Lions squad LIVE: Warren Gatland to announce players for South Africa tour

Lions squad LIVE: Warren Gatland to announce players for South Africa tour
Alun Wyn Jones is set to lead the team

Alun Wyn Jones is set to lead the team


Follow all the latest news live as the British and Irish Lions’ 36-man squad is announced today. Head coach Warren Gatland will select 20 forwards and 16 backs and it is understood the players have not been told and will find out along with the rest of the world.

There are plenty of big talking points, like the captaincy, which is thought be going to Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones after leading his country to the Six Nations title in the spring. Even then though, Wyn Jones may not be guaranteed a starting berth in what is naturally a highly competitive squad pooling the resources of the four nations.

Another major decision is whether or not to include England’s Manu Tuilagi, the powerful centre who has struggled with an Achilles injury this season, but is set to return for the back end of Sale’s season and who carries a unique skillset with the ability to break what is sure to be a stubborn Springbok defence.

Harlequins duo Marcus Smith and Danny Care have been sensational this season and could be part of the squad, although the former has not yet played for England and would be making quite a leap to the Lions tour. Care’s chances have been boosted by the absence of Ben Youngs, who has ruled himself out to spend time with his young family.

Follow all the latest from the Lions’ squad announcement below.

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Gatland’s tricky selection

For Warren Gatland, this could be a little old hat now as he steps into the shoes of the Lions’ head coach for a third time, but he has never had to select a squad for a tour like this. It is anticipated that the players will be forced to remain in a strict bubble while in South Africa, and will meet an opposition that have not played test rugby since the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final.

Gatland, too, arrives a more distant figure, having left Wales for Waikato and a coaching role with the Chiefs from which he is currently on sabbatical to enable him to take charge of this party. Plenty to mull for the New Zealander, before he even begins to assess fitness and form.

Here’s a more detailed look at the conundrums he might be facing:

Harry Latham-Coyle6 May 2021 11: 13


Lions squad announcement day!

It’s arrived.

After four years of talk of bankers, bolters, and predicted squads from anyone with even a vague connection to rugby, in a little less than an hour and a half Jason Leonard, Chairman of the British and Irish Lions, will reveal the 36 names chosen by Warren Gatland to tour South Africa this summer.

This quadrennial bringing together of four proud nations always provokes debate before, during, and after the squad reveal, but for the 50 or so players to have received letters suggesting they are in contention, the nervous waiting is almost over.

Harry Latham-Coyle6 May 2021 11: 03


Jones set to lead the Lions

Alun Wyn Jones is expected to be named British and Irish Lions captain for the summer tour to South Africa.

The game’s most capped player with 157 Test appearances is clear favourite for the role ahead of closest rival Maro Itoje after leading Wales to success in the recent Six Nations.

It would be the 35-year-old’s fourth tour, although his role as skipper in the squad, announced by Warren Gatland today, would not guarantee a place in the Test team.

Full story:

Harry Latham-Coyle6 May 2021 11: 03


Follow all the latest updates…

Lawrence Ostlere6 May 2021 10: 58

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