Sir Clive Woodward has confirmed his squad for the summer's British Lions tour, with Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll leading the side.
Gloucester's Phil Vickery, Newcastle's Jonny Wilkinson, and new Kingsholm recruit Mike Tindall all missed out.
Commenting exclusively on http://www.gloucesterrugbyclub.com/ after Monday morning's training session at Kingsholm, Vickery said: "It's a privilege to have gone on a Lions tour back in 2001. Realistically, you can't expect to be picked if you haven't been playing. If I'm honest then it's the right call."
28 year-old Vickery has had an injury-hit season with his recovery from back surgery followed by a blow-out fracture around his eye, and now a broken arm.
"The Lions will need players who are 100 per cent fit, and there are a few in my position. I have to get back playing for Gloucester, and that is first and foremost on my mind."
Despite not being listed in the 44-man squad, Woodward still offered Vickery, Wilkinson and Tindall a slight chance to still travel to New Zealand.
"If they confirm genuine form and fitness in the coming weeks, they could still go," said Woodward.
"My thinking is it is better they try to do so with their clubs before becoming part of the Lions squad.
"At their very best and fully fit, all three would have made the squad. And their absence from today's list does not necessarily rule them out from the tour. I have spoken to the players, and they agree with this approach."
As expected, Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll has been appointed captain, and there are places for England World Cup stalwarts Neil Back, Lawrence Dallaglio and Richard Hill.
Leicester flanker Back, 36, becomes the oldest player in Lions history selected for an original tour squad.
Several young England prospects have also received the nod, including Leicester centre Ollie Smith, Sale front-row forwards Andy Titterrell and Andrew Sheridan and Bath prop Matt Stevens.
O'Driscoll heads a strong Irish contingent, while RBS 6 Nations champions Wales have 10 Lions, but struggling Scotland are confined to scrum-half Chris Cusiter, hooker Gordon Bulloch and back-row forward Simon Taylor.
The Lions leave for New Zealand on May 25, with the first Test against New Zealand scheduled for Christchurch a month later.
British and Irish Lions squad to tour New Zealand this summer:
Backs: I Balshaw (England and Leeds), G Murphy (Ireland and Leinster), J Robinson (England and Sale Sharks), G Thomas (Wales and Toulouse), S Williams (Wales and Neath-Swansea Ospreys), J Lewsey (England and Wasps), S Horgan (Ireland and Leinster), D Hickie (Ireland and Leinster), T Shanklin (Wales and Cardiff Blues), B O'Driscoll (Ireland and Leinster, capt), G Henson (Wales and Neath-Swansea Ospreys), O Smith (England and Leicester), G D'Arcy (Ireland and Leinster), W Greenwood (England and Harlequins), S Jones (Wales and Clermont Auvergne), R O'Gara (Ireland and Munster), C Hodgson (England and Sale Sharks), M Dawson (England and Wasps), D Peel (Wales and Llanelli Scarlets), G Cooper (Wales and Newport Gwent Dragons), C Cusiter (Scotland and Borders).
G Rowntree (England and Leicester), A Sheridan (England and Sale Sharks), M Stevens (England and Bath), G Jenkins (Wales and Cardiff Blues), J White (England and Leicester), J Hayes (Ireland and Munster), G Bulloch (Scotland and Glasgow), S Thompson (England and Northampton), A Titterrell (England and Sale Sharks), S Byrne (Ireland and Leinster), D Grewcock (England and Bath), B Kay (England and Leicester), M O'Kelly (Ireland and Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Ireland and Munster), P O'Connell (Ireland and Munster), M Owen (Wales and Newport Gwent Dragons), R Hill (England and Saracens), N Back (England and Leicester), M Williams (Wales and Cardiff Blues), L Moody (England and Leicester), S Taylor (Scotland and Edinburgh), M Corry (England and Leicester), L Dallaglio (England and Wasps)
Fly-half Billy Burns was named Man of the Match after the 35-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over Stade Rochelais on Thursday evening, and was full of praise for all his team mates for the win after a short turnaround.
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.