Wales caretaker coach Robin McBryde has welcomed the selection of 13 Welshmen for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa this summer and will immediately start to pen the names for his own squad to tour Canada and America at the end of next month.
Ian McGeechan's loss could be McBryde's gain when it comes to those who have missed out on a spot in the squad to face the Springboks, but the focus today, for the former Wales hooker and Lions tourist, is to join the other top voices in Welsh rugby in wishing the 37-man tour party well and sending his congratulations to all those players making the trip to face the World Champions.
"All 13 deserve a great deal of credit for the hard work they have put into rugby both on and off the field allowing each of them the opportunity to take part in a tour which should be one of the highlights of an international career," said McBryde.
"Any player would relish the opportunity to tour with the Lions, but the Welsh players won't stop there, every one of them will be wanting to make that Test side and they will all know they stand a chance if they can put their hands up during the tour - they know the Lions coaches will reward them if they can show good form.
"Everyone in the Wales camp would like to wish the players all the very best. We would also like to commend our fellow coaches at the different Regions in Wales for the work they have done in supporting the international squad and the contributions they have made to producing 13 Welsh Lions - with six Blues, six Ospreys and two Scarlets we can all be very proud."
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