11 Irish players part of Lions squad.

Jared Payne was one of the surprise inclusions in the 41-man Lions squad named today for the summer tour of New Zealand.

The Ulster back can provide an option at both full-back and in the centre.

Payne is joined in the Lions squad by his Ulster team mates Rory Best and Iain Henderson.


Munster captain Peter O’Mahony also gets a call-up, along with provincial team-mates Conor Murray and CJ Stander.

Leinster provide five of the Irish contingent of 11, with Robbie Henshaw, Jonathan Sexton, Jack McGrath, Tadhg Furlong and Sean O’Brien all getting the nod from Warren Gatland.

For the second consecutive tour, Wales’ Sam Warburton will captain the side.