Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Three Munster players named in British and Irish Lions squad

Three Munster players named in British and Irish Lions squad

The versatile 25 year old is one of three Ulster players selected by Lions head coach Warren Gatland for the 2017 tour of New Zealand alongside Ireland captain Rory Best and fellow global Jared Payne.

Warburton, who stood down from the Wales captaincy this year, joins England's Martin Johnson as the only men to have led the Lions twice.

JARED PAYNE has admitted his shock at making Warren Gatland's Lions squad for this summer's tour of New Zealand.

Sam Warburton will captain the Lions on the tour, but England skipper Dylan Hartley has been omitted from the squad.

talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 will bring you EXCLUSIVE coverage of every Lions match this summer, starting with the clash against the New Zealand Barbarians on June 3.

The Lions will play three Tests against the All Blacks and face all five NZ Super Rugby franchises as well as the NZ Maori (an unofficial fourth Test).

Warburton felt the captaincy would go to one of the current global skippers in the squad, but believes he is better prepared for the job now then four years ago when he led the Lions to victory over Australia.

Best then led Ireland to historic wins over South Africa and Australia in Dublin - the first time the country had defeated all three Southern Hemisphere sides in a calendar year.

"It was a big call taking Ben Te'o, he's been playing at 13 but is a better 12, given the potential weather conditions in New Zealand and the impact he made for England coming off the bench".

Hansen said he expects the Lions to play an uncomplicated style typical of what Gatland uses with the Wales team.

During the Six Nations, Launchbury deputised for injured lock George Kruis, who was selected by Gatland after recently returning for Saracens.

Payne, a native of New Zealand, was one of 11 Ireland internationals to make the squad.

"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", said Gatland.

Jamie George - his understudy with England - was preferred, along with fellow hookers Ken Owens and Rory Best. The Irish upset top-ranked New Zealand on neutral turf at Chicago, but the All Blacks reversed the surprising defeat when the teams met again in Ireland only a few weeks later.

"This will be the toughest tour - in previous tours the midweek games have been easier".

Back rows: Taulupe Faletau (WAL), Billy Vunipola (ENG), Sam Warburton (WAL, captain), Sean O'Brien (IRL), CJ Stander (IRL), Ross Moriarty (WAL), Peter O'Mahony (IRL), Justin Tipuric (WAL).

"I think the fact that me and Tommy are going is down to our team-mates, whether that's at Glasgow or Scotland", Hogg said yesterday.

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