1 May 2013

Warburton to lead Lions

12:22 pm on 1 May 2013

The Welsh flanker Sam Warburton will lead a British and Irish Lions squad containing 15 Welshman on this year's rugby tour of Australia as the combined team seek their first series victory for 16 years.

Coach Warren Gatland's 37-man squad also contains 10 Englishmen, nine Irishmen and three Scots, there were several surprises for a three-test series marking the 125th anniversary of the first Lions tour.

The selection of Warburton was not one of them as the 24-year-old becomes the fourth Welshman to lead the Lions and the fifth-youngest captain.

The suprise selections include the former Crusaders and now Scotland winger Sean Maitland, England prop Mako Vunipola and former England prop Matt Stevens, who retired from international rugby last year.

The Irish centre Brian O'Driscoll is included, however Jonny Wilkinson, who ruled himself out of selection, England captain Chris Robshaw and Ireland hooker Rory Best were among the notable omissions.

The Lions kick off their tour against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1 and will play three tests on June 22, 29 and July 6.