Conor Murray is heading to New Zealand
THREE Munster players have been included in the British and Irish squad for this summer’s tour to New Zealand.
Limerick scrum-half Conor Murray has been selected to tour with the Lions for a second time, following his successful series in Australia in 2013.
Murray will be joined on the plane to New Zealand at the end of May by Munster number eight CJ Stander and 27-year-old team captain Peter O’Mahony. Both have been selected in a Lions squad for the first time.
While there was delight for the Munster trio, there was disappointment for their provincial team mates Keith Earls, Donnacha Ryan and Simon Zebo who had also been tipped to gain inclusion in Warren Gatland’s squad.
The three Munster men chosen to travel to New Zealand for the 10-match series, are among 11 Irish players named. The remaining Irish players to make the squad are Robbie Henshaw, Johnny Sexton, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Jack McGrath and Sean O’Brien.
Sam Warburton of Cardiff Blues and Wales will captain the Lions for a second consecutive Tour, an honour only ever achieved once before by Martin Johnson in 1997 and 2001.
The squad consists of 22 forwards and 19 backs, with Maro Itoje of England and Saracens the youngest player at the age of 22.
British and Irish Lions squad: Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell (England), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Jonathan Joseph (England), Conor Murray (Ireland), George North (Wales), Jack Nowell (England), Jared Payne (Ireland), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Tommy Seymour (Scotland), Ben T'eo (England), Anthony Watson (England), Rhys Webb (Wales), Liam Williams (Wales), Ben Youngs (England), Rory Best (Ireland), Dan Cole (England), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), George Kruis (England), Courtney Lawes (England), Joe Marler (England), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Ross Moriarty (Wales), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Peter O'Mahony (Ireland), Ken Owens (Wales), Kyle Sinckler (England), CJ Stander (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England), Billy Vunipola (England), Sam Warburton (Wales, capt).