British & Irish Lions: England's Eddie Jones suggests four-man plan for Lions captaincy

Eddie Jones
Jones' England side suffered their first defeat in 18 matches against Ireland on Saturday

Eddie Jones says the British and Irish Lions should name four captains for the tour of New Zealand - one from each of their four national teams.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland has said "half-a-dozen players are in contention" to lead his squad.

England's Dylan Hartley, Ireland's Rory Best, Wales' Alun Wyn Jones and Greig Laidlaw of Scotland are among those.

"I would take those four captains and make that the leadership group," England coach Jones said.

"Then after the warm-up games, whoever was the leading player I would make captain for the first Test," added the Australian, speaking at ESPN's Advertising Week Europe business event in London.

"You look at the last Lions tour and Sam Warburton captained the first two and Alun 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."

New Zealander Gatland will name his squad on 19 April, and on Sunday said whoever is picked as captain would not be guaranteed to play.

"When you are looking at a captain, you want to be reasonably confident he is going to be starting in the Tests. But it is not a guarantee, it is just part of the criteria," he told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme.

"Whoever that person is has to rise to that; the message is it's a great honour to captain the Lions but your form has to be good enough to be selected for the Tests."

2017 British and Irish Lions tour fixtures

3 June - Provincial union team (Toll Stadium, Whangarei)

7 June - Blues (Eden Park, Auckland)

10 June - Crusaders (AMI Stadium, Christchurch)

13 June - Highlanders (Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin)

17 June - Maori (International Stadium, Rotorua)

20 June - Chiefs (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton)

24 June - New Zealand (First Test, Eden Park, Auckland)

27 June - Hurricanes (Westpac Stadium, Wellington)

1 July - New Zealand (Second Test, Westpac Stadium, Wellington)

8 July - New Zealand (Third Test, Eden Park, Auckland)

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