Warren Gatland's Lions captain candidates assessed after Six Nations

Jack Austin
The Independent
Gatland talked up Sam Warburton's chances after the Six Nations: Getty
Gatland talked up Sam Warburton's chances after the Six Nations: Getty

One of the most competitive Six Nations in years drew to a close on Saturday with Ireland ending Eddie Jones’ unbeaten start to life and England coach and dashing a second world-record run in five months.

Among all the highlights of the last seven weeks has been the form of players vying for a spot in Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions squad for the tour of New Zealand this summer.

Players such as England’s Elliot Daly and Ireland’s Garry Ringrose have shot into contention to start while the more established player like Owen Farrell and Johnny Sexton have made themselves certainties to start.

With the raised level of competition, comes more contenders for the captaincy, but Gatland insisted at the close of the championship that he hadn’t made a decision, but will look for players in form.

“The captaincy is a great honour, but whoever the captain is, there'll be no guarantee he plays,” he told the BBC.

“The captain's form has to be good enough. I think whoever that person is has to rise to that; the message is it's a great honour to captain the Lions but your form has to be good enough to be selected for the tests.

“When you are looking at a captain, you want to be reasonably confident he is going to be starting in the tests. But it is not a guarantee, it is just part of the criteria.

“In my mind there's probably half a dozen people but we haven't really narrowed that down yet.”

So there are six players who Gatland has in mind for leading his Lions against the All Blacks – but who are they?

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