Sam's not the man to lead the Lions, insists Williams

By Ian Stafford


Martyn Williams insists Warren Gatland should opt for experience and not Sam Warburton as British and Irish Lions captain.

Gatland names his squad and skipper for the tour of Australia on Tuesday. Warburton is a red-hot favourite for the honour and some bookmakers have suspended betting.

Inexperienced: Sam Warburton

Inexperienced: Sam Warburton

But three-time Lions tourist Williams, who mentored Warburton at Cardiff Blues, believes the armband should be given to Brian O'Driscoll.

Williams said: 'Until you go on a Lions tour, you can't understand what it's like. The magnitude of it and the hype, it just knocks you for six.

'It will be difficult for Sam, because not only is it his first tour, but he is thrust in as captain. I would go with Brian O'Driscoll and, if not Brian, Paul O'Connell, because they have been there and done it.'

Warburton would be the first player to captain the Lions without previously touring since Finlay Calder in 1989.


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Oh Ye Of Little Faith...........if Sam is picked on Tuesday to be captain over the others he will give the job100% commitment - like any of them would! At the end of the day Gatland isn't going to put anyone up as Captain if he doesn't think that they are MORE than capable for the job. Whoever it may be. Australian press have followed Sam's career and find him to be exemplary - focused, determined, and leads by example. Most players have at one time or another been out because of injuries or been on the losing side. I really don't see the problem with Sam being considered for the position. Yes I'm Welsh, yes I will be Ecstatic if Sam is chosen and yes we are all entitled to our opinions but we aren't the decision makers here - the professional is. I just hope that whoever is chosen that WE as fans of all rugby union will be right behind the team supporting them no matter what

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As much as I like Sam as a lad and a player, I reckon the more experienced players would be a better choice for captaincy. However, if he does happen to be chosen to be captain, he may well pull the rabbit out of the hat and do a good job. Who really knows what he'll be like when it comes to it?

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DrMaturin - I agree with your comments re Jones and also think O'Connell is the best man for the job.

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Agree with Martyn Williams, Warburton not ready yet and needs to focus on his game without any distractions, given the quality of the opposition. Not O'Driscoll, very likely to get injured, but in any case leave him free to weave his magic without the extra demands of the captaincy. Captain has to be the best in his position, totally respected as a player, inspirational, experienced, media-savvy and unlikely to be fazed by all of the non-rugby stuff. Tough job. Not a simple decision. Ryan Jones is a fine player but I don't think ticks all those boxes. O'Connell, if selected, could be your man. Can go missing in games, but pride would push him to outperform for the Lions, I hope and believe. The truth is that we are not overburdened with genuine candidates, which is a concern in itself. I'm English, so no vested interest.

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I dont agree ,,, new blood Sam is the man for me ............

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Agreed, Ryan Jones is the only sensible choice. He has lots of experience and has been a Lion before, players like him, referees respect him and he has the personality to handle the Aussie media.

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