June International Tours

O’Callaghan to captain British and Irish Lions



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British and Irish Lions Tour Manager, Gerald Davies, and Head Coach Ian McGeechan, today announced the Lions’ team for the sixth match of the 2009 tour of South Africa.

The selected team will play the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday June 16th and will be led by Ireland’s Donncha O’Callaghan.

Davies said, “The Lions next challenge is the Southern Kings at the new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. The match will be played on Youth Day tomorrow which is a National Holiday.

“We are honoured to be playing on such a special day and I know the Lions are looking forward to the match and maintaining the unbeaten tour record.”

Commenting on the team selection Head Coach Ian McGeechan said, “This is Test week and there is a noticeable change in attitude within the touring party. We are now heading towards the business end of the tour and the reason why we have come to South Africa. As you would expect the immediate focus is the next match against the Southern Kings on Tuesday before attention turns to selection for the First Test for which all players will be considered.”

“The Southern Kings is not a regular team but we understand there are some very talented players in the squad for the match. Experience tells me that you can never underestimate any South African team and like the other teams we have faced on the tour so far we will not take them lightly.”

“Seven players are backing up from the Western Province match with Nathan Hines, Joe Worsley, Riki Flutey and Keith Earls given the opportunity in the starting XV in different positions.

“The team will be captained by proud Munster man Donncha O’Callaghan, an experienced Lions tourist, who is a very popular member of the squad. This will be his tenth Lions match including two Tests against New Zealand during the 2005 tour.”

“As mentioned by doctor Gary O’Driscoll yesterday at our medical briefing we will give Mike Blair a fitness test on Tuesday morning. He had to withdraw from the replacements bench against Western Province last Saturday due to a foot injury.”

British and Irish Lions versus Southern Kings on Tuesday 16th June

15. Keith Earls (Munster/Ireland)
14. Shane Williams (Ospreys/Wales)
13. Riki Flutey (London Wasps/England)
12. Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster/Ireland)
11. Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster/Ireland)
10. James Hook (Ospreys/Wales)
9. Mike Blair (Edinburgh/Scotland)
8. Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
7. Joe Worsley (London Wasps/England)
6. Nathan Hines (Perpignan/Scotland)
5. Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster/Ireland) captain
4. Simon Shaw (London Wasps/England)
3. Euan Murray (Northampton/Scotland)
2. Ross Ford (Edinburgh/Scotland)
1. Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks/England)

16. Matthew Rees (Scarlets/Wales)
17. Adam Jones (Ospreys/Wales)
18. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers/England)
19. David Wallace (Munster/Ireland)
20. Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers/England)
21. Ronan O’Gara (Munster/Ireland)
22. Ugo Monye (Harlequins/England)

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