The 28-year-old Cardiff flanker becomes the second player to be named captainfor two Lions tours, following England World Cup victor Martin Johnson.
In total, there are 16 players from 2017 Six Nations champions England in the squad, but English captain Dylan Hartley is among those who miss out.
Ireland's Jared Payne and Wales' Ross Moriarty were the surprise inclusions, and despite the bumper squad, vast experience from across the British Isles will be left waiting for others' misfortune to get a late place on the plane to New Zealand.
The New Zealander, who led the Lions to success in Australia four years ago, said there were no illusions about the task ahead as he seeks to emulate the class of 1971 as the only Lions team to win a series against the All Blacks.
"They weren't prepared culturally", said Gatland after naming a 41-man squad Wednesday for the 10-match tour, which features three Tests against the world champion All Blacks.
But arguably the biggest talking point came with Galtand selecting just two Scottish players - fullback Stuart Hogg, and American-born wing Tommy Seymour.
As rumoured, a number of high-profile members of the back-to-back Six Nations-winning England side have been omitted, including skipper Dylan Hartley, stand-off George Ford and lock Joe Launchbury, though centre Jonathan Joseph does make it.
"I'm gutted for him because I would have thought he was one that was nailed on". "Our advantage is we play with that expectation all the time". This will be Henshaw's biggest game to date in his debut season with Leinster, having made the hard decision to leave Connacht last season.
Scots Lions legend Ian McLauchlan laid into Warren Gatland for picking just two Scots for the forthcoming New Zealand tour - claiming the head coach didn't even know the names of Scots in contention.
"We felt there's continued improvement in him as a player and that Rory and Ken had great Six Nations".
After months of speculation, the British and Irish Lions touring party for their tour to New Zealand this Summer has finally been unveiled by Warren Gatland and his fellow coaches.
"I'm hugely excited for the challenge coming our way, we have a lot of rugby to be played and here's hoping I can get a bit of game time and show what I've got and I will do everything I possibly can to get a starting place".
"It's the ultimate plaxce to go and play", he added.
Gatland, a former All Blacks hooker, has preferred Rory Best, who captained Ireland to an historic first win over the All Blacks last November, Wales' Ken Owens and Hartley's England understudy Jamie George as his three specialist hookers.
"He's bounced back from a lot of things, he's a strong character". But we know how tough it will be - this is the toughest tour.
By the time of the first test on June 24 the tourists will feel as if they have played half a dozen games of virtual global intensity.
Brothers Billy and Mako Vunipola and Owen Farrell have all been selected for a second time, while Jamie George, Maro Itoje and George Kruis receive their first call-ups. "I still can't believe it", he said.
Meanwhile, Sam Warburton will join England World Cup victor Martin Johnson as a record two-time Lions captain this summer.
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