The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
McGeechan will name his final squad in April and Wilkinson will need to have proved both form and fitness by then if he is to make a third Lions tour.
Three years ago, Wilkinson was given the opportunity to prove his fitness to Sir Clive Woodward after a catalogue of injuries involving his neck, biceps and knees.
But McGeechan said: “Players need to be match-hardened and fit because we want to give everybody an opportunity to put themselves forward for a Test place but they only have two, maybe three games to do that.
“It is a difficult place to find form or be there not fully fit.”
McGeechan plans to name a squad of around 65 on January 20 and wants to bring them together during one of the fallow RBS 6 Nations weeks.
Lions manager Gerald Davis confirmed the home unions had thrown their support behind that plan.
McGeechan spent the November international season following South Africa on their European tour and was left in no doubt about the size of the task that lies ahead.
“The November series showed how good a team South Africa are. They can play more than one way, they have a good pack, back row, outside backs. It showed this is a major challenge,” he said.
McGeechan admitted the home nations’ record was a concern six months before the Lions depart for South Africa but he was intent in putting a positive spin on it.
“Not seeing the wins was the most concerning thing but new players came to the fore that we may not have been talking about as strong Lions candidates. That was encouraging and exciting,” said McGeechan.
“The autumn is the first chance for players to step up into the Test match arena, some of them were doing it for the first time.
“What we will see is a lot of players who have grown up pretty quickly in a short space of time from what they have experienced in November and in a Lions context that is actually quite important.
“Some of the players will start the Six Nations in a different frame of mind. Test match decisions and Test match pressure is different to anything else you do.”