IAN McGEECHAN hinted Brian O’Driscoll is a candidate to lead the Lions in South Africa next summer.
With the Welsh coaching ticket of Warren Gatland, Shaun Edwards and Rob Howley named amongst the Lions management team, there is a strong possibility Ryan Jones of Ospreys could be chosen to lead the Lions next June and July.
However, McGeechan stressed all national captains are strong candidates, and with O’Driscoll endorsed as Ireland skipper by Declan Kidney yesterday, Leinster man may gets an opportunity to lead the touring party in eight months’ time. The final Lions squad will be picked in April after viewing the 2009 Six Nations campaign and the captain will then be named.
“Brian’s got experience,” said McGeechan. “But when you get to the squad of 60-65, you’ve probably got half a dozen strong candidates. What we’ll be looking at is how they’re performing and then look to make a decision come April.”
McGeechan also said that he has been in contact with Kidney, who’ll watch the progress of Irish players ahead of the final Lions selection.
The Wasps director of rugby also said he isn’t irritated by the fact that the Lions will be seen as the Wasps coaching ticket in South Africa next year. “No it doesn’t irritate me. It has been Club Scotland before (1997) or Club Northampton (1993). The strength I hope the coaching team brings is uniformity of thinking and that trust and honesty that goes with it. I think you need to know somebody to be honest with them and I think we will be.”
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