Tim Visser has said that Scotland have always been “underrepresented” in Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions squads, saying “it shows where Gatland is with his head” if there isn’t better representation this year.
Joining The Telf Rugby Podcast this week, the former Scotland winger shared his thoughts on missing out of the 2013 tour, the 2017 tour and the upcoming tour this year.
He was asked how he felt after missing out on the 2013 squad. “At that point, I had done literally everything I could have done. If at any point it was going to happen, it was going to be that year. I was in the Dream Team every year, I was top try scorer every year, I had just become Player of the Year voted by all the other players in the league. There’s literally not a more honourable accolade you can achieve, in my mind, and I was on fire for Scotland,” said Visser.
“If you look at the other wingers in that squad, the competition was pretty nuts. Alex Cuthbert was really good for Wales, Tommy Bowe was great, George North has just played 100 games for Wales, he’s one of the best wingers around.
“What did hurt me is that when we went to South Africa with Scotland instead, there were a couple of injuries and instead of flying me in, [Gatland] flew Christian Wade in. Christian Wade got picked up in the first game he played by I think Folau, thrown to the side of the pitch as if he were a ragdoll and obviously never played again.
“That hurt. Having done everything I did and to not then call me up. He’s done that again, not personally. But if you look at the last Lions tour, I was in Australia at the time, [the Lions] had a couple of injuries, they were obviously in New Zealand, and just because for ease he had the Wales team, I think they were in Samoa, he called four players into that Lions tour who ended up playing a midweek match. Some of which we either had never heard of before or since never seen again. It’s stuff like that, in my mind, devalues the jersey.
“Scotland have always been underrepresented. And I think he probably looked at me and just saw my defensive weaknesses, and just said “right, I’m not taking him, it’s as easy as that,” because it can’t have been anything.”
Visser was then asked whether Gatland came to watch Scotland training camps in the build up to a Lions tour, before turning his attention to this year’s tour of South Africa.
“With Scotland, he [Gatland] used to stand next to the pitch on his phone, and then have lunch with us then b****r off essentially.
“If you look at this year and the way Scotland have been doing, I’m excited. I think obviously Hamish Watson, in my mind, is the first name on that team sheet. Hoggy will be there, he’s been outstanding for years on end now. Zander Fagerson, maybe? [Finn] Russell might go. I think Duhan van der Merwe should go, I think he’s been absolutely brilliant. Maybe [Jonny] Gray? There’s some real representation this year, or should be, and if there isn’t then it just shows where Gatland is with his head.”
Just two Englishmen make the cut. https://t.co/vBRP6K4Qmz
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 19, 2021
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now