Hartley, Launchbury head list of star absentees

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Warren Gatland named a 41-man British and Irish Lions squad for the tour of New Zealand, but several notable names were left out of his selection – with Joe Launchbury's omission leaving club side Wasps "gobsmacked".

The Lions take on the All Blacks for the first time since 2005, with three Test matches scheduled across June and July.

Dylan Hartley

The exclusion of Dylan Hartley continued a trend of disappointment for England captains, with predecessors Steve Borthwick and Chris Robshaw having missed out on the last two tours.

Having skippered England to consecutive Six Nations crowns en route to a record-equalling 18-match winning run, Hartley might consider himself hard done by.

But Gatland preferred compatriot Jamie George, Wales's Ken Owens and Ireland's Rory Best for the three spots at hooker.

Joe Launchbury

Wasps were unequivocal in their reaction to Joe Launchbury being overlooked, citing his two man-of-the-match displays during the Six Nations.

Launchbury's form also saw him nominated for the Player of the Championship award.

But the 26 year-old, who was also a Lions hope in 2013 before ultimately missing out, was left to contend with rejection once again.

George Ford

Competition at fly-half was always going to be fierce and George Ford missed out to three world-class 10s in Jonathan Sexton, Dan Biggar and Owen Farrell, who can also play at centre.

Those selections also kept out Scotland's Finn Russell, while kicking options across the backs may also have been a factor in Gatland's thinking.

Jamie Roberts

There was a surprise in store either way when it came to Jamie Roberts. 

Talk of his potential inclusion on the morning of the announcement raised eyebrows as the experienced Wales centre appeared to jump ahead of a host of rivals.

However, having looked in line for a shock call-up, Roberts – who has featured in the last two tours – was left out by a coach who has brought the best out of him on the international stage.

Jonny Gray 

Only two Scotland internationals made the cut, despite impressive wins overs Wales and Ireland in the Six Nations.

Jonny Gray was perhaps not at his peak during the tournament, but the lock can still feel aggrieved at his exclusion.

It was not the only bad news for the Gray family on Wednesday.

Richie Gray

Jonny's brother Richie Gray was also conspicuous by his absence.

The older sibling did travel in 2013 and played in the decisive final match, but will not enjoy a repeat dose this year.

With the Gray brothers left out, Scotland's only representatives will be Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour.

Simon Zebo

Simon Zebo was not selected in 2013, but still managed to feature on the tour, and that is his best hope this time around.

An injury to compatriot Tommy Bowe saw Zebo flown out to Australia, where he played in three tour games.

He did not play in any of the Tests, but at 27 he does still have a shot at winning a full Lions cap.