Lions head coach Warren Gatland didn’t feel Jonathan Sexton would be able for the rigours of a tour of South Africa.
The Ireland captain’s name was a high profile omission from the squad of 37 named by Gatland today.
Eight Ireland players are included, with first-time Lions Bundee Aki, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan and Andrew Porter among them.
Conor Murray, Robbie Henshaw, Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson are also on the plane.
But there was no James Ryan, nor his Leinster teammate Garry Ringrose.
Warren Gatland said “We believe we’ve picked a squad capable of winning a Test series in South Africa,”.
“Selecting a Lions squad is never easy and, in many ways, this has been the most challenging selection I have been involved in. Over the course of the last three weeks, the coaches and I have rigorously debated each position. We saw some outstanding performances in the recent Six Nations, so competition for places has been tough with some incredibly tight calls to make.
“However, we are very happy with the squad we have assembled and look forward to meeting up in Jersey in just over a month’s time to start our preparation to take on the World Champions. We’ve left out some very talented players which gives an indication of the strength of this squad and we know how important that stand-by list will be.
Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) – Wing
Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland) – Centre
Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) – Fly-half #821
Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) – Centre #822
Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) – Scrum-half
Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) – Fly-half #780
Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) – Centre
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) – Centre #824
Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) – Full-back #783
Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) – Scrum-half #790
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) – Scrum-half
Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales) – Wing
Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland) – Fly-half #835
Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) – Wing
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) – Wing #816
Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) – Full-back #833
Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) – Second row
Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) – Back row
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) – Hooker
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) – Back row
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) – Prop
Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) – Back row #779
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) – Prop #818
Jamie George (Saracens, England) – Hooker #819
Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) – Second row #808
Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England) – Second row
Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) – Second row #825
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) (Captain) – Second row #761
Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) – Prop
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) – Second row #826
Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) – Hooker #829
Andrew Porter (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) – Prop
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) – Back row
Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) – Prop
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) – Back row #786
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) – Prop #787
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) – Back row
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