John Hardie dreams of British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand

John Hardie against Australia at the World Cup
Hardie was a stand-out performer at the 2015 World Cup

Selection for the British & Irish Lions next summer would be a "dream come true" for Edinburgh's John Hardie.

The Lions are touring New Zealand, where Hardie was born and raised before joining the Scottish cause in 2015, qualifying through his grandmother.

"It's definitely a goal," said the 28-year-old flanker. "It would be nice.

"If you do well enough for your club and then if you are lucky enough to be picked for Scotland then things can keep spiralling on."

Hardie has been capped 11 times for Scotland since his debut against Italy in a World Cup warm-up match.

In 10 international starts, including every game in this year's Six Nations, the number seven has scored three tries.

"There is a long way to go first before anyone is chosen," he told BBC Scotland when asked about his Lions ambitions.

"We have a lot of competition here in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland so those are my main focuses at the moment.

"You have to do your job first but it's definitely a goal."

Warren Gatland, the New Zealander who has coached Wales since 2007, will lead the Lions for a second time.

"I've never met Warren Gatland before," admitted Hardie. "He is a quality coach and I'm sure he will do a good job with the Lions. I'm sure it's big for him and his family and it is sure to big for all those that involved."

The Lions face 10 games on what will be an extremely challenging trip, which includes three Tests against the All Blacks - unbeaten on home soil since 2009.

The Lions have not won a series against New Zealand since 1971.

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