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Hogg, Seymour get nod

Two Scots named in 41-man Lions squad

Seymour and Hogg Lions
Two Lions: Seymour and Hogg called up

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has named just two Scotland players in an expanded squad of 41 for the tour to New Zealand this summer.

The Glasgow Warriors duo Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour are the two who will be flying the Saltire in the three-match Test series against the All Blacks.

There had been calls for Edinburgh Rugby’s Hamish Watson to be included but the flanker didn’t make the final cut. Scottish legend and former Lions selector Jim Telfer later said the Scottish players should feel let down, particularly the forwards after the team’s three victories in the Six Nations tournament.

“If you can’t get one forward from 22 then it is not sour grapes, it is bad selection,” he said.

England captain Dylan Hartley has also been left out, but 16 Englishmen are included including prop Kyle Sinckler and centre Ben Te’o, while the Wales No. 8 Ross Moriarty is a surprise inclusion.

Head coach Warren Gatland has named an enlarged party, with England’s Jonathan Joseph named as one of the centres, but there is no room for Joe Launchbury, George Ford, James Haskell or Chris Robshaw.

Wales skipper Sam Warburton becomes only the second man to captain back-to-back Lions tours, after Martin Johnson in 1997 and 2001.

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland: happy with the quality (photo by Terry Murden)

“There were some pretty lively debates finalising the squad,” Gatland said.

“But we are very happy with the quality of squad we have.”

The tour runs from 3 June to 8 July.

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

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

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