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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Upbeat Lions hold first meeting
Brian O'Driscoll
The British and Irish Lions have met up for the first time ahead of their June tour to New Zealand.

Head coach Clive Woodward gathered the 44-man squad near Cardiff to lay out his tour vision and held motivational talks and team-building exercises.

And Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll revealed how overwhelmed he was to be captain.

"It hit home what a massive honour it is to be captain of the squad. The room was littered with captains and leaders from both club and country," he said.

"Seeing so much class together is what makes this so exciting and we know we all have a chance to be involved in something special.

"Everyone realises that from this day forward we cease to be Irish, Scottish, English and Welsh.

This is the day it has all become real - I am determined we leave no stone unturned
Clive Woodward
Lions head coach

"We become Lions with tremendous history and objectives."

Gareth Thomas lent his support to O'Driscoll on behalf of the Welsh representatives.

"There will be tough times and good times but I guarantee me and the other Welsh players we will support Brian 100%."

Woodward confirmed he would be adopting a typically meticulous approach to the tour.

"This is the day it has all become real," he said.

"I am determined we leave no stone unturned in our preparations and this is the first opportunity for me to sit down with the players to discuss that.

"I am very impressed by them. They are totally up for it, focussed and committed to doing the best possible for their clubs, countries and the Lions."


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: British and Irish Lions coach Sir Clive Woodward



LIONS TOUR 2005

ALL BLACKS WHITEWASH LIONS




VOTE RESULTS
What was the main reason for the Lions' whitewash in NZ?
All Blacks just too good
58%
Woodward's selections
30%
Injuries to key players
6%
Squad was too big
6%
97190 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed



SEE ALSO
O'Driscoll honoured to lead Lions
11 Apr 05 |  Internationals
Wilkinson left out of Lions squad
11 Apr 05 |  Internationals
Woodward reveals coaching squad
21 Oct 04 |  Internationals


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