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Posted 30 April 2013

Five UCD students and graduates among nine Irish named in Lions Squad

Five of the nine Ireland players selected in the British and Irish Lions squad to tour Australia are either studying at UCD or are graduates of the university.

The nine Ireland players selected are: Brian O’Driscoll (UCD graduate), Paul O’Connell, Jonathan Sexton (UCD graduate), Cian Healy, Conor Murray, Rob Kearney (UCD graduate), Tommy Bowe, Jamie Heaslip (UCD student), and Sean O'Brien (UCD student).

Sean O'Brien, who is studying sports and exercise management at UCD, is also an Elite Athlete Scholar in the UCD AD Astra Academy.

“We spent a long time selecting this squad and there were some close calls with a lot of competition for places,” head coach, Warren Gatland told reporters. “But ultimately we chose the players who will give us the best chance of a Test series victory.”

“A Lions Tour to Australia only comes around once every 12 years and we believe we have the right balance in the squad to be successful. We have a tremendous challenge in front of us but I know the players will be dedicated to the adventure and task ahead.”

The 37-man Lions squad to tour Australia includes:

Backs: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Rob Kearney (Ireland); Tommy Bowe (Ireland), Alex Cuthbert (Wales), Sean Maitland (Scotland), George North (Wales); Jonathan Davies (Wales), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), Jamie Roberts (Wales), Manu Tuilagi (England); Owen Farrell (England), Jonny Sexton (Ireland); Conor Murray (Ireland), Mike Phillips (Wales), Ben Youngs (England)

Forwards: Dan Cole (England), Cian Healey (Ireland), Gethin Jenkins (Wales), Adam Jones, (Wales), Matt Stevens (England), Mako Vunipola (England); Dylan Hartley (England), Richard Hibbard (Wales), Tom Youngs (England); Ian Evans (Wales), Richie Gray (Scotland), Alun Wyn-Jones (Wales), Paul O'Connell (Ireland), Geoff Parling (England); Tom Croft (England), Toby Faletau (Wales), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), Dan Lydiate (Wales), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Sam Warburton (Wales)

The squad will be captained by Sam Warburton.

(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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