British and Irish Lions 2021: Hamish Watson finds size talk 'tiny bit frustrating'

Hamish Watson was voted as the Six Nations player of the tournament for 2021
Hamish Watson was voted as the Six Nations player of the tournament for 2021

Scotland flanker Hamish Watson says comments that he is too small to make an impact for the British and Irish Lions against South Africa are "a tiny bit frustrating".

Watson, 29, is part of the 37-man Lions squad to face the Springboks.

Some have suggested the back row - who is 6ft tall and weighs 16 stone - will struggle against the physical prowess of the big South African pack.

"It's not something I think about much," Watson said.

"It doesn't matter how much you weigh if you've still got the power and strength of someone who is a bit heavier.

"It is a tiny bit frustrating. It is a perception that is always going to be around in rugby no matter what you do. In other sports, dynamic positions are smaller people."

Watson is one of eight Scots selected in the touring party to take on the world champions this summer, an increase of six players from the last tour in 2017.

With Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend leading the attack, and defence coach Steve Tandy reprising that role with the Lions, Watson believes it will have helped the Scots when it came to tight selection decisions.

"It's hard to believe that it wouldn't have made a difference in 50/50 calls," the Edinburgh back row told 5 Live's Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

"I don't think that just because Steve and Gregor are there it would mean way more boys have been picked.

"The fact that they know us off the field as well helps. These tours, it's a long time to be away with each other, you need the right people.

"It's hard to ignore the difference of two and eight but Scotland are in a lot better place than four years ago."

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport

Elsewhere on the BBC