Wales legend Gareth Thomas reveals surprise preference for Lions captain


Wales legend Gareth Thomas believes Stuart Hogg should lead the British and Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa this summer.

Alun Wyn Jones has been tipped by most to captain the Lions against the Springboks, with England captain Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje also often named as potential skippers.

Despite having captained Scotland since the start of 2020, Hogg has rarely been tipped to achieve the same honour with the Lions, but Thomas told The Scotsman that he believes the fullback would be the best choice.

Gareth Thomas on who should be the Lions captain.

“One of the standout players, and someone who isn’t being talked about as captain, because they think going to South Africa means that you need to have someone up front, is Stuart Hogg at 15,” Thomas said at the launch of the Tackle HIV campaign.

“He’s someone who plays extremely well for Scotland and he continues his form week in, week out for Exeter. I’ve seen him playing for them and he doesn’t drop his standards at all.

“As an ex-fullback, I’d like to see somebody with a good vision of the game. Even though he’s not nailed on to be in the team, he’s one of the favourites out of anybody to be a starting name on the team sheet.”

‘At fullback, you can see everything that is happening.’

Thomas captained the Lions himself on the 2005 tour to New Zealand, in the absence of original tour captain Brian O’Driscoll, who was injured in the opening minutes of the first test against the All Blacks.

The Welshman often played at fullback throughout his career and he believes the position would help, not hinder, Hogg’s chances of captaining the Lions.

“For me, as a player and as a captain more importantly, being at fullback gives you the ability to see everything that is happening. And it gives you the ability to make decisions that are not confrontational.

“As somebody standing out of the game, seeing everything, Hogg can decide when he feels is the right time to pick it up and when it’s the right time to slow it down.”

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