British and Irish Lions 2017: Warren Gatland to keep standby list private

Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton
Warren Gatland selected a 41-man squad for his second Lions tour in charge

Lions head coach Warren Gatland will keep his list of standby players for the tour of New Zealand private to avoid "backing himself into a corner".

The list will be finalised at the end of the domestic season and players and their unions will be notified.

A 41-man squad will tour New Zealand from 3 June to 8 July and play three Tests against the All Blacks.

"In our minds we have players who we will notify for standby, but we also have to be flexible," said Gatland.

England scrum-half Ben Young is the only withdrawal so far, after he pulled out for family reasons and was replaced by Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw.

"For some positions, we've spoken about one or two players," said Gatland, who is leading his second Lions tour after 2013's series win against Australia.

"The reason we won't publish a list is because we may want to change our minds - we don't want to back ourselves into a corner with a player who is right at the moment but maybe isn't later on."

Full schedule

June 3 - Provincial Union Team, Whangarei
June 7 - Blues, Auckland
June 10 - Crusaders, Christchurch
June 13 - Highlanders, Dunedin
June 17 - Maori All Blacks, Rotorua
June 20 - Chiefs, Hamilton
June 24 - All Blacks, Auckland
June 27 - Hurricanes, Wellington
July 1 - All Blacks, Wellington
July 8 - All Blacks, Auckland
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