Rugby

Horgan & Williams Suggest Irish Star As Potential Lions Captain Replacement

Horgan & Williams Suggest Irish Star As Potential Lions Captain Replacement

The Lions got the job done against Japan this afternoon, and while there were some good aspects to the performance, the main concern will come in the form of the injury suffered by captain Alum Wyn Jones.

The Welshman was withdrawn inside the first ten minutes after suffering an apparent shoulder injury. It did not look good for him at the time, with Warren Gatland going on to confirm that the player suffered a dislocated shoulder.

You'd imagine this makes him highly unlikely to feature in the first test against South Africa in four weeks time.

Gatland has already said that another player will be called up to the squad, with Leinster's James Ryan an obvious solution. It also raises questions over who could captain the team in South Africa.

Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje are two of the more likely options, with both players seen as potential captains before Jones was given the position.

However, Virgin Media pundits Shane Horgan and Matt Williams believe that Ireland's Tadhg Furlong has a real chance of being named as captain for the test series:

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Horgan: It's one of two: [Maro] Itoje, who was probably my first pick anyway, and Tadhg Furlong is probably the other person you would pick in this circumstance.

He is a player who is nailed on to start, one of the key performers, and has Lions experience as well.

One of those two would be my pick...

Williams: Your captain has go to be guaranteed a start. Me and Shane Horgan have had discussions about leadership over the last 20 years and Shane always said to me 'it's how the guy plays first of, he's got to play well'.

Brian O'Driscoll was the best player on the park, Paul O'Connell was the best player on the park.

That would bring Furlong into play for me even though he hasn't captained a side. His leadership by example out there today was sensational, especially at tighthead prop.

He probably hasn't got enough breath left as a tighthead prop to say anything, but there's plenty of leadership on the field that you can get from other people with words, the actions are important...

Farrell and Itoje's form has not been good enough to say they are definitely starting.

Furlong has little experience as captain with either Leinster or Ireland, although he is certainly an inspirational figure on the pitch for both sides.

It will be interesting to see how Gatland goes about making this decision.

SEE ALSO: Fitzgerald Thinks Irishman Could Be In Line For Surprising Lions Test Start

Gary Connaughton

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