Ospreys lead the way in Wales for Lions

With 13 players having represented the Lions since 2003 the Ospreys are again leading the way in Welsh rugby

As the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour gets underway, figures revealed today show that Ospreylia has provided the most players to Lions tours of all four Welsh regions since the inception of regional rugby in 2003.


13 Ospreys players have been fortunate enough to wear the famous red shirt in the regional era, making a combined total of 16 tour representatives when you include those to have enjoyed more than one tour. By contrast, Cardiff Blues have supplied eight players to the three tours (05, 09 and 13), making a total of 12 representatives, with the Scarlets (six players each making one tour) and the Dragons (four and four) coming behind.

The full list of Ospreylian Lions since 2003 is as follows:

Brent Cockbain – 2005
Ryan Jones – 2005
Gavin Henson – 2005
Shane Williams – 2005, 2009
Tommy Bowe – 2009
Lee Byrne – 2009
Adam Jones – 2009, 2013
Alun Wyn Jones – 2009, 2013
James Hook – 2009
Mike Phillips – 2009
Ian Evans – 2013
Richard Hibbard – 2013
Justin Tipuric – 2013


The revealing figures are replicated when it comes to the Welsh team, with a third of all Wales caps issued over the last 10 years up to the end of the 2013 Six Nations caps going to Ospreys players (856 caps out of 2527 issued in total), exactly 230 more than Cardiff Blues, underlying the region’s ongoing commitment to developing talent for the national set-up – a position strengthened still further by the presence of four uncapped Ospreys in the Wales squad heading to Japan for two test matches in the coming weeks.

Chief Operations Officer Andrew Hore commented:


“We are immensely proud of our track record in providing players for the Welsh national set-up and the long established fact that we supply more players to Wales than any other region, and this statistic is something else that we can take great pride in.

“To see local boys like Richard Hibbard and Justin Tipuric joining our long list of Lions this summer gives everybody involved with the Ospreys real satisfaction. These are players who have come through the ranks within their home region, from local clubs Taibach and Trebanos right the way up to the Lions, the very highest level of rugby available to them.


“They act as role models to the children currently playing for community clubs like them right across Ospreylia. As a business we have increased our investment into development by 600 per cent, an increase that will give even more local young players the opportunity to represent their home region in years to come and hopefully follow in the footsteps of the many Wales and Lions internationals we have developed over the last 10 years.”