KSA Shark ©

O’Connell to lead 1st 2009 B & I Lions team


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :2009 Lions Tour, In the news on 28 May 2009 at 12:41
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Paul O’Connell will get his first taste of captaining the British & Irish Lions when he leads the 2009 tourists in their first game against the Royal XV in Phokeng on Saturday.

The Lions official website reports that the Munster skipper will be one of eight players in the match day 22 who have previous Lions experience. The other 14, including nine run-on players, will be making their debuts in a Lions jersey. The eight previous Lions in the squad are Shane Williams, Ronan O’Gara, Andrew Sheridan, Simon Shaw, Paul O’Connell, Martyn Williams, Phil Vickery and Stephen Jones. They have 546 international appearances between them.

“I think it is really exciting that we have a lot of players making their debuts. I remember my debut against Western Transvaal at Potchefstroom in 1974 and it is a career highlight,” said Lions head Coach Ian McGeechan.

“For young men such as Keith Earls and Jamie Roberts it will be a day to remember and they will be thrilled to get an early taste of match action on the tour. Outside these guys is the proven experienced combination of the Ospreys’ back three of Byrne, Bowe and Shane Williams.

“While we have a lot of players making their Lions debuts there is a huge amount of international experience in the team. The average age is 28 that reflects the maturity we have in the squad.

“On Saturday, we have in the team Martyn Williams, Ronan O’Gara and Simon Shaw who are on their third Lions’ tour. They know exactly what is in store in terms of the provincial matches.

“Scottish captain Mike Blair is at scrum half while players of the calibre of Paul O’Connell, Joe Worsley and Adam Jones have played over 50 Tests each.

“Following excellent preparation and a period of acclimatisation in South Africa I know the lads are raring to go on Saturday against the Royal XV and will be anxious to get the tour off to the best possible start.”

Lions tour manager Gerald Davies announced the team at the Sandton Sun hotel in Johannesburg today. Like McGeechan, he also made his Lions debut in South Africa back in 1968.

“After all the preparation the match against the Royal XV on Saturday marks the start of the 2009 tour. Everyone in the tour party is looking forward to getting the playing part of the tour underway,” said Davies.

British & Irish Lions v Royal XV
15. Lee Byrne (Ospreys/Wales)
14. Tommy Bowe (Ospreys/Wales)
13. Keith Earls (Munster/Ireland)
12. Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
11. Shane Williams (Ospreys/Wales)
10. Ronan O’Gara (Munster/Ireland)
9. Mike Blair (Edinburgh/Scotland)
8. Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
7. Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
6. Joe Worsley (London Wasps/England)
5. Paul O’Connell (Munster/Ireland) captain
4. Simon Shaw (London Wasps/England)
3. Adam Jones (Ospreys/Wales)
2. Matthew Rees (Scarlets/Wales)
1. Andrew Sheridan (Sales Sharks/England)

Replacements
16. Lee Mears (Bath/England)
17. Phil Vickery (London Wasps/England)
18. Alun-Wyn Jones (Ospreys/Wales)
19. Stephen Ferris (Ulster/Ireland)
20. Mike Phillips (Ospreys/Wales)
21. Stephen Jones (Scarlets/Wales)
22. Riki Flutey (London Wasps/England)



22 Comments

  • FLIP they ain’t going to take any prisoners on Saturday are they? :shock:

    Straight in with what could possibly be their strongest combination.

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.05.09 12:43:44 by KSA Shark © Reply
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  • Ronan Mc … :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.05.09 12:46:55 by rekinek Reply
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  • I posted this earlier but it is more suitable here.

    My answer is a resounding, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    These guys will win everything expect the Tests.

    Just looking at the results from the previous tour.

    The Lions certainly had the measure of almost all of SA, with only ONE of the 9 provincial teams beating them. Will we have a similar situation this year?


    Sat 24 May Eastern Province Inv XV 11 – 39 British & Irish Lions Boet Erasmus
    Wed 28 May Border Bulldogs 14 – 18 British & Irish Lions Basil Kenyon
    Sat 31 May Western Province 21 – 38 British & Irish Lions Newlands
    Tue 3 Jun Mpumalanga 14 – 64 British & Irish Lions Johann van Riebeeck
    Sat 7 Jun N-E Transvaal 35 – 30 British & Irish Lions Loftus Versfeld
    Wed 11 Jun Golden Lions 14 – 20 British & Irish Lions Ellis Park
    Sat 14 Jun Natal 12 – 42 British & Irish Lions King’s Park
    Tue 17 Jun Emerging Springboks 22 – 51 British & Irish Lions Boland
    Sat 21 Jun South Africa 16 – 25 British & Irish Lions Newlands
    Tue 24 Jun Free State Cheetahs 30 – 52 British & Irish Lions Free State
    Sat 28 Jun South Africa 15 – 18 British & Irish Lions Kings Park
    Tue 1 Jul Northern Free State 39 – 67 British & Irish Lions Noord-wes
    Sat 5 Jul South Africa 35 – 16 British & Irish Lions Ellis Park

    That’s a total os 13 played 11 won. (84,6%)
    Non-test total of 10 played 9 won (90%)

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.05.09 12:51:52 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : Yep..that is not far off from their best possible lineup.

    O’Driscoll will obviously slot in and I expect Phillips to be the test scrummie. Powell and Heaslip at 8th man is a close call and I could also see Nathan Hines cracking the nod at number 4.

    But a very experienced opening team. If they don’t hammer the Royal XV easily, then they clearly have a lot of worrying ahead

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.05.09 13:51:49 by Villie Reply
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  • Okay – Who can givce a summary of which games will be teleivised..I am reading opinions on this on the other thread… :oops:

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.05.09 13:55:49 by Prof. Ice Reply
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  • @Prof. Ice (Comment 5) :

    different opinions.. :???:

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.05.09 13:56:40 by Prof. Ice Reply
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  • thats what i said, lions to beat every one again except the boks, even the emerging boks will lose. Be asured that there’s going to be a couple of hidings :lol:

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.05.09 13:57:00 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 7) : GOOOO SHAAAAAARKS – you of little faith …

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.05.09 14:00:27 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Prof. Ice (Comment 6) : managed to check on dstv (but only until 4 June) so far all televised so it looks like we will only miss namibia game.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.05.09 14:01:25 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Prof. Ice (Comment 5) :
    I presume that all the Lions games will be televised.
    I dont think the Namibian / Bok thingy is being televised. The Super 14 final will be televised.

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.05.09 14:03:23 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • @JarsonX (Comment 7) : Could be the case but our domestic rugby is in a better state than it was 12 years ago so a lot of the games should at least be competitive. The provincial teams have a duty to make sure that the Lions at least come off the park feeling battered and bruised and like they’ve been in a contest rather than a stroll!

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.05.09 14:05:43 by Villie Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 8) : im to tired to have faith :lol:

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.05.09 14:07:20 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 9) : @Salmonoid (Comment 10) :

    Thanks you two…

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.05.09 14:09:07 by Prof. Ice Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 11) : but can the cheetahs, lions and wp provide a competitive game :lol: frankly i think that the royal 15 and superkings will do a better job. The Sharks might be the only team to beat them other than the Boks

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.05.09 14:11:19 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 14) : Well you can NEVER rely on Wee Pee for anything…so count them out :lol: :mrgreen:

    And the Cheetahs only play when it’s against the Sharks.

    And then the Lions are in total disarray.

    On that basis…it seems you are spot on!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.05.09 14:16:09 by Villie Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 15) : and i’ll be making my picks based on that :oops: my secret is out :eek:

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.05.09 14:27:46 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 14) : that Royal XV is going to give the Poms a hell of a game, hey…

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.05.09 14:30:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : i hope so :lol: they should hurt them bad

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.05.09 14:37:39 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Sheez people what is so difficult to understand about this.

    ALL the Lions matches WILL be televised.
    The S14 Final, well i’m not even going to justify that with a comment. :wink:

    The namibia game is NOT being televised it is NOT part of the Lions tour.

    Anything else?
    MOST of the Currie Cup games will be televised.
    ALL the 2010 S14 games will be televised.

    What did I miss.

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.05.09 18:16:34 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : 2011? All 100 of them? :shock: :lol: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.05.09 18:20:16 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 20) :

    120 something of them. :razz:

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.05.09 18:55:52 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : thank you thank you.
    (some of us are slow – remember :mrgreen:

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.05.09 20:10:36 by rekinek Reply
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