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08th Mar 2017

British and Irish Lions squad announcement date revealed and it’s a lot sooner than we thought

Not long to go now

Patrick McCarry

Recent announcements have come after the European Cup semi finals. This year, Warren Gatland will let the lucky men know before those semis take place.

On April 30, 2013, Gatland named a Lions squad that would ultimately go on and defeat Australia in a fiercely contested Test Series.

This time out, he is jumping the gun.

Gatland will be joined by his coaching staff at the Hilton London Syon Park on Wednesday, April 19 to name his touring party.

He will also be joined by the man he has chosen to captain the Lions. In recent weeks, England’s Owen Farrell and Ireland’s Conor Murray have been mooted as potential captains.

Former Ireland international Paddy Wallace told The Hard Yards rugby podcast that the captaincy, and picking the right man, is vital. He said:

“Especially with all the different nations coming together, cliques develop and you need strong leadership to bring everyone together.

“That is why Paul O’Connell was so respected as a captain – because he brought that leadership and bound the squad together.

“You need that, especially with some of the English in the squad. You need everyone to buy into the Lions jersey and not just their own nations.”

Catch up with this week’s episode of 888sport Football Friday Live