British & Irish Lions: Finn Russell & Allan Dell 'will wonder why they're there'

Finn Russell
Finn Russell left Scotland's tour to join up with the Lions earlier this month

Former Scotland and British and Irish Lions centre Alan Tait says the Scots called up by head coach Warren Gatland will be "wondering why they are there".

Fly-half Finn Russell and prop Allan Dell were drafted in last Saturday, but have played a combined total of 15 minutes from the bench.

"I don't understand why he called those guys in if he's not going to use them," said Tait.

"What was the point in bringing those guys in?"

Tait questioned why Dell was not introduced while Joe Marler was seemingly carrying an injury during Tuesday's draw with the Hurricanes.

"If the players are there, and the game's in the balance, the boys were tired, at least put those boys on," Tait told BBC Scotland.

Allan Dell
Allan Dell was preferred to Scotland team-mate WP Nel in gaining a late place in Gatland's squad

Russell replaced Welshman Dan Biggar for a head injury assessment in Wellington, while Dell's sole on-field contribution came in last week's win over the Chiefs, when he replaced James Haskell with England loose-head Marler sin-binned.

Gatland said after Tuesday's match: "So much was made about devaluing the jersey, so we made a decision we would try and get through the game with as many of the starting XV as we could."

The Lions, who lost the first Test in Auckland, face New Zealand in the second Test in Wellington on Saturday and the final Test in Auckland on 8 July.

Tait, part of the series-winning Lions squad that toured South Africa in 1997, fears a backlash if the Lions cannot turn the series around.

"Those guys know they're not going to be involved in the next two Test matches," Tait told BBC Scotland.

"They're just going to be there to hold shields and run against the opposition in team runs.

"The guys will just deal with what they're there to do, but they'll be pretty disappointed and wondering why they're there.

"They'll keep doing their jobs, but I think at the end of the tour, they might ask themselves, will they be judged on that until the end of their days? You were a Lion, but you didn't actually play.

"A lot of guys sit on the fence on this because it all depends on what Gatland does in the next two Tests.

"If they win on Saturday and the week after there'll be nothing said and he'll be this great coach again.

"But this time if they do lose the Test series, it will probably erupt."

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