THREE weeks ago, Scotland international Craig Chalmers had every right to be dreaming of his second British Lions tour at the age of 24. In the words of Scottish coach Ian McGeechan, the Melrose stand-off was playing ''the best rugby of his life'' going into the Calcutta Cup match against England at Twickenham on March 6. With his half-back partner, Gary Armstrong, in commanding form throughout the Five Nations Championship and with England having lost faith in their own stand-off, Rob Andrew, by replacing him with Stuart Barnes, Chalmers had one of the two stand-off places booked for the Lions' 13-match tour to New Zealand, starting in May. But his season turned sour early in the England game when he suffered a double-fracture of the right forearm - and his chances of automatic Lions selection disappeared. Indeed, the 30-strong Lions squad was announced on Monday and England's Andrew and Barnes filled the two stand-off roles. Chalmers, who had a metal plate inserted in the arm, admitted he was a bit disappointed that the Lions selectors had not set him a deadline to prove his fitness, especially as the first Test against the All Blacks is not until June 12 - 10 weeks away. Said Chalmers: ''I was coming out to Hongkong to play in the 10s and decided to keep to my plans because it's such a good week. ''I go back to Scotland on Wednesday for some more X-rays because they don't really know how the operation has gone yet. ''It was painful for only a couple of days after the operation and I haven't had any hassle with it since then. Hopefully, they will say there is no problem and that I can start playing again before the end of the season.'' Chalmers, who toured Australia with the Lions in 1989, added: ''At the moment all I can do is keep fit and hope they put me on standby for the tour if there are any injuries. ''They cannot hold the selection open because they need to start a training programme but I was hoping they could have given me a deadline to work to.''