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Jones: 'Have four Lions captains'

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/03/2017
Britain Rugby Union - England v Australia - 2016 Old Mutual Wealth Series - Twickenham Stadium, London, England - 3/12/16 England head coach Eddie Jones during the warm up Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. © Reuters / Henry Browne Britain Rugby Union - England v Australia - 2016 Old Mutual Wealth Series - Twickenham Stadium, London, England - 3/12/16 England head coach Eddie Jones during the warm up Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

England coach Eddie Jones has a novel solution to the question of who should captain the British and Irish Lions on their tour of New Zealand this year - make it a four-man job.

Several names are in the frame to be given the leading role by Lions coach Warren Gatland, including England skipper Dylan Hartley and Ireland's fellow-hooker Rory Best, Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones and Scotland's halfback Greig Laidlaw.

Yet Jones, whose England side suffered their first loss in his 18 matches in charge against Ireland on Saturday, said that such was the enormity of the 10-match tour, which features three Tests, that a new approach should be tried.

"I know what I would do. I would take the captains of the four nations, pool them together and make that the leadership group," Jones said.

"The Lions is such a prestigious tour. I would have those four guys lead the team and after the first five (warm-up) games I would pick the first Test and whoever was the leading player of those four I would make the captain for the first Test."

The Lions face a brutal schedule with matches against Super Rugby heavyweights Blues, Crusaders and Highlanders.

"I would have a tour leadership group and a specific captain for each Test," Jones said.

"You look at the last Lions tour and Sam Warburton captained the first two and Alan Wyn Jones captained the third so I think you can separate it.

"It would be different but I would reckon you would get a great result with those four captains running the team for you and making sure they set the standards on and off the field."

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