Monthly Archives: April 2000

Tom and Phil’s Lions XXXVII

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Everyone’s at it – so here’s our Lions XXXVII. Thirty seven players is a very large party, but the flexibility of players to play in a number of positions could be the key for this tour. England have demonstrated that an over-dependence on skill in one position limits attacking potential.

To give balance, we went for a non-English captain, and Keith Wood is one of the few players guaranteed to be in the starting line up for the tests.

The English full backs pick themselves with Perry the starter for the first test. We’ve gone for speedsters on the wing (who can tackle – of course) instead of the donkeys Gunner Woodward likes to pick. Craig Morgan is chosen because he’s better than Shane Williams. Our test wingers would be Robinson and Healy

Gibbs’ days are past – crash ball inside centres are a thing of the past. Likewise the ponderous and clumsy Greenwood is omitted. We prefer the option of Townsend or Catt in an extra SH role at inside centre. O’Driscoll is class and looks to start with Catt.

FB Perry, Balshaw
WTB HealeyRobinson, Craig Morgan, Hickie, Thomas
C CattO’Driscoll, Townsend, Henderson, Taylor
OH Wilkinson, Jenkins
SH Howley, Dawson, Bracken
Props SmithVickery, Morris, Young, Leonard
H Wood (c), West, Greening
SR JohnsonGrewcock, Murray, O’Kelly, Davidson
BR DallaglioQuinnellBack, Hill, Charvis, Poutney, Wallace

Four half backs are so far ahead of the competition, they pick themselves, though we’d start with Wilkinson and Howley.

Tight head props in the Six Nations have been thin on the ground, and we’re banking on Smith-Wood-Vickery as our Test front row. Dai Young get’s the nod for the tough mid-week dirt tracker fixtures.

Competition in the second row is very tough indeed with any two from five likely to make the tests, though we’d probably pick Johnson and Grewcock.

Our back row looks as strong as any the Ozzies can put on the park, but we’d probably start with Back, Quinnell and Larry.

What will decide the test matches will be the platform the forwards give and that extra bit of unorthodoxy and inventiveness that players like Healy, Robinson, O’Driscoll and Howley can provide.

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