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I can coattail him in - Jamie Ritchie keen to join Hamish Watson in Lions squad

By PA
(Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Jamie Ritchie has joked that he hoped he could drag himself into the British and Irish Lions squad on Hamish Watson’s coattails.

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But the Edinburgh and Scotland forward feels he has done all he can to get named in the 36-man squad.

Back-row team-mates Ritchie and Watson have both been backed in pundits’ tips for Warren Gatland’s squad and the wait will be over on Thursday lunchtime.

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At 24 years old, Ritchie already has 27 caps and is a key player for Gregor Townsend’s improving Scotland side.

“It is pretty humbling even being mentioned in the conversation,” the flanker said. “For me it’s pretty cool for just even that. If obviously I was to be selected then touch wood I would be over the moon. A childhood dream would be realised. It would be awesome.

“I am trying not to think about it too much. People keep asking me so that is when it gets brought up. Whatever happens, happens. I have been in the game long enough to know it is all pretty subjective. I have done all I can. It is up to the people who make those decisions.”

Ritchie is in no doubt that his fellow flanker Watson, the Guinness Six Nations player of the tournament, should be on the plane to South Africa.

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“In my mind he is one of the best sevens in the world,” the Dundonian said. “I think he should go but as I said these things are so subjective it is up to others to make those decisions. If I was picking it, Hamish would be there.

“Me and Hamish have a really brilliant relationship both on and off the pitch. We know how each other plays, we know what suits each other and what we do well.

“It is brilliant to have each other and we do all our extras together and push each other. For me it has been invaluable to have Hamish here since I have been here.

“Hopefully I can coattail him in there,” he laughed. “Look, who knows what’s going to happen? Not me. If Mish goes I’ll be delighted for him and if I go I’ll be delighted for myself. If I don’t go I’ll get on with my life and have a nice summer.”

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Ritchie has another big day this week with Edinburgh travelling to Glasgow for the 1872 Cup decider and their second game in the Rainbow Cup.

“I think the boys will probably joke about it a bit, ‘this is the fifth time we’ve played them this year’ but when it comes to game time everyone looks forward to getting a chance to have a pop at Glasgow so we’ll be up for it,” Ritchie said.

“We saw the Rainbow Cup as an opportunity for a fresh start off the back of a tough year. We always want to get one over on Glasgow so it means a lot.”

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I can coattail him in - Jamie Ritchie keen to join Hamish Watson in Lions squad

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