Shane Horgan On The Current Ireland Star That Could Be A Future British & Irish Lions Captain
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Captaining your country is fantastic honour and an incredible privilege. It’s a level many players can only dream of, but the crazy thing is – it’s not even the pinnacle. To captain the British and Irish Lions, now that’s something special.
In order to become a British and Irish Lions captain, not only do you have to be one of the very best players in your country – but three others also. So if someone says you’re potentially Lions captain material – you’re pretty highly-rated.
Of the current crop of Ireland players, there’s absolutely no doubt a number of them will go on to become first time Lions in two years time. Jacob Stockdale, Garry Ringrose and Dan Leavy for example, all spring to mind. But is there a potential captain among the pack?
Former Ireland and Leinster winger Shane Horgan has played four Tests for the Lions, across two tours. He’s been there and see what it takes to lead the most famous touring side in the world. And he reckons, in James Ryan – Ireland could have their next Lions captain.
“In the last year Ryan has become one of the most important players Ireland have.” Horgan said
“Very dominant in the tackle and over the top. [Sometimes] it’s as if he’s up against Under 8s. His work-rate is incredible and the way he carries the ball, even in tough circumstances, he seems to be able to get over the gainline with a very, very strong leg drive.”
“As a leader, you can see that [in players] sometimes. He’s going to be a future Ireland captain. He could be a future Lions captain if he keeps the way he is going. If he keeps his body together, you know, how many caps could he have?”
Ireland has produced some incredible Lions captains over the years – Willie John McBride, Paul O’Connell, Brian O’Driscoll and most recently Peter O’Mahony have all had the honour. Could we be soon adding James Ryan to that list? We wouldn’t bet against it.