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The British and Irish Lions Squad Broken Down by Nation

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With the British and Irish Lions currently out in South Africa preparing for their three crucial test matches against the Springboks — the first of which will take place at the Cape Town Stadium on July 24th before they travel to Johannesburg for the final two matches on July 31st and August 7th — now seems like the perfect time to zone in on Warren Gatland’s 37-man squad, breaking it down by nation. Read on to find out more!   

England – 11 players

With 11 players in Gatland’s squad for the tour of South Africa, which the visitors are tipped to win — according to the Lions Tour odds — England boast more names than any of the other three nations. Owen Farrell, England’s fly-half and captain, and his Saracens teammate Mako Vunipola have been called up for a third tour, making them two of the more experienced players in the 37-man squad, whilst Jamie George, Maro Itoje, Elliot Daly (all of the Saracens) will team-up with Courtney Lawes and Anthony Watson for their second tours. Exeter Chiefs trio, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Sam Simmonds and Jonny Hill will link-up for their first tour, alongside fellow debutant Tom Curry. 

Wales – 10 players

With 10 players, Wales make up their fair share of the British and Irish Lions squad. Alun Wyn Jones was set to captain the side on what was going to be his fourth tour. However, a shoulder injury picked up in the recent friendly with Japan has left the 35-year-old sidelined. Wyn Jones isn’t the only Welshman to be forced to withdraw due to injury either, with his Ospreys teammate Justin Tipuric also picking up a shoulder injury in the Japan game — debutants Adam Beard and Josh Navidi have been drafted in to replace them.

They will be joined by fellow debutants Josh Adams, Gareth Davies, Louis Rees-Zammit and Wyn Jones, whilst Ken Owens, Liam Williams and Dan Biggar are featuring for a second time. With two previous tours already under his belt, Taulupe Faletau is Wales’ most experienced Lion.

Ireland – 8 players

Having had 11 players in Australia four years ago and 12 in New Zealand back in 2013, the Irish will be somewhat disappointed to boast just eight players in this year’s 37-man squad. 

Scrum-half Conor Murray, who is making his fifth test appearance, has been given the honour of captaining the Lions in the absence of Wyn Jones, whilst Leinster’s Tadhq Furlong, who will enjoy his third tour in South Africa, is Ireland’s second-most experienced player.

There will be debuts for Connacht’s Bundee Aki, Ulster’s Iain Henderson and Munster’s Tadhg Beirne, whilst Leinster trio Robbie Henshaw, Andrew Porter and Jack Conan will also be making their first appearance in a Lions jersey.

Scotland – 8 players

Eight players representing Scotland in Gatland’s 37-man squad is the nation’s largest Lions contingent in over 30 years. Their captain, Stuart Hogg, will be making his third successive tour appearance, whilst it will be a second outing for Finn Russell, who was called upon mid-way through the tour of Australia four years ago. 

They will be joined by Edinburgh’s debutants Hamish Watson, Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland, alongside Glasgow Warriors’ first-timers Zander Fagerson and Ali Price. Gloucester’s Chris Harris, who will also enjoy his maiden Lions tour, makes up Scotland’s selections.