Monday, April 29, 2013

Lions Selector: Outside Half

If David Cameron thought life at Number 10 was hard he should try being an international outside half. Now a four year term is rare, in fact, 12 months is a life time for a 10 at the top.
12 months ago it looked sewn up, Sexton and Priestland would battle it out for the starting 10 jersey. However, inconsistent form and time off with injuries has left Sexton’s place under scrutiny and Priestland’s doomed.

Sexton is likely to tour though, but Irish team mate Ian Madigan perhaps burnt too quickly and not quite brightly enough.

Dan Biggar’s year has gone quite the opposite to that of his Scarlets' rival. Impressive for the Ospreys, Biggar filled a Priestland shaped for Wales and grew into the role with each passing game to become another impressive product of the fabled “Outside Half Factory.” Wales’ other option James Hook has had little opportunity at international level, but continues to impress in France. That form couple with Hook’s versatility maybe enough to see him tour.
Scotland will put forth Paddy Jackson and Greig Laidlaw. Jackson is too green, too inexperienced, but Laidlaw may make it with his ability to fill either stand off role.

All the while, it’s a feisty battle of England’s best fly halves that has given the most entertaining contest so far. With Toby Flood drifting out of contention it falls on the shoulders of Owen Farrell and Johnny Wilkinson. Farrell appeared to have cemented himself as the best the red rose had to offer, but never write off Johnny Wilkinson. Wilko has rolled back the years this and it all culminated in the Heineken Cup semi final this weekend.

Wilkinson controlled, guided, lead and impressed whilst Farrell faltered on the big stage.

The starting outside half may also be dependant on would starts at 9, but the final decision will fall on Warren Gatland, Andy Farrell and Rob Howley to pick their perfect 10.

Perfect 10 - Beautiful South

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