Gregor Townsend believes his players have given themselves a great opportunity to tour with the British and Irish Lions after Scotland’s win against France.
The Scotland head coach was delighted with his side after beating France in Paris for the first time since 1999, as they finished the 2021 Six Nations with three wins out of five.
Townsend was speaking to the BBC after Scotland’s last gasp win against the French and backed his players to be selected for the Lions tour to South Africa this summer.
🗣️ ‘Our players are as good as any out there in the Championship’
No more than three Scots have been selected in an initial British and Irish Lions squad this century, but Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend says his team have “put their hands up” for the tour to South Africa 👇 pic.twitter.com/3nF0TBReB6
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) March 27, 2021
“If you’re looking at stats, then our players are as good as any out there in the Championship,” Townsend said.
“In terms of attack and defence, we were first and second with France in most of the categories. To win in France, to win in London – no team’s done that in the last two years but our players have.
“If we’re going to be playing one of the best teams in the world – South Africa – our players have won out there whether it’s with crowds or not.
“The players have put themselves in a position to be on that tour. Our players have put their hands up. I’m sure we’ve made it much tougher than what happened four years ago and four years before that.”
Previous Scottish representation
Only two Scottish players – Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour – were originally selected by Warren Gatland for the Lions in 2017, despite Scotland winning three of their five Six Nations matches that year.
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 26, 2021
While a further three Scottish players were eventually called up for the tour in New Zealand, their total number of players paled in comparison to England, Wales and Ireland.
Scotland will expect more players in this year’s Lions squad, but the Scots have done poorly in Gatland’s two Lions squads to date.