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'No disrespect' - The selection calls Lions standby Care just doesn't get

By Ian Cameron
Owen Farrell /Getty

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British & Irish Lions standby Danny Care has questioned Warren Gatland’s selections ahead of the third and deciding Test of the Lions series.


The Lions go into the final game with the backs against the wall after a resounding 27 – 9 defeat to South Africa in the second Test. A big second-half display from the Springboks saw them home as the Lions struggled, conceding numerous turnovers and penalties in the last 30 minutes of the game.

Care – who was told before the tour that he was on standby after a brilliant end to his season at Harlequins- believes the exclusion of Jamie George and Owen Farrell makes no sense.

“I don’t get the team, I don’t understand a few things,” said Care on the BBC Rugby Union podcast this week. “I don’t understand how Jamie George hasn’t played a single minute in this Test series, it doesn’t make sense to me.

“The lineout hasn’t been firing at all and Jamie George is one of the best in the world at his throwing. I don’t get that.

“To leave Owen Farrell out, when you are going into a do-or-die game, I don’t get that.”

“That just screams to me they still don’t know what they are trying to do.


“Before the tour we spoke to Robbie Henshaw and he said ‘we’re going to play attacking rugby and Gregor Townsend is going to put his stamp on this tour.’

“We haven’t seen any of that the whole tour. It’s been kick, kick, set-piece to set-piece, back your defence and kick chase. They can’t do it better than South Africa but it still looks like they are not changing it.

“But if you are going to play that kicking game, play Murray and Farrell because they are the best nine and 10 to do it. Don’t play Ali Price and Dan Biggar because, no disrespect, they are not as good as the other two at playing that game.”


“I could be proven wrong but I don’t think this team beats South Africa on Saturday.”

Meanwhile former England winger Chris Ashton said that the loyalty to Biggar, while Stuart Hogg got dropped after the first two Tests was something of a double standard.

“One thing that struck me listening to Warren Gatland was about Stuart Hogg.

“He said he’d had two chances, two games under his belt, and it has not worked out effectively. I’m struggling to see the difference between Hogg and Dan Biggar in that situation. Why is it alright to take Hogg out but it’s not alright to take Biggar out? In such a key role, he’s had two shots at it.”

Gatland had addressed the George non-selection saying it was hard on the Saracenes hooker.

“That has been a really tough call,” explained Gatland “I spoke to Jamie and he is really disappointed, gutted that he hasn’t had an opportunity. We just felt that the other two haven’t done anything wrong. Sometimes that is what happens and when you make calls it’s not about making a change for change’s sake or giving someone else a chance.”


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