Warren Gatland has named more Scottish players in his 2021 British and Irish Lions touring squad than his last two squads combined.
Ahead of the tour to Australia in 2013, just four players from Scotland made the cut with Ryan Grant, Richie Gray, Sean Maitland and Stuart Hogg making the cut. That number was cut to just two when the initial squad was named for the 2017 tour to New Zealand, with Greig Laidlaw being included once Ben Youngs pulled out of the tour joining Tommy Seymour and Stuart Hogg. However, that number has risen significantly for the tour to South Africa with eight Scotsman making the cut this time around.
Steve Tandy and Gregor Townsend could well have influenced this while Scotland finishing above England in the Six Nations and beating Eddie Jones' side at Twickenham certainly did their chances no harm.
Stuart Hogg was as close a certain inclusion comes after his Six Nations campaign while there were still doubts over the likes of Hamish Watson and Rory Sutherland despite their outings.
Jonny Gray will feel hard done by having missed out but Zander Fagerson will be thrilled.
Scotland are well represented in the backs with Finn Russell ultimately edging Jonathan Sexton take make the cut while Chris Harris was rewarded for an outstanding Six Nations. Duhan van der Merwe was another who forced his way in after a stellar debut Six Nations while Ali Price will look to star with his halfback partner Finn Russell.
SCOTLAND PLAYERS IN THE SQUAD
Duhan van der Merwe
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