O'Driscoll hands out British Lions jerseys

Brian O'Driscoll (AP Photo)
Brian O'Driscoll (AP Photo)

Cape Town - Brian O'Driscoll presented the British & Irish Lions players with their first Test jerseys in Auckland on Friday - 12 years after being spear-tackled out of action against New Zealand.

According to the ESPNScrum website, the former Ireland captain played in eight Lions Tests across four successive tours from 2001 to 2013. He also won 133 Ireland caps as one of the greatest players of his generation.

But the 38-year-old had no chance to impress in the Tests when the Lions last toured New Zealand in 2005, being on the receiving end of an illegal tackle by All Blacks pair Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu.

O'Driscoll, the 2005 Lions captain, suffered a dislocated shoulder and was sidelined for six months as a result of the incident, which happened during the opening moments of a first Test clash in Christchurch that the Lions went on to lose 21-3.

The world champion All Blacks and British & Irish Lions will clash in the first of their three Tests on Saturday at Eden Park in Auckland, followed by matches at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington the following weekend, and back at Eden Park on July 8.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 09:35 SA time.

Teams:

New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Aaron Cruden/Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown

British & Irish Lions

15 Liam Williams (Scarlets/WAL), 14 Anthony Watson (Bath/ENG), 13 Jonathan Davies (Scarlets/WAL), 12 Ben Te'o (Worcester/ENG), 11 Elliot Daly (Wasps/ENG), 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens/ENG), 9 Conor Murray (Munster/IRL), 8 Taulupe Faletau (Bath/ENG), 7 Sean O'Brien (Leinster/IRL), 6 Peter O'Mahony (captain - Munster/IRL), 5 George Kruis (Saracens/ENG), 4 Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys/WAL), 3 Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/IRL), 2 Jamie George (Saracens/ENG), 1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens/ ENG)

Substitutes: 16 Ken Owens (Scarlets/WAL), 17 Jack McGrath (Leinster/IRL), 18 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins/ENG), 19 Maro Itoje (Saracens/ ENG), 20 Sam Warburton (Cardiff/WAL), 21 Rhys Webb (Ospreys/WAL), 22 Johnny Sexton (Leinster/IRL), 23 Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon/WAL)

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