Eight Scots were today named in the 37-strong British & Irish Lions squad heading to South Africa this summer.

Alun Wyn Jones, the current captain of Wales, will lead Warren Gatland’s team.

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg has been selected for his third consecutive tour, after wearing the famous red shirt on both the 2013 and 2017 campaigns during which he played seven matches.

Selected for the first time for the British & Irish Lions are Edinburgh trio Hamish Watson, Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland and Glasgow Warriors’ Zander Fagerson and Ali Price.

Meanwhile, Racing 92’s Finn Russell gets a second call-up having joined the 2017 tour as a mid-tour addition and Gloucester’s Chris Harris is also named in the 37-man squad.

Gatland is being supported in his Lions coaching team by one of Scotland’s heroes of 1997, Gregor Townsend, who will lead the attack, and Scotland coach Steve Tandy, leading the defence.

Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Dodson, said: “I am delighted eight Scotland players have been selected today in the British & Irish Lions squad. This is the biggest contingent that Scotland has had in the initial touring party since nine were named for the 1989 tour to Australia, which was captained by Finlay Calder.

“The competitiveness we have shown throughout the last two Six Nations Championship campaigns is now underlined by today’s announcement. It affirms we are producing players to compete alongside some of the best in the world and I warmly congratulate all the Scottish players, and the whole 37-man squad on their selection.”

Scottish Rugby’s Director of High Performance, Jim Mallinder, added: “I am incredibly excited to see all of these players selected in the 37-man squad for the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour. The experience that they and our coaches, Gregor Townsend and Steve Tandy, will gain from being on this tour is fantastic. I wish them all the best in the upcoming campaign in South Africa.”

The squad of 37 players will meet at a training camp in Jersey prior to their warm-up fixture against Japan at BT Murrayfield on June 26. They will then head out to South Africa where they will play eight matches. This will include three Test matches against the current world champion Springboks.