1. ITV Report

British and Irish Lions 41-man squad announced

Sam Warburton will lead the Lions. Credit: PA

Warren Gatland has named his 41-man tour party who will head to New Zealand later this year.

Wales flanker Sam Warburton will captain the team, his second time leading the British and Irish Lions.

The squad includes 16 Englishmen, 11 Irishmen, 12 Welshmen and just two Scots.


Backs: Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell, Leigh Halfpenny, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Jonathan Joseph, Conor Murray, George North, Jack Nowell, Jared Payne, Jonathan Sexton, Tommy Seymour, Ben Te'o, Anthony Watson, Rhys Webb, Liam Williams, Ben Youngs

Forwards: Rory Best, Dan Cole, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Jack McGrath, Ross Moriarty, Sean O'Brien, Peter O'Mahony, Ken Owens, Kyle Sinckler, CJ Stander, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Billy Vunipola, Sam Warburton

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Captain Sam Warburton said he found out he would be leading the Lions while stood in a supermarket car park last Thursday.

"I feel humbled and extremely proud to be given the opportunity to captain the Lions for a second tour, and look forward to playing the world champions on their own turf with the best players of the UK and Ireland at my side," Warburton said.

One man who won't be travelling to New Zealand is Dylan Hartley after he was omitted from the squad.

Hartley is the third successive England captain to miss out, following in the footsteps of Chris Robshaw and Steve Borthwick, but the RBS 6 Nations champions still supply the largest contingent, numbering 16 players.

The Lions staff present at the announcement. Credit: PA

Coach Gatland, who is leading the Lions for the third time, says this squad was the hardest squad to pick so far and that he only decided on the final selection on Tuesday afternoon.

Gatland praised his captain, saying: "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.

"He has earned the respect of his peers and coaches through his resilience, tenacity and hard work."

Jared Payne, right, has made the cut. Credit: PA

Wasps tweeted to say they were "gobsmacked" that Joe Launchbury was not included in the list of players to travel.

Launchbury was in fine form throughout the Six Nations but was still overlooked by the coaches.