Who will be the British and Irish Lions hate figure?
British & Irish Lions

Now Hartley’s gone, who are the haters gonna hate?

Now Hartley’s gone, who are the haters gonna hate?

Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 08.59.32The bags were packed for them, the flight attendants put a padlock on the beer fridge and the British and Irish Lions boarded a long-haul flight to Hong Kong.

The tour is finally underway.

If all of that sounds simple, though, then it would betray the almost inevitable cluster muck-up that was the two days leading up to the invitational side’s departure. On Saturday, in the Aviva Premiership final between Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints – a game the Tigers triumphed in – the left-field Lion Dylan Hartley saw a red card for verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes. He’s now been banned for 11 weeks.

This has created a vacuum, with the void normally filled with the hooker’s bad language left empty. With all-round nice guy Rory Best of Ireland taking Hartley’s spot on the plane there is a question of who will become the Lions hate figure?

Warren-Gatland-squareWarren Gatland

Of course, you could froth with bile whenever Warren G spits some lyrics. The head coach is notorious for his mind games and will not shirk a verbal challenge. If anything else, Aussies can laugh at the sometimes-irascible Kiwi for his part in a British ad campaign for the series.

Andy Farrell LionsAndy Farrell

Andy Farrell , the defence coach for the series could also be a target for some gentle ribbing. As a mungo-ist, Farrell captained Great Britain in a close fought series against Australia in 1997, kicking his team near. He will also be the man barking orders in Lions training and probably saying some not very nice things about men in gold.

owen farrellOwen Farrell

This Pom has metronomic kicking skills, perfect hair and his dad is the coach. Farsighted Aussie fans might get in on the hate ground floor just in case he becomes the next Jonny Wilkinson.

manu tuilagiManusamoa Tuilagi

Will be a focal point in attack on this tour with his powerful runs. Yet it could be hoped by some home fans that the 22-year-old is not mentally tough enough to handle a tour, having seen him jump off a ferry in a moment of madness at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

mike phillips lionsMike Phillips

Abrasive and in your face, the Welshman is a ball of niggle who also dated the Welsh pop star Duffy, putting his head way above the parapet of mocking. Oh, and he’s a halfback, so game on.

However, the problem for fans down under is that there is no clear candidate for derision now that Hartley is stuck in Blighty. This Lions squad is too green, too young, too unassuming to have severely pissed anyone off yet.

My advice? Pick at random or, better yet, pick a player whose name is easily worked into a pun. In times of War(burton) that would be my Tip(uric). Give a random a fat (Heas)lip. They’ll Lydi-hate that.


Top Lions Hate Figure

  • Try_Ranosaurus Rex

    Why do we need to look to the Lions for hate?
    Me thinks there’ll be plenty of hate for Deans come June…

  • Bay35Pablo

    Anyone normally wearing an England jersey and I’ll be fine.

  • SuckerForRed

    Has to be Owen Farrell – Daddy’s the coach & what is with that hair?

    • Jimmydubs

      JOC vs Farrell in the hair-off. I’m not that old but I don’t understand young people.

    • USARugger

      Not to mention he’s a bit of a loudmouth fluffybunny on the field..not in a good way either. Maybe if he spent more time yelling at his own players he could have provided the Sarries back line with some decent structure and I dunno, a win or two that mattered this year?

    • mxyzptlk

      Owen Farrell gets my vote. Constantly brushing his hair on the big screen when he takes a kick is bad enough, but he pulls a lot of unseemly little stuff off the ball that’s really irritating to see — jersey-pulling, tripping, elbowing towards to chin, etc. He’s going to end up getting himself targeted like Ashton, and well-deserved too.

  • PIffled

    Can’t be Tuilagi, he gets a pass for this on former enemy no.1 Ashton


    • That’s a fine vid to watch. Over and over and over…

    • Pfitzy

      If you’re going to throw down on a cuzzy, protect your head you knob!

  • Merrow

    Happy to share my hate around.

  • Madflyhalf

    Is Tom Carter eligible the B&I Lions?

    If so, we could maintain the “Punchable face rate” of the Lions series as high as if there be Dylan Hartley!

  • Dougall

    I honestly thought Deans was going to be in that list

  • MM

    I’ve got enough for all of them.

  • Fatflanker

    Gatland for sure…unsportsmanlike cryogenic chambers…good mate of Graham Henry…nuff said.

British & Irish Lions

Alan Dymock is a student in Scotland working towards a masters in journalism. Formerly contracted to Edinburgh Rugby he has played rugby in some far flung places like Dubai, Canada and Germany. He has also played against the likes of David Pocock and Danny Cipriani, but thankfully he likes enjoying rugby now... Follow Alan on twitter @AlanDymock

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