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Sam Warburton to captain Lions on New Zealand tour


Thursday, 20 April 2017 :  Wales flanker Sam Warburton was confirmed as captain of the British and Irish Lions for the second time on Wednesday 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 successful 2013 tour of Australia.

Hartley misses out despite leading England to successive Six Nations titles, with his understudy Jamie George preferred at hooker alongside Rory Best and Ken Owens.

Coach Warren Gatland’s 41-man squad included a few surprises, not least England centre Jonathan Joseph, who had been widely predicted in local media to have missed out.

Fellow England centre and rugby league convert Ben Te’o was also in, as was Harlequins prop Kyle Sinckler, who has yet to start a test for England, and winger Jack Nowell, who has struggled to nail down a starting place under Eddie Jones.

England forward Maro Itoje is the youngest member of the squad at 22.

Ross Moriarty, impressive at number eight for Wales in the Six Nations, was a surprise addition, as was Ireland’s New Zealand-born utility back Jared Payne.

In the squad there are 16 Englishmen, 12 from Wales, 11 Irish and two Scots – fullback Stuart Hogg and winger Tommy Seymour. Scotland have not had a Lions test starter since prop Tom Smith in 2001.

Warburton is currently out injured, and stood down from the Wales captaincy this year, but said he would be 100 percent fit.

 

Source : Internet

 

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