Lions 2013: Wing Cuthbert admits "mad" rise to Lions squad

Alex Cuthbert

Wing Alex Cuthbert admits his rise from Wales Sevens to the British and Irish Lions has been "mad".

The Wales and Cardiff Blues wing was named in coach Warren Gatland's 37-man British and Irish Lions squad.

Cuthbert, 23, played for Wales Sevens in the 2010 Commonwealth Games before becoming a Grand Slam winner with Wales in 2012.

"It is mad, the last two years [since] getting my opportunity with Cardiff Blues," said Cuthbert.

Cuthbert made his Wales debut against Australia in December 2011 and already has two Six Nations titles under his belt, after Wales defended their crown in the 2013 tournament.

Now the 6ft 6in wing finds himself a Lions tourist to Australia, one of 15 Welshmen selected by Lions coach Warren Gatland and his backroom staff.

"It all started three or four years ago with the Sevens, for it all to happen so quickly is a bit of a shock and I am just really proud," Cuthbert said.

"I have worked really hard and this has just topped it off really."

Cuthbert played for Wales Sevens in the IRB Sevens World Series for two years before he emerged with the Cardiff Blues in 2011.

He played in all five games of Wales' 2012 Six Nations Championship. He scored the opening try for Wales during their 27-13 victory over Scotland, then scored the second try of Wales' convincing 24-3 win over Italy.

Cuthbert scored the only try in the final game of Wales' Six Nations campaign of 2012, against France, helping them to win the Grand Slam for the third time in eight seasons.

He scored two in Wales' 30-3 victory over England in Cardiff to clinch the 2013 Six Nations title, but later revealed he played with a torn hamstring.

"It was a great feeling [to be selected in the Lions squad] and I don't think I will ever get that feeling again," said Cuthbert.

"I am proud, the family is proud and I am just looking forward to it now. The tension has been building over the last few months since the England game.

"I have not been able to play since then and I am just looking forward to the tour now.

"It is great for Welsh rugby and for Wales to get that many players named in the squad."

Lions squad for 2013 tour

Backs: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Rob Kearney (Ireland), Tommy Bowe (Ireland), Alex Cuthbert (Wales), Sean Maitland (Scotland), George North (Wales), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), Jamie Roberts (Wales), Manu Tuilagi (England), Owen Farrell (England), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Conor Murray (Ireland), Mike Phillips (Wales), Ben Youngs (England).

Forwards: Dan Cole (England), Cian Healy (Ireland), Gethin Jenkins (Wales), Adam Jones (Wales), Matt Stevens (England), Mako Vunipola (England), Dylan Hartley (England), Richard Hibbard (Wales), Tom Youngs (England), Ian Evans (Wales), Richie Gray (Scotland), Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales), Paul O'Connell (Ireland), Geoff Parling (England), Tom Croft (England), Toby Faletau (Wales), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), Dan Lydiate (Wales), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Sam Warburton (Wales).

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