Of those eight, only two had toured before and only one had played Test-match rugby for the Lions.
Simon Shaw may have been part of a victorious squad on the 1997 tour of South Africa but only one Englishman had earned selection in the Lionsâ00 first-choice XV to face the best of the rest. That man is Phil Vickery.
Vickery made six appearances for Graham Henryâ00s Lions in 2001, starting all three Tests in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
The then Gloucester and now London Wasps prop was in his infancy as an international at the time of departure for Australia eight years ago and he admits his selection was a huge, if somewhat unexpected, achievement.
â00In 2001, I was 25 so still reasonably young and it was something I always dreamed of,â0 said Vickery, who missed the 2005 tour to New Zealand through injury.
â00It was a massive event. I watched Lions tours as a young man and I never really thought I would be involved in one.
â00It was fantastic, playing with Keith Wood and Tommy Smith. Obviously Dai Young was around and Scott Gibbs came out in the end, Brian Oâ00Driscoll etc. There were a lot of big names and I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it.
â00It was a great tour, although ultimately it finished in disappointment with losing the final Test match and losing the series.â0
Phil Vickery (left) started all three Tests for the Lions eight years ago
The series itself may not have concluded the way Vickery and his Lions team-mates would have liked, but his experiences of Test-match rugby with the Lions, particularly during the first international at the Gabba, will live with the Cornishman forever.
The same can be said for the incredible following the Lions received Down Under, when tens of thousands of British and Irish supporters made Australia a second home for the Lions.
â00The first Test in Brisbane at The Gabba is probably one of my greatest rugby memories and experiences. It was just phenomenal and Iâ00d never experienced anything like it.
â00The support, the euphoria, the expectations, the pressure, the history and everything that surrounds the Lions makes it just a phenomenal thing to be involved in.
â00You couldnâ00t go anywhere without being stopped. I think Iâ00ve got a pretty good relationship with all supporters, whether they are English, Scottish, Irish or Welsh but being embraced and being part of that with the Lions was truly a privilege. It was something I thoroughly enjoyed and was very pleased to be a part of.â0
Having been selected for his second Lions tour a fortnight ago, Vickery now hopes to ensure the memories from South Africa are just as positive but with the added bonus of a series victory.
The 33-year-old works with Lions head coach Ian McGeechan on a daily basis with London Wasps and he is certain that the Scotsman is the right man to ensure the Lions return home with a win under their belts.
â00Itâ00s great for Geech,â0 added Vickery.
â00Itâ00s fantastic that heâ00s got the opportunity and itâ00s fantastic that London Wasps have given him the opportunity to go.
â00If all the players and management can be as enthusiastic and passionate about the game of rugby and particularly about the Lions as he is, it will be a very successful tour.â0