London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) May 15, 2013 -- After a great deal of speculation and with a wealth of talented players to choose from, Warren Gatland finally unveiled his 2013 dream squad on 30th April. And with just over six weeks to go until the start of this much-anticipated Tour, what can be made of his choices? Is our touring party strong enough to tackle and defeat the Wallabies?
The 37-man party certainly consists of mixture of ages, experience and talents - all designed to give this year's squad a bit of the 'wow factor'. With some older, more experienced players combined with the young, gifted, able and 'raring to go' as well as a few 'wild-cards', the 2013 British and Irish Lions team are certainly a strong touring party to contend with.
Lead and captained by Welshman Sam Warburton, the anticipation of the squad including the nationality of the majority of players has certainly been a topic of speculation and debate. After the Six Nations Grand Slam victory from Wales, it could only be predicted that the Lions squad would feature a wealth of Welshmen. With 15 Welsh players, 10 English, 9 Irish and 3 Scotsman, the tournament result has definitely been reflected in the choices offering great insights as to who is on the best form this time around.
Rugby legend, Brian O'Driscoll earned his place to become the third Irish player to embark on four Lions tours with the likes of Paul O'Connell and Gethin Jenkins joining the party for the third time.
Lions Tours are most certainly made of rugby legends. With incredible world-class action on offer at one of the most eagerly-anticipated rugby events of the year, joining the touring party can be somewhat tempting. What could be better than escaping the UK to enjoy an action-packed rugby tour, combined with the sights, sounds and beauty of one of the world's most magnificent countries? But with just over six weeks until the First Test Match in Brisbane, there is very little time to decide whether you want to join the squad for the trip of a lifetime.
Luckily Sport Abroad has a variety of packages still available, perfect if you are searching for a specific tour or looking to tailor-make your own trip. With individual Test matches on offer from £495 pp all with guaranteed match tickets and hotel accommodation, as well as Fully Escorted Lions Tours with Tour host and Lions legend John Taylor, there's still a bargain to be had.
With optimism high, John Taylor reflects on the historic tours; "In 1989 the Lions took the series 2-1 with a 19-18 victory in the Third Test and it went to the wire again in 2001with Australia coming from behind to clinch the series with a 29-23 win in the final match. I'm betting on another winner-takes-all showdown in Sydney on July 6th".
So with just over six weeks until the tour begins, pre-tour intensive training is just beginning. Let's hope that all 37 make it through this hurdle and are ready to face Australia with the skill, momentum, passion and determination that is expected!
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