The squad for the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa has been revealed at a press conference in London. There have been one or two surprises but all in all its a powerful squad with a fine mix of experience and youth.
Irishman Paul OConnell is now officially confirmed as captain of the 37 man squad that comprises of 14 Irish players, 13 Welsh, 8 English, and two Scottish.
Some perhaps surprising omissions were that of Ryan Jones, Gavin Henson, Mike Blair, Tom Croft and Steve Borthwick.
There were call ups for Munster and Irish pair Keith Earls and Alan Quinlan, Leigh Halfpenny, and the inclusion of 36 year old Simon Shaw, a former Lion who carries all the experience needed for a tour like this.
The 2009 British & Irish Lions
Lee Byrne, Rob Kearney, Shane Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Ugo Monye, Luke Fitzgerald, Tommy Bowe, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Brian O’Driscoll, Keith Earls, Riki Flutey, Ronan O’Gara, Stephen Jones, Mike Phillips, Harry Ellis, Tomas O’Leary.
Jamie Heaslip, Andy Powell, David Wallace, Stephen Ferris, Alan Quinlan, Joe Worsley, Martyn Williams, Alun Wyn-Jones, Paul O’Connell (capt), Donncha O’Callaghan, Simon Shaw, Nathan Hines, Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones, Andrew Sheridan, Phil Vickery, Euan Murray, Jerry Flannery, Lee Mears, Matthew Rees.