British Lions tour to New Zealand - the squad naming - what you need to know

After a four-year lead-up, Warren Gatland has finally named his British and Irish Lions team to tour New Zealand.

Thanks to a few leaks to the media that were outrageously wrong and some that were pretty spot-on, there weren't too many surprises delivered.  

But there is a lot to this 41-man side that will play 10 matches during their five-week tour to New Zealand.  

Newshub Sport's taken a look, and here's what you need to know about the 2017 crop of British Lions.

  • Only 16 players (39 percent) have played in a team that's won a match against the All Blacks.
  • The 41-man team is comprised of 16 Englishmen, 12 Welshmen, 11 Irishmen and two Scots. It has seven outside backs and six centres but just two number eights and five locks.
  • Notable omissions include England captain Dylan Hartley, Joe Launchbury, George Ford, Mike Brown, Welshman Jamie Roberts and Irishman Rob Kearney.
NZ-born Dylan Hartley becomes the latest England captain miss out on Lions selection. (Getty file)
NZ-born Dylan Hartley becomes the latest England captain miss out on Lions selection. (Getty file)
  • Hartley is the third England captain in succession to miss out on Lions selection.
  • Sam Warburton becomes the second captain behind Martin Johnson to captain the Lions on consecutive tours after leading them to series victory in Australia in 2013.
  • Notable inclusions are Wales' Dan Biggar, Ireland's Jared Payne, England's Jonathan Joseph and Scotland's Tommy Seymour.
  • Jared Payne played 43 Super Rugby games for the Chiefs, Crusaders and Blues, as well as 36 games for Northland, before moving to Ireland in 2011.
  • It is the equal-record low representation of Scotland in a Lions team (2009 tour to South Africa).
  • The team includes three New Zealand-born players; Jared Payne (Tauranga), Mako Vunipola (Wellington) and Ben Te'o (Auckland). One player is American-born (Tommy Seymour), one player is Tongan-born (Taulupe Faletau), while one player is Australian-born (Billy Vunipola)
  • Saracens in England's Aviva Premiership side has the most number of players in the team (six); they are also two-time reigning champions. European powerhouse Leinster and Wales' Ospreys are the next most well represented domestic sides with five and four players selected respectively.
  • Warren Gatland revealed that choir practice will form part of the team's preparation for the tour to New Zealand.

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