Monday, 18 March 2013


Predictably enough there has, in the aftermath of the Cardiff massacre, been much hysterical speculation about England’s need to rebuild.

That’s right – rebuild. After one defeat.  

And who is calling for Stuart Lancaster to rip it up and start again? Why, the very journalists who a few short weeks ago were telling the world that England were near certainties for the 2015 World Cup.

The other favourite topic for journos right now is the potential make up of the Lions squad to tour Oz this summer. Of course the perceived wisdom on the strength of Saturday's game is that the squad will now be dominated by Welshmen. After all, that’s always worked so well in the past and Wales do have such a magnificent track record down under.

From England’s perspective I can still see the likes of Cole, Hartley, Parling, Robshaw, Wood, Youngs, Farrell and Tuilagi all making the plane to Oz but, and I know this will sound like sour grapes, right now I must admit I really couldn’t give a rat’s arse about who goes on the Lions trip and it could actually work in England’s favour if the core of the team were available for the Argentina trip instead.

A tough trip to Argentina is probably the best thing for England this summer, offering Stuart Lancaster the chance to shuffle the deck a little, bed the likes of Alex Corbisiero and Tom Croft (maybe as a lock) back into the team and try out out a few fresh combinations. For me at least a productive tour for England holds more significance than the money-spinning exercise down under being undertaken by Gatland & Co.


Matt Knight said...

Me thinks it is sour grapes Mr Flanker.
"money-spinning exercise"? C'mon! What rugby isn't these days?
But the Lions are the games oldest traditional tour, one of the last amateur throw-backs that we need to preserve, even if it is sullied by a sullied coach and a ridiculous sized management and playing squad. (Will any rugby players be left in the UK when the team departs?)
Hopefully Mr Flanker gives the Lions credit where credit is due - the S Hemisphere after all respect the tour enormously, even in an age of oft ugly professionalism.

Total Flanker said...

I admit the grapes do still taste a tad sour, but it's about what's more important to me.

Do I want the Lions to do well down under? Yes, but not as much as I's like to see a successful England team.

I've been a fan of Lions tours in the past but to be honest the current format is a bit 'meh'.

Benedict Barnes said...

I think the Lions is an irrelavence these days. I've been watching rugby since 1991 and the Lions has never interested me. Maybe because I don't have sky so there was never the exposure that Eng had.

A balanced back row and a threatening back line is all I ask for the Argument tour.

As an aside why don't Eng take the sleeves off their props shirts? Aussie rules style. Would certainly make it harder for Adam Jones to bind on the arm as he always seems to do.

Total Flanker said...

The Argument tour?

Now that I'd pay to see :)

Benedict Barnes said...

Damn predictive text? Or is it sentient?

Gareth said...


Shame on you. Despite its violent collisions and gladiatorial spirit, rugby is nothing if not a romantics sport.

"Kick the shite out of each other but afterwards buy each other a beer"

"Leave your heart on the field for your club or country but then be prepared to tog out as a teammate with your enemy next week"

These are the immutable, underlying and important facets of our game. The Lions is perhaps the epitome of them, anyone who watched the 2nd test of the last tour couldn't doubt the personal commitment of each player to their team mates, regardless of nationality. It raised the game of rugby to another level, the richness of which was burnished by the mixed band of brothers who sallied forth in the red shirt.

To tarnish this with short term bitterness because of a temporary setback to England's national cause is tantamount to jingoism and does not do you honour sir.

Right, I've got a sore arse sitting on this high horse so i'll hop off now.