Ruddock: Welsh will be Lions’ mane men

Wales coach Mike Ruddock has backed his Grand Slam heroes to be Lions kings in New Zealand this summer. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Wales coach Mike Ruddock has backed his Grand Slam heroes to be Lions kings in New Zealand this summer.

British & Irish Lions supremo Sir Clive Woodward has acclaimed Wales’ achievement in being crowned Six Nations champions for the first time, and Ruddock expects a sizeable Welsh contingent when the squad is announced on April 11.

Injuries permitting, Gareth Thomas, Shane Williams, Tom Shanklin, Gavin Henson, Stephen Jones, Dwayne Peel, Gethin Jenkins, Martyn Williams and Michael Owen would all appear to be leading contenders for a tour highlighted by three Tests against Graham Henry’s All Blacks.

Flanker Colin Charvis, who missed the Six Nations due to a broken foot, is another strong candidate and, given Wales’ dominance of this season’s tournament, the list could stretch well into double figures.

"The players have done the business, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are 10-plus Welsh players on the tour," said Ruddock.

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"At the minimum, 10, and I would have thought there will be a lot more.

"I am quite excited about the fact that a lot of players could go on the Lions tour and come back with a lot of good experiences and further their rugby development."

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