News Worms
News Worms


Warburton to captain Lions in New Zealand

Warburton to captain Lions in New Zealand

A FORMER Anglesey rugby star has been selected from the British and Irish Lions squad for their upcoming tour of New Zealand.

Hartley has lost out to England team-mate Jamie George, who has been selected despite acting as understudy at hooker for his global captain Rory Best and Ken Owens.

The inspirational back-row stepped down as skipper of his country in January but will have the honour of becoming only the second man to captain the Lions on two tours - emulating Martin Johnson's feat.

For the 2013 Lions tour of Australia, Hartley was withdrawn from the squad after being handed a long ban for verbally abusing a match official.

Joe Launchbury is a somewhat surprising omission, while centre Jonathan Joseph earns a call despite earlier reports he would miss out. New Zealand, the current world champion and top-ranked team, hasn't lost a three-test series since 1994.

Hogg, who plays as a full back, and Seymour who operates on the wing, are the only two Scots to be selected in Warren Gatland's side. Scotland have not had a Lions test starter since prop Tom Smith in 2001.

The tour begins on June 3 and culminates in a three-test series against the All Blacks.

The squad is only three fewer than Clive Woodward took on the ill-fated 2005 New Zealand campaign.

"There's been healthy debate about the squad and now that it's been announced we need to get it behind it 100 percent and get excited about travelling to New Zealand", Gatland told reporters.

Gatland said: "The competition for places, there's going to be players fighting for Test spots". The Welsh flanker also led the team to Australia four years ago when the squad won their first test series since 1997.

"This is the toughest tour. In previous tours the midweek games tended to be a little easier, but when you look at the quality of the opposition we're facing in midweek it's going to be hugely challenging", he said. We believe that Sam's experience and leadership qualities make him an obvious choice as captain.

Warburton revealed he found out the news while in a auto park last Thursday.

Warburton is now out injured but said he would be fit in time.

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