NZ TOUR: Stander makes Lions squad

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:55

BREAKING NEWS: South African-born Christiaan Stander has been named in the British and Irish Lions squad to tour New Zealand.

The 41-man squad will be captained by Wales' Sam Warburton.

Warburton will lead the B&I Lions for a second consecutive tour, an honour only ever achieved once before - by Martin Johnson in 1997 and 2001.

Warburton will be supported by a number of players with previous Lions tour experience - with two players on their third and 14 on their second Tour.

The squad consists of 22 forwards and 19 backs, with Maro Itoje the youngest player at the age of 22.

Coach Warren Gatland revealed to Warburton Thursday last week that he would be captain.

"Sam is a great player, an outstanding leader and a winning Lions captain," Gatland.

"We believe that Sam's experience and leadership qualities make him an obvious choice as captain.

"He has earned the respect of his peers and coaches through his resilience, tenacity and hard work."

On the eve of the announcement Warburton attended a private dinner with all the living Lions captains in the Hilton Syon Park.

"Being in the same room as so many Lions legends was an amazing experience," Warburton said.

"I feel humbled and extremely proud to be given the opportunity to captain the Lions for a second tour and look forward to playing the world champions on their own turf with the best players of the United Kingdom and Ireland at my side."

British and Irish Lions squad:

Backs: Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell, Leigh Halfpenny, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Jonathan Joseph, Conor Murray, George North, Jack Nowell, Jared Payne, Jonathan Sexton, Tommy Seymour, Ben Te'o, Anthony Watson, Rhys Webb, Liam Williams, Ben Youngs.

Forwards: Rory Best, Dan Cole, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Jack McGrath, Ross Moriarty, Sean O'Brien, Peter O'Mahony, Ken Owens, Kyle Sinckler, Christiaan Stander, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Billy Vunipola, Sam Warburton.

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