Lack of influence cost Scotland players in Lions selection - Gordon Bulloch

Jamie George - his understudy with England - was preferred, along with fellow hookers Ken Owens and Rory Best.

Gatland's expanded squad takes in 16 English players, 12 Welsh, 11 Irish and two Scottish players.

The last time the Lions took on New Zealand, Clive Woodward named a 44-man squad for the 2005 tour and suffered a humbling 3-0 defeat, conceding 107 points across the three Tests.

Former Wales head coach Gatland is joined by England's Steve Borthwick and Graham Rowntree, Ireland's former England global Andy Farrell and Wales coaches Rob Howley and Neil Jenkins in his coaching team. His worldwide teammate Jamie George made the cut, despite starting every Six Nations match from the bench.

Full-back Stuart Hogg and wing Tommy Seymour are the only Scotland players in Warren Gatland's 41-man squad.

"When you look at the half-backs Wales, Ireland and England have and in terms of the schedule you've got running into our prep, I think when you play together you've got a natural combination".

Conor Murray must prove his fitness ahead of this summer's Lions tour according to coach Warren Gatland.

"I'm just delighted and relieved as well", admitted Best, who watched the squad announcement while on holiday with his family. I think he was probably right to turn it down because he was an afterthought by Gatland, he probably knew exactly how much input he'd have, which would be nil.

Warburton was the skipper and Gatland, again on secondment from his job as Wales boss, the coach when the Lions won 2-1 in Australia four years ago.

"I always think with teams I've been involved in that a happy camp, more often than not, is going to be a successful camp".

I think he [Hartley] would have been asset, but I'm not picking the team.

"Ultimately my goal is to play in the Tests and, if I can play with these players, make an impression and put a marker down then hopefully that will push the other guys".

"They've got enough good players there. There must be something wrong there", Telfer, who led the 1983 tour to New Zealand, told BBC Scotland.

With five matches against New Zealand's dominant Super Rugby teams, Gatland said the Lions faced the "toughest tour" but seized upon Ireland's shock 40-29 win over the All Blacks in Chicago in November as proof they were only human.

"I had a dinner with all the other former captains last night when it sunk in, the enormity", said Warburton at a news conference after the squad was announced.

"When a guy like Finn Russell, who has been playing so well, misses out because they have the likes of Johnny Sexton, Dan Biggar and Owen Farrell there, also young George Ford missed out, they have a lot of depth through all their key positions".

"It won't really affect how Scotland play in the future and we can look to the future with with a fair amount of optimism".

  • Julie Sanders