British & Irish Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland has announced his squad for the 2013 Lions Tour to Australia this summer with Sam Warburton as captain.
There’s no place for Jonny Wilkinson, Ryan Jones, England captain Chris Robshaw or Ireland captain Rory Best, but there are places for ex-international prop Matt Stevens and rookie winger Sean Maitland.
Warburton becomes the 28th captain of the British & Irish Lions, but only the 4th Welsh captain of the Lions. Gatland said “In the last 12 months the composition of the touring party and the appointment of the captain has created much speculation and debate, and today it is great that we at last announce our captain and players to represent the very best of British & Irish rugby. Being selected as a Lion is a huge honour for a player and marks a major highlight in his career.
“I would particularly like to congratulate Sam who becomes one of the youngest ever Lions captains. We have an existing working relationship through the Wales team and Sam is an impressive individual and natural leader and I look forward to working with him in the coming weeks and on the Tour.”
On becoming Lions captain Warburton said “Being selected as a British & Irish Lions tourist is itself a huge honour and something that I, like all players, have dreamed about. To be asked to lead the Tour as captain to Australia is unbelievable and I am very, very honored to be asked.
“It is a proud honour for me, Cardiff Blues and Wales, and to follow in the steps of former Welsh Lions’ captains such as John Dawes and Phil Bennett is amazing. As the latest custodian I will endeavor to do the very best job I can.
“The Tour to Hong Kong and Australia will be a huge challenge against one of the top three teams in the world. However, I am confident that we have the ambition, talent and attitude to mount a serious challenge against the Wallabies on their home soil and return victorious.”
The squad reads as follows:
Alun Wyn Jones
Sam Warburton (c)
Check out our full list of squad profiles on our squad page.