Welsh star Sam Warburton’s captaincy of the British and Irish Lions was leaked on Twitter three hours before the official announcement.

The gaffe happened when a photograph emerged of Warburton in full Lions kit posing with tour officials.

The 28-year-old Cardiff flanker becomes only the second player after Martin Johnson to captain the Lions twice.

I feel humbled and extremely proud to be given the opportunity to captain the Lions for a second tour, and look forward to playing the world champions on their own turf with the best players of the UK and Ireland at my side, he said.

Coach Warren Gatland said: Sam is a great player, an outstanding leader and a winning Lions captain.

We believe that Sam’s experience and leadership qualities make him an obvious choice as captain.

The Lions leave for New Zealand on 29 May and will play three tests against the All Blacks as well as seven provincial matches.

The squad is made up of 16 England players, 12 from Wales, 11 from Ireland and two from Scotland.

There is no place for England captain Dylan Hartley, but Wales number eight Ross Moriarty is a surprise inclusion.

The full Lions squad:

Forwards: Sam Warburton (Wales, captain), Rory Best (Ireland), Dan Cole (England), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), George Kruis (England), Courtney Lawes (England), Joe Marler (England), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Ross Moriarty (Wales), Sean O’Brien (Ireland), Peter O’Mahony (Ireland), Ken Owens (Wales), Kyle Sinckler (England), CJ Stander (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Billy Vunipola (England), Mako Vunipola (England).

Backs: Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell (England), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Jonathan Joseph (England), Conor Murray (Ireland), George North (Wales), Jack Nowell (England), Jared Payne (Ireland), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Tommy Seymour (Scotland), Ben Te’o (England), Anthony Watson (England), Rhys Webb (Wales), Liam Williams (Wales), Ben Youngs (England).

(c) Sky News 2017: Sam Warburton Lions captaincy against All Blacks leaked on Twitter