Favouritism.....that's why he's omitted. Arguably player of the tournament at 6N and nominated as England Player of the Year. Phenomenal in the summer. Standout player for Wasps....yet dropped for George Kruis who's barely played all year...
Quite simply, Borthwick and Farrell's influence over Gatland in deciding upon their Sarries mate Kruis. I'm sure some of our Sarries friends will hijack this thread pretty quickly so let me say that Kruis is a fine player and worthy of a call up, but he didnt play in the 6N and so neither did he pick up 2 MOM awards in the process. He's also only played about an hour since a long term injury so who can really assess either his fitness or form at the moment? I'm more surprised that AW-J, out of form and with waning powers, is considered better than Joe. That one does stink of Welsh bias I'm afraid, although it wont matter as when he doesnt make the plane due to injury Joe will take his place anyway!
Another thread full of sour comments about one Welsh choice. I assume those who have commented here know little or nothing of what Gatland contributed to Wasps.
One comment from the Bristol match. Nearly all wasps' line-outs went to Simmonds. Not sure why that was the case. My memory was that Simmonds usually supported the other second row and perhaps this was a new tactic from Dai (Welsh by the way) because Bristol would have targeted Launchbury as the likely receiver.
Would think it's more down to pure lineout skills. For England for Wasps he is simply outstanding in terms of work rate and in open play - more often than not compensating for the back row combinations/limitations. However Gats may feel the back row can cope and the need is for more highly technical operators at lock. Having said that I'd pick him.
Welsh wasp, perhaps a person with your sensitive disposition should stick to a Wales forum. It's not the first time you have seemingly taken offence at any criticism of anything Welsh, but then it's hard to say, maybe you are being IRONIC, to coin a term you misused on another thread.
I've seen nothing that is anti-Welsh just for the sake of it, but I've seen plenty questioning why certain Welsh players have been selected, which is not the same thing.
I'd like to hear your arguments in favour of, say AWJ against Launchbury, considering one is injured and the other is widely regarded as one of the best players in his position and just off the back of his second 6N title and one of the players of the tournament.
Cue 2 pages (minimum) of complaints about Welsh bias, Saracens bias, arguments about aforementioned bias, comments about the lack of Scottish players and people asking "what more does Joe have to do!?!" Etc etc.
So to chuck my opinion into the mix- he wasn't picked because of coaches bias towards other players, just look at how few Scottish players got picked (fewer than the last tour). And seriously though...2 MotM performances in a team that won the 6 nations, how can that not be good enough?
Scottish players presumably suffered due to two of their coaches turning down positions on the coaching team, no voice to fight their corner in the selection.
Similarly clearly shows Borthwick considers itoje and kruis as England's number one lock pairing and can understand them both going, thought launchbury would get nod above lawes as awj was always going due to his lion's track record.
Doubt Joe needed anymore motivation for play offs but the thought of cleaning out the line out against Saracens should do it.
Whatever reason that we conjure up there is no getting away from the fact that Launchers has been a victim of selector bias for their mates. Sport like life is not always fair! Anyone that has watched live international rugby over the past few years will see what Joe brings in his all round game. He reads the game really well, is deceptively quick around the park, carries, tackles and passes well. Above all these attributes he has a great temperament for imternational rugby. Re lineouts if you look at his stats for 6N I think you will find that he was pretty good. I am gutted for him and his family, there is nothing more he could have done. Picking injured players is always a risk not just because of their injuries but also their form.
He may still go and get into the midweek team but in my view he deserved better.
WaspieKev Quite simply, Borthwick and Farrell's influence over Gatland in deciding upon their Sarries mate Kruis.
I'd say you're half right and half wrong.
If you think its the Kruis vs Launchbury head to head that has got him left behind you're way off base but I suspect that Borthwick has had a major part in making sure Kruis tours. As the coach in charge of the lineout you might suggest that in choosing on of the NHs preeminent lineout callers he's doing his job by doing so.
I'll be honest I don't get Launchbury not being picked by Jones has also had his reservations. It's obviously not skill. Is he not vocal enough? does he socialise well? I honestly don't know but it feels like there's something holding him back even if it's an unfair perception.
Given that AWJ, Kruis, Lawes and Itoje are all capable of calling the lineout, I don't really see the issue with Launch not calling it, it's virtually impossible to pair him up with another lock that can't do the calling. He's not a lineout virtuoso, but he can hold his own.
As H keeps pointing out to me, Launch is getting married this summer, and its quite possible he elected not to push for selection. That said, I think we all agree he deserved to go, but I will not be surprised if he now doesn't go on the England Tour to Argentina, and elects for a long break.
This selection might benefit Wales and England in the long run.
England have need of someone to take the 9 shirt, whilst while Nowell et al. are away we might get to see the actual best wingers in England, fingers crossed.
Likewise there is a lot of dead wood in the Welsh backs that has managed to get itself selected for the lions en masse, there has been a lot of criticism of the self-same players by the Welsh media during the 6N. Wales likely have better options than all, and a Pacific Islands tour is on the horizon.
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