Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lions squad to South Africa

O'Connell to lead Lions in South Africa

Paul O'Connell promised to lead the British and Irish Lions in the same way he skippered Munster to European Cup glory after being unveiled as their captain for this year's tour of South Africa.

"It's not a day I ever aspired to as such,'' O'Connell, 29, told reporters after coach Ian McGeechan announced his 37-man squad here on Tuesday. ...

The 62-times capped lock will find himself in the unusual position of leading a side which includes his Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll, who earlier this season led the country to their first Grand Slam in 61 years.

But McGeechan was adamant in wanting a "real focus in the forwards" against the world champion Springboks. ...

O'Connell played in all three Tests during the Lions' last and ill-fated tour four years ago when they were thrashed 3-0 by New Zealand.


Full-backs: Lee Byrne (WAL), Robert Kearney (IRL)

Wings: Shane Williams (WAL), Tommy Bowe (IRL), Luke Fitzgerald (IRL), Leigh Halfpenny (WAL), Ugo Monye (ENG)

Centres: Tom Shanklin (WAL), Jamie Roberts (WAL), Brian O'Driscoll (IRL), Keith Earls (IRL), Riki Flutey (ENG)

Outside-halves: Stephen Jones (WAL), Ronan O'Gara (IRL)

Scrum-halves: Michael Phillips (WAL), Harry Ellis (ENG), Tomas O'Leary (IRL)

Back-row: Jamie Heaslip (IRL), Andy Powell (WAL), Martyn Williams (WAL), Joe Worsley (ENG), Stephen Ferris (IRL), David Wallace (IRL), Alan Quinlan (IRL)

Second-row: Alun-Wyn Jones (WAL), Paul O'Connell (IRL, capt), Donncha O'Callaghan (IRL), Simon Shaw (ENG), Nathan Hines (SCO)

Props: Andrew Sheridan (ENG), Phil Vickery (ENG), Euan Murray (SCO), Gethin Jenkins (WAL), Adam Jones (WAL)

Hookers: Jerry Flannery (IRL), Lee Mears (ENG), Matthew Rees (WAL)


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