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Neil Back

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Joined March 2015

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G’day Nudge. Aussies never lose. You know that.

Not only is the sky not falling, this Australian Test team is really good!

No worries Max. Suggest you tune into the inauguration circus to distract you – we can all be very smug and grateful about not being American!

Not only is the sky not falling, this Australian Test team is really good!

Outrage? You got outrage from that Maxy? Really? You must imagine yourself surrounded by extremely angry people a lot mate. And I don’t as a rule do ‘faux’.

If you honestly think the coach of a team armed with all the advantages wasn’t at best seeking to ameliorate a humiliating failure with his comment, then good on you. It was a fundamentally dishonest figure. Or at worst, as I said, the guy has no appreciation of the real country.

And by the way, you’re not doing much better with your 500 million quote. There are various definitions of ‘middle class’ and your experience of it in Australia could be very, very different to an Indians. Similarly, you’ll find estimates of that Indian middle class’ to be significantly lower than 500 million. Seems you like rounding up even more than Langer 😉

Not only is the sky not falling, this Australian Test team is really good!

Geez this reads like a certain loser complaining ‘we won by a lot’. Winning all four tosses, playing at home, full strength against debutants and second stringers? A pink ball game and a ‘fortress’ Brisbane test wangled into things?! A touring team put under extraordinary lock down restrictions.

Take nothing away from a magnificent Indian team performance, but this tour exposes a few myths that this author and a few others have built around this current Australian side. Reality check.

Not only is the sky not falling, this Australian Test team is really good!

Maybe Langer should leave his bubble and take a look at how the vast majority of that 1.5 billion live and what is available to them. Tone deaf comment.

Not only is the sky not falling, this Australian Test team is really good!

Maybe Ad-O. But to have a player in your side with an IQ low enough to believe you could take bright yellow sandpaper to a cricket ball in a game of international cricket, attended by thousands and filmed in high def from all angles is pretty unusual. To have three in the same team with similar IQ’s is quite exceptional. For two of those three to be considered to be of sufficient character to be awarded the captaincy and vice captaincy just stretches credulity beyond breaking point. To be fair, a number of people in that Australian side maybe should have served several years under a supervision order and never be allowed to operate heavy machinery for their own safety and the safety of others.

Are the bad-boy Aussies making an unwelcome return?

Maybe FB, but this current administration have got very little right regarding COVID management (not a political statement, an observation) and the maths of double shots still makes July an ambitious target. Add into the mix the fact they are currently hitting soft targets for vaccinations (those literally desperate for help, and in some cases, literally sitting targets) and that the younger, fire proof believers are also those more prone to spread come next, I doubt the uptake will sustain at the rates hoped for (I wonder if any government will be brave enough to mandate vaccination?). Add into the mix this virus could easily mutate again.

Yep, cancel and shift the rotation seems the only sensible course.

Will the Lions actually tour South Africa in 2021?

You’ve a good ear and an even better memory Neutral!

Will the Lions actually tour South Africa in 2021?

Even an OLED TV couldn’t distinguish that difference NV. To continue the obscure references, as Belle Epoque put it in their fab 70’s cover (am I giving away too much?) ….’Black is Black’ baby.

Will the Lions actually tour South Africa in 2021?

” …..although the sheer stubbornness of the Lions committee might force it through.”

The often maligned King Canute nailed it (he was actually demonstrating the futility of turning the tide through human will) so hopefully for everyone’s sake, they wake up to reality too.

Will the Lions actually tour South Africa in 2021?

As much as I want to think so Neutral, there’s no chance that could happen by July.

The UK government has a lose target of between 1 to 2 million doses per week being administered, something it’s not currently achieving, and even at that pace it wouldn’t have anything like herd immunity by mid year (don’t forget, two doses are also required). Add to that the fact that their vaccine of choice, Astra Zeneca, is now in phase 3 trials and showing a protection rate that varies by individual between the low 60% to mid 90% effectiveness. It appears it’s greatest benefit is in making serious infection (hospitalisation) less likely, with a success rate in the 90’s.

Just can’t see how there could be any crowds or travel. Said it before, they should just call it now.

Will the Lions actually tour South Africa in 2021?

Very good point about local revenues Jacko. I doubt SARU would be happy about missing ‘their turn’ if their Lions cycle were staged in the UK.

Six Nations set to go ahead as planned

For the same reasons I don’t like the idea of a UK based Lions ‘tour’, a dilution of the entire concept touring France doesn’t sit right either Neutral. Given the UK government’s track record distributing something as simple as PPE, organising an effective testing regime or instigating timely actions, I wouldn’t be holding my breath for UK travelers being particularly welcome anywhere anytime soon ….

Six Nations set to go ahead as planned

Understand why it could happen in the UK CPM, but it just shouldn’t – at least not under the guise of a Lions event.

The whole point of these tours from a players perspective is the unique test of the actual tour itself and everything that goes with it. If you’ve ever toured as a fan, you’d know the uniqueness of that experience too.

If SA could travel to the UK mid year to fan attended events (and that’s a big if) then let them tour the home nations. I realise that would be very tough on all those players who might miss out on a Lions jersey, but it’s an institution and tradition bigger than any player.

Six Nations set to go ahead as planned

There’s even nonsense talk about playing a Lions ‘tour’ at home right now (the very antithesis of a Lions tour), inviting SA over to the UK (frying pan fire anybody?)
Given the typical schedules leading up to and post the 2023 RWC and the clubs demands on player release, isn’t it obvious that this Lions tour gets cancelled? It’s a tough bullet to bite but better for everyone to swallow that mother now in my opinion.

Six Nations set to go ahead as planned

Are you really surprised Jacko? Moving the 6N for a (hopefully) one-off pandemic is a completely different conversation to moving it permanently. Isn’t that obvious?

Six Nations set to go ahead as planned

Because it’s the fastest way out?!

Hope you get chance to properly enjoy the holidays Nick and thanks for your patronage this year. All the very best.

Can Super Rugby AU bring the wild geese home?

Would never have got cropped if you’d just picked him in the first place pundit 😉

Dream XV 2020: Back three of the year

Still haven’t built them roads going round ’em?

Can Super Rugby AU bring the wild geese home?

Think you’re right Harry. There’s a lot about his Aviva try of the season 2012 (30 seconds in) that’s still in his 2020 version.

Dream XV 2020: Back three of the year

OK. I’ll live with selecting a guy who hasn’t played a test all year in your back three of 2020. It’s strange, but hey.

But are you honestly telling me this guy doesn’t even get an ‘honourable mention’?

Please note, he did it this year and he did it beating five backs, not a Marler or three other forward types. Just saying.

Dream XV 2020: Back three of the year

Bloody good question Harry. I’d always have a forward preference, especially in SA, but the lack of obvious candidates has me concerned Gatland will play AWJ at the expense of better players. A bookies favourite is Farrell. Neither prospects particularly inspire me. This is potentially a key decision Gats can make early doors and earn the big bucks in identifying that inspired appointment. Or he’ll just go with Faz.

Is James Ryan top of the locks?

I don’t honestly think anyone on here sees no weaknesses in him as a Lock, if not only because Locks typically play in pairs that compliment each other, with one having strengths in their game over the other. Has always been the way.

And I wouldn’t get too distracted over his verbal exuberances, even though ironically it is intended to be annoying.

I doubt he’ll get this Lions captaincy, but I wouldn’t underestimate his credentials there either. If you’ve ever heard much of him off the pitch, he’s an intelligent and very level character. He’s also captained an English junior side to a RWC.

Is James Ryan top of the locks?

Except that’s not what happened. And I bet he didn’t. Literally.

Is James Ryan top of the locks?

Cheers Harry. It obviously wasn’t intended to be offensive and I never thought you’d have the character to find it so. As I said before, more power to your elbow!

Why Matt Philip is upwardly mobile in the second row