Warren Gatland Has Just Blown The Lions Captaincy Wide Open
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Warren Gatland has still not decided who will captain the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand.
The Lions head coach has also revealed that it won’t necessarily be an established international skipper. Gatland has said previously he will consider a number of factors including performances in the Six Nations when deciding on his choice.
Gatland names his side on April 19th with captains Alun Wyn Jones, Rory Best and Dylan Hartley believed to be the frontrunners for the job, but now it seems the Lions captain may not be a national captain.
Asked if his captain has to have the same role with his national side, Gatland told Sky Sports:
“Not at all. Ideally [they will have] some captaincy experience.
“If you’re looking at the squad, you’re picking the Test team after the squad is selected and you’re looking at the captain and asking if that person would be likely to be selected in a Test XV?
“That could be a swaying factor but there are no guarantees at the moment. It could be someone from left field.
“We’ll definitely look at some individuals who are out there but we’ll look at picking the squad at the moment then picking the captain afterwards.
“Everyone’s obsessed about the captaincy, aren’t they? Look, I’ve said all along there’s some quality people in contention.
“The first thing for us is to pick the squad then look at it and ask who could captain the side in New Zealand.
“It would be a great honour for that person who does captain the team but the message to that person is: ‘Fantastic, well done – but you’ve got to earn your place in that Test side’.
“If someone else is playing better than you in New Zealand, they’ll be selected ahead of you.”