British & Irish Lions Legend Blasts Warren Gatland’s Squad Selection

Scotland and Lions rugby legend Jim Telfer has hit out at Warren Gatland’s decision to include 12 Welshmen in his British & Irish Lions squad.

Telfer, who was part of the coaching team on the victorious Lions tour to South Africa in 1997, reckons Scotland’s wins over Ireland and Wales should have seen them have a far greater representation at this summer’s tour.

For the first time since the initial Lions tour in 1908, not one Scottish forward made the cut, with the likes of Jonny Gray and Hamish Watson missing out.

Speaking to the Scottish Daily Mail, Telfer reckons Wales had a very average season, doesn’t think 12 Welshmen in a squad of 41 is justified.

“Twelve Welshmen who have had a pretty average season in a Lions squad of 41 is not justified, especially as Scotland just got two and we beat Wales well,” Telfer told the Scottish Daily Mail .
“Scottish rugby fans have every reason to be aggrieved and disillusioned because of that. We beat Wales fair and square. We beat Ireland fair and square — yet only got two players in the Lions squad.
“There will be a disconnect from Scottish rugby fans going out to watch the Lions in New Zealand. The Lions supporters are loyal but they like to see a sprinkling of players from their own country taking part. With only two Scots definitely going that thrill has gone.
There is nobody in that Lions squad apart from Stuart Hogg that excites me. You need a bit of spark to win games at the highest level and only Stuart has that.
“There is nobody in that squad apart from him that has that “x factor” or the sort of flair that Finn Russell has been showing for Scotland, yet Finn is not being picked.
“Scotland have the most creative back division in northern hemisphere rugby yet we only got our full-back and one of our wingers in the Lions squad.
“Okay, Finn didn’t play well against England but that was a one-off game when everything that could have gone wrong for Scotland did. You going to ignore him because of that? No, you should not.”
It’s thought that Scotland’s heavy defeat to England scuppered the hopes of several of their players.

What do you think? Does he have a point?

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Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor at RugbyLAD. Any queries big or small you can reach him at [email protected]

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