"It was a good hour and a half" says assistant Steve Tandy of the initial Test selection meeting

The debate behind selecting a Lions XV

British & Irish Lions assistant coach Steve Tandy described it as “one of the toughest things” he has been part of in his rugby career as an initial selection meeting took place on Sunday night to discuss the starting XV for the first Test against the Springboks this Saturday. As he explained: “It was a good hour and a half, maybe a bit longer.”

But the assistant added: “There are probably one or two things to firm up, but the majority is probably done” with players to find out relatively soon.

The public is due to be told the Test team for the first series encounter, in Cape Town, on Thursday. However, according to the Lions assistant said that there was some healthy debate.

The Scotland defence specialist added of the Lions 2021 selection conference: “We will probably confirm things today or tomorrow and then it will be up to Gats to feel when it is appropriate (to tell the team). There are going to be massive decisions. There are going to be a lot of unlucky players, but they represent the Lions.

“We had an initial selection process last night, which was a long one in fairness, just covering all bases. A lot of people have put their hands up and it is a great place for us as coach to be.

“There will be bitter disappointment, but I believe that within this squad there is such a tight connection that everyone will be geared-up to winning that first Test whether you are in the 23 or not.

“It was a good hour and a half, maybe a bit longer. It was a good initial meeting and we were becoming clearer and clearer as we went along.”

Who would you pick in your starting Lions XV for the opening Test against South Africa?

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