B&I Lions 2017



  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/37295281

    Warren Gatland: Wales coach takes on British and Irish Lions role

    7 minutes ago From the section Rugby Union
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    Breaking news
    Warren Gatland has been named British and Irish Lions coach for the second time and will lead them on the 2017 tour of New Zealand.

    The Kiwi will step down from his job with Wales and replaced temporarily by former captain Rob Howley.

    It was the same arrangement the last time Gatland, 52, took on the Lions role in 2013, when they went to Australia and claimed a 2-1 series win.

    The Lions have not won a series against New Zealand since 1971.

    Gatland intends to travel to New Zealand on Thursday with tour manager and former England captain John Spencer to start planning.

    The Lions face 10 games on what will be an extremely challenging trip, which includes three Tests against the All Blacks.

    Gatland expressed his concern about the schedule back in January, when he and Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt were the leading contenders for the position.

    "I'm not saying the Lions can't win, it's just a tough schedule," said Gatland, who who has been part of the past two Lions tours.

    He was an assistant coach in 2009, when they were beaten 2-1 in South Africa, before becoming head coach four years ago.

    British and Irish Lions
    The British and Irish Lions beat Australia 41-16 to clinch the 2013 Test series under Gatland
    England coach Eddie Jones was also touted as a contender for the Lions job, but he ruled himself out earlier this year.

    Former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies says he has "a sneaky feeling" the Lions could run Steve Hansen's world champions close next year.



  • The schedule is a fricking farce, what should be an outstanding tour is going to be a trainwreck of exhausted players, guys barely playing near their best & a constant stream of replacements.

    Fully rested & prepared the Lions could put out a team genuinely capable of pushing us, but it'll be 15 semi broken players half of whom aren't 1st choice



  • @gollum said in B&I Lions 2017:

    The schedule is a fricking farce, what should be an outstanding tour is going to be a trainwreck of exhausted players, guys barely playing near their best & a constant stream of replacements.

    Fully rested & prepared the Lions could put out a team genuinely capable of pushing us, but it'll be 15 semi broken players half of whom aren't 1st choice

    I see where you are coming from but remember that part of the uniqueness of a Lions tour is that it is like a genuine old school tour. You carry a big squad and have to manage players and workloads along with opportunities to build toward the tests.
    I do think it is a pity that we have put up Super sides rather than provinces but if the second stringers from a combined 4 test nations can't beat a franchise then that is a pity.



  • I assume it'll most likely be the franchises sans AB's as well.



  • @Bones said in B&I Lions 2017:

    I assume it'll most likely be the franchises sans AB's as well.

    Foxy has said the early games will feature ABs and they will be progressively pulled back into camp as the tests get closer.



  • @Crucial said in B&I Lions 2017:

    I see where you are coming from but remember that part of the uniqueness of a Lions tour is that it is like a genuine old school tour. You carry a big squad and have to manage players and workloads along with opportunities to build toward the tests.
    I do think it is a pity that we have put up Super sides rather than provinces but if the second stringers from a combined 4 test nations can't beat a franchise then that is a pity.

    I'm less concerned re the competition, I think the Lions could roll the Super sides, just not the Lions with players having just played a 30 game season that ended the week before.

    Any decent Welsh player will be coming from a French slog, the Poms will have been bashing themselves up in the Prem etc. If they wanted this to work they needed to pull the Lions guys from their clubs 5 weeks prior.. but that'll never happen. Its like making the ABs play Super, the RC, then the ITM & expecting them to be fit & fresh for the EOYT. That lasts 10 games. And every game is tough.



  • So you think that Lions tours should be watered down because the NH unions have failed to have control of their own game?
    It's their bed, they made it.
    The rugby up here is hardly as taxing as equating it with a Super/test/NPC schedule. It's just long.



  • @Crucial said in B&I Lions 2017:

    So you think that Lions tours should be watered down because the NH unions have failed to have control of their own game?
    It's their bed, they made it.
    The rugby up here is hardly as taxing as equating it with a Super/test/NPC schedule. It's just long.

    I think its probably more taxing for the forwards as its a grind with a lot of scrums etc. Its a never ending series of scrums & mauls on shithouse grounds, in the rain. And the HC is pretty good standard. 6 Nations is pretty poor. But worst, if a top player needs a rest he doesn't get one as his club need him. The ABs have stretched a lot of guys careers & ensured their availability at the business end by managing their workload.

    I don't think NZ should water it down, its a once in 12 years chance to make a shitton of cash, we should milk it for all its worth. The blame lies 100% with the NH. But the way its going we do run the risk of killing the golden goose. This could easily be the last lions tour.

    Ideally the 4 nations would get their house in order & pull their players from the clubs. They won't, so what should be the best rugby of the year will be a bit shit. It'll be good to stuff them 3-0 & then take them for 4 of the other games, but we run the risk of the Lions going the way of the Welsh or even, based on this year, the Wobblies..



  • @gollum said in B&I Lions 2017:

    @Crucial said in B&I Lions 2017:

    So you think that Lions tours should be watered down because the NH unions have failed to have control of their own game?
    It's their bed, they made it.
    The rugby up here is hardly as taxing as equating it with a Super/test/NPC schedule. It's just long.

    I think its probably more taxing for the forwards as its a grind with a lot of scrums etc. Its a never ending series of scrums & mauls on shithouse grounds, in the rain. And the HC is pretty good standard. 6 Nations is pretty poor. But worst, if a top player needs a rest he doesn't get one as his club need him. The ABs have stretched a lot of guys careers & ensured their availability at the business end by managing their workload.

    I don't think NZ should water it down, its a once in 12 years chance to make a shitton of cash, we should milk it for all its worth. The blame lies 100% with the NH. But the way its going we do run the risk of killing the golden goose. This could easily be the last lions tour.

    Ideally the 4 nations would get their house in order & pull their players from the clubs. They won't, so what should be the best rugby of the year will be a bit shit. It'll be good to stuff them 3-0 & then take them for 4 of the other games, but we run the risk of the Lions going the way of the Welsh or even, based on this year, the Wobblies..

    where are you living with that description of the NH game? It's almost humorous.



  • @Pot-Hale said in B&I Lions 2017:

    where are you living with that description of the NH game? It's almost humorous.

    I like to stick to a sterotype & beat it to death.

    If I'd posted that Jimmy Gopperth had the Wasps backline purring like a well oiled machine & Aaron Mauger had reinvented Leicester there'd have been a 20 page thread re how shit Gopperth was - and therefore UK rugby must be for him to look good. And how Mauger destroyed the Saders.



  • Yay, the Lions are coming.
    Something that only comes around once every 12 years and a throw back to the good old days of mid week games, building towards a 3 test series.

    Yet, straight of the bat people are complaining about the schedule aka. getting excuses ready for when the Lions get beat...

    FFS, stop being such dour fluffybunnies, embrace and enjoy it for what it is.



  • @Gunner said in B&I Lions 2017:

    Yay, the Lions are coming.
    Something that only comes around once every 12 years and a throw back to the good old days of mid week games, building towards a 3 test series.

    Yet, straight of the bat people are complaining about the schedule aka. getting excuses ready for when the Lions get beat...

    FFS, stop being such dour fluffybunnies, embrace and enjoy it for what it is.

    The complaining about the tour schedule started when it was published over a year ago. And it's coming from both directions. As sure as shit, there'll be an article in one of the NZ media in about three months from now or sooner saying the NH has fucked up again because they've just realised that their league finals won't finish until May 27 next year and a second string will be put out for the first couple of matches.

    To which the only response is - no shit, Sherlock!

    I have no idea why the Lions administrators agreed to have ten matches. The NZRU must be thrilled to have negotiated it since they get the most money from the whole tour and every additional match is more money in their till.



  • @gollum said in B&I Lions 2017:

    @Pot-Hale said in B&I Lions 2017:

    where are you living with that description of the NH game? It's almost humorous.

    I like to stick to a sterotype & beat it to death.

    If I'd posted that Jimmy Gopperth had the Wasps backline purring like a well oiled machine & Aaron Mauger had reinvented Leicester there'd have been a 20 page thread re how shit Gopperth was - and therefore UK rugby must be for him to look good. And how Mauger destroyed the Saders.

    Good point. Keep going with the stereotype of English rugby. I'm lovin' it. 😈



  • @Pot-Hale Jimmy Gopperth is still playing?



  • @Pot-Hale you know what? it is your (NH rugby) fault. Move the 6N? fuck that! Shorten/adjust the club season? No, it makes all the money!

    Every time this global season shit comes up (and this is linked to it) the Northern Unions and their fans basically say "fuck off, you change".

    We have one decent tradition left in rugby, and you cunts want to shorten it so you can play 600 club games a season. I'm pretty sure you would only be happy with a 3 week, 3 test tour. It's not just the money to us down here, it's a fucking occasion, one that is eagerly looked forward to for 12 years.

    And your rugby is shit.



  • @mariner4life said in B&I Lions 2017:

    @Pot-Hale you know what? it is your (NH rugby) fault. Move the 6N? fuck that! Shorten/adjust the club season? No, it makes all the money!

    Every time this global season shit comes up (and this is linked to it) the Northern Unions and their fans basically say "fuck off, you change".

    We have one decent tradition left in rugby, and you cunts want to shorten it so you can play 600 club games a season. I'm pretty sure you would only be happy with a 3 week, 3 test tour. It's not just the money to us down here, it's a fucking occasion, one that is eagerly looked forward to for 12 years.

    And your rugby is shit.

    Lovely rant. Except it's not an accurate picture of what's actually occurring in NH rugby. There is more than one union besides English rugby and its club season.

    A bit of research on facts would show you that the 6N unions are split on moving the 6N, some want to move it 3 weeks, others want to move it to April/May as a finale to the season and then lead straight into June tests. Others want it to stay where it is. It is the Six Nations that makes money, followed by November Internationals.

    The club game makes money in England and France. It makes sweet fuck all in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy. Super Rugby makes 100x times more than what the PRO12 does. To try and make it more valuable, the PRO12 is planning to shorten their club season by creating a conference league and expanding it to include teams from US, Europe. They want to have the club season (league and Euro cups) finish by end of March.

    And yes, it isn't just about the whole of NH rugby changing to suit SH schedules. Fuck that! There's more of us. So you'd (SH rugby) better be willing to make some compromises too - either individually or collectively.

    And whilst I agree with you that it is an occasion, I'm simply saying that putting in a match to play 5 days after the league finals are held, when everyone involved (both SH and NH unions ) knew in advance that it was going to be compromised is just plain stupid, and it shortchanges the fans (and the players). 9 matches would still be a longer Lions tour than there has been for quite some time. But no, Tew & Co want to squeeze the last drop out of the Lions because it's likely this will be the last time the Lions will tour like this.

    And your rugby is shit. The same team keep winning. 😉



  • @jegga

    He is. And having a ball with some English club.



  • @Pot-Hale yea look, i know the Celts are in a constant struggle for funds and involvement, but nothing much seems to change.

    Yes, it seems strange to have the first game 5 days after the final, but if not then, when? The Lions tour is always (in the pro era) in June. Every 4 years allowances could be made by BOTH sides to fit. But no one is going to budge. And that's probably the reality of a TV dominated game to be honest.

    I love how you keep implying it's Tew who is squeezing this for all it's worth, like this whole thing is one sided. If the Lions didn't want to play that other game, I'm pretty sure Steve would have been told to fuck off.

    A global season is a pipe dream i think, as it's not going to work enough for anyone to say yes. As it is everyone seems to play for 9 months at least, probably closer to 10 with pre-season fixtures. My fear for a global season is we head down the soccer path (that England and France have been pushing for since 1995) where clubs play when ever, but internationals are played on designated weekends all over the world. This would be the death of NZ rugby, probably Aus as well to be honest. Our entire system is geared in a completely different way.

    Bu that's another point. What i am here to say it, the Lions is the pinnacle, not the poxy finals of some shit 2nd (3rd really) tier comp. Send the good players, let the ressies play the GF, it'll be good for them. We're even letting them play All Blacks mid-week this time, revel in the privilege.

    Only one team may win here (actually we've had 3 first-time winners in 3 years in Super rugby!) but the only teams that win up North are the Club owners.



  • @mariner4life said in B&I Lions 2017:

    @Pot-Hale yea look, i know the Celts are in a constant struggle for funds and involvement, but nothing much seems to change.

    Yes, it seems strange to have the first game 5 days after the final, but if not then, when? The Lions tour is always (in the pro era) in June. Every 4 years allowances could be made by BOTH sides to fit. But no one is going to budge. And that's probably the reality of a TV dominated game to be honest.

    I love how you keep implying it's Tew who is squeezing this for all it's worth, like this whole thing is one sided. If the Lions didn't want to play that other game, I'm pretty sure Steve would have been told to fuck off.

    A global season is a pipe dream i think, as it's not going to work enough for anyone to say yes. As it is everyone seems to play for 9 months at least, probably closer to 10 with pre-season fixtures. My fear for a global season is we head down the soccer path (that England and France have been pushing for since 1995) where clubs play when ever, but internationals are played on designated weekends all over the world. This would be the death of NZ rugby, probably Aus as well to be honest. Our entire system is geared in a completely different way.

    Bu that's another point. What i am here to say it, the Lions is the pinnacle, not the poxy finals of some shit 2nd (3rd really) tier comp. Send the good players, let the ressies play the GF, it'll be good for them. We're even letting them play All Blacks mid-week this time, revel in the privilege.

    Only one team may win here (actually we've had 3 first-time winners in 3 years in Super rugby!) but the only teams that win up North are the Club owners.

    Yeah you're right on the Tew point - but it was only a response to the "it's all the NH's fault" 🙂 John Feehan, the Lions CEO, said today that 10 matches is now probably the minimum the Lions need in order to prepare for the test matches properly.

    I think there will be changes to the global season structure. Enough people are now saying they want it to happen. The four PRO12 unions could find common cause with some of the SANZAAR unions in bringing through some changes, particularly now that the voting structure in World Rugby has changed with the power of 8 foundation unions diluted somewhat with more voices around the table and more votes.

    All of the NH clubs/leagues want separation of the club and international game, so tests being played on dedicated weekends would not be a runner, nor even a proposal to the best of my knowledge.

    The sharing of revenue is going to be a big issue too. For the unions that make bugger all from the club game (PRO12), divvying up their test revenue would be a tough pill to swallow unless there is some rebalancing across other commercial aspects of the game.

    Lastly, I was wrong about the first match being 5 days after the finals - it's 7 days. So that's all right then. The Lions should win the entire series now......



  • @Pot-Hale I'm not sure i am for the carving up of test match revenue to be honest (despite the head of my union wanting to be in on it). I guess now is the time for him to push it while we are a big draw card, but when i look at it from the point of view of other small unions, it's a tough thing to push. Especially as it could be one-sided thanks to some of our small stadiums.

    It again comes back to the spectre of weak June touring sides getting pumped, and it allegedly limiting our commercial prospects (seriously, fuck professional rugby).

    A change in the voting system for World Rugby is a must, an absolute must. But it won't happen