On the day that the 37-man strong British and Irish Lions squad assembled for their first ever team photo of a busy wnter, the strangest picture came in the form of a dog dressed up as a lion.

'Lola' the labrador was pictured tied to a fence as Warren Gatland's touring party posed for a squad photo during their first get-together.

The squad met at London's Syon Park Hotel where all 37 players were issued with their training kit ahead of the start of the series, which begins on June 3.

In keeping with Lions tradition, the honour of taking care of the official mascot, a cuddly lion toy, went to the youngest member of the touring party, Maro Itoje.

Advertisement

Scotland full back Stuart Hogg was bestowed with the task of transporting Billy the Lion in between matches during the Lions' victories tour of Australia in 2013.

Scotland captain Greg Laidlaw was also in attendance after being named as Ben Youngs' replacement after the England halfback pulled out of the tour due to family reasons.