Peter O’Mahony will captain the British & Irish Lions in the first Test against New Zealand on Saturday – with seven players from the Guinness PRO12 named in the starting line-up.
There will be a further five players from the Guinness PRO12 on the bench, and inevitably their selection created plenty of reaction on social media.
Here we’ve picked out some of the best responses, starting with Munster winger Simon Zebo, congratulating his teammate and good friend O’Mahony:
Played together for 22 years,what a captain & player..well deserved #832 pic.twitter.com/RCsbxe7asl
— Simon Zebo (@SimonZebo) June 22, 2017
It wasn’t just his teammates who were pleased for O’Mahony, some international opponents heaped praise on the flanker, including Wales and former Cardiff Blues centre Jamie Roberts:
Excited for the 23 lads selected to become Test Lions Saturday.Some achievement for skip @peterom6 .An incredible opportunity for the lions🦁
— Jamie Roberts (@Jamiehuwroberts) June 21, 2017
Ronan O’Gara went on three Lions tours and was part of the same Munster team as O’Mahony, he was thrilled for his former teammate:
What an achievement for @peterom6 .Follows in the footsteps of greats like Johnston,O’Driscoll and O’Connell.
Cork will be rocking on Sat.
— Ronan O Gara (@RonanOGara10) June 21, 2017
Captain and coach the last time the Lions toured New Zealand, Brian O’Driscoll and Sir Clive Woodward both gave their backing to O’Mahony as captain:
— Brian O’Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) June 21, 2017
— Sir Clive Woodward (@CliveWoodward) June 21, 2017
Munster, meanwhile, came up with a lovely selection of pictures of O’Mahony through the years:
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) June 21, 2017
While O’Mahony’s captaincy was the headline call, he was far from the only player from the Guinness PRO12 included. Leinster have four players in the 23, including Sean O’Brien, seen here tackling Lions teammate Rhys Webb nearly a decade ago!
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) June 21, 2017
New Ross, the first club of Tadhg Furlong, have been working on their own tribute to the Leinster and Lions tighthead:
— New Ross RFC (@NewRossRFC2014) June 21, 2017
Guinness PRO12 champions Scarlets have three players in the matchday 23, with starts for Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies and Ken Owens on the bench:
— Scarlets Rugby (@scarlets_rugby) June 21, 2017
And of course the Ospreys have a pair of players involved, Alun Wyn Jones starting in the second row and the aforementioned Rhys Webb providing scrum-half cover on the bench:
— Ospreys (@ospreys) June 21, 2017
For Alun Wyn Jones, that means a seventh successive Lions Test cap, going all the way back to South Africa eight years ago. The last time he didn’t feature in a Lions Test was in New Zealand in 2005!
👏 A fantastic achievement from Alun Wyn Jones!
— BBC ScrumV (@BBCScrumV) June 22, 2017
And of course the Cardiff Blues provide Sam Warburton on the bench, here’s a picture of him after a game earlier in the tour:
— Cardiff Blues (@cardiff_blues) June 21, 2017