The 1014 sat down before The 2017 British and Irish Lions squad was announced and predicted the Lions captaincy and more.

While much of the British press was touting Dylan Hartley to lead the tourists, the following came up in our discussion:

Dylan Hartley can’t be captain of The Lions in New Zealand, there’s too much controversy around him.

Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

He’s got a short fuse and New Zealand is no place to go with a short fuse.

After acknowledging that Sam Warburton may not even be the best openside flanker available in the touring party, we agreed that he will be selected as The Lions captain.

Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Sean O’Brien and Justin Tipuric were playing better rugby than Warburton during the 2013 Lions Tour to New Zealand, however, Warburton was selected captain and test starter when available.

Special All Black Side

The discussion then flowed onto the All Blacks and how special the current team is. There is a splattering of class players across the team. Often, these players are the best in the world in their position. Of course, this led the conversation onto the incomparable Beauden Barrett:

He plays number 10 the way nobody has ever played 10. This guy is a genius and on this tour, he could go into rugby history as one of the all time greats.

Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / www.photosport.nz
Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / www.photosport.nz

The greatest players raise their standard on the biggest stage, as Dan Carter did in 2005 and 2015. The next Rugby World Cup is two years away and The Lions Tour is the next biggest stage. Heroes and villains will emerge over the next couple of months in New Zealand. Who will step up and write themselves into the history books? What a treat we are in for.

Watch The 1014 discuss Lions selection, All Black stars and a wild midfield partnership of Sonny Bill Williams and Beauden Barrett in:

 The 1014: Lions Series Special,  Captaincy, Barrett Brothers, Series Prediction | Episode 1

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Author: Gareth Dinneen

Gareth is from Limerick, Ireland and has been obsessed with the All Blacks and NZ culture since 1989. He first arrived in NZ in 2001 to tutor in New Media and has since worked with Weta Digital on movies like Avatar, King Kong, The Avengers and most recently Valerian. Gareth grew up listening to his father Len on sports radio. Len is known as ‘The Voice of Rugby’ in Munster, Ireland. The 1014 brings Gareth right back to his sports media roots.

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