Davies thrilled to be honoured by his team-mates


Davies thrilled to be honoured by his team-mates

Jonathan Davies played every minute of the Test series as The British & Irish Lions drew with New Zealand and the Welsh centre was rewarded by being named player of the series by his peers.

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The 29-year-old has now started all three Tests on two successive Lions Tours and was outstanding across the series.

In the 15-15 draw in Auckland, Davies showed his defensive prowess with a crucial covering tackle as he raced back to tackle Ngani Laumape when the All Black centre looked to be away.

He also provided a key intervention on the half-hour with an attacking tackle on Jordie Barrett that led to a turnover, and while Davies was honoured at the recognition, he was quick to praise the rest of the team.

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He said: “I’m very humble, chuffed to bits to get the award, voted by your peers. But you look back and it’s a team effort, with 40-odd players and we dug in and achieved something very special. I’m chuffed to bits.

“I’ve been really happy, I’ve enjoyed my rugby. I played with a smile on my face and it’s great to be a part of a special group of players. After the first 20 minutes I felt the worst I’ve ever felt but it was a great comeback to grind out a draw in the end.

“For us as a group we’ve achieved something quite special as well.”

The Lions found themselves under the cosh early on, with the All Blacks getting the first try of the game through Laumape.

They led 12-6 at the break but the Lions fought back brilliantly in the second half, and while there was some frustration at not being able to get the win, Davies was delighted at what the Lions had achieved.

He added: “It was a cracking Test match again for the spectator. It was a very intense start, in the first 20 minutes they came at us out of the blocks and it was credit to us to fight back and grind it out.

“It could have gone either way at the end, some might say it was a fair result, we’re disappointed we didn’t get the win. But what we have achieved, you look back, we’ve put together quite quickly and we’ve come down here to play the best team in the world. I think we’ve done ourselves proud.

“It’s been a great Tour. As a group we have bonded really well, we’ve enjoyed each other’s company and I think we’ll look back at this with years to come and be very proud to be part of something quite special.

“We came together and we became a team from four different countries, it was a great achievement for us and I think we can hold our heads high.

“Last week it was almost like playing in a home Test with the support we had. I think it can’t be questioned, the Lions is something so special, to players as well.”

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