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Who will lead the British & Irish Lions in South Africa?

With the imminent announcement of the British and Irish Lions squad in two days, the most intriguing question remains who will be selected as tour captain, retired Welsh legend Sam Warburton was captain of both previous tours to Australia and New Zealand respectively, leaving Gatland with a headache as to who to trust with the captaincy, ahead of a tour that will be unlike any other due to covid-19 restrictions, here’s a look at the current leading candidates for the Lions skipper:

Alun Wyn Jones:

Alun Wyn will be the frontrunner and leading candidate for numerous reasons. The 35 year old was a staple of Warren Gatland’s Welsh sides from 2007-2019 and also took over the captaincy under him from 2017 onwards. Jones remains the form captain coming off a successful Six Nations campaign where he lifted the trophy having won four out of the five games and only narrowly missing the grand slam. His shortcoming is that he isn’t necessarily the form player in his position, while he is the most authentic captain, there remain numerous second rowers in greater form with a higher athletic ability then him, the likes of Maro Itoje, Jonny Gray and Ian Henderson are all better candidates to face the Springboks but Gatland values leadership and that will come first.

Maro Itoje:

Itoje is the likely second candidate for the role, while he’s yet to captain either his club side Saracens or his National side England but Itoje oozes leadership. The 26 year old has won all that he can at a club level with numerous Premierships and European titles and on a national stage he’s won multiple six nations and reached the final of the World Cup. Having a player who leads in positions of winning is critical to building a winning culture in a short space of time which the Lions are placed in.

Stuart Hogg:

The outsider for the role but certainly a contender, Hogg took over as Scotland captain before the 2020 Six Nations and has since lead two good campaigns including three wins in each tournament, this years tournament saw big wins against England to claim the Calcutta Cup and against France to give Wales the trophy. Hogg is one of the few contenders for the fullback shirt, he’s an outstanding candidate in his position, he has the attacking flair to open up the Boks and he’s solid enough on defence to deal with what’s thrown at him.

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