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British and Irish Lions 2017: Scottish Options On The Wings

GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 23: Tommy Seymour of Scotland goes over to score his teams third try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between Scotland and Japan at Kingsholm Stadium on September 23, 2015 in Gloucester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

The thirteenth article in a series analyses the options Warren Gatland has on the wings for the British and Irish Lions 2017 tour of New Zealand. Due to the extent of the depth in this position in each of the four nations, this article will be split into four separate pieces with each piece focusing on the best wingers from each country. Next up is Scotland.

Scotland – Tommy Seymour, Tim Visser, Sean Maitland, Damien Hoyland

Tommy Seymour

Currently top of the Guinness Pro12 try scoring list with eight and joint top of the clean breaks list with 18, Seymour is arguably Scotland’s most in form winger.

Named as one of four wingers in Scotland’s Six Nations squad, the man born in Nashville, Tennessee is likely to start most games in the tournament in a starting fifteen anticipated to be filled with Glasgow Warriors players.

He has been reliable in defence for the Dark Blue but his attacking play is the strongest aspect of his game, highlighted by his 75 points in 31 Scotland appearances. Seymour faces stiff competition for a place in this Lions squad but he could arguably earn a call-up from Gatland if he can produce some high-quality performances in the Six Nations, as well as continue to perform for Glasgow in the Pro12 and European competitions.

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 13: Tommy Seymour of Scotland touches down from a cross kick to score his team's first try during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland at the Principality Stadium on February 13, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Tim Visser

Born in the Netherlands, Visser started his rugby career at the Newcastle Falcons but soon moved to Edinburgh to improve his chances of earning selection for Scotland.

Currently at Harlequins, Visser stands at 1.96 metres and 100 odd kilos highlighting the fact that he would not seem out of place in a second row.

Despite his size and weight, Visser has the speed of a winger and the ball-handling skills of a back – although his defensive qualities have been questioned in the past. Visser has scored seven tries from eleven matches this season for Harlequins and started on the wing for the narrow loss to Australia in the 2016 Autumn series.

Named in the Scottish squad for the upcoming Six Nations, Visser is likely to be an outsider for Lions selection but some top-quality performances for the Dark Blue may change that.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Tim Visser of Harlequins celebrates scoring the opening try during the Aviva Premiership match between Harlequins and London Irish at Twickenham Stoop on December 5, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images).

Sean Maitland

Named as one of the initial four wingers for the 2013 Lions tour of Australia, Maitland gave up his aspirations of donning an All Black’s shirt when he moved to Glasgow in 2012.

He enjoyed a fantastic first season in the northern hemisphere, scoring a try on his international debut against England as well as putting in a series of capable performances for the Warriors.

Maitland has since moved on to London Irish and now Saracens – for whom he has scored 35 points in 12 matches. An astute tryscorer, Maitland is likely to be Seymour’s initial partner on the Scottish wings and so will get the opportunities to showcase why he was so highly regarded by Gatland in 2013.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 25: Sean Maitland of the Lions breaks with the ball during the International Tour Match between the Melbourne Rebels and the British & Irish Lions at AAMI Park on June 25, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Damien Hoyland

An exciting and powerful runner with ball in hand, Hoyland is 23, plays for Edinburgh in the Pro12, has been capped twice by Scotland and has been named ahead of the injured Rory Hughes for Scotland’s 2017 Six Nations squad.

Hoyland has also represented the Dark Blue in the 7s format and was the top try scorer in the 2015 Wellington Sevens. An exciting prospect who is expected to challenge for Scottish starting berths on the wings for years to come, Hoyland is currently a strong outsider for Lions selection partly due to a lack of experience. Some strong performances in the upcoming Six Nations should see public opinion of him improve, with it being probable that Hoyland will challenge for a place on the 2021 Lions tour to South Africa.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 20: Damien Hoyland of Edinburgh scores his teams sixth try during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Edinburgh Rugby and Timisoara Saracens at Myreside on January 20, 2017 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Graham Manditsch, Pundit Arena

The statistics used in this article were gathered from the data presented by ItsRugby and ESPNScrum.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.