Gatland to call up 'at least' 4 players for the Lions

Re: Gatland to call up 'at least' 4 players for the Lions

CMGC 19 Jun 2017 12:38 pm said..

I gather this was already in the plans some months ago. This is not a reaction to injuries or to any developments on the tour. Why others did not comment about this then I don't know. Did the other national coaches know? Well I assume McBride and Armstrong did. It is a shame it was kept a bit of a secret. As stated several players could have been ready and waiting if they wanted to be. I can't understand why Gats wouldn't want the best players anyway. What if Kruis and Itoje are injured ? He is only left with 3 fit locks. Does he stick with Corry Hill or then call for Launcher.
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Re: Gatland to call up 'at least' 4 players for the Lions

lovejoy 19 Jun 2017 12:39 pm said..

Django Unchained wrote:
Neilio44 wrote:I'd have thought Ruth Madoc is a dead cert at blindside.

Might be a dubious selection as she was born in Norwich :D


Norwich is at least closer to Wales than Tonga.
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Re: Gatland to call up 'at least' 4 players for the Lions

Lebowski 19 Jun 2017 12:44 pm said..

Lewi7 wrote:If the overall tour schedule had been better for the Lions, rather than rolling over & letting the All Blacks dictate the timing & itinerary Gatland may not have had to make this decision. If the Lions' are to be protected then the home unions and host country have some questions to answer aswell.


I agree 100% with this. The Lions hold all the aces - or should do! It is the host country that stands to benefit from thousands of extra tourists and millions pumped into the local economies, and it is UK TV and sponsorship that pays for it all. So how do we allow the ABs to dictate a schedule that suits them and makes it almost impossible for the Lions???????

I also agree that whoever was in charge they would be on a hiding to nothing, but that still doesn't excuse Gatland in my book.
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Re: Gatland to call up 'at least' 4 players for the Lions

Lewi7 19 Jun 2017 13:42 pm said..

I don't think Gatland has put Wales's development before the Lions at all, he's using, litereally using players, for bench duty, to protect the Test team. If Gatland had called Robshaw, Launchbury and anyone else for bench duty for a week and then sent them packing afterwards he'd be criticised for that too.

If the Lions' win the Test series this will be academic, if they lose then this call up situation will be used as the reason why, but the reality is that the game in NZ is so far ahead of every/everyone else that it will mask the real difference between the Lions & the AB'S.

Can these 6 players call themselves Lions's - personally no. Dai Young was fortunate to be called up in RWC 1987, some wondered who is was, he turned out alright though.
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Re: Gatland to call up 'at least' 4 players for the Lions

King Prawn Bhuna 19 Jun 2017 14:01 pm said..

As I recall a young lad called Derek Quinnell was uncapped when he toured with the Lions...he turned out alright.
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Re: Gatland to call up 'at least' 4 players for the Lions

Lewi7 19 Jun 2017 14:43 pm said..

Will Greenwood ?
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Re: Gatland to call up 'at least' 4 players for the Lions

Camel 19 Jun 2017 15:28 pm said..

Lewi7 wrote:I don't think Gatland has put Wales's development before the Lions at all, he's using, litereally using players, for bench duty, to protect the Test team. If Gatland had called Robshaw, Launchbury and anyone else for bench duty for a week and then sent them packing afterwards he'd be criticised for that too.

If the Lions' win the Test series this will be academic, if they lose then this call up situation will be used as the reason why, but the reality is that the game in NZ is so far ahead of every/everyone else that it will mask the real difference between the Lions & the AB'S.

Can these 6 players call themselves Lions's - personally no. Dai Young was fortunate to be called up in RWC 1987, some wondered who is was, he turned out alright though.


I just don't understand why Gatland wouldn't want the best possible players coming into the group! If you have a Cian Healy, W P Nell, Dylan Hartley, Joe Launchbury and Danny Care walking around the camp, it would have such a positive impact to both test side and the mid-week team. It also might just help the side win the game tomorrow - surely that's vital for the momentum of the tour and morale!?!? I bet at least 50% of the squad are having serious doubts about Gatland as a result of these actions. As if the task ahead for the Lions isn't hard enough already!

I can think of at least 5 players in each of the 4 contentious positions (Hooker, TH prop, LH prop, Lock) who are all more deserving and much better players. I would even select Care and Price over Davies, but I can kind of accept that one. Would Care have been called up if Gatland was managing England - I think so I'm afraid.

With regards to your comment that they're there to make-up the numbers; I 100% guarantee you ALL of the players I can think of would give their eye teeth for the privilege to wear that Lions top. It is the pinnacle of a B&I rugby players career and should be awarded to the best in their position - not these 4 average players (who I don't blame in any way).

Honestly Nick, I can't think of 1 valid reason for his actions. I know you will defend Gatland, but on this occasion, I think you're not looking at this objectively. Every rugby pundit, commentator and analyst I've read or listened to thinks this is a an absolute joke, which has devalued the Lions shirt and has been done to strengthen his position with the Wales squad post tour.
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Re: Gatland to call up 'at least' 4 players for the Lions

Lewi7 19 Jun 2017 15:53 pm said..

I'm not defending Gatland, it's just that I understand his logic behind his decision.
4 Welsh players, on the spot, no travel, time zone change and he knows them & them him already
2 Scots - a flight from Aus.
Bringing players in from anywhere else means long haul travel, time zone change etc. Gatland experienced this when in Aus 4 years ago. So, to bring in top class players from distance for in effect 1& half weeks, for bench duty would also be disrespectful aswell.

Now, if Lawes head knock last week had ended his tour & Launchbury hadn't have been called up I would seriously question Gatland's thinking.
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Re: Gatland to call up 'at least' 4 players for the Lions

Camel 19 Jun 2017 16:20 pm said..

Lewi7 wrote:I'm not defending Gatland, it's just that I understand his logic behind his decision.
4 Welsh players, on the spot, no travel, time zone change and he knows them & them him already
2 Scots - a flight from Aus.
Bringing players in from anywhere else means long haul travel, time zone change etc. Gatland experienced this when in Aus 4 years ago. So, to bring in top class players from distance for in effect 1& half weeks, for bench duty would also be disrespectful aswell.

Now, if Lawes head knock last week had ended his tour & Launchbury hadn't have been called up I would seriously question Gatland's thinking.


Your argument / logic would be more valid, if these were injury replacements, but they're not, they're squad additions.......

He knew the schedule around 2 years (?) ago. Why didn't he call up the best players he could last Monday or even beforehand? That would have given them plenty of time to adjust and embed themselves within the squad. They would also have been fresher, having not just played a test the previous / same day.

It's either; A) terrible planning, in which case, he shouldn't be the Lions head coach or; B) he's had a hidden agenda to give very inexperienced, below standard Welsh players the privilege of touring with the Lions all along.

Also, it's hardly disrespectful to give anyone a Lions shirt! I bet my house that every player I mentioned would've done anything to have been given the opportunity to wear that shirt.
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Re: Gatland to call up 'at least' 4 players for the Lions

steckers 19 Jun 2017 22:13 pm said..

Oh c'mon - there is no logic here.

The whole point is the Lions isn't the environment for dishing out shirts for 'lesser' players to sit on the bench. You give the shirts to the most deserving. It's part of the tradition.

The point was made on the BBC on sat - Launchbury may never get to be a Lion. He could end his career without that accolade. That's fine if there were better players. Any other reason is completely unacceptable.
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