Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Laidlaw over Lions disappointment

Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw insists he is over the pain of his British and Irish Lions snub.

The Edinburgh number nine was arguably the Dark Blues' stand-out performer during this year's RBS 6 Nations as his steady goal-kicking kept the Scots competitive when they found themselves under the cosh. But while team-mates Sean Maitland, Stuart Hogg and Richie Gray were lining up for the Lions in their opening tour match against the Barbarians, Laidlaw was left behind by coach Warren Gatland.

Instead of looking forward to three Tests against Australia, the 27-year-old was settling into Scotland's Durban base ahead of a four-team tournament in South Africa. But Laidlaw insists he is not bitter, telling Press Association Sport: "Of course I wanted to go. It was their decision, I'm over it now and focusing on Scotland."

He added: "I was happy with how I played during the Six Nations. They didn't want to take me and I can live with that.

"I played the best rugby of my career during the championships. We finished third and I was very happy with that. I was happy with my form, now I'm just hoping to push on with this summer tour."

Scotland flew out to South Africa on Friday ahead of next Saturday's opening tour match with Samoa in Durban.

They then head to Nelspruit for a meeting with the host nation a week later while a possible encounter with Italy or one of their two earlier opponents will then take place in Pretoria, depending on how the results go, on June 22.

But with full-back Hogg, winger Maitland and lock Gray absent, Laidlaw admits the side will be lacking some of the firepower that helped them finish third in the Six Nations.

"The three lads are in the Lions squad because they are Scotland's best players," said Laidlaw. "We wish them well - we're sure they will do a good job representing Scotland.

"But in terms of the squad they have left behind, of course we will miss them."


From Belfast Telegraph