London - Sam
Warburton will captain the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand, but there was no place in the 41-man squad for England skipper
The 28-year-old Wales back-rower Warburton, who skippered the combined
side on their victorious 2013 tour of Australia, becomes just the second
man after England great Martin Johnson (1997 and 2001) to lead the
Lions on two tours.
In contrast, New Zealand-born hooker Hartley is the biggest casualty
and the third successive England skipper to miss out on Lions selection
after Steve Borthwick and Chris Robshaw.
New Zealand-born Lions coach Warren Gatland - who called it "the
toughest tour" - gave surprise call-ups on Wednesday to Ireland
fullback Jared Payne, England wing Jack Nowell and Wales back-row Ross
Warburton stood down from the Wales captaincy this season and is currently out with a knee injury.
But he is expected to be fit before the squad departs on May 29 for a
tour that will feature a three-Test series against world champions New
"I had a dinner with all the other former captains last night when it
sunk in, the enormity," said Warburton at a news conference after the
squad was announced.
"I found out last Thursday when Gats called. I was in a supermarket car park and didn’t believe him at first."
Warburton was the skipper and Gatland, again on secondment from his
job as Wales boss, the coach when the Lions won 2-1 in Australia four
While Hartley was left out, rival England hooker Jamie George was
included, along with Ireland captain Rory Best and Wales's Ken Owens.
Six Nations champions England had the largest contingent in an unusually large 41-man squad with 16 players.
Wales had 12 and Ireland 11 with Scotland's two representatives fullback Stuart Hogg and wing Tommy Seymour.
"There's been healthy
debate about the squad and now that it's been announced we need to get
behind it 100 percent and get excited about travelling to New Zealand,”
"There's competition for places and there will be players fighting
for Test spots with no clear number one, number two or number three in
He added: "That's what makes us pretty excited about the quality of the squad going to New Zealand.
"We know how tough it will be - this is the toughest tour."
Gatland's squad will be aiming to become just the second Lions party
to win a Test series in New Zealand, with the combined side's lone
series success against the All Blacks coming in 1971.
They begin their 10-match tour against a Provincial Union side in
Whangarei on June 3, with the first of three Tests against the All
Blacks in Auckland on June 24.
"In previous tours the midweek games tended to be a little easier,
but when you look at the quality of the opposition we're facing in
midweek (which includes all five New Zealand Super Rugby franchises)
it's going to be hugely challenging," said Gatland.
"That's why we've taken a few extra players than we did in 2013, we
just needed to make sure we have the depth and quality in the squad to
make sure we can handle the quality of the sides we're coming up
British and Irish Lions 41-man squad for the summer three-Test tour of New Zealand announced on Wednesday:
Fullback/wings: Elliot Daly (ENG), Anthony Watson (ENG), Lee Halfpenny (WAL), Liam Williams (WAL), George North (WAL), Stuart Hogg (SCO), Jack Nowell (ENG), Jared Payne (IRL), Tommy Seymour (SCO)
Centres: Ben Te'o (ENG), Jonathan Davies (WAL), Owen Farrell (ENG), Robbie Henshaw (IRL), Jonathan Joseph (ENG)
Flyhalves: Jonathan Sexton (IRL), Dan Biggar (WAL)
Scrumhalves: Conor Murray (IRL), Rhys Webb (WAL), Ben Youngs (ENG)
Back row: Taulupe Faletau (WAL), Billy Vunipola (ENG), Sam Warburton (WAL, capt), Sean O'Brien (IRL), CJ Stander (IRL), Ross Moriarty (WAL), Peter O'Mahony (IRL), Justin Tipuric (WAL)
Locks: Maro Itoje (ENG), Alun Wyn Jones (WAL), Iain Henderson (IRL), George Kruis (ENG), Courtney Lawes (ENG)
Tighthead props: Tadhg Furlong (IRL), Dan Cole (ENG), Kyle Sinckler (ENG)
Hookers: Jamie George (ENG), Rory Best (IRL), Ken Owens (WAL)
Loosehead props: Mako Vunipola (ENG), Joe Marler (ENG), Jack McGrath (IRL)
Fixtures for the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand:
June 3: v Provincial Union XV, Whangarei
June 7: v Blues, Auckland
June 10: v Crusaders, Christchurch
June 13: v Highlanders, Dunedin
June 17: v Maori All Blacks, Rotorua
June 20: v Chiefs, Waikato
June 24: 1ST TEST v NEW ZEALAND, Auckland
June 27: v Hurricanes, Wellington
July 1: 2ND TEST v NEW ZEALAND, Wellington
July 8: 3RD TEST v NEW ZEALAND, Auckland