Sole: Lions spots still up for grabs

Former British Lion David Sole believes that it is not too late for players to impress Sir Clive Woodward and gain a seat on the plane to New Zealand. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Former British Lion David Sole believes that it is not too late for players to impress Sir Clive Woodward and gain a seat on the plane to New Zealand.

The 42-year-old – who led Scotland to their last Grand Slam in 1990 – insists that while the Lions coach may have made up his mind about most of the squad to tour New Zealand in June, there are still places up for grabs.

Sole was a key player in the 1989 Lions series triumph in Australia, playing in a side captained by fellow Scotsman Finlay Calder, and with the likes of John Jeffrey and Gavin Hastings also playing vital roles on the tour.

With Scotland’s woeful recent RBS 6 Nations record seeing them record just one win in the last two seasons, few anticipate this summer’s tour squad having the kind of Scottish influence that the 1989 one did.

However, with games against Wales and England still ahead of them in this year’s championship, Sole insists there is still plenty for the fringe players to play for.

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"There are still two games left if this year’s Six Nations," Sole said.

"There’s still plenty to play for, and if players hold there hand up in the remaining games they’ve still got a chance of getting on the plane to New Zealand."

Sole remains optimistic a number of Scottish players will be in the frame to make the ultimate tour for any British or Irish player.

Simon Taylor has recently returned from injury and will be joined by Chris Paterson in tomorrow’s IRB Rugby Aid match for the Tsunami appeal. Sole believes both are possible tourists.

"Chris Paterson will be on the tour," Sole said, "And I’ll be interested to see how Taylor goes in the Tsunami game. He’s there to get another game under his belt because he looked very tired towards the end of the game against Italy."

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