England players earn British & Irish Lions selection

  • First Test versus New Zealand on 24 June
  • 16 England players selected for the tour
  • How social media reacted

England players have earned selection for this summer’s British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

Head coach Warren Gatland has chosen 16 Englishman in his squad for the three Tests in Auckland (24 June), Wellington (1 July) and Auckland (8 July).

Forwards Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Dan Cole, Jamie George, George Kruis, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes and Billy Vunipola have been named.

They are joined by backs Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly, Jonathan Joseph, Ben Te’o, Anthony Watson and Jack Nowell in the squad.

England captain Dylan Hartley has missed out on selection while Sam Warburton has been confirmed as Lions captain for the 10-match tour which begins on 3 June.

"There has been healthy debate around the squad, now it has been announced let's get behind them," said Gatland.

"The competition for places makes us excited heading to New Zealand. We've got the depth and quality to handle the opposition we face."

Joining the 16 Englishman in New Zealand will be 12 from Wales, 11 from Ireland and two from Scotland, making up a 41-man squad.

The squad consists of 22 forwards and 19 backs, with Saracens and England forward Itoje the youngest player at the age of 22.

Speaking about his decision to pick Wales' Warburton as Lions captain, Gatland added: "Sam is a great player, an outstanding leader and a winning Lions captain.

"We believe that Sam's experience and leadership qualities make him an obvious choice as captain. He has earned the respect of his peers and coaches through his resilience, tenacity and hard work."

British and Irish Lions 2017 squad

Forwards:

Rory Best (Ireland), Dan Cole (England), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), George Kruis (England), Courtney Lawes (England), Joe Marler (England), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Ross Moriarty (Wales), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Peter O'Mahony (Ireland), Ken Owens (Wales), Kyle Sinckler (England), CJ Stander (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Billy Vunipola (England), Mako Vunipola (England), Sam Warburton (Wales)

Backs:

Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell (England), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Jonathan Joseph (England), Conor Murray (Ireland), George North (Wales), Jack Nowell (England), Jared Payne (Ireland), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Tommy Seymour (Scotland), Ben Te'o (England), Anthony Watson (England), Rhys Webb (Wales), Liam Williams (Wales), Ben Youngs (England)


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