Japan, June 26, Edinburgh, TBC
Stormers, July 3, Cape Town, 7pm
SA Invitational, July 7, Port Elizabeth, 7pm
Sharks, July 10, Durban, 7pm
South Africa A, July 14, Nelspruit, 7pm
Bulls, July 17, Pretoria, 7pm
SOUTH AFRICA, July 24, Johannesburg, 5pm
SOUTH AFRICA, July 31, Cape Town, 5pm
SOUTH AFRICA, August 7, Johannesburg, 5pm
Sam Simmonds, Jonny Hill, Chris Harris and Bundee Aki were named as four shocks in Warren Gatland’s Lions squad as a clutch of big names missed out.
Billy Vunipola, Jonathan Davies, Johnny Sexton, Kyle Sinckler, Manu Tuilagi, James Ryan and Josh Navidi were all left out – Davies and Sinckler of particular surprise.
With Eight Scottish players named – Stuart Hogg, Ali Price, Finn Russell, Chris Harris, Hamish Watson, Zander Fagerson, Rory Sutherland and Duhan van der Merwe – their Six Nations form has been rewarded and influence of assistant coaches Gregor Townsend and Steve Tandy keenly felt.
Captained by Alun Wyn Jones – who makes his fourth tour at 35 years old after trips in 2009, 2013 and 2017 – the squad will include more Englishmen than Welsh, 11 to 10, despite Wayne Pivac’s men winning the Six Nations.
After a four-hour final meeting at the Lensbury club in Teddington the coaches added an extra name to bump the squad up to 37 men, not the expected 36.
Having revealed his squad Gatland said: ‘It’s been stressful! This is the most challenging squad I’ve had to pick. It’s trying to get a balance. It’s an incredibly competitive squad that can play some good rugby.
Alun Wyn Jones has been named captain on his fourth tour with the British and Irish Lions
Billy Vunipola (left) has been pipped to a No 8 spot by Exeter’s Sam Simmonds (right)
England prop Kyle Sinckler is a surprise omission have been a part of the 2017 touring party
BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS SQUAD
J Adams (Wales)
B Aki (Ireland)
D Biggar (Wales)
E Daly (England)
G Davies (Wales)
O Farrell (England)
C Harris (Scotland)
R Henshaw (Ireland)
S Hogg (Scotland)
C Murray (Ireland)
A Price (Scotland)
L Rees-Zammit (Wales)
F Russell (Scotland)
D Van der Merwe (Scotland)
A Watson (England)
L Williams (Wales)
T Beirne (Ireland)
J Conan (Ireland)
L Cowan-Dickie (England)
T Curry (England)
Z Fagerson (Scotland)
T Faletau (Wales)
T Furlong (Ireland)
J George (England)
I Henderson (Ireland)
J Hill (England)
M Itoje (England)
AW Jones (Wales, capt)
W Jones (Wales)
C Lawes (England)
K Owens (Wales)
A Porter (Ireland)
S Simmonds (England)
R Sutherland (Scotland)
J Tipuric (Wales)
M Vunipola (England)
H Watson (Scotland)
‘Congratulations to all those selected – I hope they thoroughly enjoy the tour and represent the four nations as best as they possibly can.
‘At the end of the day it’s a matter of opinion, we’ve got to do as best we can to put the right squad together to try and win a series.
‘Everyone will get a start in the first three games. The first step is to get selected, then you want to put yourself forward to play in the Tests.
‘It’s excitement for players who get named but you understand there will be players disappointed. You feel for them.
‘It hasn’t been an easy decision. We had a four-hour meeting and have added an extra name to make the squad 37 – getting permission to do that from the board and CEO was what we did yesterday.
Head coach Warren Gatland is taking charge of his third tour, having won in Australia and drawn in his native New Zealand last time out
Wales centre Jonathan Davies (left) misses out on the chance to go on a third tour
‘Looking at our loose forwards, getting that extra number there is a guarantee of a back-up.
‘Everyone talks about it being the best of the best. It’s unique and special in the rugby world. It’s going to be a challenge without fans but one I’m looking forward to.
‘It’s the world champions again, as it was in 2009. It’s putting everything together to try and win the series.
‘Now as we get closer I’m really excited about the final preparations and planning and getting down to South Africa.’
Saracens still managed to have five players named despite their relegation to the Championship – with Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly, Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Maro Itoje all in.
Manu Tuilagi has not been selected after missing much of the season through injury
Johnny Sexton (left) has missed out on with Finn Russell (right) getting the nod at fly-half
English champions Exeter have Hill, Hogg, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Simmonds in, but Jonny Gray, Henry Slade and Jack Nowell were all left out.
The youngest Lion will be Gloucester and Wales star Louis Rees-Zammit, at 20 years old.
The Lions will first gather together on June 13 for a pre-tour camp to Jersey. Those involved in the Premiership playoffs will join when they are knocked out, or after the English league’s final on June 26.
Those playing in that final will not make the first match of the tour – against Japan at Murrayfield on the same day.
Then the Lions will fly to South Africa on June 27 to start their eight-match odyssey, which culminates in three Tests against the reigning world champion Springboks.
The Lions have not lost a series now since they last went to South Africa, in 2009, having beaten Australia 2-1 in 2013 and drawn with New Zealand 1-1 in 2017.