England team manager Martin Johnson believes Lions head coach Ian McGeechan will pick a touring party more than capable of beating world champions South Africa in their own backyard this summer.
Johnson, himself a Lions legend having made a hat-trick of tours in 1993, 1997 and 2001, is certain that McGeechan’s vast experience with the Lions will ensure he selects the right type of players for what is certain to be a massive challenge.
"Ian has picked some great Lions squad in his time and he’s got a really good group of players to pick a series-winning squad from," said Johnson, who skippered the Lions under McGeechan 12 years ago and became the first man to lead two Lions tours when he captained the side in Australia four years later.
"He knows what he’s after and what type of person he wants. It should be a great tour.”
England finished their Six Nations campaign with a 26-12 win over Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon and Johnson believes a number of his players have put their hands up for Lions selection thanks to their performances throughout the tournament.
England are expected to provide far fewer squad players than they did on the last two tours, but Johnson still hopes, and wants, to see as many English players involved as possible.
"A lot of them have put themselves into real contention for the Lions," added Johnson.
"If we have 15 players on a Lions tour there will be no-one happier than me.”