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Warburton captains the Lions

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - 00:56

The Lions squad to tour New Zealand this summer will be without England captain Dylan Hartley as Welsh flanker Sam Warburton will captain the side.

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SHOWS: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (APRIL 19, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIONS HEAD COACH WARREN GATLAND, SAYING: "I think that as the guys had said before, the competition for places, you know there's going to be some players fighting for test spots, and there's no clear number one, or number two, or number three in certain positions. That's what makes us pretty excited about the quality of the squad we have going to New Zealand, the competition. We know how tough it's going to be, particularly, you know this will be the toughest tour than previous tours where the mid-week games tended to be a little bit easier but when you look at the quality of the opposition that we're playing in midweeks, it's going to be hugely challenging, and that's why we've picked a few extra players than we did in 2013, so we just need to make sure we've got the depth and quality of the squad to be able to handle the quality of the sides that we're playing and coming up against." STORY: Wales flanker Sam Warburton was confirmed as captain of the British and Irish Lions for the second time on Wednesday (April 19) but, as widely predicted, there was no place in the squad to tour New Zealand for England captain Dylan Hartley. Warburton, 28, joins England's Martin Johnson as the only men to have led the Lions twice, having skippered them on the 2013 tour of Australia. Warburton is currently out injured, and stood down from the Wales captaincy this year, but said he would be 100 percent fit. Other notable names revealed by coach Warren Gatland were Harlequins prop Kyle Sinckler, who has yet to start a test for England, England centres Jonathan Joseph and Ben Te'o and Wales number eight Ross Moriarty. In the 41-man squad there are 16 Englishmen, 12 from Wales, 11 Irish and two Scots. British and Irish Lions squad for the tour of New Zealand starting in June: Backs: Dan Biggar (Ospreys, Wales), Elliot Daly (Wasps, England), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets, Wales), Owen Farrell (Saracens, England), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon, Wales), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, England), Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland), George North (Northampton Saints, Wales), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, England), Jared Payne (Ulster Rugby, Ireland), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster Rugby, Ireland), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland), Ben Te'o (Worcester Warriors, England), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England), Rhys Webb (Ospreys, Wales), Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, England). Forwards: Rory Best (Ulster Rugby, Ireland), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, England), Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland), Jamie George (Saracens, England), Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland), Maro Itoje (Saracens, England), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales), George Kruis (Saracens, England), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England), Joe Marler (Harlequins, England), Jack McGrath (Leinster Rugby, Ireland), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby, Wales), Sean O'Brien (Leinster Rugby, Ireland), Peter O'Mahony (Munster Rugby, Ireland), Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, England), CJ Stander (Munster Rugby, Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales), Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England), Billy Vunipola (Saracens, England), Sam Warburton (Captain, Cardiff Blues, Wales)

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Warburton captains the Lions

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - 00:56