Former England international Lewis Moody has claimed that an “inability to deal with pressure” is the reason only two Scots were picked for the British and Irish Lions’ tour New Zealand this summer.
Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour were the sole representatives from north of the Border when Warren Gatland named his 41-man squad last week.
By contrast, 16 England players were included, along with 12 from Wales and 11 from Ireland. That was despite Scotland beating both Wales and Ireland in this season’s Six Nations.
Moody, however, claims the Scots are not mentally tough enough for what is likely to be a gruelling three-Test tour against the double world champions.
Moody told The Independent: “With the Lions there is all this expectation and pressure to perform not just on the pitch but off it as well. 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.
“I think there are two things. 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.”