British and Irish Lions 2017 squad announcement live: Sam Warburton named captain as Warren Gatland reveals squad

Live Blog

Follow the latest updates as Warren Gatland names his Lions squad to face New Zealand

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The Independent Online

Warren Gatland has named his squad for the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand as the famous Northern Hemisphere side bid to secure a first series victory over the All Blacks since 1971, having not won a match against them in 24 years. Follow the latest news here.

  • Warren Gatland names 41-man squad
  • Sam Warburton named captain for the second successive tour
  • Jonathan Joseph and Ben Te'o included but no Dylan Hartley
  • Tommy Seymour and Ross Moriarty also surprise inclusions
  • Squad split into 19 backs and 22 forwards

Follow the live action below...

Live Updates

Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of today's British and Irish Lions squad announcement, where we'll discover the full squad to tour New Zealand this summer, as well as who Warren Garland has selected as captain.

We'll also find out who misses out on the squad, and from the early tumours here at Syon Park in London, there's a few very big names.

The announcement is due to get underway in about 20 minutes time, but we'll bring you up to speed on what's already happened this morning.
It would appear that the cat is already out of the bag when it comes to the 2017 Lions captain. None of the players are due to be here today apart from the captain, and a certain Welsh flanker has been spotted arriving here already this morning.

It would appear that those of you who tipped Sam Warburton were right to do so!
So here's how the afternoon will go:
First up, Warren Gatland will tease us a little with a short Q+A about the squad.
Next, John Spencer will reveal the full squad, as well as the captain.
Then Garland will talk is through the squad along with the captain, who will be welcomed up on stage.

Not long now...
So what's the rumour mill saying? Well...
First it started yesterday that Jamie Roberts had made the cut from nowhere, but that now looks to be a false rumour, which is extremely hard on the Welsh centre and veteran of two Lions tours already.
Then came the revelation the Ben Te'o was in, ahead of England teammate Jonathan Joseph.
Over in Ireland, it emerged that Keith Earls might be in, but a rumour is just circulating now through the media that it could be Jared Payne, his Irish colleague, who has been selected.
And all the while it looks like Dylan Hartley will miss out.

Anyway, it's time to end the rumours, here we go!
We kick the announcement off with a British and Irish Lions montage, a walk back through the history of the team and what it means to be selected for the Lions.
Here comes the Lions contingent, Warren Gatland, John Spencer, Steve Borthwick, Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree, along with Neil Jenkins and Rob Howley.
Warren Gatland:
"It's the hardest one we've had but it's the strongest squad we've had"
Here's John Spencer with the official Lions squad...
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
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
And as we revealed earlier, the captain is...

Sam Warburton:
"It's hard to put into words really. The 2013 tour hasn't really set in if I'm honest.
"It's an amazing challenge and an amazing opportunity.
"I found out last Thursday, I was at the supermarket and the wife was getting some bread and milk. I hung up on Gats the first time because I thought it was the Cardiff Blues boys messing around."
Warren Gatland:
"Sam knows he needs his form to make sure he's selected."
The big news:
Jonathan Joseph is IN the squad along with Ben Te'o, meaning that the rumours of Joseph's snub were way off the mark. Jared Payne has indeed beaten Keith Earls to a spot, while Tommy Seymour also gets a spot in the backs.
Among the forwards is someone who no one mentioned in Ross Moriarty, who gets in at the expense of Donnacha Ryan. While there is indeed no Dylan Hartley.
Here's the full 41-man squad for the British and Irish Lions:
Props: Dan Cole, Tadhg Furlong, Joe Marler, Jack McGrath, Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola
Hookers: Rory Best, Jamie George, Ken Owens
Locks: Iain Henderson, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes
Flankers: Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton
No 8s: Taulupe Faletau, Ross Moriarty, Billy Vunipola
Scrum-halves: Conor Murray, Rhys Webb, Ben Youngs
Fly-halves: Dan Biggar, Jonathan Sexton
Centres: Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell, Robbie Henshaw, Jonathan Joseph, Jared Payne, Ben Te’o
Wings: Elliot Daly, George North, Jack Nowell, Anthony Watson
Full-backs: Leigh Halfpenny, Stuart Hogg, Liam Williams

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Tour schedule

3 June: New Zealand Provincial Barbarians (Toll Stadium, Whangarei)

7 June: Blues (Eden Park, Auckland)

10 June: Crusaders (AMI Stadium, Christchurch)

13 June: Highlanders (Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin)

17 June: Maori All Blacks (Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua)

20 June: Chiefs (FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton)

24 June: New Zealand – First Test (Eden Park, Auckland)

27 June: Hurricanes (Westpac Stadium, Wellington)

1 July: New Zealand – Second Test (Westpac Stadium, Wellington)

8 July: New Zealand – Third Test (Eden Park, Auckland)