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Simon Griffiths
30-05-05, 21:05
The squad has been announced (at the weekend) and the result is:

15. Josh Lewsey
14. Mark Cueto
13. Brian O'Driscoll (capt)
12. Gavin Henson
11. Tom Shanklin
10. Ronan O'Gara
9. Dwayne Peel
1. Gethin Jenkins
2. Gordon Bulloch
3. Matt Stevens
4. Paul O'Connell
5. Ben Kay
6. Richard Hill
7. Martyn Williams
8. Lawrence Dallaglio.

Replacements: Steve Thompson, Andrew Sheridan, Malcolm O'Kelly, Martin Corry, Matt Dawson, Charlie Hodgson, Gordon D'Arcy

Looks like a fairly strong squad on paper - 75% of the way to full test strength (as opposed to the also rans who played against Argentina).

Peel should give much better (i.e. quicker) service than Cooper which is much needed. Williams and Hill in particular will look much better than the apparantly non-existant back-row from last Monday's match.

BOD to get his early run-out as captain with a very strong back-three around him.

Any other thoughts?

Mat 04
30-05-05, 21:05
Tom shanklin isnt a winger. He is a good centre. I dontthink much or Mark Cueto either. You need Shane in there lol

Simon Griffiths
30-05-05, 21:05
Watch the last two months of the Premiership and European comps and you'll see that you're missed a lot regarding Cueto - best form of any winger in the Northern Hemisphere.

I think for this match that Shanklin's a good choice on the wing - he's played there before, and in the first match of a tour you want to put out your intentions, and being very powerful, Shanklin's more likely to leave bruises than Shane.

The only 'problem' I have with Shane Williams is that if he hasn't got much space to work with he gets turned over far too frequently for an international winger (McCaw would have a field day) - I do agree that, given space, Shane Williams is one of the most destructive wingers in the game.

Mat 04
30-05-05, 21:05
Should be very careful when u call people completely wrong Simon lol, for all we know he could drop a try scoring easy pass, or miss an easy tackle and giv away a try lol.

However, Shane Williams is "The Lord of The Wings" :)

Simon Griffiths
30-05-05, 21:05
Have re-worded accordingly.

Mike Whittaker
30-05-05, 22:05
All looks a bit too Celtic for me... still there are some useful subs.....

Mat 04
30-05-05, 22:05
too celtic???? do you think that the england players deserve to be there? i dnt believe hardly any of them deserve to of even stepped on the plane. There arnt enough Celtic players on the tour.

Simon Thomas
31-05-05, 09:05
Bore da (to those with the correct surnames !), and good day to the non-Celtic readers.

The O'Driscoll / Hanson combination could be dynamite (memories of Gibson-Dawes for those of a certain age ?), Lewsey has been playing at the top of his form this season and offers fantastic options from deep. However the two big boys on the wing with excellent defensive records and strong contact ball retention capabilities are crucial on this tour, especially in this first match which will be a very physical contest - as the first game has been in all Lions Tours to date in Oz, SA and NZ.
I would love to see Shane Williams given a run, but he is just too small and suspect in the turnover to compete with the All Black wing 3/4 monsters. I wish it was different, and in days gone by the quick little 'un could compete (Germald Davies, JJ Williams, even an All Black like Grant Batty - all 5'6" of him !) - but in test series that will probably come down to one or two deciding tries or penalties, Shane is too small and defensively suspect.
The back row combination is just what is needed - big, hard, strong, quick and experienced (with street-wise knowledge) and it's great to see Martyn Williams there.
Peel and O'Gara have potential as a combination. It's the front 5 where the questions remain and Bay of Plenty will be asking lots !
Forget the non-event v Argentina.
Cup of coffee and bacon butties ready for next Saturday morning - should be an intriguing match

Pablo
31-05-05, 12:05
Strong line-up, but for fly-half: the third choice is starting, and the fourth choice is on the bench. It will be interesting to see what ROG makes of the opportunity though. Not surprised to see Peel/Dawson at SH. Cooper disappointed last Monday, and Cussiter was only a slight improvement. Glad to see Cueto starting - IMHO he should have been going ahead of Balshaw anyway...

Sadly, I won't get to see this game, as I'll be on my way to Twickers for the London 7s/Johno v Jonah extravaganza.

Pablo
31-05-05, 12:05
Oh, and get your predictions in for the predictathon here (http://www.rugbyrefs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=346).