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Lamont among top names for Classic Lions

Sean Lamont, Mike Ross and Marcus Horan will be among the heavy hitters looking to help the Classic Lions reclaim the World Rugby Classic title next month.

Lions, who previously claimed the title in 2015 with a win over the Classic All Blacks, open their campaign against France Classic Rugby in a group B match on Sunday, November 5.

Lamont, only the second Scottish player to win 100 caps for his country, retired from professional rugby last season while playing for Glasgow Warriors.

The 36-year-old centre scored 70 points for Scotland from 2004 to 2017, and 320 points during his club career, which included two spells at the Warriors. He is presently a Scottish Rugby Academy coach.

Ross, who also retired last season, made 61 appearances for Ireland, playing in two World Cups, as well as winning a pair of Six Nations titles.

The 37 year-old also won two Heineken Cups, a Challenge Cup and two Pro12 titles with Leinster. Meanwhile, Horan was capped 67 times by Ireland and was part of the side that won the Grand Slam in 2009.

The 40-year-old, who retired in 2013, also represented Ireland at the 2007 World Cup and won a pair of Heineken Cup and a Magners League with Munster.

Also named in the 24-man squad are Tomás O’Leary, a former Ireland scrum half, Gavin Kerr, who won 50 caps as a prop for Scotland, and returning players Chris Wyatt, Ceri Sweeney, David Corkery, Ritchie Rees and Neil Best.

The Lions, who were beaten 14-7 by the Classic Springboks in the semi-finals last year, will be coached by Derek McAleese, a former Ireland fly half, and managed by former Wales lock Allan Martin.

The World Rugby Classic runs from November 5 to 11, with the opening game between Classic Pumas and Rugby Canada at North Field at 2.30pm.

http://www.royalgazette.com/rugby/article/20171003/lamont-among-top-names-for-classic-lions

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