Sir Ian McGeechan, who coached the Lions on both their 1997 and 2009 tours of South Africa, believes Warren Gatland only has four nailed-on starters right now.
“At the moment, I’d put Gats ahead of the Springboks,” McGeechan said. “They’ve got one more game to play, the Lions have still got four in which the combinations can work, they can get a feel and they’re rubbing shoulders.
“They need stronger opposition, without a doubt. Japan were good opponents for an hour, but this was poor. That self-discipline to still do the right things is sometimes the biggest thing that comes out of games like this and that you have a ruthlessness about what you are doing.
“You don’t do things free and easy, you do the things you know are going to make a difference in a Test match and you keep working at a side and giving it no way back – even if you’re 50 points up.”
However, the Lions legend believes Gatland still has a lot of selection headaches with only four players nailed-on for a Test place.
#1. Maro Itoje
- Age: 26
- Position: Lock
- Country: England
If you got a pound for every time Itoje had a poor game, you’d barely be able to afford a bag of chips. He’s certainly nailed-on for a Test spot right now.
DID YOU KNOW? It is commonly known that Itoje is the cousin of Bath’s loosehead prop Beno Obano. However Gloucester speedster Ollie Thorley is also technically Itoje’s cousin after his grandfather re-married a Nigerian woman who is the Saracens lock’s aunt.