British and Irish Lions: Dream come true for Justin Tipuric
British and Irish Lions flanker Justin Tipuric admits it is "unreal" to be named in the side to face the Barbarians.
Last Updated: 01/06/13 12:50pm
Tipuric has been named in an all-Wales back-row - alongside Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau - for the opening match of the tour in Hong Kong.
The 23-year-old gets his chance in the No 7 shirt, though, after tour captain Sam Warburton was ruled out with a slight knee injury.
However Tipuric is excited about getting the chance to represent the Lions.
"It was a bit of a shock but you dream of that and to actually put on that Lions jersey is a bit unreal at the minute," said Tipuric, who found out earlier in the week that he would be starting.
"It was hard but it is nice that it was kept quiet. I think a lot of the boys have been so excited to tell people but everyone has done a good job to keep it quiet."
Despite being involved in the tour's official curtain-raiser, Tipuric insists he will prepare as normal.
"You just have to concentrate," he said. "Nothing has changed really, you just have to go out there and play with a smile on your face.
"You just want to take your chance and it is up to us as a team to really go out there and perform."
Watch every Lions game live only on Sky Sports. To sign up or upgrade click here