Martin Devlin: What does Jimmy Gopperth's UK player of the year award say for the British and Irish Lions?

Jimmy Gopperth ... nice guy but what does his selection as player of the year mean for the Lions tour? Photo / File
Jimmy Gopperth ... nice guy but what does his selection as player of the year mean for the Lions tour? Photo / File

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Jimmy.

Jimmy who?

Jimmy Gopperth, England club rugby player of the year.

Yep, you read that right.

Little Jimmy Gopperth is officially the best player in the English club premiership.

The players decided that last week when they named him Players' Player of the Year. And just today he won the overall gong for English Premiership Player of the Year.

Now I don't know Jimmy from a bar of soap. He's probably a decent guy.

But I do know that he wasn't exactly eagerly sought after by New Zealand rugby at Super Rugby level.

And I don't recall the All Blacks selectors showing much interest either.

So Gopperth headed for greener financial pastures in England - and who can blame him.
But the fact he was won both premier individual awards in English club rugby says a lot about that competition.

It also says something about the British and Irish Lions.

If Gopperth has been able to poll more votes than influential Lions players like so-called match-winning No. 10 Owen Farrell and his Saracens team-mate Maro Itoje (another guy being massively talked up ahead of the New Zealand tour) then what chance are the touring party of winning?

Would Jimmy even get a Super Rugby guernsey anywhere in any of our teams right now?
Well, maybe the Blues.

In fact, I'd like a dollar for every Lions player who would make the cut in a NZ Super Rugby franchise. I'd be lucky to get enough to buy my lunch.

Mind you, most of them would make the Aussie teams ...

- NZ Herald

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