Scott Hastings backs Scotland pair Huw Jones and Jonny Gray for British & Irish Lions spots against All Blacks



GRAND Slam-winning hero Scott Hastings believes two Scots have pressed their case for inclusion in the British and Irish Lions side that will take on New Zealand next summer.

Hastings, who toured with the Lions in New Zealand in 1993, as well as in Australia four years earlier, has been impressed with Scotland’s displays in their narrow defeat to the Wallabies and Saturday’s last-gasp victory over Argentina.

And he has singled out centre Huw Jones, who scored two tries against Australia and set up Sean Maitland for Scotland’s only try at the weekend, and lock Jonny Gray as the two men most likely to make it into Warren Gatland’s 2017 selection.

(Pic: @SLI_Global)
(Pic: @SLI_Global)

Hastings was asked to nominate his starting XV by Lions sponsors Standard Life Investments and selected the pair in a team dominated by seven Irishmen and also including five Englishmen and just a solitary Welshman.

Assessing Scotland’s 19-16 win over the Pumas, Hastings said: “Argentina put Scotland under a huge amount of pressure up front, where Jonny Gray, I felt, was outstanding, as was Hamish Watson in the back row for Scotland

“Greig Laidlaw’s captaincy shone through by stroking that last kick of the game and Huw Jones in the centre, once again, caught the eye.”

Hastings’ Lions XV: 15. R. Kearney (Ire), 14. S. Rokoduguni (Eng), 13. H. Jones (Sco), 12. O. Farrell (Eng), 11. E. Daly (Eng), 10. G. Ford (Eng), 9. C. Murray (Ire), 8. J. Heaslip (Ire), 7. S. O’Brien (Ire), 6. D. Lydiate (Wal), 5. D. Toner (Ire), 4. J. Gray (Sco), 3. T. Furlong (Ire), 2. R. Best (Ire), 1. M. Vunipola (Eng).