Brian Moore has said Warren Gatland ‘deliberately’ snubbed English players with his questionable call up of four Welshmen and two Scots.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the 64-times capped England front-rower, said: “You don’t have to be mad to be a hooker, but it helps.
“OK, that is usually said about football goalkeepers but it is far more applicable to rugby’s hookers – many of whom are complex people.
“At present I am wondering whether Warren Gatland fits the bill because of his decision to call up six players to augment the British and Irish Lions squad for the game against the Chiefs on Tuesday.
“Allan Dell, Kristian Dacey, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Gareth Davies and Finn Russell are now with the squad and have all the regalia, but only Russell can argue that he has a legitimate claim for inclusion on merit.
“The remainder are there by accident of geography and because Wales and Scotland are touring in New Zealand and Australia respectively.
“Gatland has stated that four years ago the Lions had problems with players who were called up as cover and had to travel from Argentina, where England have been touring.
“None of these players should be criticised for accepting the invitation, but I imagine that deep down they are not totally comfortable with their position.
“This furore will be over shortly, but the real point is that it need not have happened this way. It almost has the feel of a deliberate slight to several England players.
“Gatland has now said that this was always the plan, so why not announce it before the squad left and save yourself the unfavourable headlines?
“Why not be transparent with those players who were entertaining faint hopes of a call-up, having dealt with the enormous blow of not being chosen in the first place?
“Why not secure the agreement of Eddie Jones, the England head coach, to release some of his players after the first Test in Argentina so that they could travel and acclimatise without problem, thereby preserving the maxim of players having to earn the ultimate accolade in British and Irish rugby?
“Gatland can do whatever he likes in pursuing a famous Test series win against the most difficult opponents in the world, but there was an easy way to have done this which would have left him with a stronger squad and no bad publicity.”