Carlisle star Chris Harris says he was lost for words when he learned he had been picked for the British & Irish Lions.

The Cumbria-born Gloucester centre was yesterday named by Warren Gatland in his 37-man squad for this summer’s series against South Africa.

And Harris, who spent his formative years at Carlisle Rugby Club, could not hide his delight at the news.

“It’s pretty bizarre to be honest,” the Scotland international said.

“I’m absolutely delighted. I really wasn’t expecting it. It’s just crazy.

“I don’t really know how to act right now, because it was a bit of a strange one finding out in the middle of training, and then you have to get back out there and do some training…

“It was pretty special. I’d barely saw my name come up and the boys were on top [of me]. They just jumped on me. I was in shock, really.”

Harris, speaking to Gloucester’s official channels, said he spoke to his girlfriend soon after his call-up, and planned to speak to the rest of his family later.

He added: “It’s probably the biggest thing you can achieve in rugby. It’s just extra-special. I’m lost for words, genuinely.”

Former Newcastle Falcons man Harris, who attended Trinity School in Carlisle, played both codes of rugby in his home city during his younger days, representing the former Carlisle Centurions amateur rugby league side as well as Carlisle RUFC.

The tour gets under way in July.