British & Irish Lions tour 2017: Greig Laidlaw can 'drive' Lions - Vern Cotter

Greig Laidlaw and Vern Cotter
Greig Laidlaw captained Scotland during New Zealander Vern Cotter's three-year reign as head coach
British and Irish Lions 2017
Date: 3 June - 8 July Venue: New Zealand
Coverage: Live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Vern Cotter says Greig Laidlaw "will take on any role" in the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

The Lions will play 10 times in Cotter's homeland, including three Tests against the All Blacks.

Ex-Scotland coach Cotter was asked if he thought Scottish skipper Laidlaw would make an ideal midweek captain.

"He is a strong character who likes winning and he won't sit and let things happen," Cotter said of Clermont-bound Laidlaw, 31.

"He has a powerful, motivating presence, so if he gets involved in the group he will take responsibility and push things along.

"He will want to have some influence on the game, creating winning situations.

Tommy Seymour, Greig Laidlaw and Stuart Hogg
Laidlaw (centre) along with Tommy Seymour (left) and Stuart Hogg (right) are the Scots touring with the Lions

"He will take on any role. It is such a short preparation time, they get off the plane on Wednesday and then play on Saturday, then they are walking into game after game.

"You need strong personalities in there saying 'we need to do this, this and this, and this works'. He will drive that.

"They are all experienced players but he has been around and is very influential."

After arriving in New Zealand on Wednesday and playing their first match on Saturday against New Zealand Barbarians, the Lions will face Blues (7 June), Crusaders (10 June), Highlanders (13 June), Maori All Blacks (17 June) and Hurricanes (27 June).

The Tests with New Zealand will be on 24 June, 1 July and 8 July.

"[New Zealand back row] Kieran Read's looking doubtful at the moment, and [Lions back row] Billy Vunipola's out, so that kind of balances that out," said Barbarians coach Cotter, who will take over at Montpellier for the 2017-18 season.

"But [the Lions are] good enough to win a Test match. I think they'd need to win the first two to take the series.

"I'd say you don't want to be trying to win the decider in New Zealand."

Vern Cotter
Cotter's Barbarians lost 28-14 to England on Sunday

Top Stories