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More woe for Hartley, Scots as Lions squad for NZ announced

20 April 2017
More woe for Hartley, Scots as Lions squad for NZ announced

Another hotly anticipated squad announcement for the British and Irish Lions threw up familiar tales of woe for England captain Dylan Hartley and Scottish rugby on Wednesday.

Now 31-year-old Northampton front row Hartley looks set to lead England on a two-Test tour of Argentina instead after Gatland opted to select Ireland captain Rory Best, Wales's Ken Owens and George as his three Lions hookers.

England captain Dylan Hartley was omitted from the squad and is the third successive England captain to miss out, following in the footsteps of Chris Robshaw and Steve Borthwick.

Warburton stood down from the Wales captaincy this season and is now out with a knee injury.

"We've got to earn some respect a little bit from the New Zealand public, we have a few bridges to mend from 2005", he said in reference to the last Lions tour there under Clive Woodward.

'I found out last Thursday, ' he said. I was just in the supermarket auto park, my wife was getting some bread and milk.

Reflecting on the appointment, 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". Jared Payne was included after his impressive showing against England and Ross Moriarty rewarded for some explosive performances for Wales last summer in New Zealand and the Six Nations.

Scrum half Conor Murray and fellow back row man Peter O'Mahony will join Stander from Munster on the 10 match tour, while Owen Farrell, Mako and Billy Vunipola, Jamie George, George Kruis and Maro Itoje make up the Saracens contingent.

"I have to feel I deserve my place in the Lions team".

"That really hit home to how big a deal it is, especially this time around with New Zealand, arguably the toughest tour".

"It was the pinnacle of my career", Warburton said about the 2013 captaincy, "but this is another step up because it's New Zealand".

"He's bounced back from a lot of things and there's no doubt that's exactly what he'll do now'".

In the 41-man squad there are 16 Englishmen, 12 from Wales, 11 Irish and two Scots.

The British and Irish Lions head to New Zealand this summer for a ten-match series, including three Tests against the mighty All Blacks. talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 will bring you EXCLUSIVE coverage of every match, beginning on June 3 with the tour match against the New Zealand Barbarians. This video surfaced a year ago when Furlong really announced himself on the Irish team, and we reckon we should send it on to New Zealand to strike absolute fear into their ranks ahead of the Lions Tour.

"We believe the three we've picked have the mix we need for what we want to do in New Zealand".

But Te'o has flourished to become the first ever Worcester Warriors player to be selected for the Lions.