BBC Sport rugbyunionwelsh

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 18:39 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 19:39 UK

Reaction of Wales' 2009 Lions

Blues and Wales number eight Andy Powell:
"I'm over the moon, I don't think it's sunk in yet - [Blues coach] Dai Young came across onto the training pitch to tell me [I was in].

Andy Powell claims a back-row spot ahead of his national captain Ryan Jones

"My mam was crying down the phone, I think I even had a tear from the old man.

"It's been a crazy season, mad, but you have to grasp the opportunities when they come.

"My heart goes out to Ryan [Jones], he's a great player, but I'm not the one picking the squad.

"Now I've got to keep playing well for the Blues, get out there, try to gel as a squad and battle for that Test spot."

Ospreys and Wales winger Shane Williams:
"I'm delighted and honoured to have made the squad and I'm excited about travelling to South Africa.

It was a relief to hear my name on TV, [Lions tour manager] Gerald Davies went on a bit - it was like waiting on the X-Factor!

Blues and Wales centre Tom Shanklin

"To be selected for a Lions tour is the ultimate honour for a player and I'm extremely fortunate that this is the second tour party that I've made.

"To have a party of six players travelling from the Ospreys is a fantastic achievement for the region, one that everybody involved, players and coaches can be immensely proud of.

"Obviously there are some lads in the squad that will be disappointed not to have been selected, but I'm sure that they will have the character and desire to bounce back from this, and are young enough to make next Lions tour."

Scarlets coach Nigel Davies:
"Stephen [Jones] is very special to us and everyone in Wales knows what a great servant he has been to the Scarlets and to the national game.

"In my view he is the stand-out fly-half in the northern hemisphere and up there with the very best players to have ever played the game.

"Matthew [Rees] has been a consistent performer for the region for a number of seasons, he has the physicality and all-round ability to do a great job at the top level of the game and we know neither player will let anyone down if the Lions call upon them at Test-match time."

Blues and Wales wing Leigh Halfpenny:
"I'm absolutely speechless, I would never have expected any of this at the start of the season.

Leigh Halfpenny, Martyn Williams, Tom Shanklin, Gethin Jenkins, Jamie Roberts and Andy Powell (l-r)

"Friends were saying I had a chance so I had to think it was a possibility, I couldn't sleep [Monday] night.

"I leaped in the air when I saw my name on the television, I nearly hit my head on the light.

"Then I broke into tears with my friends and family, it was just a massive occasion.

"We're going there to win a Test series and I can't wait to get started.

"On tour the one thing you'll want is to get that Test jersey on. On my first cap [for Wales] I lost to South Africa, hopefully I'll get a chance for revenge."

Ospreys and Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips:
"Having missed the first half of the season through injury, I could never be confident of making this squad despite all the media speculation, so I'm just relieved to have made the cut and I'm really looking forward to being a Lion.

I'm so proud to be a part of it and never thought I would be going at such a young age

Blues and Wales centre Jamie Roberts

"It's something that every professional rugby player aspires to, so I'm understandably proud at the moment along with the rest of the guys.

"At the moment, our focus is very much on Saturday's match against Edinburgh and our chances of winning the Magners League so it hasn't really sunk in yet, but I'm sure that before too long the fact that we're Lions will start to hit home."

Blues and Wales flanker Martyn Williams:
"I couldn't really focus on the Lions selection until Saturday's EDF Energy Cup final, but it was a long wait after that.

"The doubts creep in and then finding out at the same time as everyone else by watching the television... it was just great to hear your name read out, I was the last of the back-rowers!

"It's great to have six Blues players on the trip, all the boys around us [at the Blues] have pushed us there.

"Now we have to put the Lions to the back of our minds until the end of the season."

Ospreys and Wales prop Adam Jones:
"The Lions are the absolute pinnacle of rugby in the country, to be named in the squad is a huge achievement and I'm delighted to have been included.

"The selection of six players in the touring party is a reflection of the fantastic work that the coaches and the rest of the squad do here day in, day out, and the six of us who have been named are the fortunate ones who have been recognised for those efforts.

"There could have been a few more Ospreys on the trip and I'm gutted for those who aren't going, but I'm sure that they will take it on the chin and come back better players for it."

Blues and Wales centre Tom Shanklin:
"It was a relief to hear my name on TV, [Lions tour manager] Gerald Davies went on a bit - it was like waiting on the X-Factor!

"It's a very strong squad and we're proud to have got so many in from the Blues.

"I really feel for a lot of the boys who haven't made it - Ryan Jones, Mark Jones, Ian Gough, Dwayne Peel.

"It'll be tough challenging Brian O'Driscoll for a place. He was player of the Six Nations, he's world class and will be in the starting line-up.

"But it's not just about the starting 15, it's the whole squad, and anything can happen on tour."

Ospreys and Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones:
"There's been a lot said and written about the Lions for a long time now, so it's a relief to hear your name in the squad for the tour.

It's a real honour to make the squad, for the six of us personally and the Ospreys as an organisation as it's a real team effort and none of us would have been named if it wasn't for the support and back up we get here.

"It's going to be an exciting few months for us, and having been named in the squad, everyone named now faces the next big challenge, which is to secure a place in the Test 22."

Blues and Wales centre Jamie Roberts:
"It's been a really special year on a personal note and it's a shock to be going.

"The Lions is so special, it's once every four years. I'm so proud to be a part of it and never thought I would be going at such a young age.

"It's such a tough place to tour and there'll be a massive competition for places. Everyone will want to be in the Test team and there are some great centres going.

"That's the challenge that's been laid down and I'm going to give it my best shot."

Ospreys and Wales full-back Lee Byrne:
"It's fantastic news, I'm delighted to have been named a Lion, and I'm really excited about the prospect of being part of such a special experience.

"As Ospreys, we can be proud that six of us have been named. It's an outstanding achievement for all of us as individuals and for the region to have such a large representation, and I think that we're all as pleased for each other as we are for ourselves.

"South Africa is a difficult place to go and win a Test series, but it's going be a memorable occasion for all rugby supporters and I'm just going to make sure I enjoy every minute."

Blues and Wales prop Gethin Jenkins:
"It's a great honour to be selected for a second Lions tour.

"I was nervous before the announcement, but now I'm excited and looking forward to it.

"I'm glad to be hitting form before the tour but there are a lot of key games to come.

"The Lions have to go on the back-burner for the next month. It's a long, tough season."

Ospreys and Ireland winger Tommy Bowe:
"It's fantastic news and after doing the Grand Slam with Ireland pretty much rounds off a great season for me.

"It's been a long, tense wait for everybody over the last few months with all the media build-up, but the waiting is over and I'm just thrilled to have made the squad.

"A Lions tour is a pretty special thing, all rugby fans know about the folklore that comes with it, and to be confirmed as part of the 2009 Lions is an incredible feeling.

"It's a unique experience, with four countries coming together, but with five Ospreys team-mates as well as 13 other Irishmen, I can't see it being that difficult for me to blend in."

Welsh Rugby Union group chief executive Roger Lewis:
"This is a tribute to the talent of all 13 Welsh players and to the tremendous achievements of our national squad.

"Each player selected for this great honour truly deserves that reward on merit and it is also clear that their attitude and commitment as players has helped win them this honour.

"I know there are many Welsh players who were very close to selection and they must count themselves extremely unlucky to have missed out as their skills are renowned and their reputations deserved.

"Becoming a Lion is one of the greatest honours for any player and I know the whole of Wales is looking forward to following the progress of the tour and we wish each and every one of the squad members good luck in their endeavours against the world champions."



Print Sponsor


see also
Gatland hard-nosed on Jones snub
21 Apr 09 |  Welsh
Ryan Jones suffers shock omission
21 Apr 09 |  Welsh
O'Connell handed Lions captaincy
21 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Boks surprised by O'Connell pick
21 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Lion Ellis backs excluded Croft
21 Apr 09 |  English
Telfer worried by low Lions count
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


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.