We wonder if over the next couple of weeks and months will we come across more revealing aspects of the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.
Seán O’Brien’s comments over a week ago revealed that there may have been some issues brewing within the camp during the time spent in New Zealand. You can fully expect that the media will be querying many of the players who featured on that tour over the coming weeks with regards to whether they feel the same way as O’Brien or whether they have any grievances of their own.
Recently retired former Scotland international, Jim Hamilton, is quoted in Scotland Rugby News revealing that Finn Russell didn’t feel a part of the squad during the tour. Of course, Russell was a part of the infamous ‘Geography Six’ – the six players who were called up in the middle of the tour due to their proximity to New Zealand at the time.
The other five players were Allan Dell, Tomas Francis, Gareth Davies, Corey Hill and Kristian Dacey. Hamilton admits that he spoke to Russell before the second Test against the All Blacks and the Scottish flyhalf revealed to Hamilton that he was struggling and didn’t feel a part of the squad.
“I spoke to Finn [Russell] in the hotel ahead of the second Test and there had been a lot of injuries. He was wearing the full stash and I asked him how he was getting on and he said he was finding it quite difficult.”
“He said that he didn’t feel a part of the squad at all and that the guys were getting their jerseys presented but it was just the match day 23 there, which I thought was really bizarre. Surely, everyone in that Lions squad should be there for that historic moment?”
Hamilton also reveals that there was discontent in the camp towards Warren Gatland, however, whether this is purely based on O’Brien’s previous comments or anything more which Hamilton knows remains to be seen.
“There was a lot of discontent with Gatland. That’s what we’ve heard and kind of know.”
However, a Lions source has told Pundit Arena that all players were invited to the jersey presentation and that Gatland wanted everyone to be a part of it.
“All squad members and management were invited to the jersey presentation. Warren offered it to everyone to attend as he wanted people part of it,” a Lions source told Pundit Arena.
It will certainly be interesting when the 2018 Six Nations rolls around where Gatland will undoubtedly be asked to comment on certain opposition players which he would have coached during the summer tour.