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Former captain Brian O'Driscoll presents Lions with Test shirts

Brian O'Driscoll presented the British and Irish Lions players with their first Test shirts in Auckland on Friday - 12 years after being spear-tackled out of action against New Zealand.

The former Ireland captain played in eight Lions Tests across four successive tours from 2001 to 2013.

He also won 133 Ireland caps as one of the greatest players of his generation.

But the 38-year-old had no chance to impress in the Tests when the Lions last toured New Zealand in 2005, being on the receiving end of an illegal tackle by All Blacks pair Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu.

O'Driscoll, the 2005 Lions captain, suffered a dislocated shoulder and was sidelined for six months as a result of the incident, which happened during the opening moments of a first Test clash in Christchurch that the Lions went on to lose 21-3.

The traditional and cherished shirt presentations to the match-day squad are a feature of Lions tours, with former playing stars and coaches invited to hand over jerseys to each selected player in turn.

And O'Driscoll was afforded the honour on this occasion as the Lions prepare for Saturday's series opener against New Zealand at Eden Park, with recipients including Ireland flanker Peter O'Mahony, who skippers the Lions this weekend.

Pictures posted on the Lions' official Twitter feed showed O'Driscoll presenting O'Mahony with his shirt, and also to replacement first Test hooker Ken Owens as the squad looked on.

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