Gatland names Lions team

Coach Warren Gatland has named nine Welsh players in his Lions team to face the Barbarians in Hong Kong, with another two on the bench.

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Sam Warburton 'an absolute professional' - Gatland

Warren Gatland says Sam Warburton's professionalism and leadership skills are the reasons he selected him as his captain.

In the last two or three years he's been the most successful captain in the Northern Hemisphere.

I have a huge amount of respect for Sam. He's an absolute professional and he leads from the front.

Gatland admitted it had been tough to leave out the likes of Robshaw and Wilkinson.

There was a robust debate about the squad and there were healthy discussions for every position.

Some real quality players have missed out. We had a thorough process and it's been tough.

He did offer hope to those left out, however, saying: "If you look at previous tours, six to eight players get injured and there will be a group of back-up players who can be called upon."

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