Adam Jones column: Lowdown on Lions aiming to make history

Adam Jones


ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Saturday, 6 July
11:00 BST (20:00 local)
Live text commentary on BBC Sport website, updates on BBC Radio 5 live

British and Irish Lions prop Adam Jones has been taking us behind the scenes of their Australia tour in a series of columns for BBC Sport. On the eve of the final-Test decider in Sydney, Adam gives us his lowdown on the players aiming to win a first series in 16 years.

15 - Leigh Halfpenny, aka "Pence"

Leigh Halfpenny

I had the honour of winning my 50th cap when he won his first. To see him change from the little winger he was then to one of the best full-backs in the world, and the best goal-kicker on the planet, has been a pleasure. Still very quiet but when he speaks, you listen.

Most popular player in the team with the opposite sex; young girls go weak at the knees over him. Very similar-looking to the boys from One Direction. As much as he thinks he has a good voice... he most definitely doesn't.

14 - Tommy Bowe, aka "Bowey"

Tommy Bowe

The most intelligent winger I've ever played with. Has a great understanding of the game and knows when to pop up in the right areas to cause damage.

Has come back amazingly quickly from a broken hand. And I always thought he was pretty soft! One of the most famous men in Ireland, when he was with us at the Ospreys, he was mobbed everywhere he went. Something to do with a song he sang after a game in 2009. Not sure which game. He scored in that one too.

13 - Jonathan Davies, aka "Fox"

Jonathan Davies

Outstanding on this tour and deserves his place in the Test team. Strong, direct runner who is actually pretty quick. Was earmarked for glory from a young age because of his sheer size, scrum cap and ability to power clean 140kg at the age of 10!

A proud Scarlet who will always back his team-mates up, especially in derby games when he's been known to ask the Ospreys pack to stop picking on his Scarlets forwards.

12 - Jamie Roberts, aka "Doc"

Jamie Roberts

The go-to man when you need to get over the gain-line. A huge bloke and runs very hard lines which cause defences lots of problems. Obviously very intelligent as he's a doctor. I take my hat off to him. Puts my three GCSEs to shame.

Talented singer and guitar player, very much in the David Brent mould. He's looking forward to the Parisian lifestyle, scooting around on his Vespa. Hope he can get a big enough helmet!

11 - George North, no nickname

George North

World class. Will take the rugby world by storm when he gets older. Still hasn't grown into his body, which is a frightening thought. Great to have someone like that in your team - bigger than a number eight and who can run and step better then Shane Williams.

A lovely boy, incredibly grounded with a fantastic family backing him up. His girlfriend is a world champion cyclist so he's not even the best sportsperson in his house. Think of those genes.

10 - Jonathan Sexton, aka "Sexto"

Jonathan Sexton

To use a phrase commonly used by the Irish boys, he is some player. Studies the game like no-one I've met before, and meticulous in his preparation. Expects very high standards from others and if you don't reach them, he is pretty quick to give you a rollocking.

The most angry player I've played with, which is sometimes a good thing with your fly-half. I'm a little concerned how he is going to vent his frustrations when he's running the show with Racing Metro in Paris. Saying that, there are a few words which translate universally.

9 - Mike Phillips, aka "Philsy" and "The Spaniard"

Mike Phillips

Back in the team after a knee problem and relishing the opportunity to boss the game. Lots written about how he hasn't been on form but I've known him for 10 years and he will relish the challenge.

Voted the best-looking player at the 2011 World Cup. To be fair he didn't go on about it... much. Backs his ability almost as much as his looks. Recently nicknamed "The Koala" - he has the same colouring.

1 - Alex Corbisiero, aka "Corbs" (imaginative!)

Alex Corbisiero

Called up late for the tour but has forced his way into the Test team. A class player, very dynamic. Loves WWE (wrestling), which is a bit odd. Strangely, a very good rapper. Must be his American roots.

2 - Richard Hibbard, aka "Fatrick Swayze", "Keith Lard" and many more.

Richard Hibbard

So pleased for him firstly to get on the tour, but then to get three Test caps - something he would have never imagined. Tough man - the self-proclaimed hardest in British rugby.

Worked on the doors in Port Talbot when he was 12 and apparently could have played rugby league for St Helens. Hmm, not sure about that.

3 - Adam Jones, aka "Bomb"

Adam Jones

Truly honoured to be picked for this tour and for the Tests. I appreciate it's going to be my last tour so I want to leave with a series win. Not sure how people see me in the team but hopefully in a good light. Hopefully I'll be able to dig in for a few years yet and get to the next World Cup.

Starting to feel the bumps now; I used to think when the older boys were saying that, they were taking the mick. Little did I know.

4 - Alun Wyn Jones, aka "Gwyn boots" or "AWJ"

Alun Wyn Jones

Fantastic player, amazing work-rate for such a big guy and you know he will be giving 110% every game. Will do an amazing job as captain.

Saying that, he sometimes sounds as if he's eaten a thesaurus which can cause confusion in the team-talks when some of the players (Ian Evans, "Hibbs") have no idea what he's on about. Has a fantastic singing voice too. Definitely a bit of Bryan Adams about him.

5 - Geoff Parling, aka "Jeff" (again, not very imaginative)

Geoff Parling

Good North East boy who has had an excellent tour. Bosses the line-out for every team he plays for, whether it's us, England or Leicester. One of these guys who studies it inside and out.

Some call him boring, but I call him thorough. Found out quite early in the tour we are quite like-minded with regards to our cynicism about everything recovery-related or trying out new things.

6 - Dan Lydiate, aka "Lyds" (hmm)

Dan Lydiate

Dan is a one-man wrecking machine; has made the chop tackle a thing of beauty and probably the best exponent of it in the rugby world. A fellow Powys lad like myself, I hope we get the joint Brecon and Radnor sportsman of the year award. I think he's won it three years on the trot.

Very jealous that the next player gets a sponsored tractor (anyone reading who can help, call his agent). Likes nothing better than going back to his family farm to ride on the sheep.

7 - Sean O'Brien, aka "Seany"

Sean O'Brien

Didn't know this guy too well before the tour, but one of the most 'clean off' blokes I've met. Fantastic player, amazing ball-carrier and I literally can't understand a word he says. Apparently he is the CEO of his local rugby team (Tullow), which plays in the lower leagues.

Quite the businessman, he used to get his gran to make bread and sell it to the Irish boys for a 100% profit. So obviously not as much of a twerp as he looks! Only joking, wish I'd thought of that.

8 - Toby Faletau, aka "Tobe"

Toby Faletau

Amazing player. Burst onto the scene just before the 2011 World Cup as a young fella and looks like he's been there for years. Very good feet for a big man and very quick.

Doesn't say a great deal to anyone apart from "Tips" [Justin Tipuric] and Mako [Vunipola]. Spends a great deal of time on the Xbox and table tennis table, and up there as the best in the squad in both.

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