Saturday, May 16, 2009

British and Irish Lions on the Road

The British and Irish Lions 2009 rugby tour of South Africa is almost underway. The first match is in two weeks time.

What is unusual about this tour to South Africa is that the team will play some mid-week matches against invitation or provincial sides, rather than just test matches. There was a time when this was common. Teams toured with only 30 players and played dozens of matches including four tests.

There has been a few changes to the original selections. Tom Shanklin (Wales) and Tomas O'Leary (Ireland) were injured after selection. O'Leary has been replaced by Mike Blair (Scotland) but Shanklins replacement is yet to be made.
The tour captain is Irishman Paul O'Donnell

Ireland's Alan Quinlan may also miss the tour if his appeal against a 12 match suspension fails.

The Team to date
Mike Blair (Scotland)-replaced O'Leary
Tommy Bowe (Ireland)
Lee Byrne (Wales)
Keith Earls (Ireland)
Harry Ellis (England)
Stephen Ferris (Ireland)
Luke Fitzgerald (Ireland)
Jerry Flannery (Ireland)
Riki Flutey (England)
Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
Nathan Hines (Scotland)
Gethin Jenkins (Wales) Lions 2005
Rhys Adam Jones (Wales)
Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales)
Stephen Jones (Wales) Lions 2005
Rob Kearney (Ireland)
Lee Mears (England)
Ugo Monye (England)
Euan Murray (Scotland)
Donncha O'Callaghan (Ireland) Lions 2005
Paul O'Connell, Capt. (Ireland) Lions 2005
Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland) Lions 2005
Ronan O'Gara (Ireland) Lions 2005
Mike Phillips (Wales)
Andy Powell (Wales)
Alan Quinlan (Ireland)-place in doubt-suspension
Matthew Rees (Wales)
Jamie Roberts (Wales)
Tom Shanklin (Wales) Lions 2005 (Injured-yet to be replaced)
Shaw Simon (England) Lions 2005
Andrew Sheridan (England) Lions 2005
Phil Vickery (England) Lions 2001
David Wallace (Ireland) Lions 2001
Martyn Williams (Wales) Lions 2005
Shane Williams (Wales) Lions 2005
Joe Worsley (England)

Head Coach: Ian McGeechan

Tour Schedule
Sat 30 May 15: v Royal XV, Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, Rustenburg

Wed 3 Jun 19: v Golden Lions, Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg

Sat 6 Jun 15: v Free State Cheetahs, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein

Wed 10 Jun 19: v Natal Sharks, ABSA Stadium, Durban

Sat 13 Jun 15: v Western Province, Newlands, Capetown

Tue 16 Jun 15: v Southern Kings, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Sat 20 Jun 15: First Test v South Africa, ABSA Stadium, Durban

Tue 23 Jun 19: v Emerging Springboks, Newlands, Capetown

Sat 27 Jun 15: Second Test v South Africa, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Sat 4 Jul 15: Third Test v South Africa, Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg

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