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Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 16:25 UK

Monye delighted by Lions call up

Ugo Monye
Monye has only won six England caps

Harlequins and England wing Ugo Monye says being selected for the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa is the biggest honour of his career.

The 26-year-old has only been capped six times and was something of a surprise selection in the 37-man squad.

Monye told BBC London: "To be selected for a Lions tour has got to be the biggest honour for any rugby player.

"When I heard my name announced, I was thrilled. I couldn't quite believe it, I'm truly over the moon."

Monye was with the Harlequins team at their training ground on Tuesday lunchtime when he heard the Lions squad announcement.

But it proved an awkward moment for the winger because his team-mates Danny Care, a scrum-half, number eight Nick Easter and wing David Strettle had all been tipped as possible selections.

"It was slightly bitter-sweet because as happy as I was for myself I was gutted for the boys as well they've played really well and deserve to be going themselves," Monye conceded.

But given the traditionally heavy injury toll on Lions tours, Monye is philosophical over his team-mates chances of getting a call out.

"There's a huge amount of rugby to be played between now and then, and it's unfortunate but there are always going to be injuries and I doubt whether the team announced will be the one coming home at the end," he added.

You can hear more of this interview and a full round up of rugby union in the capital on Thursday night at 2100 BST on BBC London 94.9 and on the BBC iplayer at

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see also
O'Connell handed Lions captaincy
21 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union

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