11 Irish players named in Lions squad

41 players made the cut for the tour to New Zealand

11 Irish players named in Lions squad

Jonathan Sexton, Robbie Henshaw, Sean O'Brien and Peter O’Mahony have all been selected. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Warren Gatland has selected 11 Irish players in a 41-man squad for this summer's Lions tour to New Zealand.

Four backs and seven forwards have been selected, with Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton, Rory Best and Sean O'Brien the only previous tourists.

Robbie Henshaw, Jared Payne, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Jack McGrath, Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander have all been selected for the first time. Payne will return to the country of his birth, where he previously played at Under-21 level for New Zealand.

As expected, Sam Warburton will captain the side. The Welsh flanker also led the team to Australia four years ago when the squad won their first test series since 1997.

England lead the selection with 16 players, with Wales supplying 12 Lions and two Scottish players earning selection. There is no place though for England captain Dylan Hartley and Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw.

The team will travel to New Zealand next month, with the first match of the tour taking place in June 3rd. The first test takes place in Auckland on June 24th.

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, CJ Stander, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Billy Vunipola, Sam Warburton (captain).