Warren Gatland doesn't hesitate when naming his best ever captain, he's English - Ruck

Warren Gatland doesn’t hesitate when naming his best ever captain, he’s English

Former Lions head coach Warren Gatland is renowned for his decisive nature, but selecting his top five Lions of all time poses a formidable challenge.

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Tasked with this daunting endeavour, Gatland’s choices inevitably evoke memories of the iconic 1971 Lions squad, whose legacy looms large in rugby folklore.

As a wide-eyed eight-year-old in his native New Zealand, Gatland witnessed the historic arrival of the 1971 Lions, a pivotal moment that would shape his rugby journey. Despite the weight of history, Gatland’s selection surprises, with only two members from the legendary 1971 squad earning a spot in his elite five.

Moreover, Gatland’s picks defy expectation, as they diverge from the celebrated Welsh duo of Sam Warburton and Alun Wyn Jones, instead honouring a player he deemed the best captain he has ever coached.


#1. Gareth Edwards (Wales)

A Welsh rugby legend, Edwards is hailed as one of the greatest scrum-halves of all time. Born in 1947, his career epitomized skill and flair, winning 53 caps for Wales and making a mark with the British and Irish Lions. His iconic try against New Zealand in 1973 remains etched in rugby folklore.

GATLAND SAID: “To me, he is probably the greatest halfback we’ve seen in the game. He was quick, intelligent and scored a lot of tries.”

DID YOU KNOW? In 2003, in a poll of international rugby players conducted by Rugby World magazine, Edwards was declared the greatest player of all time.