Bentley urges Lions to pick on form - not reputation

  
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10/25/2012
By ESPN Scrum (UK)


Former British & Irish Lions international John Bentley believes reputation should count for nothing when coach Warren Gatland picks his squad for next summer's tour to Australia.

Bentley, a key member of the last Lions squad to claim a series victory over South Africa in 1997, is confident that the elite tourists can repeat that feat against the Wallabies if Gatland gets his selection right.
 
"Warren Gatland has been proven in the last four years as being a great coach with Wales and he has got the best out of his players, so he is the best man for the job," said Bentley, who started the second and third Tests in 1997.
 
"The important thing about selecting the Lions squad initially is selecting players who are in form at the time, reputation will count for nothing. He has to pick those who are playing well.
 
"The Lions comes along only once every four years and they only go to three countries and it will be a great challenge going to Australia. But of the three countries - Australia, South Africa and New Zealand - it's probably the best one to go to to seek that elusive win.
 
"The important thing is to try and get them to be a team as quickly as possible. In 1997 we became a side, a team, and importantly it doesn't want to be a midweek team and a Saturday team. Ultimately everyone wants to play on a Saturday because that is when the Tests are played."