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Lions 'raring to go' - Gatland

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 RaboDirect 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.

– Warren Gatland, British and Irish Lions Squad

Welshmen dominate the Lions line-up

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has named his team to face the Barbarians in Hong Kong on Saturday. A total of 11 Welshmen are in the 23 man squad, but Ireland's Paul O'Connell has taken on the captaincy after Sam Warburton was sidelined by a knee injury.

The starting line up includes Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Mike Phillips, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Toby Faletau. George North and Alun Wyn Jones are on the bench.


Lions team named

Warburton could miss Lions opener

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton arrive to speak during a press conference in Dublin recently. Credit: PA

Wales flanker Sam Warburton, the Lions' fifth-youngest skipper, could miss out on Saturday's opener against the Barbarians due to a puffy knee.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland will tomorrow announce a starting line-up dominated by Wales players prior to nine games in Australia.

The match-day 23 on Saturday is set to comprise those players involved at training camps in Wales and Ireland during the past fortnight.

More than a dozen more who featured in last Saturday's play-off finals will gain their opportunities against Western Force and Queensland Reds next week.

British and Irish Lions squad land in Hong Kong

Sam Warburton greets some fans in Hong Kong Credit: Twitter picture @lionsofficial

The British and Irish Lions squad have landed in Hong Kong, according to their official twitter page.

The team take on the Barbarians on Saturday in the first leg of their summer tour.

The Lions take on the Barbarians on Saturday Credit: Twitter picture @lionsofficial


Manic Street Preachers plan gigs to coincide with Lions

The three are self-confessed 'massive rugby fans' and said the tour is a 'once in a lifetime opportunity' Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers have scheduled shows in Australia and New Zealand around the fixtures for the forthcoming British & Irish Lions matches.

They head to Australia towards the end of June and will play shows in Melbourne and Sydney to coincide with matches against the Wallabies, as well as heading to Auckland during a break between games.

The trio recorded a track called 'Australia' in 1996, which was used in ad campaigns by the Australian Tourist Board, but they have not visited the country since 2010.

The visit to New Zealand is understood to be their first.

The group said: "As massive rugby fans the chance to visit one of our favourite countries - play some gigs and watch the British and Irish Lions play Australia is an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity.

"We can't wait to play a selection of our greatest hits to our Australian fans and the thousands of Lions fans travelling Down Under."

Yesterday coach Warren Gatland named 15 Wales players in his 2013 Lions squad, with Sam Warburton as captain.

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