Warburton to lead Lions for Gatland

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Ireland's victory over the All Blacks a year ago was key to convincing the British and Irish Lions that they can win in New Zealand and that the double world champions are human after all, coach Warren Gatland said on Wednesday. If I thought I was only scraping to get in the squad and they had asked me to be captain I would have said I don't think I'm the right person.

Moriarty is among 25 first-time Lions heading to New Zealand this summer in a squad that will be captained by Wales flanker Warburton.

"There's nine back-row forwards and not one Scot?"

The exclusion of Dylan Hartley continued a trend of disappointment for England captains, with predecessors Steve Borthwick and Chris Robshaw having missed out on the last two tours.

Jones is suffering from a shoulder injury, as is scrum-half Conor Murray, and Gatland has insisted that both players demonstrate their fitness by playing for their clubs before they travel to New Zealand.

Warburton retains the captaincy after leading the Lions to a series win in Australia in 2013 and he is one of 12 Wales players in the squad.

Te'o's parents still live in New Zealand and will no doubt be keen to watch the centre in action for the Lions in their homeland this summer.

When Ireland defeated England in Dublin at the end of the recent Six Nations championship to deny them a Grand Slam and also break New Zealand's record winning consecutive Test match sequence of 18 matches, Best was again on the lips of the rugby world, certainly in the Northern Hemisphere anyway.

"We know how tough it will be - this is the toughest tour". The whole country is going to be behind them so it'a a massive challenge we'll be facing.

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Fellow England centre and rugby league convert Ben Te'o was also in, as was Harlequins prop Kyle Sinckler, who has yet to start a test for England.

Hookers: Rory Best, Jamie George, Ken Owens.

CJ Stander and Peter O'Mahony are selected although there is no place for Munster team-mates Keith Earls, Donnacha Ryan and Simon Zebo.

Te'o also represented Samoa at global level.

Anthony Watson, Liam Williams, George North and Jack Nowell complete the squad, with Mike Brown, George Ford, Jamie Heaslip, Cian Healy, Rob Kearney and James Haskell among the other notable absentees.

The team travel to New Zealand in late May, before their opening match against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on June 3rd in Whangarei. "We took him away on the tour previous year for a reason and he's come back and shown that that's been worthwhile".

"I found out last Thursday", Warburton said.

But even his praise was an attempt to prey on British and Irish minds, as he added: 'It's going to be a very good side and they'll come with a lot of expectation, which I think is going to be interesting; to see how they cope with that - a lot more expectation than they've been used to, because people expect them to win'.

"He will understand that and respect that because it is not about Sam Warburton, it is about the team and that is what I like about him as a person and an individual".

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