England captain Dylan Hartley is set to miss out on selection for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.
Despite leading England to back-to-back Six Nations titles, Hartley is expected to be overlooked for one of the three hooker spots for this summer.
Wales’ Sam Warburton is set to be confirmed as captain of the Lions for the second time, while centre Jamie Roberts is set to be a shock inclusion.
Lions coach Warren Gatland will name his squad at 12:00 BST on Wednesday.
Gatland and his coaches met for a final selection meeting on Tuesday, and about 40 players are now expected to be named.
If his omission is confirmed, Hartley will become the third England captain in succession to miss out on Lions selection, after Steve Borthwick in 2009 and Chris Robshaw in 2013.
The 31-year-old was picked for the tour of Australia four years ago, but was suspended before the series after swearing at an official.
Hartley’s compatriot Jamie George, Ireland’s Rory Best, and Wales’ Ken Owens are expected to fill the three hooker berths.
Despite finishing fifth in the Six Nations, Wales are understood to have more than 10 players in the squad, with hard-running centre Roberts, 30, a surprise late addition having started on the bench in all five matches in this year’s Six Nations.
However, Scotland’s representation is likely to be limited to full-back Stuart Hogg, and one of Tommy Seymour or Sean Maitland on the wing.
Northampton hooker Hartley, 31, whose chances were rated at 50-50 on Monday, would become the latest in a list of shock English exclusions.
Fellow Six Nations winners Joe Launchbury, James Haskell, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph and Mike Brown are also in danger of missing out.