Warren Gatland Reveals His All-Time Greatest Captain, and It's Not a Welshman - Ruck

Warren Gatland Reveals His All-Time Greatest Captain, and It’s Not a Welshman

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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Faced with this challenging task, Gatland’s choices bring to mind the legendary 1971 Lions squad, a key part of rugby history.

As an eight-year-old in New Zealand, Gatland saw the historic arrival of the 1971 Lions, a moment that shaped his rugby journey. Despite this history, Gatland’s selections are surprising, with only two members from the 1971 team making it into his top five.

Additionally, Gatland’s picks defy expectations by choosing a player he considers the best captain he has ever coached, rather than the well-known Welsh duo of Sam Warburton and Alun Wyn Jones.

#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.