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British and Irish Lions name eight Scots to tour South Africa

Warren Gatland has named his 36 man squad to tour South Africa this summer.

British and Irish Lions name eight Scots to tour South Africa SNS Group

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has selected eight Scots to tour South Africa this summer.

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg, winger Duhan van der Merwe, centre Chris Harris, fly half Finn Russell, scrum half Ali Price, back rower Hamish Watson and props Zander Fagerson and Rory Sutherland will join the 37-strong group.

They represent the largest Scottish contingent to represent the Lions since the 1997 tour of South Africa, when coaches Ian McGeechan and Jim Telfer named five of their countrymen in the travelling party.

Speakign after naming his selections in London on Thursday, Gatland said: “We believe we’ve picked a squad capable of winning a test series in South Africa.

“This has been the most challenging selection I have been involved in. Over the course of the last three weeks the coaches and I have rigorously debated each position.

“We saw some outstanding performance in the recent Six Nations, so competition for places has been tough with some incredibly tight calls to make.

“We’ve left out some very talented players which gives an indication to the strength of this squad and we know how important that stand-by list will be.

“Being selected for a Lions Tour is the greatest honour for a British and Irish player and I congratulate everyone named today.”

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend and defence coach Steve Tandy are part of Gatland’s backroom team for the upcoming tour.

Alun Wyn Jones of Wales has been named captain.

The Lions intend to gather for a training camp in Jersey in June before playing a rare ‘home’ test against Japan at Murrayfield in Edinburgh on June 26.

They will then fly to South Africa to begin the tour with a match against the Stormers in Cape Town on July 3.

Futher warm-up games against a South Africa Invitational XV, South Africa A and the Sharks and Bulls franchise teams will be take place before the first full test against the world champion Springboks in Johannesburg on July 24.

The second test is in Cape Town on July 31 before the final showdown between the teams at Ellis Park, Johannesburg on August 7.

British and Irish Lions squad 2021

Backs: Josh Adams (Wales), Bundee Aki (Ireland), Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Gareth Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell (England), Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Conor Murray (Ireland), Ali Price (Scotland), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales), Finn Russell (Scotland), Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland), Anthony Watson (England), Liam Williams (Wales)

Forwards: Tadhg Beirne (Ireland), Jack Conan (Ireland), Luke Cowan-Dickie (England), Tom Curry (England), Zander Fagerson (Scotland), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Jonny Hill (England), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales, Captain), Wyn Jones (Wales), Courtney Lawes (England), Ken Owens (Wales), Andrew Porter (Ireland), Sam Simmonds (England), Rory Sutherland (Scotland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England), Hamish Watson (Scotland)