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Sir Ian McGeechan


Selection is a brutal process

Many readers will be surprised at the omission of certain players in the Lions squad announcement, all three of the home nations Captains apart from Sam Warburton have not made the cut and there will be uproar amongst many rugby supporters..

The reality of selection is that it is a ruthless process that done properly underpins competitive sport and those making decisions have to be brutal in the assessment of their players as this is what decides who the winners are.

Warren Gatland and his management team will have had numerous discussions about how this Lions team is going to play and how they are going to win a test series in Australia. With this understanding the selectors can then begin to formulate the type of players they need in certain positions and once that is established begin the discussions on who should fill those positions.

The back row is probably the most interesting area of debate and with a robust and formidable front five laying down a physical challenge on the hard Australian surfaces it is likely that the coaches have opted for specialist flankers who will play a more dynamic style of rugby.

No coach enjoys leaving out proven and committed players but you have to make a statement and go with your instinct, As Sir Alex Ferguson once stated, “Don’t spend time confirming your doubts” challenge your thinking, but there is no room for sentiment.

This Lions squad has an edge to it and that is a good message to send to the Australians, we're on our way.

Sir Ian McGeechan

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