Roberts backs Scottish ace for Lions impact

13 May 2021 21:57:19 GMTPlus10

Former Wales star Jamie Roberts believes Scotland winger Duhan van der Merwe will "light up South Africa" if given the chance by Warren Gatland for the British & Irish Lions.

Van der Merwe, who was born in South Africa, only made his Scotland debut last year but he has impressed Gatland and his coaching team enough to earn a place in the 37-man squad for the Lions Tour 2021, which the Lions are 8/11 to win.

I'd love to see him on the wing as a ball-carrying option.

Jamie Roberts

The 25-year-old was the leading try-scorer at the 2021 Six Nations, his tally of five holding off Welshman Louis Rees-Zammit and Englishman Anthony Watson, who both scored four tries and are in the Lions squad.

Gatland has a tough choice on which two players will start on the wing for the first Test, which takes place at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 24th July, but Roberts thinks one individual deserves the chance to shine.

The 94-time capped Wales international, who was part of the Lions Tour in 2009 and 2013, has backed Van der Merwe to be the star of the show.

"I think Conor Murray and Biggar are in pole position (at half-back) with their tactical ability and control of the game so I will go with them," Roberts said, as quoted by Planet Rugby. "I think Robbie Henshaw has to play in the midfield, but I think alongside Owen Farrell. I think Farrell as a second receiver, a second kicker, with Henshaw at 13.

"That for me means Duhan van der Merwe comes in on the wing as a ball carrier. I'd love to see him on the wing as a ball-carrying option. I have a feeling he is going to light up South Africa."

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