"James goes to South Africa with whole of Wales behind him. The call-up will be a real dream come true for him and we also know he won't let the Lions down.
"He is a player of mercurial talents and the rugby world will be excited by the prospect of having James Hook on the Lions tour.
"We have obviously lost some of James' versatility in terms of the positions he could cover, but we had selected him primarily as a centre on this tour."
Wales will take on Canada and USA without a recognised top-flight tight-head prop after Eifion Lewis-Roberts dropped out of the tour on Friday.
Sale's Lewis-Roberts suffered knee ligament damage and was replaced in the squad by Osprey Paul James.
James won his only cap against Romania in 2003.
Lewis-Roberts made his debut against Canada in November and was told by boss Warren Gatland to work on his fitness and lose weight if he wanted to return to the international fold.
Eifion ... should be given a great deal of credit for the hard work he has put into his fitness
McBryde says the Ruthin product has acted on Gatland's wishes, adding: "Eifion ... should be given a great deal of credit for the hard work he has put into his fitness in recent months.
"He turned up to our training camp having achieved many of the results we had asked for.
"He is keen to heal up now as quickly as possible to ensure he doesn't fall back on any of that hard work and get himself back into the selection mix for the start of next season."
McBryde says Lewis-Roberts' plight has given James, 27, the chance to impress.
"There is still time for him [James] to make the next step up to full international rugby and this tour is a real opportunity for him."
Cardiff Blues' John Yapp has had some tight-head experience this season while James has also played in the number three jersey, but is also vastly more accomplished at loose-head.
Interview: Nicky Robinson
On Thursday Wales chopped uncapped duo Rob McCusker and Richard Mustoe from the tour squad.
The Scarlets flanker and Blues winger joined Gareth Owen on the sidelines, the Osprey full-back making way for Scarlet Daniel Evans due to an Achilles injury.
Wales named an initial 32-man squad for the Tests against Canada in Toronto on 30 May and USA in Chicago on 6 June.
Four Dragons players were ruled out because of their Heineken Cup play-off on 29 May and Wales' final cull to 26 always planned.
McCusker and Mustoe plus Dragons quartet Luke Charteris, Jason Tovey, Lewis Evans and Dan Lydiate remain on standby should any injuries or Lions call-ups occur during the tour.
Daniel Evans, 20, is a former Wales Under-20 international who featured in the same age group side as the likes of Wales colleagues Dan Biggar, Josh Turnbull and Halfpenny.
He has played six times for the Scarlets this season, is primarily a full-back and has also turned out at fly-half in the Principality Premiership for Llanelli.
Backs: Dwayne Peel (Sale), Gareth Cooper (Gloucester), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Nicky Robinson (Blues), Andrew Bishop (Ospreys), Sonny Parker (Ospreys), Jonathan Spratt (Ospreys), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Mark Jones (Scarlets), Tom James (Blues), Chris Czekaj (Blues), Daniel Evans (Scarlets).
Forwards: Duncan Jones (Ospreys), Craig Mitchell (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Gareth Williams (Blues), John Yapp (Blues), Paul James (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Blues), Ian Gough (Ospreys), Deiniol Jones (Blues), Dafydd Jones (Scarlets), Robin Sowden-Taylor (Blues), Ryan Jones (Ospreys, capt), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Sam Warburton (Blues).
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