NWR 2021 Lions

To me it was either Biggar or Sexton - Farrell and Russell are quite different players in their own right. Biggar had a solid 6N and in my (biased) opinion, a couple of world class performances in the premiership since. I'm not sure Sexton really did enough to mitigate his farely high risk inclusion from an injury perspective.

Daly I too am disappointed to see but I think it's more about playing Warrenball than what we perceive as his lack of dynamism and form at test level. Johnny Hill I'm also intrigued by - not sure he's really stepped up to test level and there are several other very deserving options - Johnny Gray perhaps? Sinckler probably feeling hard done by too.

It is undoubtedly a defensive, big man into a straight line type of side, picked to try and tame a very aggressive Springbok team. I don't know...I think it looks quite good overall, but I'm not sure we're going to be in for a lot of running rugby. I predict a couple of classic tries but mostly attritional rugby that won't feel that high energy, worsened by the lack of crowds.

The other thing...it's the Lions squad. Us fans argue about the selection every 4 years, and there's quite a few ways to cut it. I quite enjoy the debate but it's one of those things that I don't think anyone could pick a side that the majority of supporters would say "you know what....yes, I'm pretty happy with that"! I might try and give it a go later for a laugh.
Simmons was always going to get the nod from Warren over Billy and rightly so for me. If you look at the 8's who have played for new zealand for the last few years they are more like SS than BV. Daly? Well now he's actually playing week in week out then yes. he more than anyone in the england team (except maybe farrell) was so lacking in match sharpness.

Jonny hill gets a place because he out-mullets all of the south africans, otherwise I don't get it.
Daley was a shock lawes too
not surprised by Simmons at all , his form for Exeter has been very noticed
sinkler was a surprise omission.
pack looks very strong
Johnny Hill is a bit of a mystery as he doesn't seem to have grown into the role with England (yet). Daly is definitely out of form and in fact ripe for the cull that Jones will inevitably conduct following a poor 6N. Ally Price???? Give me a break. We shall see how Simmonds shapes up and perhaps Gatland is front running Jones. Slade was probably unlucky
The verdict...

Captain: Alun Wyn Jones (Wal) - The safest bet in history that Warren would choose him, not convinced he's the best choice but should be in the squad and therefore who else would he listen to?

Tadhg Beirne (Ire), Best loose forward in the 6n who isn't french
Jack Conan (Ire), Do we need 4 hookers?
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Eng), Now ahead of George and Owens for me.
Tom Curry (Eng), Obviously
Zander Fagerson (Sco), Greta scrumager, love his attitude
Taulupe Faletau (Wal), too close to simmonds for me and a nod to warren's welsh days
Tadhg Furlong (Ire), Yes. Probably why Sinkler misses out - temperament is exemplary.
Jamie George (Eng), See Jack Conan
Iain Henderson (Ire), Yup
Jonny Hill (Eng), MULLETT!!!!
Maro Itoje (Eng), Makes any team in the world
Wyn Jones (Wal), Here because Warren will start with an all wales front row?
Courtney Lawes (Eng), Finisher
Ken Owens (Wal), See Jack Conan and Jamie George. For me it's Ken for 1st half, Luke for Second
Andrew Porter (Ire), Fair enough
Sam Simmonds (Eng), Hell yes, he should have started 6n
Rory Sutherland (Sco), has to be in on his scrummaging - i hope warren has read the world cup final script....
Justin Tipuric (Wal), Not sure about this
Mako Vunipola (Eng), Yes, but then again, has warren seen the world cup script?
Hamish Watson (Sco). A great player, fully deserved.

Josh Adams (Wal), Lots of other options here
Bundee Aki (Ire), no, Walking red card.
Dan Biggar (Wal), i think will struggle against SA defence and too petulant with the ref
Elliot Daly (Eng), Not here on form from 6N but warren has been at plenty of club games
Gareth Davies (Wal), In front of ALL the England 9's? Really Warren?
Owen Farrell (Eng), In front of everyone else who has played so much better at 10 and 12 in the internationals recently? Really Warren?
Chris Harris (Sco), Curious given Slade not in
Robbie Henshaw (Ire), Absolutely
Stuart Hogg (Sco), No Question
Conor Murray (Ire), Old? Bit too petulant?
Ali Price (Sco), Classic scrum half and orchestrated scotland's win at Twickenham - will wind up faff de Klerk no end.
Lewis Rees-Zammit (Wal), For me a potential legend of the game and might just light it all up
Finn Russell (Sco), Sneaky bastard - just what we need.
Duhan van der Merwe (Sco), Obviously
Anthony Watson (Eng), Ditto
Liam Williams (Wal). Somehow has a knack of being right place right time (knock on try vs England anyone?) Yes.

Who is missing? Well I think Jonny S has had his day and actually I think 10 might be a weakness. The likes of Umanga and Marcus Smith not yet ready. Jonny gray instead of Jonny Hill? Sinckler should be in there if for no other reason than he never got his chance against SA in the final but I suspect warren and he would be a personality clash, Billy V? No, Simmonds should have been 8 for England and warren wants to give Eddie J the bird but I think this may backfire and warren will play faletau who will get exposed by a younger and fitter SA team. We'll see. Simmonds issue will be he is used to his team and they him, can he fit in? I think Dan Robson is unlucky not to get a 9 berth.

Anyhow, what do I know?
Last edited:
Hard to argue with that Chris. You make a good point about 4 hookers and I actually feel less and less comfortable with the scrum half selections. AP, fair enough, but Murray? He's a peak and trough kind of player for me - can be great - can be quite the opposite.

Lots of England qualifying scrum halfs aren't near the list because they don't have test experience - it's not one of the wildcard positions to risk. We all know why that is.
it will be very hard not to start Tad Furlong.Keeping him fit will be the issue.
I also think he WG will give AWJ 55 mins and then freshen up the pack.That works for me.
9 is a potential problem but on the positive side whoever is selected? they are protected behind a great pack.
Not sure bigger has the edge for the test side or the nerve to grip it when it starts to go wrong or get away from us? which it will at times.
he was good Ken, but he wasn't playing against the Saffers is the thing. Now who am I thinking of as Ireland's replacement hooker? I've done Mr Conan a disservice there - he was pretty good in the 6N too!

Just shows what it means to these chaps.

I think Kyle was extremely unfortunate. Some of the commentary during the prem games today suggested it was because of his preference for a bigger gap at scrum time which is relatively unusual. There's still no doubt he is a better player than Fagerson though. It should really be him and Furlong at TH IMO.
Given the inevitable attritional nature of touring, it is inevitable that those that missed out may well get parachuted in at short notice. Channelling the disappointment into strong performances in remainder of the season keeps them in the frame for call up, while getting behind those on the field as they look to wrest a series win to rival the 1997 Lions.
Agreed. Bad day at the office for Saints but LRZ was sheer class.

Biggar had a nasty knock early in the game, didn’t return after HIA but he was up and sitting in the stands.

Just shows what it means to these chaps.

I think Kyle was extremely unfortunate. Some of the commentary during the prem games today suggested it was because of his preference for a bigger gap at scrum time which is relatively unusual. There's still no doubt he is a better player than Fagerson though. It should really be him and Furlong at TH IMO.
I’m not sure that it was Sinkler or Fagerson. I believe it was Sinkler or Porter, and the right call was made. One of the major reasons that Scotland beat England and France away from home this year is that they weren’t completely shagged in the scrum. That’s down mainly to the two props chosen by Gatland. As for the “Ali Price give me a break” comment, well, give me a break. If it helps you get over it, he is actually English.
Last edited:
I think it was sinkler in that position given all other available players Hugh. The coaches chose not to pick him for reasons none of us will ever be privy to.if his omission is beneficial to the team then it is a right decision.
At the end of the day there are more experienced, more professional better qualified people make these decisions. Mores the pity that the WP English posse don't pick the English side each year. Having said that with Eddie Jones doing it..... I'll get me coat!