Wednesday, 1 April 2009

The Hoge's Lions XV

Right, I've been thinking on this one for a while.

Seeing as I eat, sleep, breathe, write and occasionally even play rugby with the best yellow and wine-jersey'd club in the country, I feel a weight of expectation on my shoulders when it comes to predicting my Lions XV.

Obviously no such expectation lies with Mr Chalkboard, however, who sees rugby as a town in Warwickshire first, and a sport second.

Viewing his Lions selection gives a whole new meaning to fantasy rugby (as in "You're on the kind of hallucinogens that induce intense fantasies if you think Rory Best is going to travel let alone start for the Lions. May I have some please?").

Judging by his team, Chalkey used a blindfold, darts and a dartboard covered in the names of every rugby player in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales to make his selection.

I however have applied more stringent criteria. Some decisions have been agonised over for days, made me irritable, caused rashes, seen me wake up on the bedroom floor weeping my eyes out as I splutter snot-drenched apologies to all those players who have landed on the wrong side of a close call.

But after many sleepless nights, some consultation with friends (leading to the cessation of some friendships) and a liberal helping of medication, I have come up with my fifteen.

Before I name them though, I feel honour-bound to make apologies to John Hayes (the paddocks are too hard in South Africa for the Bull I feel), Luke Fitzgerald (it would be too much or a risk to have two slight wingers so Williams just about shades it) and David Wallace (Not a traditional 7 which we will need this summer, a genuine chance at 8 but Heaslip just about gets the nod).

I should also point out that I reckon the upcoming Heineken Cup games will have almost as much of an influence on the final tour contingent as the Six Nations tournament. But since I lost my powers of premonition many moons ago, I can only base it on what we have seen so far.

Feel free to comment or draw up your own competing selections.

1. Gethin Jenkins (Wales)
2. Jerry Flannery (Ireland)
3. Euan Murray (Scotland)
4.Paul O'Connell (Ireland)
5. Donncha O'Callaghan(Ireland)
6. Stephen Ferris (Ireland)
7. Martyn Williams (Wales)
8. Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
9. Mike Blair (Scotland)
10. Ronan O'Gara (Ireland)
11. Shane Williams (Wales)
12. Tom Shanklin (Wales)
13. Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland)
14. Delon Armitage (England)
15. Lee Byrne (Wales)


El Chalkerino said...

Get out of it. Pierre Spies and Ryan Kankowski would introduce Ronan O'Gara to 18 varieties of murder up in Bloemfontein. Delon Armitage is an accident waiting to happen. Mike Blair has had a worse season than you.

3 out of 10.

Scenery said...

First lesson's free

The Dickler said...

I'm sorry chief, I hafta Dispute the non-selection of Bull and Wallace. I would swap those for your selections but move them sideways not out. I disagree with Cailcie's Statement about O' Gara mainly because he offers No alternative here, although defensively there could be a problem, hence the need for Wallace at his side (Like all good wing-forwards should be).
Now I absolute never thought that I would say this (Mainly coz I hate him and he's an egotistical tosser) but I would perhaps stick Mr. Church on the wing rather than Armitage because maybe, just maybe his ego would get him places where no-one or nothing else else could, and he's cocky enough to take over from O' Gara if the kicking is going bad.
If not, he's definitely worth a spot on the bench (Which I might add is noticeably absent from your panel auld stock, and you of all people should have mentioned the bench......) :-)
For some reason I still think Stringer is an option for Blair, definitely more than O' Leary because strings has found the hunger again. Alternatively Ellis

dashoge said...

Very smart the Dickler! You're also on hard drugs if you reckon Henson's worth a place on the wing but when it comes to Wallace and the Bull, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they played and did a job.
I'd have to agree with Stringer on the bench too. I'm sure he wouldn't like to think it but he's shown this year that he has real worth as an impact sub.

scottishpride said...

you dont know what you are on about, stephen ferris shouldnt be in the squad let alone the starting line up, cwatson, s.burger, j.smith, k.kankowski and peirre spies would absolutly nail him, he wouldnt stand a chance out there.
Armitage, would get murdered out there, by the likes of habana, and pietersen who have strength, pace and skill all over him.