Since the crescendo of the Six Nations, talk within rugby circles has been dominated by the impending Lions squad announcement.
This year has been somewhat unique, in that there has been no clear frontrunner to skipper the tourists in June and July.
Names such as Dylan Hartley, Rory Best and Alun Wyn Jones have all been thrown about. The tag of ‘dark horse’ has even been extended to the likes of Conor Murray, Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje.
However, it looks like Sam Warburton is set to be selected by Warren Gatland to lead the Lions in New Zealand.
Boylesports have suspended betting on the market after money continued to be put on the flanker. Liam Glynn, a spokesperson for the bookmakers, explained how the Cardiff Blues star has been backed by punters.
“It now looks like that Sam Warburton will be announced as the Lions Captain as we were bombarded with bets for the Welsh international on Wednesday.
“Our traders had no choice but to suspend the betting as it now looks like Warburton is past the post and some sources know the outcome before it has been officially announced.” Via Wales Online.
However, the Kiwi coach has always been difficult to predict, and he will keep his cards close to his chest in the coming weeks.
It is a notoriously difficult call to make, with so much competition for places in the starting XV. With James Haskell, CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony and Justin Tipuric (to name but a few) all competing with Warburton for a back-row berth, Gatland does not have an easy decision on his hands.