Dylan Hartley is expected to become the third consecutive England captain to miss out on a British & Irish Lions spot after Warren Gatland left out Steve Borthwick in 2009 and Chris Robshaw in 2013.
The hooker, whose junior team-mate Jamie George goes ahead of him, will not join the rumoured 15-strong England contingent but there are still several Six Nations champions whose exclusion has caused outrage.
Joe Launchbury and Jonathan Joseph both emerged earlier this week as unfortunate non-tourists despite impressing as key figures in Eddie Jones’ revival of England’s fortunes since the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones is also a doubt although the Kiwi coach wants the lock to be involved in his third Lions tour.
The second row is recovering from a shoulder injury but has run into complications and may face surgery that would rule him out of summer action.
The 31-year-old had been touted as a potential skipper after replacing 2013 Lions captain Sam Warburton in the national team job.
However, Warburton is expected to reprise the role he played in Australia and will hope to avoid the fate he suffered in 2013 when he was forced off during the second Test with injury and had to watch the final game from the stands.
Probable British & Irish Lions squad 2017 to face New Zealand
Full-backs and wings: Stuart Hogg, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jack Nowell, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams.
Centres: Elliot Daly, Jonathan Davies, Robbie Henshaw, Ben Te’o, Jamie Roberts.
Half-backs: Dan Biggar, Owen Farrell, Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton, Rhys Webb, Ben Youngs.
Props: Dan Cole, Tadhg Furlong, Joe Marler, Jack McGrath, Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola.
Hookers: Rory Best, Jamie George, Ken Owens.
Locks: Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Donnacha Ryan.
Back row: Taulupe Faletau, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Justin Tipuric, Billy Vunipola, Sam Warburton.
Source : EXPRESS