: Italy v Ireland, 2.30pm, Wales v England, 5pm and France v Scotland, 8pm
can't argue with that.
FB, you're just going to have to give up skiing, sorry, but duty calls and all that.
I am also nervous about Murrayfield. I'm just hoping we don't see Ryan Jones sacrificed to get Warbs into the team, and that they do something to sort out the lineout (bringing in Alun Wyn would help). The Scots will give us a hard time on our lineout ball.
luckily with the 5pm KO in Cardiff (6pm French time) I shall be firmly ensconced in a pub post-ski watching the game......
Looking forward to the game. I for one hope Ryan Jones misses out
I also hope Geoff Cross keeps his place ahead of Euan Murray. Aside from the fact that his not-playing-on-a-sunday is daft, he is a spent force. Cross is easily his equal and played well v ireland.
Murray is a better prop still than Cross (take it from this prop... ) - as for him not playing on a Sunday, whilst I don't agree with it per se being an atheist, I admire him for sticking to his principles.
I'm looking forward to the 3 games this afternoon.
Well I dont have to hang my head in shame, what a game out classed and out thought well done Cymru.
England have a long way to go in their development, years infact.
french support booing. always a good sign.
fancied them to lose but not a doing like that.
pleased to see Ally Kellock on the field. an outstanding player and captain cruelly ignored by the Scottish selectors because he did not go to the correct school.
hogg just missed out on the Lions tour right there. like laidlaw he can not tackle.
deserved french win. we were punished for our relentless negativity.
another poor championship.
the players are too big, strong. the only answer is to reduce the game to 13 players.
I said it before and will say it again that fat prop Cian Healey has no place on a rugby pitch.
calm down Max - he's been cited and his case has yet to be heard. and when referred to the TMO by the ref to review the video evidence of the allegation, nothing was proven then. it's going to be a tough call to prove it.