Former Scotland captain Bryan Redpath believes the current number nines, Ali Price and George Horne, could force their way into the British and Irish Lions squad next summer.
The Glasgow Warriors pair were in good form prior to the COVIID-19 shutdown, and Redpath believes if they can pick up where they left off when rugby returns in August, they could come into full view of Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland.
“They are both very talented.
“It’s a great time for them to be coming through – Conor Murray will be finishing up soon, England have got two ageing scrum-halves in Ben Youngs and Conor Murray, and we’ll see who comes through from Wales.
“Gatland is probably not going to pick two guys who are one-and-two for their country, but there is an opportunity for one of them.
“They are both really good players.”
Redpath also believes the pair have areas where they need to sharpen up if they are to make the squad.
“Both of them need to master the kicking game, because in the modern game, you need a good kicking nine, but also Scotland play a quick game, so their service is important, and they both run really good support lines and score tries off the back of it.
“Can they make sure that team [Scotland] functions within a structure that gets their best assets, but also the team’s best asset, which is playing with high tempo.”
And Redpath, who won 60 caps for his country in a 10-year Test career, including 21 as captain, believes former skipper Greig Laidlaw was right to hang up his boots after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
“Greig was very calming and underestimated a lot of time in terms of what he did with the group.
“He’s retired at the right time,” Redpath said, while adding that Scotland has been “blessed” with talented scrum-halves over the years.
“The scrum-half berth over the years has been hugely competitive. In my time with Gary Armstrong, Andy Nicol, Derrick Patterson, Graeme Burns and Iain Fairley, it was great to compete against them week in, week out.
“We’ve had an abundance of scrum-halves over the years and long may that continue because it is a vital position.”
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Image caption: Former Scotland scrum-half Bryan Redpath. Image credit: Fotosport/David Gibson