Lions Test XV announced

Ian McGeechan and the British and Irish Lions' brains trust have finally ended speculation and announced the fifteen players who will take on South Africa in the first Test in Durban on Saturday.

Wales out-half Stephen Jones has been selected ahead of Ronan O'Gara but elsewhere there were no surprises in the backs with form players Tommy Bowe and Ugo Monye starting on the wings while Jamie Roberts and Brian O'Driscoll are paired again in midfield.

Alun Wyn Jones will partner captain Paul O'Connell in the second row; Tom Croft, David Wallace and Jamie Heaslip make up the back row while Gethin Jenkins, Lee Mears and Phil Vickery pack down up front.

McGeechan underlined that selection was based on how players have performed: "The Test team has been picked on form following the six provincial matches. There were some very difficult calls to make as the players as a group and individually have done everything that we have asked of them and performed on the field."

Lions XV to take on South Africa: Lee Byrne (Ospreys & Wales); Tommy Bowe (Ospreys & Ireland), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster & Ireland), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues & Wales), Ugo Monye (Harlequins & England); Stephen Jones (Scarlets & Wales), Mike Phillips (Ospreys & Wales); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues & Wales), Lee Mears (Bath & England), Phil Vickery (Wasps & England), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys & Wales), Paul O'Connell (capt; Munster & Ireland), Tom Croft (Leicester & England), David Wallace (Munster & Ireland), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster & Ireland). Replacements: Matthew Rees (Scarlets & Wales), Adam Jones (Ospreys & Wales), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster & Ireland), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues & Wales), Harry Ellis (Leicester & England), Ronan O'Gara (Munster & Ireland), Rob Kearney (Leinster & Ireland).

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