Sunday, March 22, 2009

The 2009 Lions.

And now its on to the hard men of South Africa. I agree with Paul Ackford in today's Telegraph that not many are a shoe-in for the Saturday team. Anyway here's my pick.

Full Back ..... Lee Byrne - with Delon Armitage in close pursuit, and Rob Kearney to tour as well.

Wings ..........Tommy Bowe and Shane Williams - with Mark Cueto and a punt on Thom Evans for the midweek side. (Luke Fitzgerald and Mark Jones unlucky)

Centres.........Brian O'Driscoll and Gavin Henson - with Riki Flutey and Tom Shanklin for midweek (Jamie Roberts and Gordon D'Arcy would also be ok)

Stand off........Stephen Jones is out on his own - O'Gara or Hook for midweek, though we shouldn't forget Cipriani if he's back on song for Wasps.

Scrum Half.....Mike Phillips - and both Mike Blair and Harry Ellis for the reserve team.

Hooker.........Lee Mears - with Rees for midweek (Flannery unlucky)

Props...........Gethin Jenkins and Euan Murray - with Sheridan and Adam Jones for midweek.

Second row...Paul O'Connell, Paul O'Connell and Paul O'Connell plus Alun-Wyn Jones - with Donnacha O'Callaghan and Jason White for midweek.

Back Row......Martyn Williams, Jamie Heaslip and Ryan Jones - with James Haskell, Tom Croft, Stephen Ferris, Denis Leamy and David Wallace to go on the tour.

That makes a tour party of 36 - 13 from Wales, 9 from England, 10 from Ireland and 4 from Scotland. Well I am Welsh !!!


Savonarola said...

Good selection.

Minor changes. Prefer Flutey to Henson.

Take Fitzgerald - he is the future.

Take Kearney for Armitage.

I will be at all three tests. Had to buy season tickets for Loftus and Ellis Park. Worked out a lot cheaper than the current £250 on offer.

Boks will be hard to beat. Strong, big, athletic and used to the rock hard grounds of the Highveld. Interesting no test at Newlands(wet and soft).

Boks always rate Lions tour on a par with NZ. This is the big one. They have never forgotten the 55 Lions(Morgan/Jeeps/Butterfield/O'Reilly) and even less 74(Merv the Swerve)

Glyn Davies said...

Savonarola - Lucky you. I'm not going to argue much with your changes. But I'm reading lots of expert opinion that Wilkinson might be available. If he proves himself anywhere near back to full fitness, he'll have to go.
This Lions team will cope with any rough stuff. O'Connell is another McBride. There will be no backward steps.

eric said...

rees ahead of flannery after our line out disasteron saturday.
come on glyn.
would take wilkinson as a swan song too.
and hes been great for england, but think taking flutey would be another stab at tradition, and how rugby in now so mercenary - he'll be the first person toplay for and against the british lions its been reported (I Think this is wrong though)