Warburton named Lions captain

11:34 AM GMT

Warren Gatland has announced his British & Irish Lions squad to tour New Zealand this summer, with Wales back row Sam Warburton confirmed as captain.

Warburton becomes only the second player to captain the Lions in two different tours, following in the footsteps of former England skipper Martin Johnson.

The 28-year-old led the Lions to series victory in Australia in 2013 but stepped down as Wales captain ahead of the 2017 Six Nations, and was replaced by Alun Wyn Jones.

Warburton is currently recovering from a knee injury but is expected to be fit for this year’s tour, which takes place between June 3 and July 8.

There are of course some shock omissions from Gatland’s squad, including England captain Dylan Hartley and international teammates George Ford and Joe Launchbury.

Wales’ Ross Moriarty and Ireland’s Jared Payne come as surprise inclusions.

The squad includes 16 Englishman, 14 Welsh players 11 Irishmen and only two Scots. Sixteen of those selected for this year’s tour made the grade four years ago, while Wyn Jones and Leigh Halfpenny also featured in the 2009 tour.

More to follow…

British & Irish Lions squad to tour New Zealand

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 (captain).

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Warburton named Lions captain
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