Sunday, 26 April 2009

British Lions 2009 Squad Announcement

The touring squad for the 2009 British Lions rugby tour to South Africa was announced on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation about which players would get the nod. For most there were not too many surprises regarding who was included, but one or two names were notable by their absence. However, most pundits seem to agree that it's a well-balanced squad with players being picked on recent form in the Six Nations and Guiness Premiership.

Not surprisingly, the squad is dominated by players from Ireland and Wales, the two standout teams in this year's Six Nations. It is also clear that the selectors have tried to pick existing combinations, which would seem prudent given the limited amount of preparation time before the tour kicks off in just over a month.

British Lions touring squad

The following 37 players have been selected for the British Lions tour of 2009:

Fullback: Lee Byrne (Wales), Rob Kearney (Ireland)
Wing: Shane Williams (Wales), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Ugo Monye (England), Luke Fitzgerald (Ireland), Tommy Bowe (Ireland)
Centre: Tom Shanklin (Wales), Jamie Roberts (Wales), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), Keith Earls (Ireland), Riki Flutey (England)
FlyHalf: Ronan O'Gara (Ireland), Stephen Jones (Wales)
Scrumhalf: Mike Phillips (Wales), Harry Ellis (England), Tomas O'Leary (Ireland)

No.8: Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), Andy Powell (Wales)
Flank: David Wallace (Ireland), Stephen Ferris (Ireland), Alan Quinlan (Ireland), Joe Worsley (England), Martyn Williams (Wales)
Lock: Alun Wyn-Jones (Wales), Paul O'Connell (Ireland), Donncha O'Callaghan (Ireland), Simon Shaw (England), Nathan Hines (Scotland)
Prop: Gethin Jenkins (Wales), Adam Jones (Wales), Andrew Sheridan (England), Phil Vickery (England), Euan Murray (Scotland)
Hooker: Jerry Flannery (Ireland), Lee Mears (England), Matthew Rees (Wales)

The side will be captained by Ireland's Paul O'Connell.