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When is the Lions squad announced? Date of Warren Gatland’s final decision

Now we know Warren Gatland’s coaching team for the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa, the next big step is the squad announcement itself.

Had the uncertainty around the fate of the Lions series against South Africa not been under such a grey cloud in recent months, amid the coronavirus pandemic, fans could have expected Gatland to announce his assistants much earlier.

Former Wales boss Gatland, set to lead his third Lions tour as head coach, has drafted in Welshmen Neil Jenkins (kicking), Steve Tandy (defence), Robin McBryde (forwards) and Gregor Townsend (attack).

When is the Lions 2021 squad announcement?

Now, the next big event for fans’ diaries is Thursday, May 6.

That’s when Gatland and his team will announce the official Lions squad to face the world champions this summer.

The Lions boss is set to name a scaled-down group of around 36 players, compared to a 41-man squad he took to New Zealand in 2017 in the drawn series against the All Blacks.

Gatland previously said: “We’re probably looking at 35 or 36 players.

“Maybe a 20-15 split (forwards to backs) or a 20-16 split. In doing that, we’ll probably name a standby squad.

“You pick a squad of 35 or 36, three players in certain positions, but they can engage fully up until the end of the tour. If you’re not in the 23, you’re only a performance or an injury away from getting selected or being in the squad.”

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