British & Irish Lions name team to face Barbarians

The 2013 British & Irish Lions have announced their first team to face the Barbarians in Hong Kong with 17 players on their first Lions tour.

The 23-man squad for the match against the Barbarians comprises all three Scottish tourists plus 11 Welshman, five Irishmen and four Englishmen.

The six former Lions in the squad are Adam Jones, Mike Phillips, Jamie Roberts, Alun Wyn Jones, Jamie Heaslip and Paul O’Connell who will captain the team.

Tour Manager Andy Irvine said,”After all the pre-tour preparation in Cardiff and Dublin the match against the Barbarians on Saturday marks another milestone in the proud history of the Lions and the start of the 2013 tour.”

“This is the important first match of a 10-match tour and the players are eager to get the tour off on the right note. Training has gone very well and it is exciting to see 11 players making their run-on debuts for the Lions, including the tour’s youngest player Stuart Hogg.”

Head Coach Warren Gatland said: “I am really excited by the first selection of the tour.”

“Naturally it comprises largely those players not involved in last weekend’s Aviva Premiership and PRO12 finals and we have a lot of players making their debuts for the Lions.”

“At the same time we have a hard core of experience with the six former Lions sharing 430 caps between them and 19 Lions Tests.

“There are also some proven combinations such as the Welsh centre pairing and backrow. Some of the boys who played last weekend are on the bench as cover and generally everyone in the camp is raring to go.”

British & Irish Lions

15. Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors/Scotland),14. Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues/Wales),13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets/Wales),12. Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues/Wales),11. Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors/Scotland),10. Owen Farrell (Saracens/England),9. Mike Phillips (Bayonne/Wales),1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens/England),2. Richard Hibbard (Ospreys/Wales),3. Adam Jones (Ospreys/Wales),4. Richie Gray (Scotland),5. Paul O’Connell (Munster/Ireland, captain),6. Dan Lydiate (Dragons/Wales),7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys/Wales),8. Toby Faletau (Dragons/Wales),Replacements

Replacements : 16. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers/England),17. Cian Healy (Leinster/Ireland),18. Matt Stevens (Saracens/England),19. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys/Wales),20. Jamie Heaslip (Leinster/Ireland),21. Conor Murray (Munster/Ireland),22. Johnny Sexton (Leinster/Ireland),23. George North (Scarlets/Wales)

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