Scotland flanker Hamish Watson has responded to on-going claims that he is too small to compete with the South African forwards.
Watson was recently named in Warren Gatland’s 37-man British & Irish Lions squad to tour South Africa in July. The 29 year-old's inclusion came as little surprise after a fantastic Six Nations campaign in which he was arguably the top-performing flanker.
However, voices are still heard conveying the notion that he will not be up to it physically, a point of view which, Watson admits, is a “tiny bit frustrating.”
"It's not something I think about much," he said.
"It doesn't matter how much you weigh if you've still got the power and strength of someone who is a bit heavier.
"It is a tiny bit frustrating. It is a perception that is always going to be around in rugby no matter what you do. In other sports, dynamic positions are smaller people."
Gatland’s coaching staff features two Scotsmen in Gregor Townsend (attack) and Steve Tandy (defence), and Watson believes their presence aided the selection of the 8-man Scottish contingent in the squad – six more than in 2017.
"It's hard to believe that it wouldn't have made a difference in 50/50 calls," Watson said in 5 Live's Rugby Union Weekly podcast.
"I don't think that just because Steve and Gregor are there it would mean way more boys have been picked.
"The fact that they know us off the field as well helps. These tours, it's a long time to be away with each other, you need the right people.
"It's hard to ignore the difference of two and eight but Scotland are in a lot better place than four years ago."