Neither coach covered himself in glory at the weekend. While Ben Mowen’s shutdown of Mike Phillips was a highly successful tactic, that has to be balanced with Deans’ selection of James O’Connor as outhalf and placekicker. Continue reading →
Australia’s hard ground seemed ideal for Hogg’s running style. Instead we watched him launch garryowens when playing out of position in a scratch backline
The natural prism to view any Lions’ selection is through green/red/rose/thistle tinted glasses. While the Mole can’t see the logic in omitting Sean O’Brien, who covers every position in the back row, in favour of Dan Lydiate who does one thing extremely well in one position it doesn’t come as a great surprise. Continue reading →
What do you get when you cross a Lion with a Tiger? A liger … bred for its skills in magic. Geoff Parling is Napoleon, Tom Youngs is Kip.
Aviva Premiership champions Leicester Tigers were equalled only by RaboDirect Pro12 winners Leinster in terms of the number of their players selected in the original party by Warren Gatland for his touring Lions; both saw six players called up to ‘the ultimate honour in northern hemisphere rugby’/a HSBC-sponsored travelling jamboree to clobber understrength provincial teams for the amusement of sauced-up tourists and ex-pats.
While the Leinster-based players had been flagged as contenders for a number of years on the strength of back-to-back Heineken Cups and previous experience [incredibly, this is Brian O’Driscoll’s fourth tour, while Rob Kearney was a standout four years ago in South Africa and Jamie Heaslip played every minute of that test series], a couple of Leicester players made the squad in a very hard way, emerging from obscurity over the space of one very arduous and ultimately rewarding season. Continue reading →