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British and Irish Lions thump Combined Country in Newcastle

Tipuric and SOB are real standouts, so far and of course both have been excellent when played and played in position in the last 2 years in general.

Yet one of the two will probably loose out because of the need for a pre-named series captain. That they complement each other just confounds the strangeness.

Surely a captain for the day is a captain, and that should override the notion of a series captain? Esp if someone else with experience as an international captain just takes over (e.g. POC or BOD, or any other old geezer!)

Thoughts?

2 Years, 3 Weeks ago

USA Eagle Samu Manoa's huge hit on Peter O'Mahony

@themull gridiron without (many) pads or (many) stoppages would certainly appeal to at least some americans. Probably mostly high level college related still in US and Canada there - stand to be corrected?

Are u in Oz still @themull? Getting to any of the Lions' games?

Pity the commentators didn't spot how well O Mahony dealt with that, but sure they are only learnin........

2 Years, 3 Weeks ago

Leinster give coach winning send off with RaboDirect PRO12 Final victory

I'm obviously missing sth but how is that not a try in the end by Diack? On 2.06-07, he does actually put it down. Held up too long? Or wha?

These (sorts of) highlights don't do the match justice, ferocious and frenetic at times, very exciting. Ulster very unlucky, as they were always that few points behind after that strange strange non-try....

2 Years, 1 Month ago

Dylan Hartley out of Lions tour after allegedly swearing at Wayne Barnes

Serious question marks about Lions' coaches for selecting him in the first place.

There were anyway, but this confirms (way earlier than surely anyone expected) how poor a decision it was to bring him.

Too much of a hothead to risk on a long tour.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

HSBC Lions Monthly - Squad Announcement Special

love that rye O Driscoll smile.......'on the Lions!

2 Years, 1 Month ago

Sir Ian McGeechan on Coaching and Leading the Lions

I suppose here is the spot for comments?
No Wilkinson and just 37 not 38 players? Maybe its a club issue, but wilkinson shuda travelled surely? just 2 outhalves.

and robshaw zebo should feel hard done by (zebo a recent bloomer, but v exciting)

Maitland? Stevens? a bit dubious/debatable for a couple of reasons.

2 Years, 2 Months ago

Clermont through to first ever Heineken Cup Final after tense win over Munster

Funny and interesting point at the end there Vanadyel. And has been said, lots of countries do impose limits of players, mostly through international caps 'bribe'.

All protectionisms impose limits and sometimes that can be, or seem, unfair: but of course there are numerous ways, sometimes unintended, that unfairness emerge. Esp in an unbridled pure capitalist system.

My own feeling on the Irish recent dominance of the H cup was that it was in part caused by some judicious national-provincial player management, helped in no small part by a tax intensive for retiring players.

Before professionalisation, almost all Irish players played in the UK, and it was a dark dark time for the national squad. They were appalling.

Of course Leinster ended up loosing N Hines to....Claremont because of the rules/limits in Irl.......

2 Years, 2 Months ago

Clermont through to first ever Heineken Cup Final after tense win over Munster

Man city have a really long history too. They also had the best U23 team in Britain, locally built up, before the money came in. Then that disappeared into the ether.

This final represents big money. That's unquestionable. And its something rugby fans think about from time to time - and this is an apt time to think about it, because this final has these teams in it because of big money.

Yes, they have real fans and long histories, more than many teams do. But that alone would not have gotten them into the final.

Sometimes, things are protected and for good reason: Irish club numbers of foreign players for eg. (and of course in life outside rugby that happens too, and again for good reason - PGI DOC PDO etc in food)

Of course every single fan would like their individual club to have loadsa money. That's a pointlessly obvious and myopic notion.

But something is lost when the game becomes primarily about the worlds top 100 players in each hemisphere playing almost exclusively for whoever pays the most.

This is especially the case if there are weak or no rules on balancing the books (even soccer is getting rid of that one soon, thankfully).

One of the many effects of this is that fans become irreverent cheerleaders as the years roll by: replaceable by other, better paying fans if they don't like the arrangement.

When this happens, rugby may be a large spectator sport, but it will be something only slightly more relevant than 3d cinema or an xbox.

Specifically:

@colombes you are making presumptions. I know that well paid players can try hard etc

@vanadaryl thanks for the extra info (the 4th Irish club qualified this time around because Leinster won last time. And if the negotiations go a particular way about how the H cup works, Italian and Scottish teams may end up never even getting close to competing)

And obv there is more to this than the two french clubs btw - its at a trend, a dynamic in the game that's worth examining.

2 Years, 2 Months ago

Clermont through to first ever Heineken Cup Final after tense win over Munster

finally the big big budgets in France are starting to work at H cup level:

these 2 finalists have budgets many multiples of munsters...and yet, that second kick through almost yielded a try near the end for munster, and you know o gard would have converted for 16-17.

Ah well. The man-cityification of rugby rolls relentlessly on.

2 Years, 2 Months ago

Elliot Daly clearance kick lands straight in the bin

I love how comedy old school the bin is too! classic

2 Years, 2 Months ago