Laidlaw – ‘I’ll add value’

Greig Laidlaw is determined to add value to the British and Irish Lions in whatever way he can after being tipped to be midweek captain.

Former Scotland head coach Vern Cotter believes Laidlaw would be a 'powerful, motivating presence' if Lions coach Warren Gatland were to hand him the leadership role.

And Laidlaw says whether he is midweek captain or not, his number one priority is to add value to the team wherever he can.

“I've built a good relationship with big VC (Cotter) over time with Scotland and I've certainly got a lot of respect for him, but whenever I'm given an opportunity it's up to me to show what I'm all about and bring my strengths to the table,” Laidlaw told the Independent.

"So if and when I'm given an opportunity that's what I'll be aiming to do and give my best towards a team performance.

"It was good for me to be in the camp from the start and I really tried to add value to the group where I can.

"That's something, going back to Vern, you learn from him you only come to the table with something where you think you can add value.

"Otherwise you just get on with your work, play rugby and be the best player you can be. So that's very much what I'll be doing.”

Laidlaw also defended Lions head coach Warren Gatland after Eddie Jones said the Lions would struggle if they played to Gatland's Wales style of rugby.

"What happens with national sides is not so relevant here now," said Laidlaw.

"Warren won the last Test series (against Australia in 2013) with the Lions, that's a record that stands up, and that's what he's measured on. That's credit to him.

"And Eddie can say what he likes, because he's not sat in the hot seat is he? He's got other things to worry about."

Laidlaw thinks that the knowledge and experience of Kiwi Gatland will be key to the Lions’ chances.

"He'll take a step back and stand and watch, but if he sees something he doesn't like he certainly won't let it slip,” said Laidlaw.

"He's a very detailed coach. He knows a fair bit about this part of the world which is key for us coming down here.

"He'll use his knowledge and experience to help the team, so if we've any questions we can ask him. He's made a strong impression on the group already.”