Nine Irish players made the cut including former Lions captains O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll, while there are ten Englishman included and three Scots.
After returning from the back injury which ruled him out of this year's RBS 6 Nations in March and coming so close to inspiring Munster to a Heineken Cup final O'Connell's inclusion was never in doubt, with many tipping him to be handed the armband again.
But with Wales head coach Gatland opting for a familiar face in Warburton, O'Connell insists he had not even considered getting the job and is happy to focus on his own game as he continues to find his full fitness.
"There are benefits in not having it in terms of being able to concentrate on yourself a little bit more, and in terms of my condition where I'm still coming back from an injury then it probably suits me fine," O'Connell told the Irish Examiner.
"I am just delighted to be on the plane; six weeks ago I didn't think that would happen, certainly not around Christmas when I was on the flat of my back getting an operation.
"So I am happy to be there, the captaincy never really came into my mind at all."