‘Mental Weakness’ Cost Scotland Lions Spots Says Former England International
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Former England and Lions international Lewis Moody says ‘mental weakness’ cost Scotland players a spot on the plane to New Zealand this summer.
Only two players have made Warren Gatland’s initial 41-man British & Irish Lions squad, with no forwards making the cut.
Despite an excellent Six Nations campaign which saw the Scots beat Ireland and Wales, finishing third overall- Gatland has gone with his tried and tested Welshmen instead. Wales finished one spot above the wooden spoon, yet have 12 representatives.
“With the Lions there is all this expectation and pressure to perform not just on the pitch but off it as well,” Moody told The Independent.
“The spotlight will be on them when they go over there against the best side in rugby with the Lions and it’s a hotbed over there and the pressure will be intensified.
“And I think that’s why the Scottish guys have been left out.”
Moody conceded that a Lions coach will always favour players from their own country, but insists it was Scotland’s mental weakness and inability to cope under pressure which cost so many of them a call up.
“I think there are two things,” he continued.
“A national coach will always favour the players he knows as individuals and the ones that are familiar with how he plays. But the second one is how the Scottish players played under pressure.
“You only need to look at their poor performance when under that level of pressure at the cauldron of Twickenham.
“If they’d have won, or put in a better showing then I think we would have seen more Scots included. For me, that is why the Lions selectors went the way they did – because of their inability to deal with pressure in big-match situations.”