Sunday 24 September 2017

Jonny Sexton's Lions jersey presented to UK Prime Minister as squad honoured at Downing Street

British Lions tour manager Andy Irvine, left, presents Prime Minister David Cameron, with a No.10 Lions shirt as tour captain Sam Warburton looks on during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.
British Lions tour manager Andy Irvine, left, presents Prime Minister David Cameron, with a No.10 Lions shirt as tour captain Sam Warburton looks on during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.
Brian O'Driscoll and his wife Amy Huberman arrive for a reception for the British and Irish Lions with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street in London
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron poses with the Lions rugby squad - including Tommy Bowe, Jamie Heaslip, Sean O'Brien, Rob Kearney, Rory Best, Paul O'Connell, Conor Murray and Brian O'Driscoll - at Downing Street in London today
British and Irish Lions rugby squad captain Sam Warburton (L) and head coach Warren Gatland arrive on Downing Street with the Tom Richards Cup before meeting David Cameron in London
British and Irish Lions rugby squad captain Sam Warburton (L) and head coach Warren Gatland pose on Downing Street with the Tom Richards Cup before meeting Britain Prime Minister David Cameron
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (C), tour manager Andy Irvine (center R) and head coach Warren Gatland (center L) pose together with members of the British and Irish Lions rugby squad on Downing Street in London
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (C), tour manager Andy Irvine (center R) and head coach Warren Gatland pose with members of the British and Irish Lions rugby squad on Downing Street
Jonny Sexton, British & Irish Lions, celebrates after scoring his side's second try in the final test

Richard Wheeler

FROM the custodian of one No.10 to another - David Cameron was today presented with a Jonny Sexton jersey as he welcomed the victorious Lions rugby squad for a reception in Downing Street.

Mr Cameron was presented with fly-half Jonny Sexton's number 10 jersey and remarked his son Arthur had been inspired to play rugby because of the Lions' exploits in Australia.

He said: "It's a huge honour. My son, just because of you guys, has just started tag rugby. He will be so excited about this jersey."

Mr Cameron congratulated captain Sam Warburton and coach Warren Gatland as they brought along the Tom Richards Cup to Number 10.

They were joined by most of the squad - including Irish players Tommy Bowe, Jamie Heaslip, Sean O'Brien, Rob Kearney, Rory Best, Paul O'Connell, Conor Murray and Brian O'Driscoll - but ironically Jonny Sexton was not present. 

Sexton is understood to be training with club side Racing Metro in France and could not make the event.

Brian O'Driscoll couldn't hide his delight as he arrived with wife Amy Huberman at No.10.

Inside, Mr Cameron said to Lions captain Sam Warburton: "Come tell me all about it, what it felt like to lift the cup."

Mr Warburton joked: "Heavy. I shared it so it made it a bit easier."

England centre Manu Tuilagi was forced to apologise for a prank on Mr Cameron during the event.

Tuilagi gave Cameron 'bunny ears' while stood behind and to the left of the Conservative Party leader as a group of players and management posed for a photo at the function.

Using Twitter to express his remorse for the incident, the Leicester Tigers centre said: "Apologies for messing around on Lions photo. No offence intended. Great Day at Downing Street. Thanks to Prime Minister for hosting us."

The Lions emerged victorious in a three-match series with Australia during the summer and Sexton played a key role in the third Test, including scoring a try in the 41-16 win.

The touring side, comprised of players from Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland, won the first and third tests to secure a 2-1 triumph.

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