Rugby

'Pick four Lions captains' - Jones

2017-03-22 22:35
Eddie Jones (Getty)
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Cape Town - England boss Eddie Jones has a novel solution to the question of who should lead the British and Irish Lions on their tour of New Zealand this year - make it a four-man job.

Several names are in the frame to be given the captaincy by Lions coach Warren Gatland, including England captain Dylan Hartley and Ireland's fellow hooker Rory Best, Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones and Scotland's scrum-half Greig Laidlaw.

Gatland has also mentioned the names of 2013 Lions leader Sam Warburton, who captained the touring team on their 2-1 series win over Australia, and England vice-captain Owen Farrell as potential skippers.

Yet Jones, whose England side suffered their first loss in his 18 matches in charge against Ireland on Saturday, said that such was the enormity of the 10-match tour, which features three Tests, that a new approach should be tried.

"I know what I would do. I would take the captains of the four nations, pool them together and make that the leadership group," he told AFP.

"The Lions is such a prestigious tour. I would have those four guys lead the team and after the first five (warm-up) games I would pick the first Test and whoever was the leading player of those four I would make the captain for the first Test."

The Lions face a brutal schedule with matches against Super Rugby heavyweights Blues, Crusaders and Highlanders.

"I would have a tour leadership group and a specific captain for each Test," said Jones.

"You look at the last Lions tour and Sam Warburton captained the first two and Alan Wyn Jones captained the third so I think you can separate it.

"It would be different but I would reckon you would get a great result with those four captains running the team for you and making sure they set the standards on and off the field." 

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