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19th Apr 2017

A couple of surprise decisions as Warren Gatland names Lions squad for New Zealand tour


Patrick McCarry

Warren Gatland has named his 2017 British & Irish Lions squad for the summer tour to New Zealand and there are a few surprise calls.

Gatland has named a 41-man squad to take on the world champion All Blacks and there are 16 English players included, but no space for a couple of high-profile names. The shock inclusions are versatile Ireland international Jared Payne and England centre Jonathan Joseph, who was earlier reported as a high-profile man to miss out.

As we already knew, after a leaked picture surfaced earlier today, Welsh flanker Sam Warburton will captain the Lions. The 28-year-old led the Lions to a 2-1 series win over Australia in 2013 but missed the final Test after tearing his hamstring.

Dylan Hartley, Joe Launchbury and Mike Brown are three high profile English players to miss out on the tour while the Scots only have two representatives.


Props: Jack McGrath, Tadhg Furlong, Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Dan Cole

Hookers: Rory Best, Ken Owens, Jamie George

Locks: Iain Henderson, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Alun Wyn Jones

Flankers: Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Sam Warburton (captain), Justin Tipuric

No 8: Billy Vunipola, Toby Faletau, Ross Moriarty

Scrum-halves: Conor Murray, Ben Youngs, Rhys Webb

Out-halves: Johnny Sexton, Owen Farrell, Dan Biggar

Centres: Robbie Henshaw, Jared Payne, Jonathan Davies, Jonathan Joseph, Ben Te’o

Back three: Tommy Seymour, Stuart Hogg, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jack Nowell, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams