DoB1981-04-20 BirthplaceEdinburgh Height1.80 m (5' 11") Weight83 kg (13 st 1 lb) PositionScrum half
Blair, the 108th Captain for Scotland began playing rugby at the age of four at Edinburgh Academy Primary. He also played for Edinburgh Academicals and then for Boroughmuir before joining the Edinburgh Gunners.
He has been capped at Scottish Schools, U19s and U21s as well as being part of the Scotland sevens squad for the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, his sevens skills impressed earlier that year by being top try scorer for the IRB sevens in London. He also has five caps at Scotland ‘A’ level.
He debuted at senior level for Scotland against Canada in 2002 in Vancover on the North American tour and also scored a try. Selected for the 2003 RWC Scotland squad he debuted during the USA game in Brisbane. He remained ever present in the Scottish set up.
He secured the captaincy from the injured Jason White for the 2008 RBS 6 Nations championship match against Ireland in Croke Park. He continued as Captain for the Culcutta Cup game against England picking up man of the match in the victory against the Englishmen which Scotland won 15-9. He has remained Captain through the summer Tour to Argentina in 2008 and through the Autumn Internationals and the 2009 6 Nations Championship. He is called up to replace the injured Tomas O’Leary.
DoB1984-02-22 BirthplaceCraigavon Height1.91 m (6' 3") Weight106 kg (16 st 9 lb) PositionWing
Thomas John BOWE
Ireland Caps: 51 (27-2-22)
Ireland Points: 130 (26t)
Ireland Debut: v USA 2004
British & Irish Lions: 2009 (SA) Tests: 3 (1-0-2)
Lions Debut: 30/05/2009 v Royal XV
Test Record v Australia: 5 (1-1-3), 5pts (1t)
Tommy Bowe has won a place on his second British & Irish Lions tour, having been a shining light on the 2009 tour to South Africa where he played in all three Test matches.
Bowe missed the 2013 RBS 6 Nations after surgery on a knee injury, but the deceptively quick and versatile back is ready to fire once again after glimpses of his quality in recent weeks.
His ability to finish on a consistent basis at international level is there for all the Lions selectors to see with a formidable record of 26 tries in 51 appearances for Ireland added to the fact he can play on the right wing or centre.
Bowe, a former Monaghan minor Gaelic footballer, made a try-scoring debut for Ulster against Connacht at the end of the 2003/04 season
He made his Ireland bow versus the USA during the 2004 Autumn Internationals, becoming the first player from County Monaghan to win a senior international cap in 80 years.
It was not until the 2008 RBS 6 Nations that Bowe, who had joined the Welsh region, the Ospreys, really established himself in the Irish national set-up. He scored two tries in that campaign and repeated that feat a year later as Ireland sealed their Grand Slam victory over Wales in Cardiff.
His form saw him book a place on the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2009 where he was one of the stand-out performers. Bowe finished second behind Jamie Roberts for the Player of the Series. Individual accolades flowed in 2010 including the RBS 6 Nations Player of the Championship, the IRUPA Players' Player of the Year and the Rugby Writers of Ireland Player of the Year.
He returned to Ulster ahead of the 2012/13 season after a four year spell with the Ospreys where he enhanced his reputation as a deadly finisher.
Injuries have curtailed his progress, with Bowe only recently returning to the field after a four-month lay-off following knee ligament damage sustained in the Heineken Cup game with Northampton Saints in December.
Bowe made his comeback in April and scored in back-to-back games, his recent finish against Connacht a record breaking 50th Celtic League try.
DoB1980-06-01 BirthplaceBridgend Height1.88 m (6' 2") Weight96 kg (15 st 1 lb) PositionFull back / Wing
Byrne started his rugby career with Bridgend Athletic U8s and he later played for Tondu RFC, Bridgend, Llanelli and Scarlets. He is now playing his regional rugby with Ospreys.
Having represented Welsh Schools he went on to secure his first full cap as a replacement against New Zealand in 2005. Throughout the 2006 RBS 6Nations he was a regular starter and toured with the Welsh team to Argentina that summer. His first international points came against the Pumas that summer.
Byrne was called up again for the 2006 Invesco Perpetual Series where he scored a try in the victory over the Pacific Islands.
Consistent selection continued through the 2007 RBS 6Nations and for the summer tour to Australia where he started in the first test in Sydney which Wales lost against Australia. Whilst named in Gareth Jenkins’ initial squad for the 2007 World Cup he failed to make the final squad to make the trip to France.
With the arrival of Warren Gatland he was included in the squad for what would turn out to be the Welsh Grand Slamming season and featured in every game for that campaign, scoring three tries. Byrne continued to see himself picked as part of the 2008 Autumn games and in the 2009 RBS 6Nations campaign.
DoB1985-11-07 BirthplaceBasingstoke Height1.98 m (6' 6") Weight104 kg (16 st 5 lb) PositionLock
Thomas Richard CROFT
England Caps: 38 (22-0-16) England Points: 20 (4t)
England Debut: v France* 2008
British & Irish Lions: 2009 (SA) Tests: 3 (1-0-2)
Lions Debut: 03/06/2009 v Golden Lions
Test Record v Australia: 5 (2-0-3)
Tom Croft’s selection for the British & Irish Lions owes as much to his character and determination as it does to the athleticism that has helped him stand out for the past six years. In April 2012, he feared his career was over after fracturing vertebrae in three places in helping Leicester Tigers to a crucial win over Harlequins.
He was told by his specialist that he had come as close as was possible to being paralysed yet following surgery to insert a metal plate and four screws into his neck, he has made a remarkable return to top flight rugby.
After taking his first step back against Worcester Warriors, the blindside flanker appeared for England a year since his previous cap, off the bench against Italy in this year’s RBS 6 Nations, before starting against Wales in Cardiff.
This will be his second Lions tour despite initially being omitted from 2009 squad for South Africa.
Not only was he called upon to replace the suspended Alan Quinlan before the tour party departed, but scored a try on his debut against the Golden Lions and then became the first forward in Lions’ history to score two tries against the Springboks during the first Test in Durban.
In contrast, it had taken 21 appearances since making his Test debut against France in 2008 before scoring his maiden try for England. That was against Samoa in November 2010, though the following week, he fractured his right shoulder blade against South Africa.
He claimed his second try on his return the following February, against Scotland, his third against Romania in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, in which he started all five games, and his fourth set up a famous win over France in Paris last year.
Fast and agile, Croft took his first rugby steps with Newbury before switching to the Leicester Tigers Academy and excelled for England Schools and the U21 side that won the Grand Slam in 2006.
He became a member of the England Sevens’ squad the following year and scored a try in the 17-13 triumph over New Zealand Maori in the 2007 Churchill Cup final at Twickenham.
DoB1980-02-10 BirthplaceWexford Height1.81 m (5' 11") Weight88 kg (13 st 12 lb) PositionCentre / Wing
Playing his first games for Wexford RFC at the age of eleven he was educated at Clongowes Wood College, helping them win the Leinster Senior Cup in 1998. He was capped for Ireland at Schools, U19s and A level but made his senior debut as a replacement in a pool game against Romania in the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
The struggle for form saw D’Arcy return to playing for the U21s, however, at the start of 2004 he again caught the eye of Eddie O’Sullivan and earnt a recall to the senior side. He went on during that Championship to help Ireland to gain the Triple Crown with two tries and he was named as BBC Player of the Six Nations that year.
Whilst he was hampered by injury in 2004-5 season, he was selected for the British & Irish Lions in 2005 to Tour New Zealand where he played in the games against Argentina, Bay of Plenty, NZ Maori, Otago, Southland, Manawatu and Auckland.
In the 2006-7 season again saw him exert his influence over the Irish side, however, despite the severe arm injury that he picked up in 2008 he has returned to Kidney’s Irish set up in the 2009 6 Nations, scoring a try on his return against France.
DoB1987-10-02 BirthplaceMoyross, Limerick Height1.80 m (5' 11") Weight90 kg (14 st 2 lb) PositionCentre / Wing
The son of Young Munster legend Ger Earls, he has progressed from the AIB League playing with Thomond and then Munster in the Magners League and Heineken Cup.
Educated at St Munchins College, Limerick City, he represented the college at all levels culminating in the Munster Schools Senior Cup medal in 2006 where he scored tries in every round of the cup including the winner in the final against PBC Cork in the final on St. Patrick's Day.
He represented Ireland at U20s where they won the Grand Slam but also Ireland A and the Ireland sevens team.
Earls made his debut for Ireland in November 2008 against Canada at Thomond Park, where he scored his first international try with his first touch of the ball.
DoB1982-05-17 BirthplaceWigston Height1.78 m (5' 10") Weight92 kg (14 st 6 lb) PositionScrum half
Ellis first played for South Leicester at just six years old then moved to Wigston for a year before joining the Tigers Academy set-up in 1997. He studied at Leicester Grammar School and appeared for Leicestershire and the Midlands at age-group level before going on to earn a full house of England representative honours, appearing at U-16, U-18, U-19, U-21, Sevens, A and senior levels.
He is now in his eighth season with the Tigers and made his first team debut in 2001 and scored a try and later that seaso was named Players’ Young Player of the Year. He finally established himself as a regular in the No. 9 spot during the 2003-04 campaign.
Ellis made his England debut as a replacement for Andy Gomarsall in the Investec Challenge matches against South Africa and Australia in 2004 and played the following season’s RBS 6 Nations campaign and he played in every England game of the Six Nations Championships of 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07.
Knee ligament trouble prevented him being part of the 2007 RWC Squad but Ellis started every 2009 RBS 6 Nations match, however, finished the Championship concussed when he was knocked out after just 16 minutes against Scotland.
DoB1987-09-13 BirthplaceDublin Height1.85 m (6' 1") Weight92 kg (14 st 6 lb) PositionFull back / Wing
Fitzgerald was weaned on rugby from a babe in arms with a rugby ball in the cot from birth, as the son of former Ireland Prop Des there was a strong tradition of the sport in the family. He combined rugby with study at Blackrock but also helped the college to a 65th Schools Cup Final at the end of the 2005-6 season. His debut for Leinster senior team was in September 2006.
At Ireland Schools level he was part of the Ireland Schools XV that completed a clean sweep of wins in 2005 and with it won the Irish Examiner Young Rugby Player of the Year Award.
His senior debut came in the final game at Lansdowne Road against the Pacific Islands in November 2006. Called up by Eddie O’Sullivan for the RBS 6 Nations games against Wales and England, he established himself as the first choice wing that continued with Declan Kidney’s arrival through the Guinness Internationals in November 2008 and as part of the Grand Slam winning Irish side of the RBS 6Nations 2009.
DoB1980-02-10 BirthplaceFeatherston, New Zealand Height1.80 m (5' 11") Weight93 kg (14 st 9 lb) PositionCentre
Flutey played his first game of rugby at the age of four back in native New Zealand. He qualifies for England on the grounds of residency. Flutey started his rugby at scrum half which is where he played most of his age grade rugby that included winning the 1999 U19 Rugby World Championship. He then switched to 10 for the New Zealand U21s but has subsequently settled in the number 12 jersey.
Flutey racks up a first for the Lions, as he will be the only player to have played against the Lions and then been selected for the Tourists. He played for the Wellington Hurricanes against the Lions on their tour to New Zealand in 2005. He has also represented the New Zealand Maori.
On his arrival in the UK in 2005 he played two seasons with London Irish and scored 272 points, including 15 tries, before joining London Wasps in 2007; where in his first season he saw them become Guinness Premiership champions. He also received recognition from his fellow players by being voted PRA Computacentre Players Player of the Year in 2008.
He made his debut for England in November 2008 against the Pacific Islands, he went on to start in the Australia, South Africa and New Zealand games. He scored his first points against Italy in the 2009 RBS 6 Nations Championship.
DoB1984-04-23 BirthplaceEdinburgh Height1.86 m (6' 1") Weight110 kg (17 st 4 lb) PositionHooker
The Kelso High School former pupil captained Scotland U16 and was a member of the 2002 Commonwealth Games Sevens squad in Manchester. He has also represented his country at U18, U19, and U21 levels. His U19 honours included the 2002 IRB/FIRA world junior championship in Italy, when he played in all four of Scotland’s games as a flank forward, though he soon switched to hooker with Border Reivers. He made his U21 international debut in the 2004 match against Wales at Bridgend, and he played in the age group’s world championship that year and 2005.
Ford won his first senior cap for Scotland in the 2004 Autumn International when he was introduced as a replacement during the opening match. It was over a year before he made his second appearance, reward for a solid season with the Border Reivers, when he came on as a replacement against Wales in the 2006 RBS Six Nations.
More than two years after his debut – following nine replacement appearances – he had his first Scotland start against France in Paris on the final day of the 2007 RBS Six Nations Championship. He was again in the starting XV for the next international, the World Cup warm-up and he continued as first-choice against South Africa two weeks later.
He joined Glasgow Warriors in summer 2007 but switched to Edinburgh in mid-October after the Rugby World Cup.
Ford has turned in a number of eye-catching displays for Edinburgh. He made the No2 jersey his own during the 2008 autumn International series where his set-piece play was exemplary.
DoB1973-11-02 BirthplaceCappamore, County Limerick Height1.93 m (6' 4") Weight125 kg (19 st 9 lb) PositionProp
DoB1983-12-15 BirthplaceTiberias, Israel Height1.93 m (6' 4") Weight109 kg (17 st 2 lb) PositionNo 8
Jamie Peter Richard HEASLIP
Ireland Caps: 57 (27-3-27) Ireland Points: 40 (8t)
Ireland Debut: v Pacific Islanders 2006
British & Irish Lions: 2009 (SA) Tests: 3 (1-0-2)
Lions Debut: 30/05/2009 v Royal XV
Test Record v Australia: 3 (1-1-1)
Jamie Heaslip makes his second tour appearance with the British & Irish Lions to follow on from his successful 2009 trip to South Africa.
The Leinster and Ireland back-rower was a smash hit four years ago and was one of just five players to play in every minute of the enthralling three Test-match series. Since then, Jamie has gone from strength to strength, adding two more Heineken Cup winners medals to his first collected in 2009, being nominated for the IRB International Player of the Year award and gaining the Irish captaincy. He took over the latter role from Brian O'Driscoll.
Born in Israel, where his father, Brigadier General Richard Heaslip, was on duty with UNIFIL ( United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon), Jamie returned to Ireland to play in school at Newbridge College, then local club Naas before moving on to Dublin University. He starred for his country in the 2004 IRB U21 World Cup in Scotland, where Ireland finished as runners-up to New Zealand.
His outstanding performances saw him nominated for the IRB U21 World Player of the Year award. He was called into the Leinster squad in the 2004/05 season and he won his first Ireland cap against the Pacific Islands in the Autumn of 2006, becoming the 1,000th player to represent the Emerald Isle.
He won the RaboDirect PRO12 title with Leinster in 2008 and was a member of the victorious Ireland team that claimed the 2009 RBS 6 Nations Championship and Grand Slam before touring to South Africa with the Lions.
As well as his IRB International Player of the Year nomination, Jamie's consistent performances have put him into the Celtic League Dream Team for four successive seasons. He captained Leinster in their Amlin Challenge Cup final win over Stade Francais Paris.
DoB1976-11-29 BirthplaceWagga Wagga, Australia Height2.00 m (6' 7") Weight114 kg (17 st 13 lb) PositionLock
Hines, who qualifies for Scotland through a maternal grandfather from Govan in Glasgow, played rugby league for North Sydney Bears at U19 and U21 levels in his native Australia before switching to the union code with Manly, from where he won New South Wales U21 honours. He joined Gala in 1998 and helped the club to the double of Premier Division 2 title and Scottish Cup in 1998.
Hines was capped for the Scotland side just five days after arriving as an emergency replacement for Scott Murray on the 2000 summer tour to New Zealand.
In 2002 he played in both Tests on Scotland’s tour to North America. He was released from the senior squad to again play a huge role in the A team and was restored to A team captaincy against Wales A. In 2003 Hines played for Scotland A.
He was selected in the 2003 World Cup. Hines started in six successive internationals for Scotland in 2006, but he missed the Autumn Test against Australia and the opening match of the 2007 RBS Six Nations Championship against England. He played in four of Scotland’s five matches in the 2007 Rugby World Cup and in the Six Nations Championship in 2008 he started in all five matches.
Injury kept him out of the 2009 Six Nations squad until he returned as a replacement in the March game against Ireland at Murrayfield.
DoB1985-06-27 BirthplaceNeath Height1.83 m (6' 0") Weight93 kg (14 st 9 lb) PositionOutside half
James Hook played for his country at U19 and U21 levels. Hook played for Wales Sevens team in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in January 2006.
He made his Wales Senior Debut in June 2006 on the tour to Argentina playing in the two tests.
Following his success in the sevens set-up and on the Argentine tour, Hook received inclusion in Wales's squad for the 2006 Invesco Perpetual Series. He replaced the injured Welsh Captain Stephen Jones in the first game of the Series against Australia and demonstrated the confidence and composure to guarantee further first-team appearances.
Hook represented Wales in the 2007 RBS Six Nations against Ireland, Scotland, France and Italy. He starred in the last match of the tournament against England and produced a man-of-the-match performance.
Hook received a call-up to Wales's two-Test tour to Australia in May 2007; he started at fly half for the first Test in Sydney, scoring two conversions, two penalties and a drop goal. He also appeared for Wales in the second Test loss in Brisbane and in June was announced in Gareth Jenkins's 41-man preliminary Rugby World Cup 2007 summer training squad, making the final cut in August to be included in the Rugby World Cup Squad.
Hook was included in Warren Gatland's Grand Slam winning RBS Six Nations side in 2008. The fly half made two substitute appearances against Italy and Ireland, at the Triple Crown winning clash at Croke Park, and scored 44 points during the tournament including a superb try score against Scotland at the Millennium Stadium.
He showed his versatility on the summer tour to South Africa, playing the second Test in the unaccustomed position of full-back.
He came on as a replacement against the Springboks in the opening clash in the autumn, banging over four penalties in a narrow defeat. Hook started against Canada and came on as a replacement against New Zealand.
DoB1980-11-17 BirthplaceLlantwit Fardre Height1.88 m (6' 2") Weight122 kg (19 st 2 lb) PositionProp
Gethin David JENKINS
Wales Caps: 98 (44-2-52) Wales Points: 20 (4t)
Wales Debut: v Romania 2003
British & Irish Lions: 2005 (Arg/NZ), 2009 (SA) Tests: 5 (0-0-5)
Lions Debut: 04/06/2005 v Bay of Plenty
Test Record v Australia: 12 (1-1-10)
Gethin Jenkins equals the Welsh record of being selected for three British & Irish Lions tours having earned his place on the 125th anniversary tour to Hong Kong and Australia. A member of world rugby's '100 Cap' club, he played in four games in Wales’ 2013 RBS 6 Nations title winning campaign, captaining his country in the vital final day win over England at the Millennium Stadium. The former Treorchy, Pontypridd, Celtic Warriors and Cardiff Blues prop is among a small band of Welshman to have won the Grand Slam on three separate occasions (2005, 2008 and 2012).
He won Welsh honours at Welsh Schools U18, U19 and U21 levels and made his Wales A debut against Uruguay in 2001. He made the step up to senior international rugby against Romania in Wrexham in November, 2002 and is now his country’s most capped front row forward and second behind Marytn Williams in the all-time forward rankings.
Jenkins played in all 10 Grand Slam games in 2005 and 2008, scoring the first try against Ireland in the decider in 2005, and became Wales’ 125th captain when he led the side against South Africa in 2007.
He was involved in the Welsh matchday squads for every RBS 6 Nations game between 2003-09 and he also featured in every game of the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. Jenkins was a part of the British & Irish Lions’ first all Wales front row since 1955 when he packed down with Matthew Rees and Adam Jones against the Springboks in 2009 before a broken cheekbone ended his tour and he was sent home.
He helped the Blues win the Amlin Challenge Cup and EDF Energy Cup. After eight seasons with the Blues he moved to French side Toulon, but has recently announced his return to Blues for 2013/14 season. He helped Toulon win the Heineken Cup final for the first time this season, coming on as a replacement in the 60th minute at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in a 16-15 win over ASM Clermont Auvergne. He became only the ninth Welsh player to win a Heineken Cup winners medal.
DoB1981-03-08 BirthplaceAbercrave Height1.83 m (6' 0") Weight124 kg (19 st 7 lb) PositionProp
Adam Rhys JONES
Wales Caps: 88 (44-3-41) Wales Points: 10 (2t)
Wales Debut: v England* 2003
British & Irish Lions: 2009 (SA) Tests: 2 (0-0-2)
Lions Debut: 30/05/2009 v Royal XV
Test Record v Australia: 8 (1-0-7)
Adam Jones wins a place on his second Lions tour having won his fourth RBS 6 Nations title earlier this year.
The 32-year-old reaffirmed his position as one of the best tighthead props in the world as he joined Gethin Jenkins, Ryan Jones and the legendary trio of Gareth Edwards, Gerald Davies and JPR Williams in a select group of Welshman to have won the Grand Slam three times.
He started his domestic career at Neath, made his Wales debut against England in 2003 and has one international try to his name, against Scotland in 2004.
A constant member of Wales' 2005 Grand Slam winning team, Jones was selected for his second successive World Cup in 2007, making two appearances, against Canada in Nantes and against Australia at the Millennium Stadium.
In 2008, Jones featured in four matches of the Grand Slam-winning campaign, against England, Scotland, Ireland and France.
He was then among 13 Welsh players initially selected for the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa.
After shoring up the Lions' scrum as a replacement in the first Test, Jones started the second international alongside fellow countrymen Jenkins and Matthew Rees.
This was the first time an all-Welsh front row was selected for a Lions Test match since Billy Williams, Bryn Meredith and Courtney Meredith achieved the same feat in 1955.
Jones missed the final international in Johannesburg, however, having been forced home after the heart-breaking 28-25 second Test defeat in Pretoria after dislocating his right shoulder.
Alun Wyn Jones
Alun Wyn Jones
DoB1985-09-19 BirthplaceSwansea Height1.98 m (6' 6") Weight117 kg (18 st 5 lb) PositionLock
Alun Wyn JONES
Wales Caps: 70 (32-0-38) Wales Points: 35 (7t)
Wales Debut: v Argentina 2006
British & Irish Lions: 2009 (SA) Tests: 3 (1-0-2)
Lions Debut: 30/05/2009 v Royal XV
Test Record v Australia: 8 (1-0-7)
Alun Wyn Jones missed the opening two rounds of this year’s RBS 6 Nations with a shoulder injury but returned to help Wales to their fourth title in nine years and his second since making his Wales debut in 2006.
He burst onto the international scene as part of the Wales U21 Grand Slam winning team in 2005 and won the Best Newcomer award in the Welsh Premiership with Swansea in the same season. He then joined the Ospreys, making fifteen appearances in his first season with the region.
His superb form in his debut season with the region led to Jones being picked for Wales' summer tour to Argentina in 2006, where he played in both games at blindside flanker, gaining his first caps at senior level.
Jones was named in the national squad for the 2006 autumn internationals, starting against the Pacific Islanders and coming off the bench for the clashes with Canada and New Zealand. He also featured for Wales in every game of the 2007 RBS 6 Nations.
Jones was named in Gareth Jenkins' 2007 Rugby World Cup squad, making try-scoring appearances in Wales' Pool B encounters with Canada and Japan, and featuring in the starting line-up for the two defeats at the hands of Australia and Fiji.
January 2008 saw Jones included in Warren Gatand's RBS 6 Nations squad and the 27-year-old made three appearances in the Grand Slam winning side against England, Ireland and France, missing out on the remaining fixtures due to an injury picked up after the initial match of the campaign.
He was back in action in November of that year when he was one of Wales’s most consistent performers against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia and, after a fine domestic season, was selected for the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa where he partnered Ireland’s Paul O’Connell in each of the three Tests.
DoB1977-12-08 BirthplaceAberystwyth Height1.83 m (6' 0") Weight95 kg (14 st 13 lb) PositionOutside half
Jones is one of the Llanelli Scarlets and Wales’ star performers. He spent eight years with the Scarlets before he moved to French Club Clermont Auvergne in 2004. While in France he was selected for the 2005 British & Irish Lions and he played in all three tests against the All Blacks, scoring 14 points in the third Test.
He made his international debut as a 50th minute replacement against South Africa in Pretoria, in June 1998. He was the 16th player to win 50 Welsh caps and is now the second-highest points scorer in Welsh international rugby history behind Neil Jenkins. Jones has also scored over 500 points in the Heineken Cup. In 2006/07 he rejoined the Scarlets.
He captained Wales in 2003 in a RWC warm up match against England and regained the leadership in 2006 against Australia and New Zealand. Jones then captained Wales in the 2007 RBS Six Nations and won selection for Wales to the 2007 RWC in France.
He played a major part in both of Wales’ Grand Slam victories in 2005 and 2008. In 2008 he scored a total of 44 points in the campaign and in 2009 he again played in all five of Wales’ 6 Nations matches.
DoB1986-03-26 BirthplaceDundalk Height1.85 m (6' 1") Weight90 kg (14 st 2 lb) PositionFull back / Wing
Ireland Caps: 46 (19-3-24) Ireland Points: 37 (7t 1c)
Ireland Debut: v Argentina 2007
British & Irish Lions: 2009 (SA) Tests: 3(1-0-2), Points: 5 (1t)
Lions Debut: 03/06/09 v Golden Lions
Test Record v Australia: 4(1-1-2)
Rob Kearney returns for his second tour with the British & Irish Lions with the aim of emulating his world class performances of four years ago.
Ireland's full back took over from the injured Lee Byrne in the first international against South Africa and produced some scintillating displays throughout the Test series, claiming the Lions' solitary try in the Battle of Pretoria in the second rubber.
The double European champion is dominant under the high ball, has a big left boot and is a clever broken-field runner who should be suited to the hard, fast tracks of Australia.
Kearney played Gaelic football as a youth for Louth in the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship and was a stalwart in the Clongowes Wood College school rugby side. He made his Leinster debut against the Ospreys in September 2005 at the age of 19, just months after helping University College, Dublin to a McCorry Cup victory over Trinity College.
Eddie O'Sullivan awarded Kearney, who represented his country at schoolboy, U19 and A level, his first Ireland cap against Argentina in the summer of 2007.
He played in the 2008 RBS 6 Nations, but it was a year later when Kearney produced his most spectacular form. Kearney was a permanent feature in the Ireland team that won the Grand Slam and the Leinster side that lifted the Heineken Cup before his stand-out tour with the Lions in South Africa.
A knee injury against the All Blacks in November 2010 cut his season short and he missed out on Leinster's second European triumph but returned in time to play in his first Rugby World Cup in 2011.
He won the Heineken Cup with Leinster for the second time in 2012 when his nine appearances yielded six tries and earned him the prestigious ERC Player of the Year award. He was a try scorer in Leinster's Amlin Challenge Cup final win over Stade Francais Paris.
DoB1979-03-05 BirthplaceTorquay Height1.73 m (5' 8") Weight100 kg (15 st 10 lb) PositionHooker
Mears started his rugby with Torquay Athletic minis and via Colston Collegiate School in Bristol he joined Bath Rugby Club where he has spent all his professional career.
He represented England 16 and 18 Groups, together with England Under 19 Colts and 21s, for whom he played in three World Championship matches in New Zealand. In 1997 he was a member of the unbeaten England U18 Schools party that toured Australia with fellow World Cup squad members Jonny Wilkinson, Andrew Sheridan and Steve Borthwick.
He also appeared for England A in two Churchill Cup tournaments (2004 and 2005) and captained Bath in the Middlesex Sevens (2006).
Before the 2007 Rugby World Cup, he played in 18 of England’s 22 tests dating back to his debut as a replacement for Steve Thompson against Samoa at Twickenham in 2005. More recently he has shrugged off the benchman tag to start England's last 13 games, most recently the 26-12 victory over Scotland.
DoB1983-04-13 BirthplaceIslington, London Height1.88 m (6' 2") Weight95 kg (14 st 13 lb) PositionWing
Monye made his England debut this year in England’s 39-13 victory over the Pacific Islanders at Twickenham and then started against Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. A back injury ruled him out of the first three 6 Nations matches but he returned against France and scored his first try in the 26-12 Championship finale against Scotland.
Known for his blistering pace he was a promising sprinter but he chose rugby and he made his Premiership debut with Harlequins in November 2002. He has won two Barclays Churchill Cups with England Saxons.
In 2003 he came to prominence on the IRB World Sevens Series stage with the England Sevens squad, where his combination of pace, raw power and aggression proved enough to shatter any defence. He helped England win the Hong Kong Sevens.
DoB1979-03-24 BirthplaceCork Height1.98 m (6' 6") Weight110 kg (17 st 4 lb) PositionLock
A robust lock O’Callaghan has grown steadily in stature in the international arena since making his Ireland debut against Wales in 2003.
In the last 10 years the Cork native who has gone from playing for Ireland at Schools level in 1997, to winning the FIRA Under-19 World Youth championship in 1998, gaining Under-21, Under-25, Development XV and senior recognition, playing at a World Cup, winning Test caps with the British & Irish Lions and playing in Ireland’s three Triple Crown triumphs. Not to mention playing a big part in Munster’s Heineken Cup successes and the 2009 Irish Grand Slam.
Coached in his early years at Highfield RFC and educated at Christian Brothers College, Cork, O’Callaghan boasts over 100 Munster caps. He made his first full start for Ireland against Wales in February 2004. In the past two 6 Nations championships he has played in every single game, with his reputation further enhanced by his two appearances against New Zealand during the Lions’ 2005 tour.
DoB1979-10-20 BirthplaceLimerick Height1.98 m (6' 6") Weight111 kg (17 st 6 lb) PositionLock
Paul Jeremiah O’CONNELL
Ireland Caps: 85 (50-2-33) Ireland Points: 30 (6t)
Ireland Debut: v Wales 2002
British & Irish Lions: 2005 (NZ), 2009 (SA) Tests: 6 (1-0-5)
Lions Debut: 04/06/2005 v Bay of Plenty
Test Record v Australia: 7 (2-1-4)
Paul O’Connell will be making his third successive British & Irish Lions tour, completing a full house of southern hemisphere adventures having previously travelled to New Zealand and South Africa. The 33-year-old second row skippered the Lions on their last tour four years ago, leading the side to a third-Test victory over the Springboks and winning widespread plaudits for his captaincy efforts.
He has started the last six Lions Test matches after being named in the first XV for the games against the All Blacks in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland and the Boks in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg.
He will start the tour with a total of 11 appearances for Britain and Ireland’s elite behind him, with five of those coming in 2005 and a further six in 2009. The Munsterman has won 85 caps for his country, with just six of those coming from the replacements’ bench. He made his senior Ireland debut against Wales in 2002 and first captained the side two years later.
He has played in three Rugby World Cups, in 2003, 2007 and 2011, and helped Ireland win the Triple Crown in 2004, 2006 and 2007. He tasted Grand Slam glory in 2009, starting all five fixtures as Ireland claimed a first clean sweep in 61 years.
He captained Ireland at the start of 2012, but a knee injury brought his Championship campaign to a premature end and he was forced to sit out the summer tour of New Zealand. A back problem then prevented him from playing in the autumn internationals against South Africa and Argentina and the entire 2013 RBS 6 Nations campaign. He missed most of the domestic season as well, playing just twice in October before finally returning to action in early April.
A double Heineken Cup winner, having first claimed European club rugby’s biggest prize in 2006 before captaining Munster to a second success in 2008., he led Munster to the semi-final stage of Europe's top tournament this season.
DoB1979-01-21 BirthplaceDublin Height1.75 m (5' 9") Weight95 kg (14 st 13 lb) PositionCentre
Brian Gerald O’DRISCOLL
Ireland Caps: 125 (75-2-48) Ireland Points: 245 (46t 5d)
Ireland Debut: v Australia 1999
British & Irish Lions: 2001 (A), 2005 (Arg/NZ), 2009 (SA) Tests: 6 (1-0-5), 5pts (1t)
Lions Debut: 08/06/2001 v Western Australia
Test Record v Australia: 14 (4-1-9), 23pts (4t 1d)
Brian O’Driscoll is heading on his fourth British & Irish Lions tour - only the third player in 125 years to do that after five-times tourists Willie John McBride and Mike Gibson. He is also the second most capped player in rugby union history with 131 Test appearances – 125 for Ireland and 6 with the British & Irish Lions – and the game’s seventh highest Test try scorer with Bryan Habana on 47. He has captained Ireland to 52 wins in 83 matches, including four Triple Crowns and the 2009 Grand Slam, and was the Lions tour captain in New Zealand in 2005. He has made 17 appearances, and scored seven tries, in four successive Rugby World Cup tournaments, and led Ireland to a Pool victory over Australia in 2011. He has four wins, a draw and four tries to his credit in 14 Tests against the Wallabies for both Ireland and the Lions.
Born in Dublin, and a product of the famous Blackrock College, he made three appearances for the Irish School U18 team in 1996 and was in the Declan Kidney coached Ireland U19 team that won the IRB Junior World Cup in 1998. He made his Leinster debut in 1999 and has since helped his province to win three Heineken Cup titles and two RaboDirct PRO12 crowns.
He won his first Irish senior cap on the 1999 summer tour to Australia, and played in all four of Ireland’s games at the 1999 World Cup, scoring his first try against the US Eagles. He added to his growing reputation by scoring a wonder try for the Lions against Australia in 2001. He was nominated for the 2002 IRB World Player of the Year award.
He was voted Player of the Tournament for the 2006, 2007 and 2009 RBS 6 Nations, but on three occasions has been pipped for the World Player of the Year award, in 2001, 2002 and 2009.
He married actress Amy Huberman in July, 2010, and the couple’s first child child, Sadie, was born just hours before this season’s RBS 6 Nations clash with England on 10 February, 2013.
DoB1977-03-07 BirthplaceSan Diego, USA Height1.83 m (6' 0") Weight83 kg (13 st 1 lb) PositionOutside half
Born in the American city of San Diego and educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork and University College Cork he is Munster’s and Ireland’s record points scorer. Acknowledged as one of the best out-halves in the business he is also the holder of the Heineken Cup’s points-scoring record.
In 1998 he helped the Ireland Under-21s to a Triple Crown success, and also guided Cork Constitution to an AIB League Division One title in 1999. Senior international recognition followed in February 2000 when he debuted for Ireland against Scotland, kicking two penalty goals and two conversions in the process.
He has been Ireland’s first choice fly-half for several years and was instrumental in Munster’s two European Cup successes. Further highlights of his career include scoring a then Six Nations record of 30 points against Italy in 2000, a record-equalling haul of ten conversions against Japan in 2000, Lions tours in 2001 and 2005, playing his part in Ireland’s three recent Triple Crown wins and the 2009 Grand Slam triumph.
He overtook David Humphreys as Ireland’s record points scorer in the 2006 Six Nations opener against Italy, and was the first points and try scorer for Ireland in their first ever outing at Croke Park in 2007 against France.
DoB1979-04-29 BirthplaceSwindon Height1.85 m (6' 1") Weight118 kg (18 st 8 lb) PositionProp
Payne started playing rugby at the age of six as a hooker for Painswick RFC.
After joining London Wasps from Cardiff Blues in 2003 Payne went on to feature in the 2004, 2005 and 2008 Premiership final teams and the 2004 Heineken Cup winning side.
He won his first cap against Australia in June 2004 but had to wait two more years before adding to his tally, as a replacement against the same opponents, on the 2006 summer tour.
Tim ended the 2007 Six Nations as England’s first choice No 1 and was tipped for a Rugby World Cup squad place until he damaged knee ligaments in London Wasps’ Heineken Cup quarter final against Leinster in March. The injury required reconstructive surgery but after five months of intensive rehab he was back in action for Wasps – almost two months earlier than scheduled.
He won his sixth cap against Italy in February 2008 after being called up to replace the injured Sheridan.
DoB1982-08-29 BirthplaceCarmarthen Height1.93 m (6' 4") Weight105 kg (16 st 7 lb) PositionOutside half / Scrum half
William Michael PHILLIPS
Wales Caps: 77 (37-2-38) Wales Points: 40 (8t)
Wales Debut: v Romania 2003
British & Irish Lions: 2009 (SA) Tests: 3 (1-0-2), 5pts (1t)
Lions Debut: 30/05/2009 v Royal XV
Test Record v Australia: 9 (0-0-9)
Mike Phillips started all three Tests during the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa and has since secured two RBS 6 Nations winners’ medals The scrum-half started every match of Wales’ latest Championship success and returned to his best with a rousing performance against England. Renowned for his physicality, he is often seen as a fourth back-row forward and is a menace around the fringes.
It was in the back-row that he began playing rugby while at Whitland RFC in west Wales before moving on to Carmarthen RFC. He came through the Scarlets ranks as an understudy to 2005 tourist Dwyane Peel and made a try-scoring international debut against Romania in 2003, having represented Wales U21.
He starred for Wales during the 2004 tour of North America, but a lack of first-team opportunities at the Scarlets saw him switch to Cardiff Blues. He continued to flourish but remained in Peel’s shadow until making the Wales No9 jersey his own in 2008, after moving onto the Ospreys. He was an integral member of the Wales side that won the 2008 Grand Slam and was selected on the Lions tour of South Africa the following year.
He played in six matches in South Africa, including all three Tests, and he scored in the opening encounter with the Springboks in Durban.
Since 2009 he has remained one of the first names on Gatland’s team-sheet and he started every clash of Wales’ consecutive Championship crowns.
He joined Bayonne in 2011 and proved the move hadn't hampered his performance with his barnstorming RBS 6 Nations displays.
DoB1981-08-23 BirthplaceBrecon Height1.93 m (6' 4") Weight110 kg (17 st 4 lb) PositionBack row
Powell started playing rugby at the age of 10 for Brecon Rugby Club as a centre. He has been a member of the Cardiff Blues squad since 2005. The back row forward joined from the Llanelli Scarlets and has previously played for Beziers, Leicester Tigers and Newport. Powell is a former Wales U21 and Wales A player.
He sustained an injury to his right shoulder in April 2006 and had shoulder reconstruction surgery at the start of the 2006 season and was out for the majority of the season. He made a comeback in April 2007, but sustained another shoulder injury, to the left this time, before the close of the season. He underwent major shoulder surgery for the second time in a matter of months, which meant he would miss the start of the 2007 season.
Powell flourished at the beginning of the 2008 season which he began as the first choice No8 in the Blues squad. He produced eye catching performances in both the EDF Challenge Cup and Heineken Cup. Wales coach Warren Gatland went as far as describing his efforts as ‘world class.’
Powell followed those displays with further block busting performances for Wales in the autumn to gain further plaudits which he carried through to the 2009 RBS 6 Nations.
DoB1980-12-09 BirthplaceTonyrefail Height1.88 m (6' 2") Weight109 kg (17 st 2 lb) PositionHooker
Rees, started playing rugby at the age of 11 as a hooker for Tonyrefall U11s. Rees currently plays for the Llanelli Scarlets, having joined the region for the 2004 season. His previous clubs include Merthyr, Pontypridd and the Celtic Warriors.
Rees made his Test debut for Wales against the USA in 2005 and won his second cap against Argentina in the summer of 2006. He then was selected in the the national squad ahead of the Invesco Perpetual Series in the autumn of the same year. He made the starting line-ups for the matches against Australia and Canada, and also featured as a replacement in the Series finale with New Zealand.
Rees starred in the 2007 RBS 6 Nations as a replacement in both the tournament opener against Ireland and second match with Scotland. He also made the starting XV in the losses to France and Italy.
Rees was named in the 30 man squad for the Rugby World Cup 2007. He made three appearances for Wales in France as he was included in the starting line-ups in the clashes against Canada, Australia and Fiji. He returned to international action in February 2008 in the RBS 6 Nations match against England.
Rees was selected for Wales' 2008 autumn internationals, and started games against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
His performance for both club and country in 2009 has earned him a selection on the 2009 Lions Tour to South Africa.
DoB1986-11-08 BirthplaceNewport Height1.93 m (6' 4") Weight107 kg (16 st 11 lb) PositionCentre / Wing
Jamie Huw ROBERTS
Wales Caps: 53 (27-0-26) Wales Points: 25 (5t)
Wales Debut: v Scotland 2008
British & Irish Lions: 2009 (SA) Tests: 2 (0-0-2)
Lions Debut: 30/05/2009 v Royal XV
Test Record v Australia 5 (1-0-4)
Jamie Roberts will follow in the famous footsteps of Teddy Morgan, Jack Jones, Tuan Jones, Jack Matthews and JPR Williams as Welsh rugby playing doctors who have toured with the British & Irish Lions, having recently qualified as a doctor from Cardiff University after eight years of studying at university. He had spent three years as a student by the time he made his debut on the wing for Wales against Scotland at the beginning of the 2008 Grand Slam winning RBS 6 Nations campaign.He went on start in all of Wales' autumn internationals in the centre, before suffering a fractured skull in a sickening collision with Australian skipper Stirling Mortlock.
The following season the Cardiff Blues centre was selected to play for the Lions on the 2009 tour of South Africa where he formed a formidable partnership with Brian O’Driscoll.
Roberts was named the Lions’ ‘Player of the Series’ after superb performances in the first two Tests. After his 2008 Grand Slam triumph with Wales, Roberts added a second Grand Slam to his CV in 2012 before a third RBS 6 Nations title win followed in this year.
He also impressed as Wales made the semi-finals of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, scoring two tries as Warren Gatland’s side made the final four before losing to France.
Roberts represented Wales at U19 and U21 levels, and was part of the U21 Grand Slam winning Six Nations team in 2005. He was then called into the Wales Sevens squad in March, 2006 for the Adelaide and Hong Kong legs of the 2006 IRB Sevens World Series. At club level, Roberts played for Cardiff RFC in 2005/06 before making his debut for Cardiff Blues against the Ospreys in 2007. He has since gone on to make more than 85 appearances for the Blues, helping them to become the first Welsh side to lift silverware in Europe when they won the Amlin Challenge Cup with a final win over Toulon in Marseille in 2010.
After seven years with the Blues, Roberts announced he will play his club rugby in France next season.
DoB1973-09-01 BirthplaceNairobi, Kenya Height2.03 m (6' 8") Weight123 kg (19 st 5 lb) PositionLock
Shaw started playing rugby at the age of 16. He played in Otago, New Zealand for a year before returning to play for Cranleigh RFC and then Bristol, where he stayed for four years before joining London Wasps in 1997.
He won his first England cap against Italy in 1996 and then started all the Five Nations matches that year. before going on the Tour of Hell to the South Africa in 1998
His England career stalled until 2000 when he stood in for the injured Martin Johnson in the Lloyds TSB 6 Nations and appeared as a replacement in the summer Tour to South Africa.
His outstanding form for London Wasps saw him still involved with England in 2002 and he played a part in all three RWC warm-up games. He went out to New Zealand on the 2005 Lions Tour as a replacement. A replacement for most of the 2006 RBS 6 Nations before starting against Ireland, he missed the 2007 tournament but was named in the RWC squad in 2007.
His partnership with Steve Borthwick saw him start 14 of 15 matches for England before the 2008 autumn internationals. He made one appearance during the autumn series, as a replacement against South Africa, and would have to wait until March before being selected for his next cap against France at Twickenham in the 2009 RBS 6 Nations Championship.
DoB1979-11-01 BirthplaceBromley Height1.96 m (6' 5") Weight117 kg (18 st 5 lb) PositionProp
Sheridan started playing at the age of nine for Old Elthamians and was with them for five years before studying at Dulwich College, where he worked his way through the Surrey age group teams. He won caps in the second row at England 16 and 18 Group levels and represented England Under 21s in the SANZAR tournament in Argentina in 1999.
Andrew toured South Africa with the full England squad in the summer of 2000 and in 2003 he was in England’s Churchill Cup squad in Canada and then Japan before coming came back to join Sale Sharks after Bristol’s relegation from the Premiership.
He started all three internationals in the autumn of 2005 and then played in every RBS 6 Nations Championship match in 2006.
He was one of the stars of England’s 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign, in which he started all seven matches and was feted for leading the destruction of the Australian scrum in the quarter final in Marseille.
He was first choice loose-head for the 2008 RBS 6 Nations.
This will be his second tour with the Lions as he made five appearances for the midweek British & Irish Lions in New Zealand in 2005.
DoB1976-03-14 BirthplaceBarnstaple Height1.88 m (6' 2") Weight116 kg (18 st 3 lb) PositionProp
Educated at Budehaven Community School, he signed for London Wasps in the summer of 2006 after 11 years at Gloucester where he had been captain.
Phil made his England debut aged 21 against Wales in 1998 as a replacement and went on England’s summer Tour to South Africa before appearing in the 1999 RWC. A regular in the England Team in 2000 and 2001, when he also played for the British & Irish Lions in all three tests against Australia.
He missed the whole of the 2003 RBS 6 Nations due to an injury that required surgery but shared in England’s triumphs over New Zealand and Australia that summer ahead of the RWC.
He was a cornerstone of England’s triumph in Sydney in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He missed the 2004 tour to Australia and New Zealand and the 2005 Lions tour after failing to recover from another back injury. He recovered from a third operation to make a triumphant return off the bench after a year’s absence at test level at Twickenham in November 2006.
He was appointed as Martin Corry’s successor in January 2007. Vickery sat out the 2007 tour to South Africa after Head Coach Brian Ashton decided not to select players involved in the European competitions and he contributed to London Wasps’ Heineken Cup triumph.
He returned to lead England at Twickenham in August 2007 and lead the team into their World Cup opener against the USA in Lens. He captained England in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, leading the team in four matches including the final against South Africa, and was subsequently made skipper for the 2008 RBS 6 Nations.
DoB1976-07-08 BirthplaceCork Height1.88 m (6' 2") Weight103 kg (16 st 3 lb) PositionBack row
Some barnstorming displays for Munster helped Wallace return to the international fold in 2006.
The Crescent College Comprehensive and RTC Cork-educated flanker won his first Ireland cap against Argentina in 2000, and was in and out of the team before being ever-present for the 2002 Six Nations.
A Lions tourist in 2001, Wallace then lost his place in the Ireland side due to injury and loss of form, playing only seven times between the summers of 2003 and 2005.
A series of high quality performances during Munster’s Heineken Cup-winning campaign in 2005 saw him regain the number 7 Test jersey and the Limerick man has had a strong grip on it ever since.
Tries against Wales, South Africa and England over the past 18 months have brought his Test tally to seven and he will be on the lookout for more at his first World Cup this autumn. His brothers Paul and Richard are both former Ireland internationals and Lions tourists.
DoB1975-09-01 BirthplacePontypridd Height1.85 m (6' 1") Weight96 kg (15 st 1 lb) PositionFlanker
Williams was capped at all age levels and is a former captain of the U21 side. He made his Wales senior debut against the Barbarians in 1996, and has captained his country on five occasions. Williams' club career started at Pontypridd, but he has been at Cardiff since 1999.
Williams toured Australia with the British & Irish Lions in 2001 and in 2005. He was a key member of the Welsh side in the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Following Wales’ early exit from the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Williams announced his retirement from the international stage. However, following the appointment of new Head Coach Warren Gatland, Williams was persuaded out of retirement for inclusion in the Wales squad ahead of the 2008 RBS 6 Nations.
Williams enjoyed a hugely successful campaign; he featured in every match of the Grand Slam winning tournament, scored a try in the championship decider against France and was awarded the Man of the Match award for his superb performance against the Scots at the Millennium Stadium. He was also one of the heroes of Wales’ 2005 Grand Slam effort and was named the RBS 6 Nations Man of the Championship, after a series of superb displays.
DoB1977-02-26 BirthplaceMorriston Height1.70 m (5' 7") Weight81 kg (12 st 10 lb) PositionWing
Williams started his career as a scrum half at Amman United, later moving to Neath and to the wing. He currently plays regional rugby with the Ospreys.
Williams was also one of the stars of the 2005 RBS 6 Nations campaign and toured New Zealand with the Lions in 2005.
Shane Williams became Wales’ all-time leading try scorer in the Grand Slam winning 2008 RBS 6 Nations campaign, after breaking Gareth Thomas's record with his 41st Test score in just 56 appearances. The outstanding performer in the 2008 championship, the wing wizard gained the RBS 6 Nations Player of the Tournament accolade to cap his superb performances.
Williams was included in the starting line-up for all of Wales’ at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, and enjoyed a successful personal tournament scoring six tries in total, making him the joint third highest try scorer of the entire tournament (on a par with Doug Howlett, behind Bryan Habana and Drew Mitchell).
In January 2008 Williams was included RBS 6 Nations squad, and the winger proved a revelation in the championship. Williams amassed an impressive six tries, equalling Will Greenwood's Six Nations try-scoring record (in the Lloyds TSB Six Nations, 2001), playing in all five matches of the Grand Slam campaign and gaining braces against Scotland and Italy, and single efforts against Ireland and France. He was voted the player of the tournament and in the process he also managed to surpass Gareth Thomas’s Wales try-scoring record.
He was voted the IRB Player of the Year in November 2008.
DoB1977-06-14 BirthplaceLondon Height1.95 m (6' 5") Weight114 kg (17 st 13 lb) PositionFlanker
Educated at Hitchin Boys High School, and later at Brunel University, he was part of the England Schools team that won the Grand Slam in 1994-5 and joined London Wasps from Welwyn Garden City RFC at 16.
A utility back row able to play in all three positions, Joe has played in three Rugby World Cups, having made his test debut in the 1999 pool match against Tonga at Twickenham.
A member of the 2003 RWC winning squad, he started the 2007 pool games against USA and Samoa and came on against Australia, France and in the final with South Africa.
He has made more than 240 first team appearances and is a triple winner of the Premiership, a double winner of the Heineken Cup, and he also has a 2006 Powergen Cup winner’s medal.
He made his third World Cup in 2007, making five appearances including a replacement bow in the final loss to South Africa. He toured New Zealand with England in the summer of 2008 before winning a call-up into their squad for the 2009 Six Nations.