Gatland covers his bases with 35-player standby list - report

Gatland covers his bases with 35-player standby list - report

British and Irish Lions boss Warren Gatland has decided to place more than 30 players on his standby list for the 2021 Lions Tour to South Africa.

In April, Gatland sent out more than 70 invitations before announcing his 37-man squad with The Telegraph now reporting that all will now be told to keep themselves ready for a call up when injuries strike.

The report suggests that Gatland had the option of having a streamlined pool of reserves but has instead opted to keep his options open with at least two players who could cover each position.

During the 2009 tour to South Africa, Sir Ian McGeechan needed to call up nine replacements.

The Telegraph added that any player who receives a call-up will be required to submit a test before flying to South Africa and will then be subject to further testing and a short period of quarantine before being allowed to join up with the squad.

It also added that the Lions head coach is not obliged to make a like for like positional changes, which could allow certain players come into the selection equation if they prove the fitness or form.


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