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Gatland names 12 Lions in Wales squad

Gatland names 12 Lions in Wales squad

Warren Gatland has named 12 players from the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour in Wales’ training squad ahead of the World Cup.

Warren Gatland has named 12 players from the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour in Wales’ training squad ahead of the World Cup.

Lions stars Taulupe Faletau , Richard Hibbard, Gethin Jenkins, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Sam Warburton are among the forwards picked by Gatland.

While in the backs Mike Phillips, George North, Alex Cuthbert, Jamie Roberts and Leigh Halfpenny – who kicked 21 points in the decisive third Test in Sydney – are also selected as part of the 47-man squad.

The players will embark on an intensive preparation regime over the coming months before the final 31-man Rugby World Cup squad is announced on August 31.

And Lions head coach Gatland admits the hard work will now begin for his players as they bid to make the starting line-up for Wales’ opening clash against Uruguay on September 20.

"As a coaching team we are extremely happy with the blend of the squad in terms of the experience we are able to include as well as the young talent that has really impressed us," said Gatland.

"The easy part for the players has been done in terms of being selected, the hard work will begin from day one with a huge schedule of preparation ahead of them.

"The players will face a tough couple of months of intensive training, we will be taking them to Switzerland, Qatar and Poland and I can assure everyone they are no holiday camps.

"We put a lot of emphasis on conditioning and preparation in 2011 which worked well for us and we are looking to step that up again this time.

"The 47 players all have the opportunity to make that 31-man party and I'm sure they will all be eager to feature in a World Cup on these shores.

"We believe the longer we are together the better we perform and this summer of preparation will give us every opportunity to be at our best come Rugby World Cup."

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