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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Lions profiles - Front row
Gordon Bulloch - Scotland
Gordon Bulloch
Born: 26/3/75
Position: Hooker
Test caps: 75
Lions caps: 1
Bulloch's 75 caps show just the sort of experience the Scottish hooker has.

He is undoubtedly a better thrower of the ball than Steve Thompson but his English rival's all-round game is much liked by Woodward. Should enjoy a good tussle over the number two shirt during the tour.

Shane Byrne - Ireland
Shane Byrne
Born: 10/7/71
Position: Hooker
Test caps: 38
Lions caps: 0
He has arguably the worst hairstyle of the touring party, but is also a bullocking ball carrier.

It depends, however, which Byrne turns up on match days. At his prime, he is capable of a Lions cap and matching the best opponents.

John Hayes - Ireland
John Hayes
Born: 2/11/73
Position: Prop
Test caps: 54
Lions caps: 0
There are not exactly a surplus of world-class tighthead props at the moment.

As a result, Hayes, not exactly a world beater in his own right, is brought in as back-up. For all that, though, he won't let down the Lions if and when called upon.

Gethin Jenkins - Wales
Gethin Jenkins
Born: 17/11/80
Position: Prop
Test caps: 31
Lions caps: 0
His try in the final game of the Six Nations against Ireland was just reward for a talented prop who nearly tops the scales at 20 stone.

His solid scrummaging surprised many observers in the Six Nations and he is also a talented ball carrier with a surprising turn of foot.

Graham Rowntree - England
Graham Rowntree
Born: 18/4/71
Position: Prop
Test caps: 52
Lions caps: 0
Rowntree is enjoying something of an Indian summer both for Leicester and England.

He burst back into the reckoning with a series of barnstorming runs, allied to his typically-ferocious scrummaging, in the November Tests. And he remained a potent force in the Six Nations. Could yet surprise with a Lions cap.

Andrew Sheridan - England
Andrew Sheridan
Born: 11/1/79
Position: Prop
Test caps: 1
Lions caps: 0
The sceptics would suggest Sheridan is merely on the tour to make up the numbers and, with only one Test cap under his belt, the jury is still out on him.

He is some way down the front-row pecking order but he is reputedly the strongest man in English rugby and has a bright future in front of him.

Matt Stevens - England
Matt Stevens
Born: 1/10/82
Position: Prop
Test caps: 5
Lions caps: 0
Woodward's Lions assistant Andy Robinson was mocked by some when he brought Stevens into England's starting line-up during the Six Nations.

But they quickly shut up when Stevens proved his worth with a couple of performances that belied his tender age.

Steve Thompson - England
Steve Thompson
Born: 15/7/78
Position: Hooker
Test caps: 39
Lions caps: 0
Thompson has his faults - at times you wonder if he's ever thrown the ball in before as he continually struggles to find his lineout jumpers.

But the former under-18 British rollerskating champion has the versatility in the loose the Lions will so desperately need against New Zealand.

Andy Titterrell - England
Andy Titterrell
Born: 10/1/81
Position: Hooker
Test caps: 4
Lions caps: 0
Unlike many modern hookers Titterrell is small and quick. He remains an unknown quantity at international level and is definitely a talent for the future.

There are always surprises on any Lions tour and Titterrell could prove to be one of them at some stage.

Julian White - England
Julian White
Born: 14/5/73
Position: Prop
Test caps: 28
Lions caps: 0
White is an absolute beast of a scrummager, and much will depend on him and the referees' interpretation of the laws in deciding the front-row battle in the Tests.

Admittedly lacks the pace of some of the more versatile, total rugby front-rowers, but he offers so much more aside from that.




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Woodward's selections
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