Always Free To Place a Hit On Someone
Jonny Wilkinson has labelled the disastrous 2005 British & Irish Lions tour under Clive Woodward Authentic Frans Nielsen Youth Jersey as “chaos like I’d never seen before” and warned the class of 2017 to expect a similar thrashing by New Zealand if they make the same mistakes.Wilkinson and co were hammered 3-0 in the Test series 12 years ago on a widely criticised tour that called into question the future of the Lions. Woodward picked a bloated 44-man squad containing a number of England’s World Cup winners who were past their best and a 26-man support staff, including Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair CampbellFurthermore, Woodward caused unnecessary division within the squad by splitting the Test and midweek sides. Having already been beaten by the New Zealand Maori, the Lions lost their captain Brian O’Driscoll to a broken collarbone http://www.officialredwingsauthentic.com/authentic-9-gordie-howe-je... within a minute of the first Test in Christchurch after a spear tackle from Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu. They were defeated in that match 21-3 before losing the series to a Dan Carter masterclass in Wellington – going down 48-18.A 38-19 defeat in Auckland completed the whitewash but Wilkinson remembers that the writing was on the wall in the first Test, highlighting the stark contrast between the Lions and the England side that had won in Wellington in 2003 under Woodward, a few months before winning the World Cup, despite being down to 13 men at one point.“[With England] we were so together and sure of each other that we just dealt with it,” he said. “A couple of years later we were there with a full squad of amazing guys from all different teams packed into the Lions, went out for the first Test and it was like chaos I’d never seen before.“England were able to deal with it just because of that glue that comes from being sure of who you are and what you are doing. But with 15 men and all that buildup in 2005 I’d never seen such chaos. We had 12 of us in rucks at times. We were literally all over the place.“They pulled us apart. At times I was defending against five people. I was just picking one and thinking: ‘You’re getting it.’ As soon as I saw the pass leave the hand I just had to guess. I remember twice choosing Johnny Gaudreau Jersey the right bloke and whacking into them.“How many times in rugby now do you see a five- or six-man overlap? Never. There were four or five in that first Test in the first half. It was pissing down with rain and windy as well. New Zealand were doing well but even they were thinking: ‘What’s happening here?’”Taking off just 48 hours after the end of the domestic season and landing three days before the first tour match against the New Zealand Barbarians, Warren Gatland has had little time to work with his players. In the first training camp in Wales there were only 14 players present and while there were 30 the week after in Ireland, he had access to all 41 on only two occasions before taking off on Monday – the kitting out session earlier this month and the get-together on Sunday for their farewell dinner.Wilkinson has therefore urged Gatland to keep his gameplan as simple as possible. “The Lions have to be absolutely clear. They need to have fewer things to do but be absolutely clear on each of them,” he said. “Then they can break out of that from time to time and do amazing stuff.“[Gatland’s role] is about bringing them together. In that short space of time it is about understanding general principles, choosing combinations and then feeding the energy so the guys are ready to go.“They don’t need to know that if he runs that line, it goes behind him and then http://www.officialflamesauthentic.com/Johnny_Gaudreau_Jersey we should be able to get the offload away. If the guys go into the game with a very solid platform but excited about attack then I think they will do incredible things. If they go in with a complicated plan I think they will get pulled apart.”The Lions’ problems in 2005 were not limited to the field. Woodward and Campbell tried to twist the narrative after the first-Test defeat towards focusing on the O’Driscoll incident and won no favours among the New Zealand press for doing so. They also stage-managed a photograph of Woodward and Gavin Henson walking side by side in an attempt to cool any tension that arose from the Welshman’s omission from the side for the first Test.It goes some way to explaining why Gatland has been at pains to ensure the 2017 Lions will attempt to earn the respect of New Zealanders upon arrival and has tasked the squad with choir practice to respond to the traditional Maori welcomes they will receive throughout the tour. Wilkinson, however, believes there is only one way to earn respect from the locals. “One of the greatest things to take forward from 2005 is that the only thing that matters is rugby,” he said. “That’s how you communicate and negotiate with the New Zealand public.“Through rugby. It’s not through what you say or anything else, it’s how you play that speaks. You don’t get to say: ‘We’re the Lions and this is what we’re about.’The year was 1971 and then, as this summer, the British & Irish Lions played their first game a few days after touching down. They lost to Queensland after a performance that prompted the state’s coach, Des Connor, to predict they would be the worst team to tour New Zealand. Where Connor saw boys, Meads encountered men. “They had a true team philosophy, unlike other Lions, who were a collection of a few Scots, English, Irish and Welsh. It was the year of the great awakening of British rugby.”Prising the eyes open was Carwyn James, a philosopher coach for whom rugby was an expression of individual talent, not a sublimation of skill to a game plan. He saw the All Blacks as a machine that, no matter how well oiled, lacked grace and charm. “From the age of six they played the same pattern, rigid and predictable,” he said after the tour.