FANCY YOURSELF AS A LIONS SELECTOR?
by Huw S Thomas
Will Gatland pick Wyn Jones in his Lions squad
Who will be going on the Lions tour to South Africa this summer and what team will Warren Gatland pick to face the Springboks in the First Test on July 24? writes Huw S Thomas
Get your selection right and you could be on the way to pocketing anything up to £1,000 in prize money in a competition organised by a group of sporting enthusiasts from Llandovery.
How many Welshmen will get in to the team for the First Test? Will he pick local hero and former Llandovery prop Wyn Jones in the No 1 shirt and will Stuart Hogg be the only Scot involved?
Will Gatland rely on the Irish half back combination of Conor Murray and Jonny Sexton to run the game?
If so, where does he pick Owen Farrell – inside centre at 12 or outside centre at 13 or not at all?
The back row will be a minefield of names and numbers – you could well pick three players and not get one right or all three players right but in the wrong shirt numbers.
Does Tom Curry play 6, 7 or 8 or not at all? Might there be no Welshman in a back row of Tadgh Byrne, Billy Vunipola, Hamish Watson?
This correspondent has eight different combinations in his mind but doubts that he will get all three positions in the right order?
Getting the right number on your selected player’s back will be crucial in racking up points.
Take care that you pick a specialist right wing for No 14, a specialist tight head prop for No 3 and think carefully what number shirt Mario Itoje will carry No 4,5 or even 6?
As for replacements, make sure you have a specialist front row trio on the bench before then splitting the other five into two forwards and three backs or as the Springboks like to do, three forwards and just two backs
Llandovery sporting enthusiasts Rhys Davies, Nicky Crocker, Gareth Salt and Celfyn Davies are running the competition to raise funds for Llandovery RFC Junior Drovers, Llandovery Golf Club and Towy Valley Juniors Football club.
The competition asks you to name not just the Lions starting line in the First Test at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on July 24 but – in case of a tie – you are also asked to name the eight replacements.
In the unlikely event of two or more people having an equal amount of correct replacements, then the closest prediction of the final match score will be the winner.
50% of the prize money will be shared between 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and the other 50% will be shared equally between the three local clubs
A points scoring system has been divised whereby 10 points is awarded per player with the correct number shirt. 5 points for a player to start in a different position or shirt number.
Bearing in mind that it is not what you think should be the Lions side but what you think Gatland will pick , for what it is worth this correspondent had pencilled in this £10 of an entry – subject to late amendment of course!
15 Stuart Hogg; 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Liam Williams; 10 Jonny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Tadgh Furlong, 4 Mario Itoje, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 6 Tadgh Byrne, 7 Tom Curry, 8 Taulupe Faletau
Replacements: Wyn Jones, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, James Ryan, Justin Tipuric, Finn Russell, George North, Ali Price
First Test score forecast: South Africa 23 British and Irish lions 25
The entry fee is set at £10 which must be paid in cash or cheque with the entry sheet by the closing date of the competition – 6 pm on Sunday May 2, 2021
Entry forms are available from local businesses Morris Isaac’s Garage or The Three Horses Chip Shop or by post from Rhys Davies, 44 New Road, Llandovery, SA20OEA or email email@example.com
Rhys will email entry papers
Enquiries to Rhys Davies on Tel: 07855758902
Entries can also be posted on a plain sheet of paper numbering the players and naming the replacements plus final match score
1) Pick your starting 15 for the British & Irish Lions for the First Test against South Africa
2) Pick your 8 replacements
3) Guess the final score in the First Test
POINTS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED AS FOLLOWS
1) 10 points per player in the starting team with the correct shirt number
2) 5 points for a player to start in a different position or shirt number
If there are two or more equal on points for the starting XV, then the person with the most correct replacements will win
In the unlikely event of two or more having an equal amount of correct replacements, then the closest final score of the First test wins
— Huw S ThomasRugby World Schools Editor4 Maes y ColegLlandoveryCarmsSA20 0HS 01550 72002807866 553920