Warburton handed captaincy

The British and Irish Lions squad has been announced, with no Johnny Wilkinson in the squad and Sam Warburton named as captain.

Warburton mentioned that he got the captaincy call more than a week ago, and that it was the hardest secret he has had to keep.

Coach Warren Gatland commented that Warburton has been the most successful Northern Hemisphere captain, and would easily make a World XV.

Johnny Wilkinson is not the only surprise exclusion, England Captain Chris Robshaw misses out while Irish prop Rory Best is also not in the mix.

English front rowers Matt Stevens and Dylan Hartley are surprise packages.

The squad:

Fullbacks: Leigh Halfpenny, Stuart Hogg, Rob Kearney
Wings: Tommy Bowe, Alex Cuthbert, Sean Maitland, George North
Centres: Johnathan Davies, Brian O’Driscoll, Jamie Roberts, Manu Tuilagi
Flyhalves: Owen Farrell, Jonathan Sexton
Scrumhalves: Conor Murray, Mike Phillips, Ben Youngs

Props: Dan Cole, Cian Healy, Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones, Matt Stevens, Mako Vunipola
Hookers: Dylan Hartley, Richard Hibbard, Tom Youngs
Locks: Ian Evans, Richie Gray, Alun-Wyn Jones, Paul O’Connell, Geoff Parling
Loose forwards: Tom Croft, Toby Faletau, Jamie Heaslip, Dan Lydiate, Sean O’Brien, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton (Capt)

International summary:

Wales – 15 players
England – 10 players
Ireland – 9 players
Scotland – 3 players