Lions squad: Sam Warburton reminds me of Anthony Foley - Paul O'Connell

Sam Warburton
Warburton emulates former England captain Martin Johnson as a two-time Lions skipper
British and Irish Lions 2017
Listen to a Lions squad announcement special on BBC Radio 5 live and online from 19:00 BST on Wednesday

Lions captain Sam Warburton is not the most vocal of leaders but when he speaks "you can hear a pin drop", says predecessor Paul O'Connell.

Warren Gatland announces his squad to tour New Zealand on Wednesday at 12:00 BST, with 2013 captain Warburton once again leading the tourists.

O'Connell, Lions captain in 2009, said Warburton reminds him of late Munster captain and coach Anthony Foley.

"Foley was a similar character. He didn't speak a lot," said O'Connell.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live before Warburton's appointment had been confirmed, former Ireland captain O'Connell added: "Foley was one of my first captains in Munster.

"Very often there was plenty of other people chatting and barking and staying on top of people, but when he picked his moment to speak everyone listened.

"It was probably the same in 2013 in Australia - Sam didn't say a lot.

"Myself and a few others were chirping at people and staying on top of people a little bit, but when Sam elected to speak you could hear a pin drop."

Warburton, 28, will join Martin Johnson as a two-time Lions captain when head coach Gatland reveals his full squad at midday on Wednesday.

Ireland international Foley became Munster's head coach in 2014, but died suddenly in Paris in October at the age of 42.

Anhtony Foley
Foley (centre) captained Munster to Heineken Cup glory against Biarittz in 2006

'Warburton will be a fantastic captain'

Warburton was appointed Wales captain in 2011, but was replaced by Alun Wyn Jones for the 2017 Six Nations as Wales finished fifth.

Wales head coach Rob Howley, deputising for Warren Gatland, said he wanted Warburton to concentrate on his individual game.

"I thought Alun Wyn Jones would end up doing it [captaining the Lions]. Early on Sam hadn't played a lot of rugby," added O'Connell.

"Because of the way he stepped aside from the Welsh captaincy, I thought he just wanted to focus on himself and get back playing as well as he could.

"But he just got better and better throughout the Six Nations and it just made sense by the end. He will be a fantastic captain."

Lions tour to New Zealand - fixtures
June 3 - Provincial Union Team, Whangarei
June 7 - Blues, Auckland
June 10 - Crusaders, Christchurch
June 13 - Highlanders, Dunedin
June 17 - Maori All Blacks, Rotorua
June 20 - Chiefs, Hamilton
June 24 - All Blacks, Auckland
June 27 - Hurricanes, Wellington
July 1 - All Blacks, Wellington
July 8 - All Blacks, Auckland

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