Friday 23 June 2017

11 Irish players named in Lions squad with Jared Payne among the surprise inclusions

Johnny Sexton (left), Peter O'Mahony (centre) and Jared Payne (right).
Johnny Sexton (left), Peter O'Mahony (centre) and Jared Payne (right).
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Warren Gatland has named 11 Irish players in his Lions squad to take on the All Blacks this summer.

Gatland, who is hoping to guide the team to another series success after the 2013 triumph in Australia, surprised many with his selection, with English stars such as hooker Dylan Hartley and second row Joe Launchbury.

Comment: The Lions is meant to unite rather than divide - real rugby fans should remember that 

For Ireland, props Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong, hooker Rory Best, second row Iain Henderson, back rows CJ Stander, Sean O'Brien and Peter O'Mahony, scrum-half Conor Murray, out-half Johnny Sexton and centres Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne were selected.

Wales flanker Sam Warburton will captain the side.

The Lions will play ten matches on their tour - three tests vs the All Blacks, five games against New Zealand Super Rugby sides and two fixtures against the New Zealand Barbarians and the New Zealand Maoris.

The first game takes place against the New Zealand Barbarians on June 3, with the first test scheduled for June 24.

Altogether, there are 16 English players in the squad, along with 12 Welsh, 11 Irish and two Scottish.

Here is the squad in full:

2017 Lions

Loosehead props

Joe Marler (England)

Jack McGrath (Ireland)

Mako Vunipola (England)

Hookers

Rory Best (Ireland)

Jamie George (England)

Ken Owens (Wales)

Tighthead props

Dan Cole (England)

Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

Kyle Sinckler (England)

Second rows

Iain Henderson (Ireland)

Maro Itoje (England)

Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

George Kruis (England)

Courtney Lawes (England)

Flankers

Sean O'Brien (Ireland)

Peter O'Mahony (Ireland)

CJ Stander (Ireland)

Justin Tipuric (Wales)

Sam Warburton (Wales) CAPTAIN

Ross Moriarty (Wales)

Number eights

Taulupe Faletau (Wales)

Billy Vunipola (England)

Scrum-halves

Conor Murray (Ireland)

Ben Youngs (England)

Rhys Webb (Wales)

Out-halves

Dan Biggar (Wales)

Johnny Sexton (Ireland)

Centres

Elliot Daly (England)

Jonathan Davies (Wales)

Owen Farrell (England)

Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)

Ben Te'o (England)

Jonathan Joseph (England)

Jared Payne (Ireland)

Wings

George North (Wales)

Anthony Watson (England)

Jack Nowell (England)

Tommy Seymour (Scotland)

Liam Williams (Wales)

Fullbacks

Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)

Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

 

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