Dylan Hartley set to captain England in Argentina after Lions squad omission

Johnson filled the role in South Africa 20 years ago and for the 2001 trip to Australia, with Warburton now matching his feat when the Lions head to New Zealand next month, having led them Down Under in 2013. And we want to see them confident.

"I think Warren Gatland has picked a team that can win the New Zealand public over - I think in 2005 they got that totally wrong".

"That's important. I've got to make sure we do that".

"I am not too anxious about that, I'm just thrilled with the honour of doing it twice".

"We decided on a number of positions yesterday (Tuesday)".

Gatland, who was born in New Zealand himself and played for provincial side Waikato, says too many sides arrive under-prepared for the challenges posed off the field in his native country, as well as on it.

England beat the All Blacks
38-21 at Twickenham in 2012 while Ireland pulled off a stunning 40-29 victory against Steve Hansen's men in Chicago last November.

"He's bounced back from a lot of things and there's no doubt that's exactly what he'll do now'".

"They play set-piece and they play territory, then when New Zealand have the ball then they have to have a really strong defensive game".

"I think this is a strong Lions team - stronger than the one we saw in 2013 and it is an bad lot better than the last one that went to New Zealand where Clive Woodward put too much faith in his England world cup winners who were past it", Barnes said.

Sam Warburton reveals the unglamorous setting he found out about Lions captaincy
Warburton with Gatland

"But that also fires myself up and hopefully gives the players and the team the motivation to go out there and perform".

Perhaps Gatland's most controversial selection decision was to overlook England captain Dylan Hartley, picking instead Hartley's under-study at worldwide level Jamie George, as well as Rory Best and Ken Owens for the hooker slots.

He said seeing confirmation in a live TV press conference surrounded by his Worcester teammates was a huge thrill.

"Two man of the matches in the Six Nations, up for Player of the Six Nations as well as being nominated England Player of the Season by his team-mates and still he doesn't get on the plane".

Gatland also namechecked Ireland centre Garry Ringrose and second row Donnacha Ryan as those who fell just the wrong side of the line at Tuesday's final selection meeting.

Te'o, who joined Warriors last summer, admits the Lions will be facing a tough task against the All Blacks in the three-match Test series.

Gatland forgets that, given the opportunity of playing for a stronger team, talented individuals have a greater chance to shine.

"Ultimately you have got to be very good in attack and score points", said Best.

Sixteen English, 12 Welsh and 11 Irish players make up the rest of the squad, with Welshman Sam Warburton named captain.

  • Julie Sanders