Brooke: Faletau lacks mongrel edge

10:12 AM GMT

Former All Blacks No. 8 Zinzan Brooke claims British & Irish Lions’ backrow Taulupe Faletau lacks “mongrel edge” and warned he could be found out against New Zealand this summer.

Faletau started at No. 8 for Wales in all three of last year’s defeats to the All Blacks, scoring a try in the opening test which Wales led 18-15 at halftime, but ultimately fell to a 39-21 defeat.

And Brooke, who started the first two tests of the 1993 Lions tour of New Zealand in a series the All Blacks won 2-1, downplayed Faletau’s importance for the Lions.

“Someone who I do have reservations about is Welsh loose forward Taulupe Faletau,” Brooke told the Daily Mail. “It’s not that he isn’t a good player, he just isn’t a key player.

“He’s one of these guys that is pretty much good at everything, but doesn’t have that mongrel edge. Quick lesson for anyone playing the All Blacks — if you don’t have that mongrel edge, you get found out pretty quickly against the best team in the world.”

Brooke also questioned the decision of Lions head coach Warren Gatland to bring just two Scottish players following their strong Six Nations campaign under Vern Cotter.

“Scotland had a good campaign and had wins over Ireland, Wales and Italy. Somehow, they end up only contributing two players, while Wales make up a massive 12 players in the squad? If you’re a fan of Scotland, it’s got to be disappointing.”

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