Wales back-row Sam Warburton has been confirmed as captain of the British and Irish Lions

Last Updated: 30/04/13 1:39pm

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Wales flanker Sam Warburton has been confirmed as the captain of the British and Irish Lions squad to tour Australia.

Warburton, who had been odds-on favourite to be named skipper, is one of 15 Wales players selected by head coach Warren Gatland.

However England captain Chris Robshaw and his Scotland counterpart Kelly Brown are among the players to miss out.

England do have 10 members of the touring party, while nine Irishmen and three Scots are also included in the 37-man squad.

Among the surprises in the announcements are call-ups for Saracens front-rows Matt Stevens and Mako Vunipola, while England will have two hookers in the squad with Dylan Hartley and Tom Youngs included alongside Richard Hibbard - so Rory Best misses out.

Youngs is joined in the squad by his brother Ben, who joins Mike Phillips and Conor Murray in vying for the No 9 jersey - so there is no place for Danny Care and the in-form Greig Laidlaw.

Jonny Wilkinson is also omitted, with Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell preferred at fly-half.

Tommy Bowe, Dan Lydiate and Paul O'Connell are included after proving their fitness, while Sean Maitland, Richie Gray and Stuart Hogg will fly the flag for Scotland.

Head coach Gatland said: "We spent a long time selecting this squad and there were some close calls with a lot of competition for places.

"But ultimately we chose the players who will give us the best chance of a Test series victory. A Lions tour to Australia only comes around once every 12 years and we believe we have the right balance in the squad to be successful.

"We have a tremendous challenge in front of us but I know the players will be dedicated to the adventure and task ahead."

Lions squad - Fullbacks: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales, Cardiff Blues), Stuart Hogg (Scotland, Glasgow Warriors), Rob Kearney (Ireland, Leinster)
Wings: Tommy Bowe (Ireland, Ulster), Alex Cuthbert (Wales, Cardiff Blues), Sean Maitland (Scotland, Glasgow Warriors), George North (Wales, Scarlets)
Centres: Jonathan Davies (Wales, Scarlets), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland, Leinster), Jamie Roberts (Wales, Cardiff Blues), Manusamoa Tuilagi (England, Leicester Tigers)
Outside halves: Owen Farrell (England, Saracens), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland, Leinster)
Scrum halves: Conor Murray (Ireland, Munster), Mike Phillips (Wales, Bayonne), Ben Youngs (England, Leicester Tigers)
Props: Dan Cole (England, Leicester Tigers), Cian Healy (Ireland, Leinster), Gethin Jenkins (Wales, Toulon), Adam Jones (Wales, Ospreys), Matt Stevens (England, Saracens), Mako Vunipola (England, Saracens)
Hookers: Dylan Hartley (England, Northampton Saints), Richard Hibbard (Wales, Ospreys), Tom Youngs (England, Leicester Tigers)
Second rows: Ian Evans (Wales, Ospreys), Richie Gray (Scotland, Sale Sharks), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales, Ospreys), Paul O'Connell (Ireland, Munster), Geoff Parling (England, Leicester Tigers)
Back rows: Tom Croft (England, Leicester Tigers), Toby Faletau (Wales, Newport Gwent Dragons), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland, Leinster), Dan Lydiate (Wales, Newport Gwent Dragons), Sean O'Brien (Ireland, Leinster), Justin Tipuric (Wales, Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Wales, Cardiff Blues)

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