Wales pick 13 Lions

Wales have selected 13 Lions for this Saturday's clash with New Zealand. [more]

Wales pick 13 Lions

Wales have selected 13 Lions for this Saturday’s clash with New Zealand.

Warren Gatland, who also coached the Lions’ forwards this summer, has named a side in which all bar two of his starting XV have toured with Britain and Ireland’s elite.

There are 10 players from the 2009 tour of South Africa included in the line up, with a further three tourists from 2005 given a starting berth.

The backline is made up entirely of Lions tourists, with 2005 squad members Tom Shanklin and Gareth Cooper joining James Hook, Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams and Stephen Jones in an experienced set up.

In the forwards, 2009 tourists Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Alun-Wyn Jones, Andy Powell and Martyn Williams all start, as does 2005 Lion Ryan Jones.

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Only Ospreys prop Paul James and Dragons second row Luke Chateris have not represented the world’s most-famous touring team.

Hook, who travelled to South Africa as a fly-half this summer, is named at full back, with Lions Test starter Lee Byrne unavailable through injury.

Wales are also without fellow Lion Adam Jones, who has yet to recover from shoulder surgery following the Lions’ third-Test win over the Springboks on July 4.

"The coaches have looked for consistency of selection,” explained Gatland.

”We have asked James Hook to play at full-back before and it’s a boost for any side to be able to have someone of his calibre on the field in whatever position that may be.

"We have an experienced pairing at centre, two exciting wingers and the Lions play-maker running the backline at fly-half, so we think we have a pretty good side out there.”

Wales team to play New Zealand, Saturday, November 7, kick off 5.15pm

James Hook; Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams; Stephen Jones, Gareth Cooper; Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Paul James, Alun Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris, Andy Powell, Martyn Williams, Ryan Jones (captain)

Replacements: Huw Bennett, Duncan Jones, Bradley Davies, Dafydd Jones, Martin Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Tom James 

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