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Just one Englishman makes cut as McGeechan floods his Lions XV with Scots

By Ian Cameron

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British and Irish Lions guru Sir Ian McGeechan has rewarded form and selected no less than eight Scottish players into his latest Lions XV.


Scotland players have infamously been overlooked for Lions slots in recent years under head coach Warren Gatland. Just two players – Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour – made the initial tour team for New Zealand in 2017, although Greig Laidlaw, Finn Russell and Alan Dell would later receive call-up as the bruising tour wore on.

That was one less than in 2013, where only Hogg, Sean Maitland and Richie Gray made the plane to Australia. Yet that could all change in 2021, where a significant number of Scottish players have made strong arguments to be included after storming fortress Twickenham in fine style.

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That’s reflected in McGeechan’s latest weekly selection, where eight players have made the Test XV.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the man considered a bell-weather for tour selection has plumped for Glaswegian Zander Fagerson at tighthead alongside Wales duo Ken Owens and Wyn Jones. Jonny Gray – maybe the most bizarre non-selection in 2017 – starts alongside lone Englishman Maro Itoje, one of the few players wearing white to put in a performance in Twickenham.

The back row is very much a Scottish affair, with Hamish Watson at openside and Jamie Ritchie on the blindside, alongside Ireland’s CJ Stander, who shone in defeat against Wales.


Lions shoo in Finn Russell joins Ireland’s Conor Murray in the halfbacks, with dazzling debutant Cameron Redpath partners with Ireland’s Garry Ringrose in a classy looking midfield.

There’s room for two more Scots in the back three, with Hogg and giant strike runner Duhan van der Merwe lining up alongside Welsh flyer Louis Rees-Zammit.

Naturally it’s a form selection and there’s still plenty of the time for cases to be made, but you dare say that there will be more than two Scots making the 2021 Lions series.

Sir Ian McGeechan’s Lions XV of the week:
Stuart Hogg
Louis Rees-Zammit
Gary Ringrose
Cam Redpath
Duhan van der Merwe
Finn Russell
Conor Murray
Wyn Jones
Ken Owens
Zander Fagerson
Maro Itoje
Jonny Gray
Jamie Ritchie
Hamish Watson
CJ Stander


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Just one Englishman makes cut as McGeechan floods his Lions XV with Scots