Ronan O’Gara’s Comments About The Lions Selection For The First Test Might Worry Some Fans
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Former Ireland and Munster outhalf Ronan O’Gara has some serious reservations about the Lions selection for this weekend ahead of their opening Test with the Springboks.
Gatland and his coaching ticket surprised a lot of us with their team for this weekend and O’Gara reckons the selection may come back to bite them given the lack of combinations within the starting XV.
The Lions have gone for a real mix in terms of their selection with Welsh ten Dan Biggar partnering Scottish nine Ali Price in the halfbacks and Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw in midfield alongside England’s Elliot Daly.
Even in the forwards, you’ve got three different nationalities in the front row with Wyn Jones, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Tadgh Furlong.
“I think it will be difficult for this group of players to excel on Saturday because they’ve not had enough time together to establish a style of play, cohesion, or relationships among them,” O’Gara said on Off The Ball’s Wednesday Night Rugby.
“When you look at it: a Scottish nine, a Welsh 10, an Irish 12 and an English 13.”
O’Gara added that he feels one of the four nations would have a better chance of beating the Springboks this weekend.
“I’m of the opinion that you need a few weeks. I was asking myself whether Ireland, Scotland, England or Wales as a single entity have a better chance of beating South Africa – I probably think they would,” O’Gara added.
“The difference between a settled side that have established relationships, trust, systems of play – I have a feeling this looks like a Barbarians side or a World XV playing South Africa because of the limited time.
“There was some very interesting data online today with the lack of combinations of this current test Lions team going into battle, it seems the advantage is very much with South Africa.”