There was a time not too long ago when Scottish rugby formed the beating heart of the British and Irish Lions touring squad.
Plucky halfback Mike Campbell-Lamerton—a Korean War veteran—led the Lions on their 1966 tour Down Under, while legendary Scottish prop John 'Mighty Mouse' McLauchlan was one of the cult heroes from the famed side to tour New Zealand in 1971. That team remains the only Lions to defeat the All Blacks in a test series.
From 1983 to 1997, Scots Jim Telfer and Ian McGeechan coached five straight Lions tours. Gavin Hastings, the much-admired Edinburgh fullback, captained the '93 tour to New Zealand.
Yesterday, the British & Irish Lions squad to tour Aoteroa in June and July this year was announced. Virtually completing the setting sun on Scottish involvement in Lions rugby, only two Scots were named in the team; fullback Stuart Hogg and winger Tommy Seymour, both of Gasglow. Most likely, only Hogg will play in the three tests.
Coach Warren Gatland – a Kiwi who was the boss of the most recent Lions tour, to South Africa, in 2013 – actually selected more people from New Zealand's North Island than those North of the Border.
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