Jones should captain Lions : Ospreys coach

Ospreys coach Lyn Jones says that Ryan Jones is the outstanding candidate to captain the Lions next year when they tour South Africa.

The Wales captain led Wales to Grand Slam Glory in the Six Nations and yesterday he led the Ospreys to EDF Energy Cup glory beating Leicester at Twickenham in the final to become champions in that tournament too.

“Ryan certainly won’t go missing in South Africa next year, I can tell you that,” coach Jones told the BBC after his side’s 23-6 victory.

“For me, Ryan is already Lions captain for next year.”

Jones, 26, was made captain of the Ospreys at the start of the season and his coach has been delighted at how Ryan has turned out to be a natural leader.

“I felt his personality was spot on for captaincy,” he said.

“It was a big decision to make him captain this year, but he is a leader on the field and his performances are exemplary. He’s hard on himself and on everybody else – he demands high standards.

“He’s not a lover, he’s a leader. There’s a huge difference.”

Jones himself missed the world cup due to injury was keen not to get too far ahead of himself but paid tribute to his team-mates after the Ospreys became the first side from Wales to win the Anglo-Welsh tournament.

“I’m extremely proud to be leading these guys,” he said.

“I’ve waited four years for this moment. We’ve won a couple of Magners titles along the way, which are great in their own way, but we’ve earned some major silverware here against one of the best teams in Europe.”

Jones was in the Ospreys side that lost 41-35 to Leicester in the final of the same tournament last year.

“We’ve learned our lessons from last year and that’s the most pleasing thing for me as a captain – you don’t have to tell this group of guys anything twice,” he added.

“They learn first time and have the mentality and ability to put things right.”

The Lions captaincy does not have too many stand out contenders presently other than the current International captains of the teams involved – these include Ryan Jones, Brian O’Driscoll, Phil Vickery and Jason White.

Martin Corry who captained the Tigers in the EDF Energy Cup final stood in for O’Driscoll as Lions captain in 2005 when he was injured in the first few minutes of the 1st test.

Corry having captained England may also come in for consideration but the Ospreys coach says that Ryan Jones has the edge on Corry too.

“He took on Corry at the captaincy role and edged him,” said Jones.   


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