The Ospreys have paid tribute to the fantastic four players from the region who have have been selected for the forthcoming British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.
Ospreys skipper Alun Wyn Jones joins that rare brand of Lions tourists to have been named on three tours having featured in the 2009 South Africa tour and the 2013 visit to Australia – where he captained the side in the series winning third test victory. He has played in each of the six tests on the two tours.
Justin Tipuric is a second time Lion after going on the 09 tour, featuring in the third test off the bench, while there are first time Lions calls for half back pair Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar.
With four players in the squad the Ospreys have the third largest representation behind Saracens (six) and Leinster (five) and once again have the most players of any of the Welsh regions.
The Lions 41-man squad in full
Backs: Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell (England), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Jonathan Joseph (England), Conor Murray (Ireland), George North (Wales), Jack Nowell (England), Jared Payne (Ireland), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Tommy Seymour (Scotland), Ben Te’o (England), Anthony Watson (England), Rhys Webb (Wales), Liam Williams (Wales), Ben Youngs (England).
Forwards: Rory Best (Ireland), Dan Cole (England), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), George Kruis (England), Courtney Lawes (England), Joe Marler (England), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Ross Moriarty (Wales), Sean O’Brien (Ireland), Peter O’Mahony (Ireland), Ken Owens (Wales), Kyle Sinckler (England), CJ Stander (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England), Billy Vunipola (England), Sam Warburton (Wales).
The squad for the 10-match, three-Test series is made up of 16 Englishmen, 12 Welshmen, 11 Irishmen and just two Scotsmen, and will again be captained by Wales' Sam Warburton.
Ospreys Head Coach, Steve Tandy, paid tribute to the four Ospreys selected, and to all those who have helped them towards Lions status:
"We are all extremely proud of the four Ospreys who have today been selected for Lions duty this summer. It is the highest accolade for any British and Irish rugby player so for us to, once again, have such a significant contingent in the squad is fantastic news.
“We have a proud record of developing local talent and the fact that all four of those selected have come through the regional pathway, from their community club through regional age-grade to represent the Ospreys, Wales and the Lions is something to celebrate. Their selection is recognition of their talent and hard work to get to this point of their career, as well as the unseen work done by those who have helped him along the pathway who will also be hugely proud today.”
Ospreys Lions in full
The following players have all been selected for previous British & Irish Lions tours while playing for the Ospreys :
Alun Wyn Jones