LIONS TOUR: There were a couple of shock decisions in Warren Gatland's squad announcement
Irish rugby fans should be content with this squad. Still, it would have been nice to get a couple more in.
Warren Gatland has named his 2017 British & Irish Lions squad for the summer tour to New Zealand and there are a few surprise calls.
Gatland has named a 41-man squad to take on the world champion All Blacks and there are 11 Irish players included, but no space for a couple of high-profile names. The shock inclusions are Jared Payne and England centre Jonathan Joseph, who was earlier reported as a high-profile man to miss out.
As we already knew, after a leaked picture surfaced earlier today, Welsh flanker Sam Warburton will captain the Lions. The 28-year-old led the Lions to a 2-1 series win over Australia in 2013 but missed the final Test after tearing his hamstring.
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 19, 2017
There was no room for Simon Zebo, Garry Ringrose, Rob Kearney or Keith Earls in the backs while Jamie Heaslip and Donnacha Ryan are two Irish forwards that missed out.
Dylan Hartley, Joe Launchbury and Mike Brown are three high profile English players to miss out on the tour while the Scots only have two representatives.
Props: Jack McGrath, Tadhg Furlong, Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Dan Cole
Hookers: Rory Best, Ken Owens, Jamie George
Locks: Iain Henderson, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Alun Wyn Jones
Flankers: Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Sam Warburton (captain), Justin Tipuric
No 8: Billy Vunipola, Toby Faletau, Ross Moriarty
Scrum-halves: Conor Murray, Ben Youngs, Rhys Webb
Out-halves: Johnny Sexton, Owen Farrell, Dan Biggar
Centres: Robbie Henshaw, Jared Payne, Jonathan Davies, Jonathan Joseph, Ben Te'o
Back three: Tommy Seymour, Stuart Hogg, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jack Nowell, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams