Cardiff Blues flyhalf Nicky Robinson has been confirmed as a back-up for the Lions’ tour of South Africa.
Lions coach Ian McGeechan has only selected two flyhalves – Stephen Jones and Ronan O’Gara – in his 37-man squad. This has been a contentious issue as McGeechan said there were too few form pivots around that could have forced their way in.
While one Welshman (Jones) has already been selected for the No 10 role, Robinson confirmed he is one of the two or three back-ups named. Other possible candidates for that position include another Welshmen in James Hook, as well as Danny Cipriani.
‘It was a bit of a shock to see his name come up on my phone on Tuesday afternoon,’ Robinson told the BBC after receiving a call from attack coach Rob Howley.
‘It’s great to be on that list. I’m just trying to finish off the season well and playing as well as I can.’
Robinson is part of the Cardiff Blues team that has reached the semis of the European Cup, but only played the last of his 12 Tests for Wales in 2006.
Wales will be touring North America at the time of the Lions tour and this should allow Robinson to remain fit for the Springbok Tests if the need arises.
McGeechan has remained mute on the other players selected to be on the standby list. When asked whether Cipriani is a likely candidate, he answered:
‘There are two or three players in every position ready and able to fly over if we pick up injuries,’ said McGeechan.
‘You can make your own mind up on whether Danny is one of those.’