British and Irish Lions Tour: Saracens players will be ‘very fit’ after Championship campaign, says McGeechan – BBC Sport

England and Saracens back Owen Farrell has been on the past two British and Irish Lions tours

Legendary British and Irish Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan says he would be “delighted” to pick Saracens players for the 2021 South Africa tour.

But McGeechan says big-name players like Owen Farrell and Jamie George will be “very fit and very fresh” after a campaign in the second tier.

“You could plan a season like a centrally contracted player,” McGeechan told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“You could almost manage an ideal playing programme leading up to the tour.”

Current Saracens and England stars Farrell and George, along with Elliot Daly, Maro Itoje and Mako Vunipola, all excelled on the last Lions tour to New Zealand in 2017, and have all committed to staying at the club despite their relegation.

“For the Championship games the players can be selected as and when is required,” McGeechan added.

“The players from Saracens I would anticipate arriving on the tour very fit and very fresh.”

The Lions, who will be coached by Warren Gatland for the third time in a row, confirmed on Wednesday the tour will proceed as planned in July and August, but will come at the end of a condensed Premiership season.

The current campaign resumes on 14 August and is set to finish on 24 October, with the 2020-2021 season scheduled to start soon after in mid-November, which will put unprecedented strain on clubs and players.

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