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Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 13:57 UK

Ryan Jones suffers shock omission

Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones is the big-name omission from the 2009 Lions tour party

Wales will supply 13 players to the Lions' 37-man squad, but there is no place for captain Ryan Jones.

The Wales captain was the big-name omission from the tour party for the three-Test series in South Africa.

But Shane Williams made the tour with fellow backs Leigh Halfpenny, Lee Byrne, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Stephen Jones and Mike Phillips.

Also in are Wales forwards Andy Powell, Matthew Rees, Gethin Jenkins, Alun Wyn Jones, Adam Jones and Martyn Williams.

Lions and Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards said of Ryan Jones: "It has been a hard decision but we always have to be guided by [Lions coach] Ian McGeechan.

I'm pretty sure that Ryan will be fit and ready if someone does get injured to get over to South Africa

Lions and Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards

"He is the sole selector of the team. Obviously, the form of the Ospreys recently hasn't been great, so that probably didn't go in Ryan's favour.

"But traditionally there are always injuries on a Lions tour and I'm pretty sure that Ryan will be fit and ready if someone does get injured to get over to South Africa on the next plane."

Of the regions, the Blues and the Ospreys both boast six representatives.

The Ospreys have five Welshmen plus Ireland winger Tommy Bowe.

The Scarlets supply Stephen Jones - just one of two fly-halves in the squad -meaning there is no place for James Hook - and hooker Rees.

Two players also overlooked by the selectors are scrum-half Dwayne Peel and Gavin Henson, who are both injured.

But the notable absentee is the Wales skipper, a victim of coach Ian McGeechan's pledge that selection would be on form rather than reputation.

Jones has not had a good season by his own standards, and there had been many doubting he would make the tour, including former Lions assistant coach Jim Telfer.

606: DEBATE

Lions and former Wales scrum-half Robert Jones says he has sympathy for the Welsh captain.

"I'm disappointed for Ryan and I feel sorry for him," said Jones.

"Because six months ago he was the leading contender to be captain let alone a player on tour and now it's all been taken away.

"He hasn't been playing well admittedly and the Ospreys haven't been going well but I think he still merited a place."

'Fabulous honour' for Lions captain O'Connell

With Jones' not included it means that the captains of Wales, England (Steve Borthwick) and Scotland (Mike Blair) have failed to make the tour.

Though Wales have a healthy representation they have been pipped by Ireland, who boast 14 players including the captain Paul O'Connell.

The Lions depart on 24 May for a 10-match tour and play Test matches in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg.


British and Irish Lions squad to tour South Africa (age-club-country):

Full-back

Lee Byrne (28) Ospreys and Wales
Rob Kearney (23) Leinster and Ireland

Wing

Shane Williams (32) Ospreys and Wales
Leigh Halfpenny (20) Cardiff Blues and Wales
Ugo Monye (26) Harlequins and England
Luke Fitzgerald (21) Leinster and Ireland
Tommy Bowe (25) Ospreys and Ireland

Centres

Tom Shanklin (29) Cardiff Blues and Wales
Jamie Roberts (22) Cardiff Blues and Wales
Brian O'Driscoll (30) Leinster and Ireland
Keith Earls (21) Munster and Ireland
Riki Flutey (29) Wasps and England

Fly-half

Stephen Jones (31) Llanelli Scarlets and Wales
Ronan O'Gara (32) Munster and Ireland

Scrum-half

Mike Phillips (26) Ospreys and Wales
Harry Ellis (26) Leicester and England
Tomas O'Leary (25) Munster and Ireland

Prop

Gethin Jenkins (28) Cardiff Blues and Wales
Adam Jones (28) Ospreys and Wales
Andrew Sheridan(29) Sale and England
Phil Vickery (33) Wasps and England
Euan Murray (28) Northampton and Scotland

Hooker

Jerry Flannery (30) Munster and Ireland
Lee Mears (30) Bath and England
Matthew Rees (28) Llanelli Scarlets and Wales

Lock

Paul O'Connell, capt (29) Munster and Ireland
Alun Wyn Jones (23) Ospreys and Wales
Donncha O'Callaghan (30) Munster and Ireland
Nathan Hines (32) Perpignan and Scotland
Simon Shaw (35) Wasps and England

Back-row

Andy Powell (27) Cardiff Blues and Wales
Jamie Heaslip (25) Leinster and Ireland
Alan Quinlan (34) Munster and Ireland
Martyn Williams (33) Cardiff Blues and Wales
David Wallace (32) Munster and Ireland
Joe Worsley (31) Wasps and England
Stephen Ferris (23) Ulster and Ireland

Tour fixtures:

30 May: Highveld XV; Royal Bafokeng, Rustenburg
3 June: Golden Lions; Ellis Park, Johannesburg
6 June: Cheetahs; Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
10 June: Sharks; ABSA Park, Durban
13 June: Western Province; Newlands, Cape Town
16/17 June: Coastal XV; Port Elizabeth (Venue to be confirmed)
20 June: South Africa(first Test); ABSA Park, Durban
23 June: Emerging Springboks; Newlands, Cape Town
27 June: South Africa (second Test); Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
4 July: South Africa (third Test); Ellis Park, Johannesburg



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see also
O'Connell handed Lions captaincy
21 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Gatland hard-nosed on Jones snub
21 Apr 09 |  Welsh
Reaction of Wales' 2009 Lions
21 Apr 09 |  Welsh
Boks surprised by O'Connell pick
21 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
2009 Lions: Squad & results
09 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions squad selector
21 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
History of the Lions
02 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Scrum V's starting Lions XV picks
18 Apr 09 |  Welsh
Mighty Boks: South African rugby
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Botha tips S Africa to beat Lions
30 Mar 09 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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