SPORT

Lions Squad: Matt Stevens, Who Served Drugs Ban, Selected For Australia Tour (PICTURES)

30/04/2013 11:17 BST | Updated 30/04/2013 16:43 BST

Matt Stevens, suspended for two years in 2009 after a drugs scandal and who retired from England duty after the 2011 World Cup, has been selected for the Lions squad's tour of Australia.

Sam Warburton will captain the 37-man party while England skipper Chris Robshaw is omitted from the 37-man squad along with 2003 World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson.

Head coach Warren Gatland handed surprise call-ups to Scotland wing Sean Maitland, England prop Mako Vunipola and 2005 Lions tourist Stevens.

Stevens, who missed the 2009 tour while serving a two-year drugs ban for taking cocaine, retired from international rugby after the New Zealand World Cup 18 months ago but has been included as one of three tight-head options.

matt stevens

Stevens is one of three tight-head options Gatland has available

Cardiff Blues flanker Warburton, at 24 the youngest Welsh Lions captain in history, will lead a squad comprising 14 of his compatriots.

Warburton led Wales to the 2011 World Cup semi-finals - Wales' best performance for 24 years - and a Six Nations Grand Slam five months later.

After being injured for the opening part of this season's Six Nations, he returned to deliver a man of the match display against Scotland and then starred when Wales inflicted a record 30-3 defeat on England to win the title.

sam warburton

Warburton shakes hands with Warren Gatland during the tour squad announcement

While Wales are celebrating their largest Lions contingent since 16 players travelled to New Zealand 36 years ago, England provide 10 members of Gatland's squad, one more than in South Africa four years ago.

37-MAN LIONS SQUAD IN PICTURES

There are nine Irishmen in the travelling squad but there was no place for Ulster hooker Rory Best, with England's Dylan Hartley and Tom Youngs selected along with Wales' Richard Hibbard.

Scotland provide three players - the New Zealand-born wing Maitland, lock Richie Gray and full-back Stuart Hogg.

37-man British and Irish Lions squad selected by head coach Warren Gatland for the tour of Hong Kong and Australia:

L Halfpenny, S Hogg, R Kearney, G North, A Cuthbert, T Bowe, S Maitland, B O'Driscoll, M Tuilagi, J Roberts, J Davies, J Sexton, O Farrell, C Murray, M Phillips, B Youngs, G Jenkins, C Healy, M Vunipola, A Jones, D Cole, M Stevens, D Hartley, R Hibbard, T Youngs, I Evans, R Gray, AW Jones, P O'Connell, G Parling, T Croft, T Faletau, J Heaslip, D Lydiate, S O'Brien, J Tipuric, S Warburton (capt)

Lions squad announcement