Lions Tour 2021: Colin Deans on his pride at Hawick duo Stuart Hogg and Rory Sutherland's call-up to Test squad

Scotland rugby legend Colin Deansnote-0 is excited to see two players from his hometown of Hawick – and five Scots in total – in the British & Irish Lions matchday 23 for the first Test against South Africa tomorrow.

Stuart Hogg at a British and Irish Lions training session with Ali Price.
Stuart Hogg at a British and Irish Lions training session with Ali Price.

And he believes full-back Stuart Hogg has the mentality needed to cope with the barrage of aerial pressure that the Springboks are likely to put the 29-year-old under in the Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town.

Deans, who earned 52 Scotland caps, toured with the British & Irish Lions to New Zealand in 1983 and captained them in a match against a World XV in 1986, said: “As a proud Hawick man, to see Stuart Hogg and Rory Sutherland in a British & Irish Lions matchday Test squad makes me very happy.

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“I am proud of what these boys are doing on this tour and I am sure everyone in Hawick and anyone who has connections to the town will be feeling the same.

Rory Sutherland playing for the British and Irish Lions against DHL Stormers on Saturday (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
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“Hoggy is such an energetic character who leads by example and just wants to get his hands on the ball. He will be tested by some high balls by the South Africa, but he has the mentality to be able to deal with that.

“Having missed out on playing in Test matches in 2013 when he was still young and then in 2017 when he was injured, Hoggy has stated that he has had his eye on this match for a while.

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“In the two games he has played on tour so far he has looked hungry and has been everywhere on the pitch in a bid to convince Warren Gatland that he is the right man for the number 15 jersey.

“Liam Williams is a quality player too, but all Scottish supporters have been waiting a long time to see Hoggy in a Lions Test match and he will be fired up this weekend.

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Colin Deans in his Scotland heyday. Picture: Colorsport/Shutterstock

“[Fellow starters] Ali Price and Duhan van der Merwe have certainly taken their opportunities well in recent weeks too.”

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Back-row Hamish Watson, 29, will have to make do with an appearance off the bench, but former hooker Deans would have liked to see the Edinburgh Rugby openside starting.

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“I’d have liked to have seen Hamish Watson starting in the back-row at 7 with Courtney Lawes at 6 and Tom Curry at 8,” 66-year-old Deans states.

“He has developed himself phenomenally in the last three or four years and he is world class now.

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“You know what you get from Lawes and Curry, they will stop South African players in their tracks, and Hamish will look to do the same when he is involved.

“The bench in modern day rugby is so important, especially against a big, physical team like South Africa. You need guys to come on with energy and who are able to mix it straight away and Hamish is in that mould.

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Rory [Sutherland, also on the bench] is a tough character and he seems to have grown in confidence from his solid performances with Scotland and he has taken that momentum on tour with him. It is great to see someone who has had to battle to the top getting the rewards.

“I wish all the Scots and their team mates all the best this weekend, it should be a cracking game and the Lions will want to put a marker down.”



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