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Stephen Jones Has A Typically Mad Shout For The Lions' Player Of The Series

Stephen Jones Has A Typically Mad Shout For The Lions' Player Of The Series
By Gavin Cooney

The Sunday Times rugby writer Stephen Jones is never one to shirk a big call, or indeed an utterly mad one. The Six Nations, for example, led Jones to declare that Rob Kearney should be the starting full-back on the Lions tour, and since decamping to New Zealand, the slightly hare-brained calls have not stopped.

Jones appeared alongside Stuart Barnes, Peter O'Reilly, and Owen Slot on the Times' The Ruck podcast.

Along with some praise for Tadhg Furlong, Jones went for Courtney Lawes, who has played all of 20 minutes in the Test series thus far:

Well, Tadhg Furlong has been incredible. For an hour, he has been everything you expect your tighthead prop to be. He's not quite got the experience to last all the time, but he has been fantastic. He is very easy to pencil in as the tighthead prop in four years time. But I'm going to go for Courtney Lawes.

He has played in some poor teams but has been good in those poor teams. And I really like the bloke. I don't know him, but I like him as a player. He's been a hard-hitter, and to see him come on and have bit of a shake-it-up in the second Test was great.

Elsewhere, Stuart Barnes picked Sean O'Brien, Peter O'Reilly selected Jonathan Davies, while host Owen Slot went for Iain Henderson, with praise reserved for Justin Tipuric.

Later in the podcast, Jones launched a stinging riposte at an English Labour MP who was critical of him in the Kiwi press. Here's the piece in question, and accuses Jones of failing to provide a balanced view, and claims that he writes "bile" about the All Blacks.

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Here's Jones' response:

I love being on Lions tours. In my job I've always loved journalism far more than rugby. I love the people in rugby, but I've always loved being a journalist. I'd be happy going on the golf circuit, or go and cover some other sport, or be a cookery expert, which I could be. I just love working for a newspaper.

But some idiot, a former Labour MP, who came down here, had a go at me in the New Zealand Herald. I can't remember his name, but he had a go at me. But it was such a shocking, useless, horrendous piece that he wrote, technically, I thought that 'if you have so little talent son, and you're trying to make a comeback, you're validating everything I have said and done.

So thank you sonny, whoever you are, for the piece in the New Zealand Herald.

See Also: Warren Gatland Names Lions Team For The Final Test Against The All Blacks

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