Standing at work, my mind was racing, thinking of how to start this weeks blog. The build up of the Chiefs v Lions midweek game was on, sweat running down my forehead down to the bridge of my nose and then dripping off the tip of my nose. This left me wondering as to whether this was from the extreme heat wave we are having here in the U.K or was it from my brain being in overdrive. I was hoping it was the former, as im hoping my brain is capable of working that hard. A certain British and Irish Lions head coach will have his brain in overdrive, as he has a couple of selection headache. But only a couple that is, in my view.
I feel that Mr Gatland will go roughly with the starting 15 that started against the Maori All Blacks. There are three selection dilemmas to sort for me, which would have been debated in pubs all around the British and Irish isles.
- Second row – For me it would have to be Itoje and Kruis. Alun Wyn Jones is a top player, with a wealth of experience. But I think with the Itoje – Kruis partnership we have a two players that know each other so well, their form together for both club and country has been brilliant. Also imagine having an international captain as a sub. Alun Wyn Jones with his experience coming on late in the game to see it out or earlier on when things aren’t going to plan.
- If Leigh Halfpenny doesn’t come through his return to play protocols, then this is another selection dilemma, as if he can’t play then do thy move Anthony Watson to fullback? Then who would fill the void on the wing? With his brilliant display today you could say Jack Nowell, but having just played 80mins would he be too tired? But there is also Liam Williams and Elliot Daly who both had great games too.
- Now we come to the interesting stuff and no it’s not Warburton or O’Mahony that in my mind is sorted O’Mahony all day long on current form. No this is all about Farrell or Sexton at fly half. I wouldn’t put Farrell at 12 as Teo has played so well and played himself into a test shirt. Warren Gatland wont put him there either by the looks of things, if he was wouldnt we have seen the partnership been tried more, but no. Although maybe he has tried it in training, who knows.
- Last but not least…PICK A TEAM THAT ARE GOING TO CAUSE A MAJOR UPSET AND SMASH THE ALL BLACKS…PLEASE.
To finish this blog off i just want to say a few congrats. First off a massive well done to Scotland. They only go and beat the Aussies in their own backyard 24-19. What a start Gregor Townsend has made, he has just picked up where Vern Cotter left and took them that little bit further already. We saw how good of a coach he was with Glasgow. Thinking about it what attack coach he would have been for the Lions, what would he have done with the attacking power the Lions have.
Next up well done to a young England squad that won the series in Argentina 2-0. Dont get me wrong Argentina were no pushovers, both teams scored alot of tries. With such a young and inexperienced squad, a 2-0 series win in that heat and atomosphere is one hell of an achievement. I still cant understand why Joe Launchbury wasnt picked for the Lions. So many of those young and uncapped players put their hands up to be battling for an England shirt in the autunm and future, like 2019 for example. After a good few years of just having Dan Cole to rely on at tighthead we now have Harry Williams and Will Collier coming on well showing they have loads to offer in the test arena, whilst we also have Kyle Sinckler, whi was once just potential but now is an British and Irish Lion. Now looking at openside…ahh openside, a natural number 7 was the one postion we never really had since the great Neil Back. We now have two young up and coming flankers who can be our jackals in the future. They both enjoyed fantastic debuts. The only problem for Eddie Jones will be who to play at 7. This tour has certianally opened up the battle for places in the 2019 World Cup squad.