The stars could expect Danny Care to become a Lion at the end of his career. He should be selected to tour South Africa after Ben Youngs self-excluded.
First, it’s only right to say hello to Youngs for putting his family first, just as he did in 2017. Of course, the English scrum half would like the honor of joining the rest of the UK and Ireland’s best in South Africa, but with another kid along the way, he decided some things were more important.
When the news came on MailOnline that the Youngs had decided not to make himself available anymore – after receiving a letter informing him that he was controversial – it sparked a feverish debate over the puzzle surrounding the selection of Lions trainers .
Ben Youngs’ withdrawal from the Lions selection opened the door for Danny Care
Youngs spoke to MailOnline about the decision to put the family ahead of rugby this summer
It was also the most notable development in a weekend of final auditions before the 36-person roster is announced on Thursday.
Care deserves to be selected as someone in his best shape, which cannot be said about all the men who will make the cut – with several sentences to be included in the reputation.
The 34-year-old has completed 84 tests, so is not an untried “bolter”. He has great experience and will not be impressed in such a lofty company.
The fact that he has long been out of favor with England coach Eddie Jones shouldn’t put Gatland off, and he might enjoy the chance to prove that Care can still do well internationally. He was excellent for Quins and a notable aspect of his accomplishments was improved game management combined with clever kicking.
Grooming provides both control and pace of attack.
Care has proven its quality at Harlequins – but currently it has fallen out of favor with England
Conor Murray is the standout number 9 because Gareth Davies and Care could claim a place on the plane
Finn Russell would be an exciting choice over Johnny Sexton – but could be considered too risky
Conor Murray is destined to wear the No. 9 Lions jersey against South Africa in the Test Series. There will likely be two more Scrum halves among the 36, and Scotsman Ali Price was unpredictable throughout the Six Nations, allowing Care to compete with Gareth Davies to defeat Murray.
MY LIONS TEAM
Back three: J. Adams (Wal), S. Hogg (Sco), J. Nowell (Eng), L. Rees-Zammit (Wal), A. Watson (England), L. Williams (Wal).
Centers: J. Davies (Wal), O. Farrell (Eng), R. Henshaw (Irish), G. Ringrose (Irish), M. Tuilagi (Eng).
Center-backs: D. Biggar (Wal), D. Care (Eng), G. Davies (Wal), C. Murray (Irish), F. Russell (Sco).
Props: T. Furlong (Irish), W. Jones (Wales), J. Marler (Eng), A. Porter (Irish), K. Sinckler (Eng), R. Sutherland (Sco).
Hookers: L. Cowan-Dickie (Eng), J. George (Eng), K. Owens (Wal).
Locks: J. Gray (Sco), I. Henderson (Irish), M. Itoje (Eng), AW Jones (whale, captain).
Back row: T. Beirne (Irish), T. Curry (Eng), T. Faletau (Wal), S. Simmonds (Eng), J. Tipuric (Wal), S. Underhill (Eng), H. Watson (Sco ).
This column is about a wish list that doesn’t predict what Gatland and Co. will actually do.
So let Finn Russell take a place as playmaker ahead of Johnny Sexton as the Irish icon struggles to stay fit these days and is being relentlessly targeted by the South African provinces ahead of the Trials.
Russell could add another dimension to Dan Biggar and Owen Farrell, but the coaches may consider him too risky.
The awaited confirmation of Alun Wyn Jones as tour captain makes sense. The authoritative Welshman continues to be able to dictate conditions on the greatest of occasions.
Maro Itoje is the only viable alternative but England have taken over their duties during the Six Nations to focus on dominating as a player and that is what they should do for the Lions.
George North’s gruesome setback could have a profound impact on Gatland’s back pick as he lost a figure capable of going wide or midfield. His absence should justify the risk of bringing Manu Tuilagi in to increase the clout, despite the fact that Sale’s English center has been out of action since last September.
One of the preferred cadres for this column is Joe Marler, although he is very unlikely to be selected after he withdrew from England’s campaign in the Six Nations and appeared to have failed to impress Gatland during the recent Lions tour.
Alun Wyn Jones should be trusted before Maro Itoje as the captain on the tour of South Africa
George North’s cruel injury blow should mean center Manu Tuilagi gets a chance to shine
Sam Simmonds is an integral part of the Exeter Chiefs team and would excel against the Springboks
And Exeter # 8 Sam Simmonds should really make the cut as a crazy, turbo-charged talent that could run amok on the arid surfaces of South Africa.
Bath’s lack of serenity in the red zone lets her down
No wonder Bath was so desperate after failing to defeat opponents who appeared to be there. They didn’t score a point in the last 52 minutes of their Challenge Cup semi-final against Montpellier on Saturday night. So much pressure has been wasted.
Bath lost 19-10 to Montpellier and missed a chance for a first European final for seven years
Stuart Hooper’s team spent 29 percent of the game at Montpelliers 22 but couldn’t make it count. What they needed was more composure, creativity and precision in the “red zone”, and they will soon have exactly the man to provide them. Danny Cipriani will lead the conductor’s baton for the next season and if Bath can get him within reach of the opposing line he will win these big games.
Freddie Steward. Leicester’s full-backed rookie is having a breakthrough season and looks real. He was bossy in the air and threatened as a runner in the Tigers’ victory over Ulster.
Spectators weren’t allowed to enter the Stade Marcel-Deflandre yesterday, but La Rochelle fans held a carnival outside and greeted their team with flair, flags, drums and chants. Splendid.
It could have been written that an all-French Champions Cup semi-final would turn into an arm wrestling and that Antoine Dupont’s brilliance would help Toulouse beat Bordeaux.
Antoine Dupont switched the style back on when Toulouse defeated Bordeaux in the Champions Cup
Anglo-Saxon referees should try to speak at least a little French. Wayne Barnes communicated well with Toulouse and Bordeaux, but Matthew Carley taught La Rochelle in English.
It’s been 24 years since French clubs won both European titles in the same season. This is at stake but Leicester can stop Montpellier’s recent revival that leads to the success of the Challenge Cup.
Floodlight Failure Saga wouldn’t happen to men
The failure of the spotlight restricted the women’s test between France and England in Lille on Friday evening in an episode embarrassing for the host country. These are the two fully professional sides of Europe, but their efforts have been undermined by an amateur logistical problem.
England narrowly led France 17:15 in Lille before the failure of the floodlights was paid for for the competition
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said English captain Sarah Hunter. “Maybe when training with your club, but never in an international game.” It wouldn’t happen to men, so it shouldn’t happen to women. The pairings may only be assigned to venues that are suitable for the occasion.
The last word
Rugby’s soul is selling at an alarming rate. While CVC is involved in leagues, unions, and tournaments in this part of the world, representatives from the southern hemisphere are also turning to private equity firms to help stave off financial collapse.
New Zealand provincial unions last week unanimously voted for a deal with California-based Silver Lake group backed by massive pension funds. While the Kiwi Players Union has not yet given the required approval, it is certainly a matter of time.
Australia’s top administrators met with their trans-Tasmanian counterparts to discuss the implications of such a deal before they sold any of their commercial activities to stay afloat.
Rugby Australia boss Hamish McLennan turns to private equity to avert financial ruin
Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said: “I deplore the fact that we have to do it, but I am not afraid.”
The game’s authorities have been cornered as the pandemic has exacerbated the financial turmoil, but they have to realize that the motivation for these investors is a huge win.
This is not about enriching rugby, but enriching shareholders. Don’t be surprised if everything ends in tears.