Mark McCall backs Ashton and Maitland for Lions tour of New Zealand

Chris Ashton scored two tries for Saracens against Bath
Chris Ashton scored two tries for Saracens against Bath

Saracens rugby director Mark McCall has backed his wingers Chris Ashton and Sean Maitland to be part of the British and Irish Lions squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand in June.

Both players were impressive for their club in the recently concluded Aviva Premiership clash against Bath. Ashton, who is set to move to Toulon at the end of the season crossed over twice in the final 10 minutes while Scotland international Maitland went past the line in the 40th minute of the game which the Ashton Gate outfit won 53-10.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland is expected to announce the squad next month and McCall believes the duo can be handy against the back-to-back World Champions.

"Chris was really good, you could see what a clever rugby player he is," McCall said.

"He did a lot of things in the game that people don't give him credit for in terms of the attacking kicks used and where he pops up.

"Sean Maitland on our other wing was also good and the two of them gave performances that Warren Gatland might be interested in.

"Sean got injured during the Six Nations and lost his place in the Scotland team. He was outstanding as well.

"Chris showed enough out there to make people curious and to have a look at him. It was the same with Sean as well."

Saracens are positioned third in the table after their win on Sunday and are one point behind the second placed Exeter Chiefs.