Lions Coaches Reveal Why They Snubbed Scottish Players

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Yesterday’s British & Irish Lions squad announcement was controversial for a variety of reasons, none more so than the meagre Scottish representation. Now coaches Warren Gatland and Andy Farrell explain why.

If Warren Gatland wasn’t aware of the intensity of Scottish rugby passion before, he certainly will be today. The ink was barely dry on his expanded 41 man squad before criticism started raining in from Scottish, English, Irish and even Welsh pundits and fans. There were so bold calls like the ones to leave out England’s talismanic, but oft cited, captain Dylan Hartley and outstanding 2nd Row Joe Launchbury.

But the real headline was the lack of a healthy Scottish representation, despite their most successful Six Nations in a generation and reaching their highest ever World Ranking of 5th.

 

This has even led some Scottish fans to question whether we should boycott the tour altogether.

Are they expected to share the same shirt?

Backs Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour were the only Scottish players named, making this the first squad in over 100 years that didn’t contain a Scottish forward and even less than the 3 who travelled in 2013.

People have been quick to point out that Wales, the team that Gatland coaches in his day job, received a staggering 12 players –  despite being well beaten by Scotland and finishing below them in the final Six Nations table.

But Gatland denies any implication of bias saying:  “Look, we understand they (Scotland) are going to be disappointed but it wasn’t about what nation you come from. We put together what we thought was the strongest possible squad.”

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He also cited the heavy 61-21 loss to England as a major contributing factor.

“We just felt we’d looked at the footage, we’d done our due diligence, looked at the game in Twickenham.”

Gatland suggested the fact that they lost away to England and France means Scottish players would struggle in the harsh rugby environment of New Zealand (despite the fact that his own Welsh team have struggled to beat Southern Hemisphere opposition home or away).

“There’s no doubt that Scotland have done very well. They will be aggrieved and disappointed about that. They performed exceptionally well at home.

“And we are not playing at home. We are playing away from home. Scotland haven’t been to New Zealand since 2000. And we are playing the best team, back-to-back world champions in their own backyard. We have to perform away from home, that’s going to be paramount.”

New Zealand is not an easy place to tour

It was also revealed that Glasgow reaching the European Quarter Finals was not seen as a strength, but rather a further weakness care of their 38-13 loss to Saracens.

“When I looked at it, and I looked pretty closely at the Glasgow-Saracens game, there were some pretty strong performances there by the Sarries. They could have been well up a bit earlier.”

The fact that two of the Scotland players tipped by some to tour (Sean Maitland and Duncan Taylor) actually play for Saracens seems to escape the Kiwi, whose knowledge of the Scottish player’s names had been questioned by prominent Scottish commentators.

The most revealing quote in his Sky Sports interview seems to suggest that, whilst he recognises Scotland’s improvement, he doesn’t rate the individual players:

And probably the greatest strength that Scotland have had is probably their collective performance. They’ve been well coached by Vern (Cotter) who’s done an exceptional job.

Assistant Coach and former rugby league player Andy Farrell also added to the sense that Scotland are seen as a team of overachievers, as opposed to individually talented players.

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“Scotland have done unbelievably well as a team in this Six Nations,” Farrell said. “But when you are picking individuals you have a process that you go through for months and when you break it all down you’ve got to make a decision and we’re very happy with the 41 we’ve ended up with.

Farrell doesn’t seem too impressed with Scotland’s talent

“These are the best of the best from the four countries. They are competitors and that’s exactly what we want. We don’t want them to accept being second best. We want them all to be pushing for places. That creates character within the squad and that’s exactly what we need.

“We’re fortunate to have such a depth of talent to pick from but if you look at these tours and how attritional they are… every four years the game gets tougher and there are always injuries and there’s a lot of big games over here before we get on the plane and there’s no doubt one or two things will happen before then.

“I look at the squad and the names we’ve picked – all 41 of them. I see players that won’t just accept being a British and Irish Lion or test player. A lot of these guys are used to winning and that’ll be at the forefront of the mind.”

What do you think of their reasons? Are they valid? Let us know in the comments below.

432 COMMENTS

  1. Stuff the lion’s going to really enjoy watching the sans lube prison style treatment the All Black’s are going to give them playing Warrenball against the All Black’s.

    Plus point we get to see Maitland at Full Back over a couple of games.

  2. His claim that his selection would be based on the 6 Nations performances has proved to be specious! His new assertion that players were chosen individually regardless of their nationality is plain daft and insulting. How else could he pick so many haphazardly malfunctioning Welsh players so bereft of basic ball skills from a team of losers?

  3. His reasons just compound the frustration. We didn’t just beat Wales, we coasted it in the end! We had one of the most exciting back lines of the tournament and all done against the backdrop of missing two key scrummagers. We played a second stream pack for most (although they did very well) – I for one has already lost interest in the tour as we have almost no representation. We deserved a far bigger contingent. As regards boycotting that’s a matter for those selected alone as the opportunity to play at that level shouldn’t be just dismissed. As regards my interest I will be off doing other things and I wish them all the best of luck.

  4. “These players are used to winning away from home.”

    Has any home nations team gone to NZ recently and won a series? Have they ever?

    The only team with experience winning away from home recently is England. Gotta feel for the likes of Laidlaw and Richie Gray. Oh well, will make for an even better test between Australia and Scotland when you visit us in June.

  5. So Warren Garland says he didn’t choose Scots because they can’t win away from home, but his own Welsh team lost their away series in New Zealand this summer 0-3, and even dropped to a midweek provincial side…

  6. Still waiting for real reasons ! Maybe there are none other than a clear Anglo- Welsh bias. Oh well, come on the All Blacks as I won’t be supporting this so called Lions team

  7. It would have been easier for Warren to just admit that “I hate Scotland”. Because he does. I think us Scots should boycott the team. Fairness hasn’t prevailed here.

  8. So it’s based on months of performances yet they reference individual losses and performances as part of the reason. Short answer is there was no Scottish representative on the selection panel!! We had 3 in the 2013 original squad and I don’t think anyone would compare the quality of the overall squad then to be better.

  9. They looked at the defeat to england…. a game where stuart hogg came off the pitch v eary on and decided from that the likes of Jonny gray weren’t to be inuded? Fuck off.

    • Kirsty McLean Exactly, apparently Finn playing Dan Carter off the park twice and J. Gray leading Glasgow to a 43-0 victory at the Tigers means nothing. Gatland’s just covering his arse and making excuses for picking underperforming Welsh lads that he knows. If he gave a toss about a Scottish voice on the selection panel he’d have phoned Cotter but obviously didn’t.

  10. Utter drivel from Gatland, contradicts himself several times.
    On the basis that Scotland were poor against England, why then did he not apply same logic to Wales and Ireland?
    Doesn’t stack up, he’s clearly biased and should be held to account.
    My dear is he’ll use Seymour and Hogg as slaughter fodder and they’ll come back either injured or knackered.

  11. The coach argument is an interesting one! By the same logic that Scotland as individuals over achieve under our coach as a team then the individuals selected from Wales are under achieving under their coaches, 3 of which are in the BIL team!! Worrying!

  12. Because the Welsh are so good at winning away in the SH. This plus how the Scottish players last time were treated, oh and Toonie as assistant to Howler, has killed any interest in the Lion’s. It’s up to the individual player’s to decide but personally I would love it if Hoggy and Seymour told Gatland to go and do one and Toonie refuses to allow his squad to be used as injury cover, not sure if it is allowed mind.

  13. I have never heard such weak excuses as to not pick more Scottish player, this is outrageous and to have the token gesture is a insult to Scottish rugby and it’s players but well done to the fantastic Hogg and Seymour for getting in the squad

  14. Farrel’s comments are a load of rubbish. Scotland should not have expected more than 4-5 players based purely on form, and I agree they need to be picked on form. Two is just insulting, especially when you see some of the Welsh names. How does Launchbury not get picked?!? Kruis gets picked after one game back and missing the whole 6 Nations ?!? No consistency, or logic, whatsoever !! Let’s hope it is the last time we see Gatland and Farrel involved with the Lions.

  15. This is clearly a case, in my view that there was no representative from Scottish rugby in the Lions set-up of coaches. It seems like the prevailing view is ‘Scotland are well coached and have done incredibly well to perform as they have this season’. No one was around to challenge that point of view. I have no doubt that they were trying to be objective about who the best players available are, but quite simply if there’s no Scot there to champion the talents of our players, then they can’t be that objective about it.

    The logic being used only seems to apply to one side. Scotland beat Ireland and Wales, but they failed to win away. Scotland haven’t beaten NZ away (but haven’t toured there recently), Wales were beaten in a 3 test series by NZ and have struggled against other SH sides in recent years. The logic doesn’t fit for me. Again, it’s down to an (unintentional and unfortunate) lack of objectivity.

  16. So Scotland’s away performance against 2 higher ranked teams was our downfall, but when Wales *and* Ireland both lose to a lower ranked team (Scotland at the time) it’s over looked. The man is talking utter shite, and compounds every Scottish fan’s anger by basically lying … 1st class twat

  17. Love how the triumphs of our team and completely overshadowed by our losses. Apparently, the other nations didnt lose a match in the 6 nations this year however… must have been watching some different matches to Gatland.

  18. Absolute bull shit I will support the lions and Hoggy and Seymour as I’m a huge fan of both and would be disrespectful not to! And just lowering our self’s to gatlands level don’t get me wrong Im pissed just as much as the next guy but too suggest they boycott what will be the high light of their career is just wrong but if Hogg isn’t selected for the test side I would find it very hard to watch! All the best to them both and to the rest good luck for the Scottish summer tour let the auzis have it and prove gats wrong

  19. The fact the jonny gray had some of the highest tackling stats from this years 6 nations should show his work rate and consistency. But the inclousion of so many under performinh welsh players shows his baisis. You have to go with players on form. Sean Maitland, Duncan Taylor and Jonny Grey are all players in top form. Failure to include them will result in our worst tour to date. Its time to bring in a new fair coach with no ties to any of the home nations so it is picked on players in form.

  20. Scotland had suffered so many injuries that they were left with players in the wrong positions and the early yellow card was fatal. A full squad would have beaten England for sure and Gatland knows that!

  21. Can’t see Hogg and Seymour getting more than a midweek brawl on this tour , what Toonie and the guys need to do is to keep improving and rise above this ,have a good tour in oz and come back stronger for the Autumn and next years six nations .

    • I agree in the long run this could be a good thing as Toonie basically has a full squad at his disposal for their tour. Mind you I’m still disappointed.

  22. Load of my arse!! If he went with his own reasoning you’d find more Scotland players as they well outplayed their Welsh counterparts!! Someone needs to wipe his mouth as he’s talking shite!

  23. If these comments don’t stir the boys into beating Wales at Cardiff next year nothing will – hopefully the whole squad will be raising their game a notch as a result of this – so overall Scotland will benefit- am off to watch the 2nd test – will be wearing a kilt with pride and getting behind the team whoever actually plays on the day #asone

  24. Wales haven’t won away (except Italy this six nations) since the RWC in 2015. Glasgow are seemingly punished for losing to Saracens in the European Cup when no Welsh teams made the quarters.

    • Oh yeah, you mean the Saracens, with their Scottish wing, Scottish centre, Scottish lock, Scottish flanker that have been core contributors for years now… Great logic there . As an outsider with no real dog in this fight it’s baffling. Wales have looked the worse I’ve seen them in years. I can understand a large English and Irish contingent as both those teams look to be in form, but Wales looked so disorganized in the autumn, almost losing to Japan, and got hammered in the 6n. I guess the selectors missed a meeting or two.

  25. Stating that scotland have,nt been to NZ since 2000 is a rubbish reason. The whole squad he picked werent even internationals at that point probably, so he clearly hates us and thought he may oick a couple to make it look fair, when in reality little Hamish Watson had the welsh back row in his back pocket when we beat them

  26. As good as Big Vern was for Scotland, if Gatland is suggesting he would have achieved similar results with the 2013 team (from which 3 Scots toured with the Lions) as he achieved with this year’s group then he’s only fooling himself. The players have matured into so much more since then.

    Forgetting the results against Wales and Ireland for a moment, we’re 5th in the world for goodness sake. 5th!

    Huge credit should go to Vern for that achievement, but he himself would be the first to point at the players and say, “they earned it, not me”.

    The fact that the 5th best squad in the world gets two squad places and Wales gets 12 just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, nor do the selections on an individual basis.
    Biggar instead of Russell for midweek games? Please.
    Davies ahead of Dunbar? Get a grip.
    AWJ picked before either Gray brothers or Launchbury? Shocking.
    No Watson or Wilson or Hardie, but a full backrow compliment from Wales?

    Gatland can say what he likes. The fact is, he had no intention when he agreed to the role of taking any more than 2-3 Scots. He didn’t bother his arse properly scouting the players and his excuses (for that is what they are) for not selecting them simply do not reflect real life in any way.

    I won’t be boycotting the Tour, though. Instead I’ll be hoping the ABs give them an absolute whitewash hiding.

  27. England and Wales to tour in New Zealand.
    Breaking news!! England have announced they will be touring in New Zealand this summer. Three test matches have been lined up against the All Blacks on 24th June, 1st July and 8th July.
    Wales also announced they will be touring in NZ. They will play 7 matches between 3rd June and 27th June, predominantly against the NZ Super Rugby teams. In a token attempt at co-operation both England and Wales have invited a few Irishmen to join them on their respective tours. When asked if they had considered inviting any Scottish players to join them on their tours the tour coaches admitted they had heard of Sean Maitland and John Hardie, but thought they were busy.

  28. we lost to France and England due to a horrendous amount of injuries in and leading up to both games. We lost our captain, had like 8 concussions in two matches, and against England had substitutes playing out of their positions due to injuries, if Gatland was looking at individual performances then the losses wouldn’t matter as it should be the players he’s looking at. Any team is going to be vulnerable with so many injuries! We beat Wales without all our best players, when Wales had all of theirs, so or players should have been given more credit for playing so well without key players…says a lot really about the bias

  29. Absolute nonsense – of course he is taking his day job players with him – Scotland beat Ireland and Wales fair and square – it is indeed going to be like that when those two eejits are put in charge! Get rid and get someone in who will play fair and square with the entire Country.

    • Entire country… there is no entire country, its four countries. There is alway a strong Irish contingent, because if they are not well represented then they lose the Irish support… Scots don’t count because they never count, just accept their lot do the Jocks.

  30. This is just conformation that I will take no part in supporting the lions. These reasons are shocking and pretty contradictory. Yes some of the players do deserve to be there but how can I support a team that has these kind of coaches?????

  31. Stuart hogg won’t start any tests halfpenny will cos Warren wants win with penaltys not trys and am afraid Tommy will be lucky to get in the midweek team #stufflions

  32. Glasgow beaten by Sarries and counts against their players, Bath, Leicester, Quins all hammered by Sarries but doesn’t appear to affect their players chances one little bitjust saying

  33. What a crock of shit. As a kiwi living in the U.K there is no other team over here that I get excited to watch more than SCOTLAND. They play with pure pride and this year their great attitude has shown through. They should have atleast 5 – 6 players in the team I can name plus others. It wasn’t even 12 months ago that Wales were sent home with their tales between their legs from NZ so how can Gatland use losing away from home as an excuse. Pull your head in mate.

  34. Disappointing but unsurprising that great Scots players have been overlooked. However I think it is wrong to ask for the guys to boycott the tour they have earned their places.

  35. That’s silly Nick. Given Scotland’s away record and Twickenham record then highly unlikely. It detracts from the real point which is several Welsh players are going when there are much better players available. However using that one match as an excuse and ignoring the Welsh losses is hypocritical. BIggar, AWJ, Halfpenny, and Falateau are all very lucky Gatland was picking. Ireland, Scotland and Launchbury made way for old mates and Scotland in particular are right to feel snubbed.

  36. So gatland says Scotland players weren’t picked due to not beating teams away from home, however his Welsh side get drummed by us away, and New Zealand 3-0 in the summer. Ireland lost away to us. He contradicts himself. No doubt he was getting back at Townsend for not accepting

  37. The reasoning for the heavy loss is sound but the assumption we’d have beaten a rapidly improving England away from home with a full team is tenuous at best. The fact we beat both Ireland and wales is more relevant

  38. You listen to Farrel who did what when he was assistant coach for England?? I seem to remember an embarrassing moment for England at the last World Cup.

  39. What a bunch of who gets, why are you all complaining about the Welsh contingent, you also say you thrashed Ireland but I don’t see any bad comments about their quota of players, Scotland had a good first half against Ireland and a good second half against Wales and now you think you are world beaters. All this bullshit about supporting the ABs, grow up you sad people.

    • Because the Irish and English have actually performed – other than welsh fans nobody can understand 12 from them after how they performed in the 6N – if he had 4 or 5 Scots there would have been none (or very little) of this pushback. It just fails the smell test when the Welsh coach picks 12 from the nation that finished 5th and 2 from the nation that finished 4th and beat them handily

  40. Absolutely laughable. A completely bias selection of old friends who have under performed all season. Jonny Gray and Hamish Watson should have been first picks on current form.

  41. If this is based on months of performances, Grey has superhuman stats this year, just one bad game at Twickenham. Kruis hasn’t played for months. Doesn’t stack up.

  42. What a load of rubbish Gatland and Farrell are spouting. It is clear they are biased. If it wasn’t for our two boys on the team, I wouldn’t bother following the tour and if Gatland shows it’s true colours they will be lucky to see any game time.

  43. Gatland has really shot the lions brand & what it is all about in the foot. Credited with 2013 tour win against an Australian side that was on its knees, he brings personal biases into everything he does. Welsh should have had 6 max in the squad, either Scotland having 5/6 players in the squad and you could debate others left out. As an Irishman living in Australia, shock Irish selection was Payne, Henderson not so much. But the Welsh ones defo AWJ, Davis, Biggar, Halfpenny all shouldn’t be there. Also Dan Coles who is a liability.

    • Scotland should have had 5 for sure. Payne I wouldn’t have picked and Grey outplayed Hendo…Welsh picks are almost disgusting. I feel that I can not support this Lions squad.

  44. Show me the recent individual talented performances of Biggar, Wyn-Jones, Warburton or even Tipuric? I can definitely show them some talented individual performances of Launchberry, Russell, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Brown, Visser, Dunbar, Mike Brown, Hamish Watson, Paddy Jackson to name but a few. The Welsh players are just not playing well at the moment and Warburton is already carrying an injury. It just doesn’t make sense. Talk about boycotting is not right though as all players selected will play their hearts out for the Lions. It’s the coaches who have not been true Lions.

  45. So “Scottish players can’t perform away from home” (or words to that effect) according to Mr. Gatland and his crew! How does that work when neither the Welsh or Irish could beat the “over-achieving” Scots away from home!

  46. Gatland’s comments on the selection process make little or no sense

    1. You don’t select/exclude players based on one game, you should look at their body of work for the season.

    2. You are building a TEAM, so you should be looking at players that make those around them play better.

    3. There are truly only a handful of world level stars in this squad. We all get that players who have that x-factor should be automatic picks, but the remaining players after those picks should be the best TEAM players and nationality shouldn’t be a factor you would think at that point an unbiased coach would look to provide some national balance on the team in the interest of fairness and just general balance in the squad.

    4. Simply put Scottish players have been insulted, look at their WC and 6N results and rightly they should have expected, post injuries, a bare minimum of 6 going. Frankly comments like “punch above your weight” and “play better as a TEAM than as individuals” are idiotic. The players Gatland has slagged off are the very players you should be selecting because they are the type of players that build great teams, they take skilled individual players and use them to help the whole TEAM shine.

    Sad day for – rugby; the Lions; SRU.

  47. Really? Only England have won away from home recently? Ireland beating SA away from home doesn’t count I guess. And Italy. or do you mean ‘I support England so ignore all other results’…

  48. So he is saying that Scotland is a collection of poorer individuals that has been superbly coached by Vern Cotter to greater success than. So that is why there are only 2 Scots ?

    So using that same theory then 12 superior individuals from Wales have made the squad yet finished BOTTOM of the 6 Nations ? That must be down to inferior coaching ability.

    So remind me again who coaches the Welsh team

  49. Wonder what their excuse will be when they het stuffed in all games or come looking for fillers once the.injuries mount!! Good news is that townsend gets an almost full squad to start off with and gel on their summer tour. Ok we didn’t win at home but the players taken arent all winners and are weak when it comes to taking tackles!!

  50. This is a man that has overseen Wales slip down the world ranking to 8th and 6N to 5th which is a fair reflection of the current side He is denial of his own failings. A one dimensional tactician who has failed to adapt to the modern game. Does he really think he can beat the ABs at their own game? His motivation for his marginal picks and trashing the Scots is because he probably thinks Vern will get the AB job next so not trying to do him any favours.

  51. Yes well that was the biggest load of tripe I have ever heard
    One terrible game does not a team define. As to individuality. The whole ethos of rugby play is the team!!!

  52. He needs his bumps read. The passion and commitment shown by Scotland in the 6 nations this year was second to none.

    Wales didn’t look bothered, England didn’t bother because they knew they could win without getting out of second gear, Ireland were the only other team other than Scotland to show any desire.

    To reject players like Huw Jones, Johnny Grey, Ross Ford, John Barclay and Josh Strauss purely because they lost to France and England away from home is ridiculous, especially as Huw Jones is one of the most exciting talents in rugby at the moment and the others played out of their skin for their country…

    Frankly, I think he’s lost the plot

  53. Gatland makes a point of the losing of the away games. Ireland lost all their away games bar Italy. Wales lost theirs too bar Italy. So that excuse is crap.
    As far as individual performance Jonny Grays tackle count alone should’ve seen him picked never mind his stats. Hamish Watson I’m fine with because of the quality in the back row but Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny???? Ospreys lost to both Cardiff and Leinster, the latter because he missed a crucial kickable penalty. Halfpenny……there’s just better options…Maitland, Kearney, Zebo.
    My grievances aren’t even that there’s two scots it’s that they gave spots to players who haven’t proven themselves or taken spots from more deserving players. 2nd last does not justify almost a 3rd in the Lions team.
    Gat picked a gat team though, need to get away from Warrenball or much like wales last year we’re gonna get screwed rightly by the all blacks.

  54. So why did Scotland get so far in the world cup surly that says something about there performance and if it wasn’t for the ref against Australia then they would have been in the final

  55. What a crock of utter shite !!
    Garland is a kiwi and should never be in charge o the lions in the first place . As for his excuses for the lack of Scots , well he would make a cracking politician,prick !!!

  56. I said yesterday I stopped following the Lion several tours ago, its just about money now. Inverdale (a poor example in any rugby discussion, granted) was on about Lion’s from game 1 of the Six Nations on the BBC, but that was so enjoyable this year! I’ m excited for Scotland side touring the Southern Hemisphere.

  57. Utter shoite. Ireland and Wales only won their away games against Italy, but lost the other 2!! I was at the Twickenham game and the score line was flattering, impacted directly by the early yellow and tonne of injuries. Our finishing back three were a 9-10-11 FFS!! Watson, Russell, Grey and Jones for me have been robbed of a Lions shirt, and this drivel makes my disappointment become anger!

  58. Agree with all comments but am not surprised. Garland made it up as he went along in 2013. Did not want Scots then. Played a young Hoggie at fly half midweek ???? Refused to bring on Grant for Vinipola when he looked as though he was going to collapse. Why even have Grant on the bench ?????

  59. Complete and utter lack of logic from Mr Gatland (I’m trying to be polite, here!), particularly when one views the peformance of Wales, and the number of Welsh in the sqad. It just doesn’t stack up.

  60. Mabey if townsend hadn’t turned down the coaching role he was offered he may have had a bit of an influance on the type of backs they picked instead howley is in and he knows the welsh backs better

  61. Sorry, this doesn’t cut it from Gatland, and makes it worse. The goalposts constantly shift. I accepted Woodward’s snub in 05 because he hates Scotland, but it was hard to argue with because we were not great then. But we are now. We had a good AI, Wales were poor. We had a good 6N, Wales were poor. We’ve had good players in the past, but told we need more consistent experience of winning, but now we’ve had it, we’re told we need better individual players. Rubbish. Utter pish. Whilst we need to pick the best players to give the best chance of winning, B&I team needs to have some form of representation, at least in the squad. This doesn’t. I’ve accepted it in previous years when we’ve been poor. Not now.

  62. If Scottish players were judged on one game were the Welsh and was that game Italy away. Gatland has never beaten the All Black and I can’t see that changing especially after Wales’s disaster tour of NZ last summer.

    • The word here in NZ us that the super rugby sides are confident of beating this squad. It’s quite conceivable that the only match the Lions will win will be the opening one.

  63. Watson should be there on merit as he and Tuperic were great form as no. 7s. I thought it was meant to be about individual performances on selection basis not team they were playing for in that case. Launchberry and Gray could also be scratching their heads. He obviously doesn’t like Russell s play. Pity Jones got ruled out through injury as he had an outstanding season. It’s obvious management were peeved by the SRU .

  64. Interesting article… Perhaps the bigger question (or ‘Biggar’!) is why was Gatland selected as the coach for the Lions after such a biased selection last time? Even Gatland himself says Vern Cotter is excellent… Just saying… I am delighted for Hogg and Seymour, but mystified by around 10 of the Welsh players selected. This isn’t an explanation of any sort – how well were Scotland playing in RWC – all of those away matches and we were the last nation standing??? Gatland is the flaw here.

  65. Comments like those from Gatland and Farrell actually make the situation worse. Shocking that Scottish players weren’t considered (they presented no evidence that they did. Picked the strongest squad available? Aye, right!

  66. I’m also bitterly dissapointed that only 2 of the boys made the squad…but I am now over it. This talk of boycotting is nonsense. The squad is announced and it’s us vs them. Can’t wait for this tour!

  67. I would never support a team the lions are playing against, but as a solid Scottish Rugby fan, I am very sad to say I won’t be watching this series either. It’s amazing the only fans saying its a fair election on the players are Welsh. I have heard nothing but complaints from English, Irish and Scots fans and ex-players plus the pundits. And his so called reason are total rubbish to say the least. Sorry WG you along with your coaches have seriously dishonoured the Lions brand and what it use to stand for.

    • The Lions brand is a throw back to the imperialist days and I as a Scot living in NZ will take great delight in seeing them sent packing again.
      Leaving that aside the lack of a fair representation from Scotland just further exposes that Scotland is always on the periphery of all things British.

  68. I just want Gatland to stop talking now, please enough of your inane drivel. How not one Scottish forward hasn’t been picked is utter nonsense. He’s judging Scotland like a lot of people have done on one performance against England. Yes it was a bad defeat but Scotland probably more than any team were hit by so many injuries, it was incredible. Losing Laidlaw was massive as was Strauss. Johnny Gray and Hamish Watson should be in no question, two of the most consistent performers of the six nations.

    • Before anyone slates me , I was gutted when only 2 of the lads were selected take a look at every position
      Props Fagerson and Dell ones for the future too early WP Nel would’ve gone no doubt
      Hookers Fordy nah Fraser Brown unlucky
      2nd row Grays unlucky huge amount of talent in all 4 nations
      Back Row John Barclay, Strauss unsure about Hamish ” The Mouse ” Watson can’t believe the man the nuisance isn’t there robbed
      Half Backs Greg unlucky Finn would’ve given them something different at 10 Gats gone safety first
      Centres Jones, Bennett out is Alex Dunbar or Matty Scott any better than Jared Payne maybe Dunbar but then Ringrose would be a better call
      Back 3 Hoggy and Tommy their Sean or Tim could’ve got a call up , but realistically another 2 names would’ve appeased our nation .
      I’m actually happy only 2 are going it will give the team during the summer rest time and a chance to bond whilst on our short tour cheers Gats

  69. They have talked in the past about if the lions are still relevant. After this tour with a likely 3-0 test loss and a likely beating from the chiefs and the crusaders (possibly the hurricanes too) based on their performances this year.

  70. Gatland seen Scotland fold at Twickenham and decided then there was no room for Scottish players when they would face the All Black’s. We have to wait until the Autumn tests to find out. Hamish Watson, Jony Gray deserved a call up with outside chance from Hue Jones maybe a few others were knocking on the door until that humiliation from England. The fact he left out Brown and Hartley is unbelievable

  71. You want to see the crap being spouted in the Welsh press! We apparently are a bunch of moaning, whinging losers and that Scotland only beat Wales through luck. You don’t beat them and Ireland within a month with luck. It’s just the usual from the other nations as they all think we have overachieved and we will be back down where we belong with Italy next year! I think they are in for a shock and I reckon Toony will get this team hitting the ground running. Also, how nice would it be if Toony was the Lions coach in 2021?? Mabye more than 2 Scots then

  72. I used to like Warren Garland, but his comments about the lack of selection of Scottish players is pathetic, I would suggest it is verging on a criticism of Scottish rugby the team that are #5 in the world, you don’t get to that position with average players or an average team! And as for Farrel

  73. Didnt wales and ireland both lose away from home to scotland so how come they get a chance to play away in new zealand 41 players should be ten from each country and u can select your captain from any of the four nations and a bet it will be midweek games hoggy and seymour play certainly went down in my estimation gatland

  74. Usual gatland pish. His team of battle hardened warriors were pumped. Petty response. Sticking to my 3-0 forecast for the blacks and won’t be getting up to watch

  75. I don’t claim to know everything about the ins and outs of rugby but what I do know is this man is a complete and utter FUD!!!!! Time he got on the bingo bus to Specsavers. Did he not see the Scottish players in action throughout the six nations? Pure dobber

  76. Scotland had a bad game against England at twickinham wales were outclassed against Scotland finish below us and he thinks welsh players are better than scotlands the only thing I have left to say is come on the All blacks I hope they hammer the lions and show just how much of a tool Gatland is

  77. What a patronising , one eyed & biased attitude. I hope this motivates the Scotland players to win the 6 Nations next year- we have some serious talent! Disgraceful .

  78. I guess we should be humbly grateful for the tokenism. I think he’d have preferred to take Dame Shirley and the Manics over our guys. Though I did hear they were at least great on tour.

  79. Heads gone his reasoning is just an added insult so basically glasgow and Edinburgh had to win the europeans and scotland had to win the grand slam to make any sort of dent in this non biased mans squad

  80. Disgraceful … if you’re putting a squad together, wouldn’t you want players who achieve more as a team than a bunch of individuals (particularly like the English) … and let me remember now, how many matches Wales won in New Zealand last year … oh, ZERO … they even got hammered by the Chiefs (missing their All Blacks) …

    Gatland appears to have lost the plot completely, and Farrell senior’s opinions are moronic … look forward to the All Blacks AND the Super Teams monstering anything the Lions put out!

  81. So I guess he’s totally forgot about the World Cup last year to in which Scotland were not only the last nation side but northern hemisphere side left in it, losing only to a ridiculous and dubious refereeing decision. Losing to Australia.
    Of the 4 nations Wales are currently the weakest and the pro 12 and European cups has shown this in recent years.
    While on the subject Gatland says glasgow against Sarries played on his mind, but no mention of the slaughtering they gave Leicester not only home but away also.
    Guys an absolute twat and not only in Scotland but in England has just lost a huge amount of respect.
    However that aside we do have 2 lads representing Scotland in the lions and we should still cheer them on.
    Remember there maybe injuries and on the plus side we will be strong for the test matches against Italy, argies and Oz.

  82. Weak reasons. He has obviously went on past performances from the Welsh contingent. They were a very poor side against Scotland and were well beaten in the end. They also had a poor Autumn series so he hasn’t picked on current form. To say that the likes of Johnny and Ritchie Gray and Finn Russell are only team players and not good individually is insulting and the man’s an arse. Should have been a politician.

  83. Andy (the rugby league man) talks about individuals is rugby not a team sport so 2 teams who did play well have 23 mmmm confused.com well save your money folks lion’s will be humped

  84. Scottish rugby is on the rise big time I mean look at how well they played in the world cup and then in this six nations. As far as I’ve seen in the world cup Scotland played better rugby than Ireland England and Wales. In this year’s six nations England may have exploited a few weaknesses that Scotland have to beat them but for Gatland to pick two players out of the squad is ridiculous because of the disrespect the English and Welsh have for the Scottish players. They are all extremely talented guys and deserve a chance to prove them selves since they all have a determination to win a want it constantly. When New Zealand beat the Lions in the first test the coaches will be thinking what could we have done differently and the answer will be the Scottish

  85. “I see players that won’t just accept being a British and Irish Lion or test player. A lot of these guys are used to winning and that’ll be at the forefront of the mind.” Really – so, the Welsh are used to winning are they and the Scots are not?. Utter tosh ; at least 3 or 4 Scots every bit as good as those chosen but the English/Welsh coaching team have cloeen to blood their own. As for omitting Joe Launchbury, 6N player of the Tourney ; that simply beggars belief. !!

  86. All the biased remarkes they made about Scotland is Pure rubbish, they want to look in THEIR own backyard first. I for one hope they get Tanked, and i’ll not be watching any of their matches. ..

  87. Pish. But it does allow me the pleasure of supporting New Zealand. The Lions is a joke anyway. Pretend camaraderie when quite clearly the four nations pretty much loath each other (apart from Scotland and Ireland who like each other enormously)

  88. Yeah I am too but at the end of the day Messrs Gatland and Farrell have made their choices based on biased opinions .Still think that every Lions Nation should be represented on the selection committee.

  89. Totally agree Euan! The display of WG in re Scotland is ludicrous. Having said that; I would have expected 4 or 5 Scots to be in the squad regardless of how well we did in the 6 Nations.
    There were, however, a number of our Celtic cousins from Cymru who massively underperformed during the 6 Nations and are still in the squad. Why?

  90. What a lot of complete rubbish! Nothing they say could justify those decisions. As Scots we cant boycott the Lions we need to get behind Tommy and Hoggy who will do us proud (assuming they get on the pitch that is!). The squad is too packed with players who are there on past performances not current form. And how dare he say that Glasgows performance wasnt good against Saracens – it wasnt the best I have seen them play I guess that would be against Leicester away what was the score again oh I know 0-43!

  91. I can see why Gatland got the job and I am not surprised he picked aged Welsh players over young Scottish players as we all know where his loyalty lies. Now Farrell well what can I say he knows that much about Rugby Union that’s why he was part of the poor England set up and why he lost his job. Ireland took him out of sympathy not because they needed him. So no surprise all his comments are crap with no substance.

    I hope the Lions have a good tour out of patriotism.

    #AsOne

  92. ummm and Farrell has his opinion, what has this guy done as a coach? Yes he was part of that great England RWC project need we say more. The most important thing is the RWC, so folks can cool their jets Lions exist this day in age because it lines the coffers of the host country with the army of supporters, without that would it be insignificant and probably wouldn’t happen. Give this some thought the Lions actually makes the Southern Hemisphere teams stronger and less vulnerable by allowing them to improve the balance sheet. So Lions here is to helping NZ win the RWC in Japan!!!

  93. Ha Ha. Same in the 2013 Lion’s tour. Even if Scotland won the grandslam Gatland wouldn’t pick them. He only picks his mates. End of. Why should this tour be any different. Biggar, North, HalfPenny, Cole, Marler, Kruis, Henderson, Payne, T’eo, Moriarty…..really, just really? These guys are second, if not third and fourth best options from the British Isles. Launchbury should be there. He was the best in the 6 nations. The Lions are a dying breed and suspect the All Blacks will take the series. Unsure if it will be 3-0 but just a pity that for two Lion’s tours we have lost the ethos and makeup of a great tradition.

  94. Having been at Murrayfield for the Wales game I cannot remember Leigh Halfpenny playing so badly under pressure.
    And Gatland has selected him!?
    Nobody spot the fault here?

  95. As a justification that was pathetic. Wales lost away to Scotland but that doesn’t count. Same for Ireland. AWJ, 1/2P have been useless. Gatland picks his own players so when he goes back to the day job they are stronger. Will I be watching tour NO. I believe Townsend should tell players that Scotland tour comes first rather than be called up to warm the bench for the midweek side

  96. But overlooks Englands performance against Italy, a team that could not think on their feet
    How long would it have took All Blacks to figure out how to beat that tactic

  97. Gatlands blinkered in all ways ..how does he justify 12 Wales players when all of the Scottish team outplayed them and beat Ireland as well.. .Scotland were judged on 1 bad game
    .

  98. Its time for Scotland to boycott the Lions we are not rated in their eyes…we may not be part of Britain much longer…then Gatland will have his dream scenario….Scots out the frame….Ok we were trashed by the Auld Enemy but the other games showed the true capabilities of some of the other guys in the Scots squad….it would choke Gatland to admit that Hoggy is probably the best full back in the world at the moment and he would have been slated to leave him out.At least one of the Gray brothers should be in there and two or three more that were stand outs in their positions.

  99. Gave up all interest in lions the minute gatland was given a second go. We could have won the 6n and he still wouldn’t have picked any Scots can’t stand the man hope NZ show everyone what a rugby dinosaur he is.

  100. Darren Cowan- I’m now even more hacked off after reading their comments about why the Scots were overlooked! Because we lost away from home?? Seriously! Was he watching when Wales lost 3-0 to NZ??

    • Can only feel sorry for the Scots. Several players in the premiership and are outstanding there. If they changed their names to Jones or Davies they probably would have got in!

  101. BOLLOCKS!! Gatland lack of knowledge of the Scottish players speaks volumes!
    Clearly biased towards Wales! To be honest this is a disgrace was looking forward to this series not now sadly.
    GATLAND OUT !!

  102. Let’s go with those selected. However, I have a feeling replacements may be required at some stage so let the Lions play the cards on the table. Perhaps a 2 – 1 series but which way?.

  103. Yes going to play against midweek provincial teams will be the highlight of their career probably only as subs at that rate as well. Not a chance they will start or feature in any test matches.

  104. Good call, agree with fagerson and dell, next time if they’re fit. Come on really well this year. Brown unfortunate and if he hadn’t been binned probably ahead of George. Second row was always going to be tough as with the back three. I know the adage form in temporary class permanent but kruis (one club game) faletau and both vunipolas off the bench or less than 80mins after injury… Am sure the door is open before the flight. Centres again hard call, which moves to the Welsh call, they did under perform, halfpenny, Biggar, and Davies, AWJ am thinking he’s gone for lions experience as so many are lion’s Virgins as Guscott phrased it. North redeemed himself. Not happy as a Scot but still hoping it’s a contest out there.

  105. This is why the SFA does not have anything to do with the idea of a ‘British’ football team. You will have the token Scot there just to pretend the team represents the whole of the UK.

  106. There is a saying “It is better to be considered a fool than open your mouth and confirm it” and by trying to justify the selection of 12 Welsh players against 2 Scottish players for the Lions Tour, Mr Gatland has done just that. He is recorded as saying “We are playing away from home. Scotland haven’t been to New Zealand since 2000. And we are playing the best team, back-to-back world champions in their own backyard. We have to perform away from home, that’s going to be paramount”. However, since the start of the 2016 Six Nations, Scotland have won 43% of their international away games while Wales have only won 9% and that was the match against Italy in the 2017 Six Nations, which speaks volumes. Wales also lost every match in their tour of New Zealand in 2016. Mr Gatland is also quoted as saying “ the greatest strength that Scotland have had is probably their collective performance”. Then why is he taking 12 players from a team who are not performing as well collectively as Scotland? I may be missing something but I thought Rugby was a TEAM GAME. You can choose a squad of 15 individually talented players but if they do not play well collectively, they will not win. Gatland also cited the heavy 61-21 loss to England as a major contributing factor. This was ONE game out of five in this year’s Six Nations where Scotland had sustained a number of serious injuries early on and where most of the backs were playing out of position (incidentally, Wales lost to England at home). That said, we still managed to score 3 Trys against England and no other team in the 2017 Six Nations came close to doing that. Scotland were the 2nd highest Try scorers along with Ireland, although we did concede more than Wales (down to THE one game against England). The last time I looked, Scotland were 5th in the world rankings and Wales were 8th. Gatland has not done Rugby Union any favours here. Wales, I love you and love Rugby. This is about Gatland’s decision and his inability to justify it.

  107. Doesn’t rate our individual players?!?
    Johnny Gray had a tackle count of over 100 per 6 nations game and has played rugby in NZ as a teen. Hamish Watson near enough carried us through France and has a better physicality than warbs and moriarty. What a bell end

  108. Garland says that the coaches did their due diligence in looking at Scotland’s performance at Twickenham. I wonder if he looked at the performance of his own Welsh players in the first half against Italy equally diligently?

  109. He talks a load of crap…It should be picked on the basis
    Of form which Scotland were more impressive than the Welsh and Irish
    Gatland just picked the team with the old boys act

  110. This is bullshit Scotland works well as a team but do have a lot of stand out players that should have been chosen and garland trying to blame the England game when nearly all of our backs got injured and various players had to play in unfamiliar position and although (which we wouldn’t with no injuries) we lost we maintained as much composure and where fuckin so close to getting a bonus point for four tries against England with 4 players of the pitch injured so fuck u garland biased prick!

  111. If you took some Welsh players out the team and replaced them with others. It would be from Ireland and England because they have better players than Scotland. Some of the Scottish players played themselves out of selection during the England match. Let’s face reality here the Scottish players aren’t good enough. I think the 2 players that got in was very fair. I wish a lot of people would get over themselves about the selection because barring injuries it ain’t going to change.

    • Yes they had a bad match against England. Lot’s of early injuries in the backs were a major contributing factor but everyone seems to miss the point that Scotland still scored 3 Trys against England which no other team in the 6 nations could do!!! The Gray brothers tackling and line out stats in the 6 nations are as good as some of the players selected and Finn Russell’s successful kick rate in the 6 nations was 83% as opposed to Owen Farrell’s 78%.

  112. The Gray brothers should have been selected and I think they will go in the end. A back up list must exist…At least, 10% of the selected players will get injured and more during the tour. Some reasons given are questionable clearly….

  113. I mean, I don’t coach and he did bring home the 2013 victory so I’m prepared to give some wiggle room here buuuuut that being said, Scotland were much worse back then and still had 3 representitives on the plane.

    I still think there are far too many Welsh going on reputation rsthern than form (1/2p, AWJ & Biggar in particular). The defense presented doesn’t really hold up under scrutiny.

    Scotland had a better 6N than Wales, that is undisputable. Not the least of which involves 20 unanswered points at BT Murrayfield. Yes, Twickenham was a debacle, however there were 9 (?) injuries to the first XV in that game. What’s Wales’ excuse for shipping 40+ against Australia?

    Scotland had a better Autumn series (they traded blows with the Wallabies instead of folding like a house of moist cards) whilst Wales got out of jail with an 80 minute drop goal against Japan. The same Japan Scotland beat twice away earlier in the year (when Wales lost by 33 to the Chiefs, not the All Blacks, the CHIEFS).

    Glasgow have played in two Pro 12 finals since 2013, winning one. None of the FOUR (double what Scotland has) Welsh teams have made an appearance.

    Scotland are ranked 5th in the world, Wales 8th. Wales have 12 players going based on “form”, whilst we just have 2.

    I’ll be at the 3rd test cheering with the rest of them in Auckland but damnit Gats, you’re making it difficult.

    • They are token selections… it political and always has been. In the amateur days it was the same. Yet still those with in the rugby fraternity tip their forelock and accept it. Guarantee that if there was slim pickings from Ireland the IRFU would pull their support. Scots need to waken up to the reality that in the eyes of the British we don’t count.

  114. No bias?! Look at the coaching set up for starters. Disgrace the Scots forwards have been overlooked. It’s a team game and good individuals may not always make the best team. I hope they get slaughtered.

  115. I doubt they will win much on this tour even against the super 18 teams stripped of their All Blacks. And the All Blacks will beat them decisively. Such is the level of rugby in NZ. So to me he should have picked a fair representation from each country and made it a tour everyone could enjoy, not just him and his cronies. Good luck and well done to Stuart and Tommy but I won’t be going to any of the fixtures. #Backingblue

  116. His comments that Scotland didn’t travel well. How did Wales and Ireland do away from home this year! We can only see how the rest of the squad do away from home.

  117. Nothing is going to change now. It’s wrong.

    However let’s make Australia and Fiji pay.

    Next spring we need to take over the Millenium and make Wales pay as well.

  118. Nepotism is Gatlands recurring trait – time will tell if he’s made the “right” decision on so many misfiring Welsh players….one thing is for sure it won’t be Scotlands fault if the Lions get destroyed but it’ll be the end of Gatland with any hope !

  119. Gatland was the Welsh coach, so he leans directly to the players he knows best, ignoring those who might just be the better players, from the other home nations.

  120. The second test will be rout. I’ve chosen not to pay over inflated prices this time around. However, I’ll be cheering on the ABs to a resounding victory and sending the imperialists packing again

  121. To be fair Scotland have finished 6, 5, 4, 4 in the last 4 6N’s. Wales, Ireland, and England have all been in positions to win it. If England hadn’t scored a last ditch try again Wales, Scotland would have finished 5th again. Yes the Grey brothers have awesome tackle counts but that just shows that they can’t keep the ball. If anyone should feel hard done by its, zebo, earls, Hartley, and launchbury. Name some Scotish that could actually get in that squad. Cause I wouldn’t pick any. FACT

    • It is about recent form and in the last 15 months Wales have won only one of their 11 away international matches and that was against Italy. Scotland won three out of seven of their away international matches including one against Italy. England did score a last ditch try against Wales so Wales came 5th and not Scotland. FACT! Incidentally, Tipuric and Warburton’s tackle count in the 6 Nations was slighty higher than Jonny Gray – does that mean Wales are worse at keeping the ball than Scotland??? And Richie Gray’s lineout stats are as good as Sam Warburton and Alun Wyn Jones. Although, Owen Farrel scored more points than Leigh Halfpenny and Finn Russell in the 6 Nations both Halfpenny and Russell had a higher hit rate (88% & 83 % respectively) as opossed to Farrel’s 78%. Scotland are not the team of 3 or 4 years ago and given there are only 2 professional Rugby teams in Scotland they punch well above their weight. They are a young and exciting team. I am sad that because they work so well as a team, Gatland could not identify individual Scottish players good enough to take on tour when the RBS stats were readily available. It was also wrong of him to use the trouncing we got from England (1 match!!!) as an excuse not to select Scottish players. The backs were plagued by injury and many players had to play out of position but we still manged to score 3 Trys against England and no other team in the tournament came close to doing that! I love the Welsh and I love Rugby but Gatland has not done the Welsh any favours here. I also agree that there are other non-Scottish players that should have been selected but taking a 12 man contingent from a team (his Team) who have not played their best as a team recently is the reason why. If Gatland cannot be objective, he should not be coach.

  122. Gatland is responsible for Wales’ current poor form and results, but chooses half the Welsh squad for the Lions tour when Scotland are sitting at No.5 in the world… by luck according to him apparently – even though they just beat both Wales and Ireland.

    He claims it’s because he questions the Scottish players away form… how does that support the inclusion of the Welsh team who lost at home and away!

    So he’s basically saying he thinks the Welsh and Irish are better individual players but can’t operate as a unit with players they know… sounds like an ideal mixture when trying to create a team of individuals that don’t know each other as well!

    Let’s go Kiwis!!

  123. Let’s just forget about the fact that Scotland finished 4th and let in 60 points to England.
    That’s nothing to be proud of.
    That’s why there’s no scots!
    They are not winners!!!
    If the Scots think beating a Welsh team that’s not played so poorly since the 90’s justifies a lions cap then thank god Gats is coach. Just because a team plays poorly it doesn’t mean the players got rubbish over night.

  124. Really ridiculous, outrageous & frankly deeply offensive comments from Assistant Coach, Andy Farrell to even suggest “Scotland are seen as a team of overachievers, as opposed to individually talented players”. Outrageous!! wonder what the players make of this? They are an extremely talented, world class team who I have had the pleasure to watch over the years. They have grown in confidence & are playing some sublime rugby. Just really unfortunate game against England probably gave the selectors the ammunition to make every excuse under the sun about the lack of selection for the Lions. But hey, we’re No 5 in the world Lions Selectors!! Your loss.

  125. I’ve not read anyone actually giving reasons for the inclusion of any scots into the lions squad. Just blar blar blar about believing that they deserve it.
    Why?
    Which player/s?
    And which player would you replace?

  126. We could argue this till the cows come home but to pick that many Welsh players after saying players would be picked on form is shocking. The Welsh were very poor this 6N but that has been ignored and they’ve been picked on previous form. Similarly in your argument our one poor loss to England (even with most of our 1st team out) doesn’t make us losers. Many of the Scotland players can rightly feel robbed at that poor selection.

  127. � that’s actual true. Before the 6Ns the Welsh public wanted to get rid of howler, sorry howley. After the 6Ns they were glad he was on the lions tour so he can’t make the Welsh team any worse.

  128. Colin Sherry. Personally I would want “overachievers” in my team, they clearly have passion and desire to achieve and compete. The saracens v glasgow comments hilarious as a few of the backs are in the Scotland side and aye England result was poor but we were obliterated with injuries.

  129. Gatland they Rose tinted glasses, Wales should never of had 12 players going. Great anticipation every 4 years for the Lions but couldn’t give a toss this year, one tour too many for Gatland

  130. What a lot of garbage from the English/Welsh mafia ,well me for one and I expect more Scots rugby fans to be rooting for the kiwis
    So stick yer lions up yer you no what and hopefully a clean sweep from the all blacks

  131. Right so I understand why my fellow Scottish rugby fans are upset about only two players being selected, but the Irish and Welsh players that Gatland has chosen are amazing players in their own right. Yes, we beat both teams, but I think that’s more to do with a spectacular coach in the form of Verne Cotter and good team cohesion.
    Personally wish that Johnny Gray made the cut as he’s phenomenal, but himself, Laidlaw and Russel all play in a highly competitive position with great talent present from all home nations who have a slight edge over them I think.
    Although I’d like more Scottish players present on the team, honestly can’t think who I would have selected over the players that Gatland chose.
    Over the next year our team will develop further and improve and eventually there’ll be much more Scots on the Lions.

  132. Fi Sully That seems to be the story. Jason O’Halloran was also offered the gig i think but he’s moving on to Glasgow with Dave Rennie coming over from Waikato. So I guess we could say there’s not much to have been done about my gripe. But it doesn’t stop it from sticking in my craw…

  133. I think that using the word ‘snub’ is disrespectful – and complaining about the overall selection is just distancing the most successful Scottish side in years further from the place that they have gained. There is time left yet – and one never knows the future. I hope that Scotland will rise if the challenge is given to them – and will rightly support the two stars from Scotland. Both of these players were a fantastic experience and are needed to defeat the Maories.

  134. a poor excuse there is are a lot of Scottish representation in New Zealand. I live in Australia and have been to NZ for the World Cup 2011. The NZ teams are dominating the world in rugby just now, they are in a league of their own, using the weather as an excuse for not picking Scottish players is just crap!!! Going to be a very bad tour for you. The All Blacks and Kiwi teams are going to smash the Lions. Been a Scottish Rugby fan always, always will be, but not interested in the Lions now. just don’t do Scotland any justice, hardly surprising.from a British Team !!!

  135. Utter nonsense. Makes no sense what garland and Farrell are saying basing their reasons on 2 bad games is baffling considering wakes had 5 bad games in the 6 nations and no Welsh side made the euro quarter finals. He coached wakes. Enough said

  136. Is this the best they could come up with? Jesus it’s the joke of the century! Johnny and Richie Gray, John Strauss, Zander Fagerson, Shaun Maitland, Greig Laidlaw and quite frankly the whole Scottish team are young and fantastic individuals who bring their own thing to the national team, which was evidently shown when we spanked Wales and Ireland in the six nations. The fact that Warren Gatland can’t see the hard work those boys have put into making Scotland a competitive team again, hungry for victory, clearly shows what type of coach he is to be selecting 23 Welsh and Irish players and only 2 Scottish. I am gutted for those boys and I am also gutted for Dylan Hartley and Joe Launchbury (soon to be Llaunchburry), because their performances in the six nations was more worthy than most of those boys selected; just because they have a name doesn’t mean they’re the best Gatland!

  137. If we have been paying attention, Gatlin has history of avoiding Scots and favouring out of form Welsh players. His reasons/excuses are crap and embarrassing. While agreeing with most of the English (Cole?) and Irish contingent, 12 Welsh players is crazy – even Welsh fans must be sniggering and surprised. There are three, maybe four Scots who should feel aggrieved.

  138. As a scot living in Wellington NZ, what the Scottish team has to do now is win all their games in this summers tour, and prove them wrong!
    Whilst I have a ticket for the second lions V All Backs test, I’ll be wearing my AB shirt, and kilt.
    Also I would say that Scotland really needs to vote for independence in the second referendum, then the Scottish government would be in a better place to support team sports in Scotland, and not keep paying for things like the new Wembly, Olympics etc.
    The Irish government tweaked tax and pension rights for the Irish rugby squad, resulting in also the whole of the Irish rugby squad playing their rugby in Ireland, and a resulting in a strong system.
    Ireland beat the All Blacks for the first time last year, it was not lucky.
    Scotland will never be able to do this, with the set up we have at the moment.

  139. I am not interested and hope the Lions lose I am so incensed. Gatland has come across as a silly little out of date man. Did he watch the 6Nations?? Clearly not. Stuart and Tommy have to work super hard to represent! Which they will do. Even my English friends are perplexed why there are so many Welsh selected.

  140. Proof that Gutbucket and his team are not up to the job and totally lack class, piss poor excuses that don’t stand up to scrutiny, thought buffoon Boris was the only national embarrassement.

  141. So he states ” its not about what nation……..we put together strongest squad” but then goes on to explain the nation of scotland isnt up to playing the rigours of NZ. Just me, or does he not contradict himself? And if scotland is not up to the NZ rigours why pick any scots?

  142. Saw it Anna. Gatland cites warriors lose to Saracens but chose to ignore warriors drubbing Leicester(both home & away) in the same competition.Utter drivel & outright bias.

  143. what utter rubbish. Overachievers my a***, consumate hard working individuals blended together by an astute highly talented coach. Maitland, the Gray brothers Russell to name but a few should feel highly insulted by comments such as these. These guys are world class and easily as good if not better than their other six nations compatriots (in my opinion). Suffice to say extremely biased selection and certainly not based on performance

  144. Also England were the only team to win away from home (apart from games against italy) in the 6 Nations. We are not the greatest team to be honest but certainly deserved more than 2 players in a squad of 41 players

  145. You mean Ireland? Yeah, 2 players is a joke. This should be his last tour as a coach as he’s so biased it’s wrong. I’m just glad that more English players are going than Welsh tbh.

  146. As an Irishman, who grew up in Scotland and supporting Scotland (unless they play Ireland, of course) I am well chuffed at the numbers from Ireland, especially Ulster, but the numbers from Wales and Scotland are disproportionate to their talent and ability when Scotland are ranked 5th in the world and Wales are 8th; go figure. Gats has got this very wrong and the Kiwis know it. I now live in Brisbane and was very close to going on this tour but I’ll probably just be watching on the telly and am very glad we decided not to go.

  147. Bias at its best if there’s any calloffs you think any scots will be called up? How can gartland look into his crystal ball and say Scottish players might not react to the kiwi conditions that’s shite.

  148. For not even ONE of the Gray brothers selected is a disgrace. When the injuries rack up before the tests I’m sure there will be a change of tune . Pathetic. All blacks it is then!

  149. absolute disgrace. scotland beat wales, beat ireland. were unlucky not to finish 2nd in 6 nations.made a rugby world cup quarter final they were robbed out of by the ref.and are ranked 5th in world. gatlin u are a plonker.I heard one anglo commentator on talk sport say he would have only picked 1 scot?? yet there are 12 from wales and 11 from ireland—it makes no sense whatsoever and the comments above make even less sense. No matter he lions will get absolutely humped

  150. Ok folks here is a hypothetical. Hogg and Seymour get injured in the 1872. What do the thousands of Scottish Lions fans who, like me, have literally been saving for 2 years for this trip to NZ do then. How would this be BI Lions team that we could get behind when never mind being no scots in the test team but absolutely no Scots on the tour? If Hogg had not been the player of the 6n twice given his appalling defence Gatland would’nt have picked him. Given the logic being applied by Gatland would it have been acceptable to have announced a BI squad with no scots at all. If (god forbid) my hypothetical plays out that will be situation we are faced with. Thoughts anyone?

    • Hogg is considered the only world class player in the Northern Hemisphere. I am not sure what you are getting at by his “appalling defence” as he has proven himself time and time again. Forget the hypothetical and go enjoy the Rugby if you have the mindset to do so.

  151. Total Tosh. Gatland you are a doos, remember ” the wheel turns ” Probably sour grapes after your team got thumped by ” The Brave ” in the 6 Nations. Well be prepared for another Thumping in NZ.

  152. Total disrespect of the Scottish team- I am astounded that So many Welsh players got in – To decide that the Scottish player are not good enough due to one game total disrespect…

  153. Not upset at all, Mr Gatland obviously has a vision of how to perform well in NZ that we normals don’t understand

    So let him go down there with the players who’s names he can remember (seems to be his criteria) and get his arse well and truly kicked

    May be he can just stay there after and beg for the job he really does want.

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