Borthwick backs 'resilient' Hartley to recover from Lions snub


12 Welshmen will be aboard the plane which leaves for New Zealand including Ross Moriarty who put in an epic performance against England during the Six Nations, while nine of the 11 Irish players selected were part of their nation's stunning 40-29 win over the All Blacks last November which has set the benchmark for this tour. This video surfaced a year ago when Furlong really announced himself on the Irish team, and we reckon we should send it on to New Zealand to strike absolute fear into their ranks ahead of the Lions Tour.

Sam Warburton's trip to the shops was interrupted by what he thought was a prank phone call to tell him he was to be British and Irish Lions captain for a second time.

"We discussed at length about it. Dylan has been a tremendous leader for England in the last period of time and playing well". Obviously, there's a lot of hard work between now and then but I'm just happy that I'm in the initial squad and we'll see how we get on from there.

Asked to explain his selection, Gatland said: "I think the experience of having captained the team in 2013". So we are trying to get the right blend of players for what we need.

The Northampton player, who missed the last Lions tour to Australia in 2013 after when he was suspended after being selected, must now focus on club and country, with England's tour to Argentina overlapping with the Lions in June. The tour kicks-off at the Toll Stadium, in Whangarei, on 3 June against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians.

Warburton, who has won 74 Wales caps and led his country in two World Cup campaigns, is now injured.

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"It was the pinnacle of my career", Warburton said about the 2013 captaincy, "but this is another step up because it's New Zealand".

Three surprise inclusions were Wales No. 8 Ross Moriarty, Ireland center Jared Payne and New Zealand-born England center Ben Te'o, while England prop Kyle Sinckler got the call even though all of his eight test appearances have come off the bench. Now he'll be hoping to feature for the Lions against World Cup holders New Zealand in this summer's hugely anticipated series.

Hartley has led England to two Six Nations titles in a row as skipper but that record wasn't enough for Gatland to pick him, with England's Jamie George, Ireland's Rory Best and Wales' Ken Owens filling the three hooker berths instead.

The Lions haven't won a series in New Zealand since John Dawes led the 1971 team to a 2-1 victory with one further game drawn.

"Throughout the whole squad there are going to be top quality players who missed out on selection because talent is that great now".

"It's one of those positions (hooker) where we are absolutely spoilt for choice with the options we have", said Borthwick.