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British & Irish Lions Squad Announced

2017 Lions Captain Sam Warburton

The squad for the British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand in June and July 2017 has been announced by Head Coach Warren Gatland in London today.

The squad contains 41 players with former Wales captain Sam Warburton announced as the captain for the second Lions Tour in a row.  Warburton becomes only the second man to captain the Lions after Martin Johnson who captained the 1997 and 2001 tours.

Head Coach Warren Gatland said “Sam is a great player, an outstanding leader and a winning Lions captain. We believe that Sam’s experience and leadership qualities make him an obvious choice as captain.  He has earned the respect of his peers and coaches through his resilience, tenacity and hard work.”

The full squad list is as follows:

Backs

Dan Biggar – Ospreys, Wales
Elliot Daly – Wasps, England
Jonathan Davies – Scarlets, Wales, Lions #778
Owen Farrell – Saracens, England, Lions #780
Leigh Halfpenny – Toulon, Wales, Lions #775
Robbie Henshaw – Leinster Rugby, Ireland
Stuart Hogg – Glasgow Warriors, Scotland, Lions #783
Jonathan Joseph – Bath Rugby, England
Conor Murray – Munster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #790
George North – Northampton Saints, Wales, Lions #792
Jack Nowell – Exeter Chiefs, England
Jared Payne – Ulster Rugby, Ireland
Jonathan Sexton – Leinster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #791
Tommy Seymour – Glasgow Warriors, Scotland
Ben Te’o – Worcester Warriors, England
Anthony Watson – Bath Rugby, England
Rhys Webb – Ospreys, Wales
Liam Williams – Scarlets, Wales
Ben Youngs – Leicester Tigers, England, Lions #799

Forwards

Rory Best – Ulster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #793
Dan Cole – Leicester Tigers, England, Lions #794
Taulupe Faletau – Bath Rugby, Wales, Lions #779
Tadhg Furlong – Leinster Rugby, Ireland
Jamie George – Saracens, England
Iain Henderson – Ulster Rugby, Ireland
Maro Itoje – Saracens, England
Alun Wyn Jones – Ospreys, Wales, Lions #761
George Kruis – Saracens, England
Courtney Lawes – Northampton Saints, England
Joe Marler – Harlequins, England
Jack McGrath – Leinster Rugby, Ireland
Ross Moriarty  – Gloucester Rugby, Wales
Sean O’Brien – Leinster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #796
Peter O’Mahony – Munster Rugby, Ireland
Ken Owens – Scarlets, Wales
Kyle Sinckler – Harlequins, England
CJ Stander – Munster Rugby, Ireland
Justin Tipuric – Ospreys, Wales, Lions #786
Mako Vunipola – Saracens, England, Lions #787
Billy Vunipola – Saracens, England
Sam Warburton (Captain) – Cardiff Blues, Wales, Lions #800

Notable absentees include the current international captains of England and Scotland, Dylan Hartley and Grieg Laidlaw, who will both be disappointed to miss out,  Those also going to be disappointed at missing out include Joe Launchbury of England, Johnny and Ritchie Gray of Scotland amongst others.

Scotland will be particularly disappointed to only have two representatives in the touring party given their recent uplift in form throughout the last year.

All players who miss out will remain on standby for late call up as the inevitable injuries take their toll before and during the tour.

Warren Gatland said “We know how tough its going to be.  You look at the quality of the opposition and is going to hugely challenging.  We need to ensure we have a depth of quality in the squad.”

Captain Sam Warburton said “I only saw that squad five minutes ago. Every one of those guys is a top class player.”

The British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand takes place in June and July 2017.

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