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Nine Irish Players In Lions Squad

Nine Irish Players In Lions Squad

A 37-man British & Irish Lions squad, including nine Irish players, was announced today by tour manager Andy Irvine and head coach Warren Gatland.

The squad for the 10-match, three Test series, which kicks off in Hong Kong on June 1, is made up of 15 Welshmen, 10 Englishmen, nine Irishmen and three Scotsmen and will be captained by Wales flanker Sam Warburton.

Lions tour manager Andy Irvine said: “The announcement of a British & Irish Lions party is always a much anticipated and exciting event.

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“Selection for the Lions is the ultimate accolade and it is a great honour for all the players – they should be congratulated along with their clubs, provinces, regions and unions.

“We are fortunate to select from the very best of four nations and there will be some quality players who have sadly not made selection and will rightly feel disappointed.”

The tourists’ head coach Warren Gatland commented: “We spent a long time selecting this squad and there were some close calls with a lot of competition for places.

“But ultimately we chose the players who will give us the best chance of a Test series victory. A Lions tour to Australia only comes around once every 12 years and we believe we have the right balance in the squad to be successful.

“We have a tremendous challenge in front of us but I know the players will be dedicated to the adventure and task ahead.”

Official ticket packages are available now from Lions Rugby Travel, the official travel company for the British & Irish Lions, at http://www.lionsrtour.com  or by calling +44 844 788 4070


Full-Backs: Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues/Wales), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors/Scotland), Rob Kearney (Leinster/Ireland)

Wingers: Tommy Bowe (Ulster/Ireland), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues/Wales), Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors/Scotland), George North (Scarlets/Wales)

Centres: Jonathan Davies (Scarlets/Wales), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster/Ireland), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues/Wales), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers/England)

Out-Halves: Owen Farrell (Saracens/England), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/Ireland)

Scrum Halves: Conor Murray (Munster/Ireland), Mike Phillips (Bayonne/Wales), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers/England)

Props: Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers/England), Cian Healy (Leinster/Ireland), Gethin Jenkins (Toulon/Wales), Adam Jones (Ospreys/Wales), Matt Stevens (Saracens/England), Mako Vunipola (Saracens/England)

Hookers: Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints/England), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys/Wales), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers/England)

Locks: Ian Evans (Ospreys/Wales), Richie Gray (Sale Sharks/Scotland), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys/Wales), Paul O’Connell (Munster/Ireland), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers/England)

Back Rowers: Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers/England), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons/Wales), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster/Ireland), Dan Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons/Wales), Sean O’Brien (Leinster/Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys/Wales), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues/Wales)


Saturday, June 1: v Barbarians, Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, 12.30pm
Wednesday, June 5: v Western Force, Patersons Stadium, Perth, 11am
Saturday, June 8: v Queensland Reds, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, 10.30am
Tuesday, June 11: v Combined New South Wales & Queensland Country, Hunter Stadium, Newcastle, 10.30am
Saturday, June 15: v New South Wales Waratahs, Allianz Stadium, Sydney, 10.30am
Tuesday, June 18: v ACT Brumbies, Canberra Stadium, Canberra, 10.30am
Saturday, June 22: v Australia (first Test), Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, 11am
Tuesday, June 25: v Melbourne Rebels, AAMI Park, Melbourne, 10.30am
Saturday, June 29: v Australia (second Test), Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, 11am
Saturday, July 6: v Australia (third Test), ANZ Stadium, Sydney, 11am

* All kick-off times are Irish time