Trophy chasers could sit out first Lions Test

KEY British and Irish Lions squad members could become victims of their own success, after coach Warren Gatland revealed those still striving to win major club honours this season will be at the back of the queue to be selected for the first Test.

Veteran Ireland centre Brian O’Driscoll is one of seven Leinster stars set to play in the RaboDirect PRO12 final against Tommy Bowe’s Ulster on 25 May, as well as in Friday’s Amlin Challenge Cup final.

Gatland has said those players, plus six others from Premiership finalists Northampton and Leicester, will not be considered for the tour match with Barbarians on 1 June and will be playing catch-up for selection against Australia in Brisbane three weeks later.

“The players that prepare for that first game are going to have the biggest advantage on tour,” he said.

“They are the players not involved in the finals, so they are going to have the best preparation.”


■ Dylan Hartley
■ Tom Youngs
■ Dan Cole
■ Cian Healy
■ Geoff Parling
■ Tom Croft
■Sean O’Brien
■ Jamie Heaslip
■ Ben Youngs
■ Jonny Sexton
■ Brian O’Driscoll
■ Manu Tuilagi
■ Tommy Bowe
■ Rob Kearney