Prop blasts Gatland as anti-ScottishSave
By Daily Telegraph
Lions legend Ian McLauchlan has accused Warren Gatland of being anti-Scottish after he named a squad featuring just two Scots despite their country's Six Nations wins over Wales, who have 12 tourists, and Ireland, who have 11.
McLauchlan, who was a mainstay of the 1971 Lions, the last British or Irish party to win a series in New Zealand, also claimed this could be the last Lions tour because English clubs are no longer prepared to lose their best players for so long.
Asked whether he was surprised at the paucity of Scottish representation, and the lack of a Scottish Lions forward for the first time since 1908, McLauchlan, the chairman of the British and Irish Lions Trust who won eight caps for the Lions on the triumphant 1971 and 1974 tours, said: "I don't think it's that unexpected.
Until recently, Scotland haven't cut the mustard nationally. Then there's the element of trust - the coaches know the players they have worked with, whereas they don't actually know what they'll get from the Scots boys."
The former prop was particularly irked by Gatland's assertion that the decision by Scotland coaches Gregor Townsend and Jason O'Halloran not to tour with the Lions had a detrimental effect on the number of Scots selected.
"Gregor is just starting a new job - is it more important that Gregor coaches the Lions or Scotland? There's only one horse in that race and that's Scotland," said McLauchlan. "Jason O'Halloran was right to turn it down because he was an afterthought by Gatland. O'Halloran knew how much input he'd have, which would be nil.
"And Gatland doesn't have a good track record in liking people from Scotland. When he was asked on television whether there were any Scots in the running, he said 'there's Hogg and the new boy at centre, and one of the wingers looked quite good'. He couldn't name them."
McLauchlan questioned whether this might be the last Lions tour.
"There is a big movement from the English clubs, who don't want the Lions to continue because they lose their players for far too long," he said. "It's commercially a big venture for the Southern Hemisphere but it's not for the north, so there is a credible threat."
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