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Aisle be back: Hurricanes v Brumbies and the Lions squad naming

Hurricanes | 20 April 2017 | Kevin McCarthy

Aisle be back: Hurricanes v Brumbies and the Lions squad naming

Let the red tide start flooding. Yes the British and Irish Lions squad was announced overnight.

With 41 players, it can't be accused of being small. Only three shy of Sir Clive's infamous 2005 squad.  

That provides plenty of depth for a tough tour - on the other hand, there may be some Lions who 
barely get out of the enclosure. Let's hope they enjoy the other aspects of touring. 

On paper it looks a strong outfit, but we kind of knew that was coming. What we don't know and they don't know, is how they will compare to the All Blacks.

What we'll now get is an absolute torrent of words trying to divine from Warren Gatland's squad just what game plan the Lions have.

And most will say it will be an aim of strangling the All Blacks, winning up front and not playing to the home side's counterattack strengths.

If indeed that's the plan, then heaven help the Lions. Nothing will fail like a pre-ordained strategy that anyone could see coming from 12 thousand miles away.

RLM

So can Gatland find the guile amid the grunt? Because I get the feeling he's going to need to.

+++++++

That Blues match was just the sort of arm wrestle the Hurricanes needed at this early stage of the campaign.

You could hardly say it was winning ugly, but it was built on two things - that 10 minute stand during the now mandatory "Beauden Barrett is having a rest" phase, and then the unrelenting attack in the final 10.

This isn't a champion side yet. Just look at the lineouts. But there is plenty to be cheered by.

The Blues meanwhile take your breath away - either they are very slick and dangerous, or a complete headless chook.

Their season is pretty much over, which is a sad commentary when the competition has a long way to go.

But they'll probably be the most influential New Zealand team from here on in  - capable of tripping up any other side and deciding the ultimate home conference rankings.

+++++++++

Wow, religion keeps intruding into rugby. Last week it was SBW. This week I was shocked to hear Chris Boyd compare Jordie Barrett - with caveats - to Christian Cullen.

For those of the Christian (Cullen) faith, this is blasphemy. So young Jordie, do not listen to that older fellow in the tracksuit.

When and only when you can run in 100 metre tries, and walk on water or perhaps part it, shall you be worthy of comparison. 

And even then, don't count on it. 

Lifelong All Blacks supporter Kev has followed the Hurricanes since they began. Last year his faith in them was rewarded when they won the title – can they do it again?

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