>> Based on my layman's view, I'd like to see these in with a shout if the
>> Welsh leave any gaps in the squad:
> On that. At the risk of sounding bitter, Wales have had one standout game. There is no more reason to fill the side with Welshmen than there was to fill it with Englishmen after they beat New Zealand.
Well I don't know about that. Whichever way you look at it there was an
element of a lions trial game about it. I was obviously ecstatic with
the win - still hungover 2 days later! but from a Lions perspective I
really wish England had been alot closer.
>> Geoff Parling
>> Tom Wood
>> Dan Cole
>> Ben Morgan
>> Maybes: Farrell, Hartley, Croft, Care, Ben Youngs
>> I wouldn't bother with: Lawes, Ashton, Goode, Barritt, Haskell, Marler.
>> What do the people who know about rugby think?
> The only England players I'd definitely take would be Robshaw, Wood, Cole, Tuilagi, Farrell and Brown.
> The first three because they are in form and challenge strongly for starting places, even if there are others who have equal claims. Wood's claim to the jersey has not been helped by not being played in position for England.
> Tuilagi and Farrell because they bring unique skills. They will definitely travel. There is a good case for them not starting, however.
> Brown because he's played out of position for England, done little wrong all season and has been on fire for club all season. He is the second best 15 in the 6N at present IMHO. He's a spiky love-him-or-hate-him character though and I'd not be surprised to see Gatland decide to go for Kearney as the safer option.
> I think England will contribute 8-10 players though. I'd take *Billy* Vunipola as a bolter (although I suspect i'm in a minority on that front) and Tom Croft because he has pedigree and is a genuine game changer. At least one of Care or Youngs will travel. One of Hartley or T Youngs will travel. I suspect Barritt may yet travel as a dedicated dirt tracker for his robustness and defence.
> The rest? Perhaps the best cases are Mako Vunipola and Billy Twelvetrees, but there's little international form to judge them on and Lions selections can be cruel. Parling could travel as a dirt tracker and cover for a line out strategist. Morgan only if fit, and even then has to get ahead of Heaslip and Kelly Brown. Launchbury or Lawes have lost some of their physical edge and would be lucky to travel. I don't think Goode is good enough for the Lions given that I've been unhappy with his impact for England. There is no way Ashton will go. Haskell is mocked as a joker, but he has worked closely with Gatland and Edwards and I suspect they think more highly of him. But he's realistically not going to get in ahead of O'Brien, the Welsh back row, or Robshaw and Wood.
Brown I think has been excellent, he's deceptively elusive. I really
hope Tuilagi and Barritt don't go - they offer so little other than
crash bang. Matt Scott/luke marshall would be preferable.
Still a while to go mind, domestic season and especially Heineken cup
will shed more light on it all and what with the Welsh regions being out
of that the game against England was important.