British and Irish Lions tour squad announcement: Live blog, updates and video stream

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    The British and Irish Lions return to New Zealand for the first time in 12 years in June, but before the tour kicks off, all eyes are on coach Warren Gatland and who he picks to make the trip. Join The Roar from 9pm (AEST) for all the live squad announcements.

    With England fresh off a record-equaling winning streak, Ireland proving to be world beaters in recent times and a renewed Scottish line-up that surprised most during the Six Nations, this year’s tour will be looking at one of the strongest sides in recent memory.

    » Lions vs All Blacks fixtures
    » Lions squad
    » British & Irish Lions TV guide

    Welsh flanker Sam Warburton is lining up to be named captain again, having become the youngest Lions skipper ever when he was given the job for the 2013 tour of Australia at just 24 years of age.

    Despite early calls for an English-dominated squad coming off the back of two Six Nations titles and a run of 18 Test wins on the trot, there will likely be a handful of big name absentees from the final cut.

    Dylan Hartley is set to be chief among them, likely to become the third English skipper in a row to miss the Lions tour, joining Chris Robshaw in 2013 and Steve Borthwick in 2009.

    Fellow countrymen George Ford, Mike Brown and Jonathan Joseph, who made up one of the deadliest backlines of the last five years and looked to be shoe-ins for the side, now look to be on the outer and are rumoured to be missing the plane.

    In terms of distribution, the aforementioned English dominance looks to have been pushed aside, with Wales surprisingly popping up with big numbers in the squad.

    It’s expected the Welsh contingency will crack double figures, with the aforementioned Warburton to be joined by the likes of goal-kicking machine Leigh Halfpenny, veteran Alun Wyn Jones, outside back George North and, rather surprisingly, Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts, who has only been able to manage a bench spot for Wales in 2017.

    It’s not looking all too good for Scotland though, with Stuart Hogg looking like the only addition to the Lions side at fullback. Hogg has been named the player of the tournament the last two years in a row in the Six Nations and currently sits as one of the best 15s in the game right now.

    The battle for flyhalf is still up in the air. Ireland’s Johnny Sexton is a near certainty to take on his second Lions tour and is favourite to snag the No. 10 jersey.

    New Zealand hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Lions, winning just a single Test series against the Kiwis in the 113 years since they first met.

    That sole victory came 46 years ago, dating back to 1971 when they famously held on for a 14-all draw in the fourth Test to take the series 2-1.

    Join The Roar from 9pm (AEST) for all the live squad announcements and updates, and you’ll be able to live stream the announcement in the video player below.

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    The Crowd Says (152)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • 6:37pm
      Nemotoo said | 6:37pm | ! Report

      Watching the current game. Good entertainment, but frustrating in almost equal measure. The cynical play of the Chiefs at the breakdown is ruining the flow of the game and both officials and commentary team choose to ignore it. It has been the subject of comment by the Lions coaching team but nothing is being done. For those who have not seen it just watch the next time the Chiefs take the ball to ground. At least two players will drive over the top, continue into the defending Lions, grabbing those players denying them the chance to counter. They will then remain in front of the ball, clearly offside holding on to the defenders until they move the ball out of the ruck. This may only be for a few seconds but it allows for their own side to retrieve the ball without a fair contest. This approach is not something I have witnessed in the Premiership and it needs to be addressed soonest. It is to be assumed that if the Chiefs do it the ABs will do it with honours. Not a good omen for a fair fight.

    • 5:11pm
      Therearethreekiwibirdsonmylionsjerseysoproud said | 5:11pm | ! Report

      As a die hard AB fan, I just hope the B&I Lions are competitive.
      But let’s get real…Test 1 AB win by 10 points, NZ public not imused. Test 2 AB win by 18, Public not convinced but happy the series has been won. Test 3 let’s just say it’s back to the drawing board for The Lions who end with more of a wimper then a growl.
      The warning signs will be there in the provincial gave, even with the usual suspects these teams may just be in for a couple of solid wind.

    • 10:24pm
      Kuruki said | 10:24pm | ! Report

      I see the Crusaders are going to have full choice of all their All Blacks for their lions match, that’s awesome news!!
      I wonder how Hansen and co will work it in with their plans? I hope they allow the fringe All Blacks like Damien Mckenzie and co who are unlikely to see many minutes play for the Chiefs etc. It is really going to be a combined effort to demoralize and wear down that Lions squad till they resemble a pack of walking dead zombies.

    • 6:23pm
      The Electronic Swagman said | 6:23pm | ! Report

      Having watched all the Six Nations games and most of the New Zealand Super teams this year, I think we are in for a wonderful series. However to my mind the two words that almost guarantee an All Black victory are – BEAUDEN BARRET.

      You just can’t plan for his brilliance.

    • 5:07pm
      cuw said | 5:07pm | ! Report

      check this out.

      Hansen on Lions: Expectation, style, depth and Hartley

      Date published: April 20 2017

      http://www.planetrugby.com/news/hansen-on-lions-expectation-style-depth-and-hartley/

    • 12:05pm
      Jake said | 12:05pm | ! Report

      More Kiwis than Scots in this side.

    • 11:53am
      Jock Cornet said | 11:53am | ! Report

      Scotland destroyed Wales. Wales must be the most overrated pack . Warburtob a myth that will get shown up by the abs, they should put Irish breakaways in with Vunipaulo at 8

      • Columnist

        5:03pm
        Nicholas Bishop said | 5:03pm | ! Report

        Yep, v strange only two Scots on the plane when they handled Wales so comfortably.

        • 6:14pm
          Dan in Devon said | 6:14pm | ! Report

          I think Biggar is lucky to be starting for Wales yet alone in the Lions squad

          • 6:16pm
            Dan in Devon said | 6:16pm | ! Report

            And no Joe Launchbury – I thought he was absolutely immense during the 6n and could not imagine what more a rugby player would need to do to warrant selection

            • Columnist

              6:28pm
              Nicholas Bishop said | 6:28pm | ! Report

              Indeed Dan, indeed.

              • Roar Guru

                12:50am
                Rugby Fan said | 12:50am | ! Report

                Jim Hamilton thinks AWJ is only 50-50 to make the tour but expects Charteris or Toner to be next in line as a replacement for him, since Launchbury doesn’t call the lineout.

          • 6:37pm
            adastra32 said | 6:37pm | ! Report

            I pity the poor ref that has to deal with Biggar and Webb in the same game – non-stop yap…

    • 10:30am
      DJW said | 10:30am | ! Report

      Is Greig Laidlaw injured?

      • 10:36am
        Samuel Honywill said | 10:36am | ! Report

        Yes. Given the main string to his bow is his goal kicking too, with Biggar, Farrell, Halfpenny and Sexton all in the squad already he was unlikely to have been named anyway.

    • 8:26am
      mzilikazi said | 8:26am | ! Report

      Only two Scots…..would have taken the better Gray over Lawes. Good decision to leave Hartley out…too risky discipline wise, but more importantly, not good enough now…George is IMO the better player in England for starters.

      Ireland should be very happy with their representation.

      Indeed a lot of good players left behind.

      Scotland in Australia will now be interesting…those guys will be “mad as snakes”…..should be good test for both teams.

      • Columnist

        5:07pm
        Nicholas Bishop said | 5:07pm | ! Report

        Yes the Scotland situation must be vexing to those north of Hadrian’s Wall – and some of us south of it!

        Scotland beat Wales pretty handily, but that seems to have been ignored. No Johnny Gray, no Finn Russell, and no George Ford from England. I think the AB’s will be pleasantly surprised at what they see.

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