ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Wednesday Apr 14, 2021

More Scots and fewer English tipped for Lions tour says Gatland

Warren Gatland has hinted that fewer English players and more Scots will feature in his British and Irish Lions squad for the 2021 tour to South Africa.

ADVERTISEMENT

The former Wales head coach will lead the Lions for a third consecutive tour alongside assistants Steve Tandy (Scotland), Gregor Townsend (Scotland), Robin McBryde (Leinster) and Neil Jenkins (Wales), with the recent 6 Nations seemingly playing a big role in determining squad members.

England’s dip in form since the Autumn Nations Cup and Scotland’s pair of historic away victories against the English and France have caught the eye of Gatland, who said on Tuesday that there would be ‘no doubt’ that Scottish representation in this year’s touring party would be larger than that in 2017.

Four years ago, just two Scottish players (Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour) were selected in the original 41-man squad for the trip to New Zealand, although Greig Laidlaw, Allan Dell and Finn Russell were subsequently called up as injury cover.

But this time around, Gatland has taken notice of Scotland’s away form in the 6 Nations, with that having been the rationale for so few players being selected for the last tour.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Rugby Podcast, Gatland said: “In this [Six Nations] tournament Scotland had two great wins away from home.

“You have got to be conscious of that because we are playing away from home.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“There is no doubt that with their form in the last 12 months and particularly at the Six Nations, there will be more Scottish players represented and I think that’s good.”

Throughout the 6 Nations, a number of Scottish players had been shortlisted for the tour, but with Gatland’s squad mooted to be reduced to just 36 travelling members, the chances of more representation than in previous years appeared to be diminished.

6 Nations player of the tournament Hamish Watson has been tipped for a spot in the squad, despite being regarded by rugby journalist Stephen Jones as “too small for the Springboks” in a recent column.

Still, Gatland has entrusted current Scotland head coach Townsend with the role of attack coach, which could yet provide more Scottish backs a chance to make the cut.

ADVERTISEMENT

English players could miss out after poor 6 Nations

Gatland also suggested that some English players might have missed out on inclusion in the squad, following a disappointing 6 Nations tournament, where they lost at home to Scotland and away to both Wales and Ireland heavily.

The Kiwi admitted that England captain Owen Farrell “probably didn’t have his best tournament” but stopped short of saying that he would miss the tour.

“There are probably some names that would have been inked in a couple of years that we are now having a serious debate about,” Gatland said.

“Across the board [between the coaches] we’ve probably got about 20-odd, 23 names [decided]. There will be some quality players that will miss out on the final number.

“I am very pleased to have assembled such a high-quality coaching team.

“It’s a really strong group and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together – I think we’ll all compliment each other well in South Africa.”

With a reduced squad this year, it is clear that some players who would have been on the cusp of inclusion in a normal year may be left disappointed. Gatland is expected to announce his 36-man squad on Thursday 6th May.

RELATED VIEWING:

Video Spacer

Comments




Related Articles

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    Montage of HUGE hits and brilliant tries...

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    Ellis Genge puts on his boxing gloves ready...

  • 90 WEEKS AGO

    Crazy scenes as player deliberately kicks...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Five of the best tries from the Investec Champions Cup

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    The dummy that sold the whole of Perth - including the cameraman

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    Bayonne score 'one of the best tries you'll ever see' in latest match against Exeter

  • 13 WEEKS AGO

    Baloucoune shows Andy Farrell what he's missing as the winger tears through Harlequins defence

  • 25 WEEKS AGO

    Seriously impressive Courtney Lawes compilation released after England player calls time on international career

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Fiji Drua player Lomani slapped with ban following elbow attack

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    The sending off that rocked the Six Nations opener

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    Wrecking ball beats 10 players to score full length of the pitch try

  • 21 WEEKS AGO

    Streaker causes major bust up as he tackles player

  • 21 WEEKS AGO

    Monster hit from Perrin leaves Bristol Bears player stunned

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Tickets now on sale as World XV set to face France in thrilling encounter

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    '60 metres, plus change' - massive drop goal stuns fans

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Referee makes 'tackle of the season' as he gets too close to the action

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Christian Wade proves he still has the X-factor with 50 metre mazy finish for Racing 92

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Magical sevens try leaves defender stuck in the mud

View All

Funnies

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Louis Rees-Zammit's real reason for NFL move exposed

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    George Ford falls victim to the kickers curse

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Awesome scenes as Blitzbok fan throws down at the HSBC SVNS

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Mike Philips recounts crazy night Shane Williams tried to fight Warren Gatland

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    Shaun Edwards leaves room silent in new Six Nations documentary with French to English transition

View All

Amateur

  • 66 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 66 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 90 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 13 HOURS AGO

    Kyle Rowe’s remarkable journey from an Amazon warehouse to the international stage

  • 18 HOURS AGO

    Bath Rugby bolster squad with another young signing

  • 1 DAY AGO

    How Jordie Barrett could fit into the Leinster system

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Statement: Ken Owens forced to retire with immediate effect

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Statement: Finn Russell injury update

View All