Wales flanker Sam Warburton had been the runaway favourite to lead the British & Irish Lions later this year but following the conclusion of the 2017 Six Nations, an England star is now joint at the top of the betting odds.
Owen Farrell, who had previously been 10/1 at Betway, has come from nowhere to be 13/8, which is joint-favourite with Warburton, who led the tourists in 2013.
England superstar Maro Itoje has also had his odds slashed from 25/1 to 10/1.
Meanwhile, according to the bookies, Dylan Hartley’s chances are diminishing with his odds lengthening from 6/1 to 12/1.
The dramatic change in the odds came after Lions coach Warren Gatland has told Sky Sports News HQ that Owen Farrell is “world class” and firmly in the mix for the Lions captaincy.
“I know his [Farrell] name has been discussed,” Gatland said. “The beauty of him at the moment is that he can cover two positions, 10 and 12.
“He’s a great goal kicker, I think the way he has developed in the last three or four years, he is absolutely world class and I’m probably not giving too much away by saying he has a good chance of being selected.
“He’s a real competitor. He probably didn’t have his best game against Italy, and he’d admit that himself, but other than that he has played exceptionally well in the rest of the Six Nations.
“He’s a fighter, he’s a winner and I just really admire the way he has developed as a player. He is potentially in the mix to discuss as well.”