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Warren Gatland still had two names up his sleeve who had fallen through the cracks of feverish speculation about the make-up of his 41-man British & Irish Lions squad.

After a fine showing in the Six Nations and some good form for his region this season, Lions backs coach Rob Howley says Biggar could give them an edge against New Zealand.

Before Furlong was tearing it up for Leinster and Ireland, he was making bits of fellow underage GAA players down in Wexford. Instead of playing in his home country, Hartley will now captain his adopted nation in its summer tour of Argentina.

It consists of 16 English, 12 Welsh, 11 Irish and two Scottish players.

He added on Twitter: "Scotland beat Ireland and Wales in 6N yet we get 2 and they get 23 players!"

"That's why we've taken a few extra players than we did in 2013".

Former England and Lions wing Ugo Monye believes the Wales and Harlequins centre has a "proven track record" under Gatland and his potential inclusion would clearly define the way the Lions intend to play against the All Blacks.

Sam Warburton will captain the Lions for the second time.

He also skippered them on the successful 2013 tour of Australia.

Sam Warburton has been bestowed the honour of leading the British & Irish Lions again - but he found out in most unprestigious of settings.

"Dan has played particularly well in the [Six Nations] Championship and I think he was outstanding against England", Howley said.

1238: Gatland said the decision to select Wales' back-row Warburton as captain was a simple one.

The squad was heavy on power in both the forwards and at center, a sign of the approach the Lions are expected to take under Gatland for what is set to be a grueling tour featuring 10 matches and culminating in a three-tests series.

But despite England having the largest contingent of players in the squad, Launchbury missed out. Sixteen of those selected for this year's tour made the grade four years ago, while Wyn Jones and Leigh Halfpenny also featured in the 2009 tour.

"There is no clear number one, number two or number three in certain positions, which is what makes us pretty excited about the quality of the squad we have going to New Zealand".

"I think Warren Gatland has picked a team that can win the New Zealand public over - I think in 2005 they got that totally wrong".

"The prognosis with him is a lot more positive than was first diagnosed in terms of it's an unusual injury with a capsule thing, or something, but the prognosis and the recovery is hopefully a lot better than what was potentially first suspected".

Munster will supply scrum-half Conor Murray and back rowers Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander, while Ulster provide the same in Ireland captain and hooker Rory Best, lock Iain Henderson and centre/full-back Jared Payne.


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