Welsh prop Adam Jones has expressed his delight at being picked to start the first match of the British and Irish Lions tour when they face the Barbarians in Hong Kong.

Head coach Warren Gatland announced the team for Saturday's encounter yesterday, naming Ireland lock Paul O'Connell as captain.

Jones said in his BBC column: "I am chuffed to bits to be starting the first game of the tour against the Barbarians. 

"Obviously it was on the cards I would be involved, with so many of the other guys involved in finals and not being able to attend our training camps. But it is still great to hear your name read out."

Jones has made 88 appearances for Wales, while also making two Lions appearance in their tour to South Africa in 2009.

The game on Saturday is the Lions first warm up game before they travel to Australia to take on the Wallabees in three tests, starting June 22.

Jones added: "It is great to get a chance to put down a marker early in the tour. It will also be great to play against two good mates, Paul James (starting at loose-head prop for the Barbarians) and Duncan Jones (on the bench), who I have played so much of my rugby with at the Ospreys."

It is the Lions first tour to Australia in 12 years, when they were defeated 2-1 in a three match series in 2001.

As well as facing the Barbarians and Australia, the Lions will face five other warm up games before the first test in Brisbane.

Jones is one of nine Welshmen in the starting XV for the game on Saturday.


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