Scotland stars must impress at Six Nations, says Lions coach Gatland
Warren Gatland warns Scotland stars they must impress at the Six Nations to earn a British and Lions spot on next summer's tour
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has warned Scotland’s stars they need to impress in the 2013 Six Nations if they are to earn a spot on this summer’s tour of Australia.
Gatland, who has been Wales boss since 2007, has been keen to insist nationality will not play a part in his selection for the 35-man squad for the three-test series.
And while admitting he would be happy to field a side made up entirely of players from one country if necessary, it is unlikely those players will come from Scotland – unless they have a fantastic spring.
“It wouldn’t bother me if I picked 15 Englishmen if I thought they were best equipped to beat Australia,” Gatland told the Mail.
“I don’t think the make-up of the team is the main criteria for getting the job done, although I believe all four nations should have representations in the squad for the morale of the tour.
“That’s why I hope that Scotland enjoy a good Six Nations because I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn to say representation for the Scots is challenging.”
Scotland’s leading stars jostling for a spot in the British & Irish Lions squad will be hoping Scott Johnson can improve the team’s fortunes after the resignation of former coach Andy Robinson in the autumn.
And Gatland has confirmed exactly how the squad is likely to be made up.
“I’d imagine there will be 35 players made up of a 19 to 16 split between forwards and backs, possibly 20 to 15,” he added.
“We’ll have three hookers, three 9s, three 10s and an extra prop. It means that in nearly all other positions there’ll be two players fighting it out for one spot.”
© Sportsbeat 2012