The Lions: Matt Stevens admits he is shocked to be included in squad

Last Updated: 01/05/13 3:43pm

  • Share:
Matt Stevens: Shocked at Lions call-up

Matt Stevens: Shocked at Lions call-up

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Saracens prop Matt Stevens admits he was surprised to be named in Warren Gatland's Lions squad.

The former England man was perhaps the most surprising name in the 37-man squad for this summer's tour of Australia, given that he retired from international rugby a year ago.

Few pundits were tipping him to be included, but he will travel with Sarries team-mates Mako Vunipola and Owen Farrell.

"I didn't expect the chance to play international rugby again, to be truthful," he said.

"I obviously decided not to represent England; I had my reasons and it was the most difficult decision I've ever had to make as a rugby player, but this is a one-off experience that you just can't turn down."
Matt Stevens

"I obviously decided not to represent England; I had my reasons and it was the most difficult decision I've ever had to make as a rugby player, but this is a one-off experience that you just can't turn down.

"It's such a huge honour and privilege to play for the British and Irish Lions I just couldn't refuse the chance to do so."

Stevens found out the news via Twitter whilst sitting on the train with his wife.

"It still hasn't really sunk in yet," he said. "I didn't necessarily expect to get picked. I didn't get any inkling that I would be included so I'm sure no one knew that they were picked until their names were read out."

Special

"I've been on tour before (New Zealand 2005, though he did not play a Test) and I know how amazing it can be. Lions tours are so special; it doesn't really make much sense but it just comes together in a magical way.

"You have that mutual respect for each other; players you have played against or alongside, players of real calibre are thrown together and with very little time. It's a very special experience.

"It's great that Owen and Mako have been included. Speaking as a front rower, Mako is a very special player; he makes all us props look pedestrian with his ability with ball in hand and his footwork.

"I remember my first tour in 2005, all us young players were sponges, taking in as much as we could from some fantastic players and professionals, so I'm sure Mako will be the same. He deserves his chance."

Watch the every Lions game live and exclusive only on Sky Sports. To sign up or upgrade click here

  • Share:

Related

Lions squad named

The Wilkinson factor

The Rugby Club panel discuss Jonny Wilkinson's absence from the Lions squad and the fly-half position.

Brian O'Driscoll: Sister told the Ireland star he was going on the Lions trip

Sister gives BOD the good news

Brian O'Driscoll has spoken about how he found out about his inclusion on the forthcoming Lions Tour - from his sister!

The new British and Irish Lions skipper Sam Warburton

Roaring Lions

Following the Lions squad announcement, we look at the reactions to the Class of 2013.

Most Popular

Features

Wondrous Wilkinson

Wondrous Wilkinson

From Newcastle to Toulon, via Australia; Sky Sports looks back at the remarkable career of Jonny Wilkinson.

Raising the bar

Raising the bar

Mike Brown is looking to take his game to another level during the QBE Internationals.

Greatest Lions XV

Greatest Lions XV

The voting has been fierce but we can finally reveal our Greatest Lions XV of the modern era.