Lions squad 'what you'd expect' - Hansen

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says he was hardly surprised with his opposite number Warren Gatland's selections for the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.

"He's got some weaknesses but when I look at it from a Welsh perspective, he's the one player who causes us so many problems when we play England because of his footwork and pace".

Sixteen England players were selected in an enlarged touring party but New Zealand-born Hartley wasn't among them, despite recently leading his adopted country to a record-equalling run of 18 wins in tier-one test matches.

Jamie George has been understudy to Hartley for the Six Nations champions, yet Gatland preferred the Saracens man in a squad that includes 16 England players. There's a potential for him to keep improving. He said: "They should be nervous because there are fresh players coming through". "He has a proven impact off the bench and we felt we needed to have someone like him included".

Hansen is due to name a 33-man All Blacks squad for the Test series on June 8, by which time the Lions will have already played two games during a tough first Test build-up that features appointments with Super Rugby sides the Blues, Crusaders, Highlanders and Chiefs, plus the Maori All Blacks.

And such recognition for the 23-year-old Gloucester back-row forward underlines how much progress he has made since being handed a Test debut against World Cup warm-up opponents Ireland 20 months ago.

"What I have always thought in teams I have been in is that if it is a happy camp, then more often or not it is going to be a successful team".

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"Again, it's the same thing".

It is the second tour in a row where Hartley will miss out on Lions honours. They were nailed on for us.

"We discussed the differences between Courtney and Joe".

The Ireland captain will be eager to travel to New Zealand after a disappointing tour to Australia in 2013 where he wasn't selected in any of the three Test squads. "We want to play really attractive rugby and do what Lions teams have done in the past and get out into the community".

Dan Biggar, the Wales fly-half, has made the cut with Jonathan Sexton travelling as the first choice fly-half and Owen Farrell providing an option at 10 and 12.

"We've got four or five of the world's best goal kickers going with us and if we're going to have an edge somewhere it could be in that area".

"Beauden Barrett is not kicking at the moment, his brother is for the Hurricanes and it may be the difference".

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