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The British and Irish Lions squad for their 2021 tour of South Africa has been announced, with Warren Gatland picking 37 players to pull on the famed red jersey.
Alun Wyn Jones has been named to captain the side on what will be his fourth tour as a Lion.
Jones is one of ten Welshmen in the touring party, with the make-up of the squad featuring a remarkable split across the Home Nations.
England lead the way with eleven representatives, while Scotland and Ireland both have had eight players selected. It’s a vast improvement for the Scots on 2017, when they had only two selections in the squad, and comes on the back of a strong Six Nations.
However it’s the smallest Irish contingent in a Lions squad since 2001, even though Bundee Aki was a surprise inclusion from the Emerald Isle. National captain Johnny Sexton, who was a key member of the 2017 team, missed out on selection at flyhalf, as did centre Garry Ringrose and star lock James Ryan.
Alongside Aki, Englishman Sam Simmonds was the main bolter in the squad, picked despite not having played a Test match since 2018. Courtney Lawes was also a bit of a surprising selection given his lack of recent gametime, while fellow Englishman Elliot Daly was also considered lucky given his iffy form in 2021.
Alongside Ryan and Ringrose, some of the big-name omissions include Sam Underhill, Josh Navidi, Jonathan Davies, Jonny May and Kyle Sinckler.
As for the coaches, assisting Warren Gatland will be Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, his defensive assistant Steve Tandy, Leinster’s Robin McBryde, and Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins.
Townsend will be Gatland’s attack coach, with Tandy in charge of defence, McBryde the forwards and Jenkins looking after the side’s kicking.
Tadhg Beirne (IRE), Jack Conan (IRE), Luke Cowan-Dickie (ENG), Tom Curry (ENG), Zander Fagerson (SCO), Taulupe Faletau (WAL), Tadhg Furlong (IRE), Jamie George (ENG), Iain Henderson (IRE), Jonny Hill (ENG), Maro Itoje (ENG), Alun Wyn Jones (c) (WAL), Wyn Jones (WAL), Courtney Lawes (ENG), Ken Owens (WAL), Andrew Porter (IRE), Sam Simmonds (ENG), Rory Sutherland (SCO), Justin Tipuric (WAL), Mako Vunipola (ENG), Hamish Watson (SCO)
Josh Adams (WAL), Bundee Aki (IRE), Dan Biggar (WAL), Elliot Daly (ENG), Gareth Davies (WAL), Owen Farrell (ENG), Chris Harris (SCO), Robbie Henshaw (IRE), Stuart Hogg (SCO), Conor Murray (IRE), Ali Price (SCO), Louis Rees-Zammit (WAL), Finn Russell (SCO), Duhan van der Merwe (SCO), Anthony Watson (ENG), Liam Williams (WAL)
Head coach: Warren Gatland
Assistant coaches: Gregor Townsend (attack), Steve Tandy (defence), Robin McBryde (forwards), Neil Jenkins (kicking)