Sir Ian McGeechan says he would back Maro Itoje to captain The British & Irish Lions against South Africa, should the series be starting tomorrow.
Here the Lions and Scotland legend picks his five ‘nailed on’ starters for his XV to face South Africa in 2021.
1. Finn Russell (Scotland)
McGeechan said: “You’ve got to go for him at fly-half. I think South Africa would be worried if they saw a Lions team with Finn Russell in it.
“Yes, they may feel they could challenge him and cause issues with his decision-making, but I think he’s matured tremendously since he’s played with Racing 92, and all the messages coming out of the Scotland camp are about how good he’s been in training; talking to other players, getting ideas across and decision-making, which is so important for a 10.
“Go back a few years and there was one Gregor Townsend who did the same. He’s a tremendous passer of the ball and is very good at running support lines and can take the first player on, but it’s the variety of his kicking game that could be so important on the highveld as well as at sea level.”