Greenwood: Tourists world class

Will Greenwood believes Ian McGeechan will name a Lions squad with ‘six or seven World XV players’.

The former England centre said the Lions would travel to South Africa as underdogs, but this was nothing unusual for the British and Irish tourists. Greenwood was part of the squad for the 1997 triumph – but was only a member of the midweek team – and he said the hosts being favourites wasn’t a bad thing.

‘When was the last time a Lions squad travelled as favourites?’ Greenwood asked.

‘They just don’t go as favourites. You go, and you’ve got to dig deep and find something special. Right now, the bookmakers have South Africa as favourites, which would be fair enough,’ he said.

Greenwood acknowledged the quality of the Bok resources but somehow found space for nearly half of a possible Lions Test team in a hypothetical World XV.

‘I’ve watched a lot of the Super 14 action this year, and they look, fit, strong and quick. But, of course, the Lions have a chance. You look at the calibre of the likely squad, and there are six or seven World XV players,’ he said.

‘If you’ve got six or seven World XV players, throw in a few warriors with them and guys who just won’t say no, then before you know it you have got half a chance.’