According to reports in different London-based newspapers, Warren Gatland feels Maro Itoje has the credentials required to lead his Britihs & Irish Lions into battle against the Springboks.
The Kiwi is set to take charge of the Lions for the third time, having beaten Australia 2-1 in 2013 and then overseen a drawn series in his homeland in 2017.
Itoje along with England captain Owen Farrell and Alun Wyn Jones are being touted as the leading three contenders for the tour.
“He’s an intelligent player and an intelligent man and has been incredibly successful in his career,” Gatland is reported as saying in The Sun.
“He would definitely be in contention as one of the possibilities as captain.
‘It’s about picking the squad and then saying who do we think will be captain material. Ideally, it’s somebody who has come from a team that’s been pretty successful.
“The next question is if we were picking the Test team today, is there a good chance this person would make that Test team?
‘You look at that and go, well, there are some pretty good second rows around and he’s not bad. You have Courtney Lawes and George Kruis.
“How’s Alun Wyn Jones going at that time? There’s James Ryan. There’s no doubt about Itoje’s quality.”
JOIN THE RUCK:
British & Irish Lions predicted 2021 starting XV according to the bookies
Odds are accurate on Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 8am, and are subject to change.
Fullback: LIAM WILLIAMS (Wales 4/7)
Other contenders: Stuart Hogg (Scotland 4/6), Jordan Larmour (Ireland EVS), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales 5/1), George Furbank (England 7/2)
Left wing: JONNY MAY (England 1/25)
Other contenders: Jacob Stockdale (Ireland 1/3), Adam Radwan (England 40/1), Jack Nowell (England 11/4), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales 13/8)
Outside-centre: JONATHAN DAVIES (Wales 1/3)
Other contenders: Henry Slade (England 5/6), Garry Ringshow (Ireland 4/6), Jonathan Joseph (England 13/8), Chris Harris (Scotland 20/1), Huw Jones (Scotland 6/1)
Inside-centre: MANU TUILAGI (England 1/3)
Other contenders: Robbie Henshaw (Ireland 5/6), Hadleigh Parkes (Wales 5/4), Sam Johnson (Scotland 9/2)
Right wing: JOSH ADAMS (Wales 1/18)
Other contenders: Anthony Watson (England 4/6), George North (Wales 2/1), Elliot Daly (England 10/11), Joe Cokanasiga (England 3/1), Keith Earls (Ireland 9/2)