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Horgan And McKinley Shoot Down Scot's Lions Test Credentials

Horgan And McKinley Shoot Down Scot's Lions Test Credentials
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Both Ian McKinley and Shane Horgan both believe that Finn Russell will not be the starting out-half come the Lions' three test games against the Springboks.

The Scot started Saturday's 56-14 victory against the Sigma Lions.

"If I had to say now, I don’t think he is going to be starting a test," former Italy out-half McKinley told Virgin Media Sport.

"You saw a few bits there, the 10-12 axis, when they do get it right, Finn Russell can win you a game at the drop of a hat.

"But I think there still are inconsistencies when it comes to top level rugby, and you are getting into the really difficult moments in a test, you need those guys to step up.

"You need the temperament of someone like an Owen Farrell, Johnny Sexton when he was on the last tour.

"Again, there are even small moments this evening where he threw a pass beneath the posts. Sometimes they go for you, but in the heat of a test battle, from a coaches point of view, I’m sure it can drive you demented at times.


"I would put [Dan] Biggar in, and Farrell at out-half ahead of him. Don’t get me wrong, seriously talented player, can produce magic when it’s needed but just in those crucial moments, I think he is far behind the other guys."

Shane Horgan feels that Russell makes too many mistakes.

"He played a really Finn Russell-type of game, which is good to watch, it’s entertaining, but it always involves a few sloppy mistakes and errors. Maybe an interception, ball on the deck, poor kicks," said the former Ireland winger.


"He just isn’t consistently good enough. We know the level the Springboks play at, if you give them those opportunities, they will score tries against you. You can’t give away those.

"For all the talent he has, the ability to unlock a defence, we saw the kick over the top on the Adams’ try, passing range was really good.

"I really like watching him play, but I wouldn’t want him to be in the box seat to deliver a test series against the Springboks if I was in the team, because he just makes too many errors."


Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Sportsfile

See Also: Ian McGeechan Made Ronan O'Gara Think He Was Going To Start 2009 Lions Test

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