British and Irish Lions 2017: Sam Warburton captain for New Zealand tour


Sam Warburton led the British and Irish Lions in Australia in 2013, playing in two of the three Tests

Wales back row Sam Warburton will captain the British and Irish Lions on the tour of New Zealand this summer.

The 28-year-old former Wales skipper also led the Lions in the series victory over Australia in 2013.

He is only the second player, after former England forward Martin Johnson, to captain the Lions in two tours.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland will announce his full squad for the tour, which runs from 3 June to 8 July, at 12:00 BST.

Warburton stepped down as Wales captain before the 2017 Six Nations and was replaced by lock Alun Wyn Jones, who also took over when Warburton was injured for the third Lions Test four years ago.

England captain Dylan Hartley is expected to miss out on selection despite leading his side to a second straight Six Nations title this year.

Hartley’s compatriot Jamie George, Ireland’s Rory Best, and Wales’ Ken Owens are expected to fill the three hooker berths.

If his omission is confirmed, Hartley will become the third England captain in succession to miss out on Lions selection, after Steve Borthwick in 2009 and Chris Robshaw in 2013.

Six Nations winners Joe Launchbury, James Haskell, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph and Mike Brown are also in danger of missing out.

Scotland’s representation is likely to be limited to full-back Stuart Hogg, and one of Tommy Seymour or Sean Maitland on the wing.

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