Lions rugby 2021

With a couple of COVID cases within the Lions’ squad is the tour in jeopardy? At least Saturday’s game has been postponed.
It has already been called shambolic by the pundits, but it’s good to see Sam Simmonds in a lions’ shirt.

Yes I would agree. The tour arrangements and schedule are starting to creak a bit. Gatland putting a brave face on it but no other choice really. The broadcasters and sponsors must be very twitchy. A great shame. I really look forward to these tours.

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All the best amateur tours are shambolic. I think it looks like good fun with Finn covering all the back positions!

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Good second half performance against the Sharks though
Bit concerned if Russell has to leave the squad

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But Smith is due to join the squad.

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Just read the Boks captain has now tested positive for Covid

I’m not sure this is such a great thing for MS, as he could be sat bench-warming as the Lions already have 3 fly-halves (if not 4 at a push?)…I hope he’s got a return to England squad 'plane ticket.

I think he’d be better off with EJ, so he can advance his England credentials, given how EJ seems to want to develop players his own way.

EJ sticks with his choices for far too long … he does not develop players, rather he lets players get long in the tooth.
EJ is not alone in this approach to squad development - just look at the English test cricket team.

England rugby (and cricket) has an embarrassment of riches that requires flair in its management - development is important at club and national level, but EJ is not known for nurturing his squad.

It’s getting quite tasty out there. Gatland now reportedly furious that the NZ TMO for the tests couldn’t travel, and Marius Jonker has been shovelled in at short notice in his place for the entire series. Given the significant impact the TMO is likely to have on the awarding of yellow and red cards I can kind of see Gatlands point. Reminiscent of lions tours from yesteryear where home based referees and officials had some impact on final results (allegedly). Or maybe Jonker will feel obliged to avoid controversy and feel pressured to favour the visitors when reviewing incidents. Either way it’s going to get lively!


It’s not events around cards and the likes of foul play which are the issue (for me anyway), as the ref and the assistants make the calls on these post inputs from the TMO and viewing on the big screen etc,

Of greater importance are the TMO try reviews, where the ref cedes to the TMO on the ‘try or no try’ or ‘any reason not to’ questions.

At this level, one would hope all the refs/TMOs just ‘see the game’ and are colour-blind in context.


I can see how Gatland would be pretty miffed, Lions were apparently only just informed and of course there should have been a back up plan for another neutral TMO, or perhaps attempts to get Jonker into SA a few weeks ago- seems poor planning to leave it almost to the last minute
This test is going to be tough enough anyway for the Lions

From what I read, Gatland has picked a side based on form rather than reputation. This pleases me no end.

The Springboks appear to be doing the opposite according to Wednesday’s Times.


18 World Cup winners in the boks squad - not much development going on there
Having said that I find some of Gatland’s selections a little odd and cant understand how Farrell made the bench after his 6 nations performance
Should be a great game though - cant wait

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Covers both 10 and 12 - no others in the 23 covering 10…

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Come on Lions - I reckon a win by 3

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Why can’t the New Zealand guy do the TMO from New Zealand, he doesn’t need to be in South Africa.

Or am I missing something. :thinking:


He needs to be in the TV truck.

In a TV truck. :scream_cat: That is so 20th Century. :joy_cat:

The VAR checks for English football games are carried out in London. The VAR checks for the recent Euros where carried out in Switzerland.

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Tough 1st half for the Lions

Yup. Probably lucky to be in touch on the scoreboard.