Head coach Warren Gatland and his team have unveiled the British and Irish Lions squad for their 2017 New Zealand tour.
The announcement brings an end to months of speculation, heightened in the build up this morning by the circulation of a photo depicting captain hopeful, Sam Warburton. The 2017 British and Irish Lions New Zealand tour will see them play ten matches during June and July this year, including against the New Zealand Barbarians, Maori All Blacks, and three test matches against New Zealand.
Ahead of the announcement Gatland alluded to “heavy debate”, and that the final decision was finalised only yesterday.
The announced squad looks like this:
Props: Dan Cole, Tadhg Furlong, Joe Marler, Jack McGrath, Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola.
Hookers: Rory Best, Jamie George, Ken Owens.
Locks: Iain Henderson, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes.
Back rows: Taulupe Faletau, Ross Moriarty, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Justin Tipuric, Billy Vunipola, Sam Warburton (c).
Scrum-halves: Conor Murray, Rhys Webb, Ben Youngs.
Fly-halves: Dan Biggar, Owen Farrell, Jonathan Sexton.
Centres: Jonathan Davies, Robbie Henshaw, Jonathan Joseph, Ben Te’o.
Back three: Elliot Daly, Leigh Halfpenny, Stuart Hogg, George North, Jack Nowell, Jared Payne, Tommy Seymour, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams.
Confirmed as only the second player to captain the Lions on two tours, Sam Warburton explained how he found out a week ago whilst in a supermarket car park. Speaking of his injury, he notes that he’s aware of how to manage it, and that he’ll be 100% fit by the start of the tour.
Gatland added that his selection was based on his former performance in 2013, and that he’s the “right man for the job”.
There are eight returning Lions in the squad.
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