2013 Lions: Shane Williams tips Alun Wyn Jones to lead Lions

 

Wales wing legend Shane Williams has tipped former Ospreys team-mate Alun Wyn Jones to lead the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.

Lock Jones, 27, saw Sam Warburton, Ryan Jones and Gethin Jenkins captain Wales during their 2013 Six Nations success.

But former Lions player Williams told Scrum V: "I'm going for an outsider [as Lions captain]. I like Alun Wyn Jones.

"I think he's a dead cert to be starting, a dead cert to be going, a dead cert starter in the first Test."

Highlights: Wales 30-3 England

Williams' fellow former Lion Phil Vickery, the England prop legend, threw his weight behind Warburton's claims to the Lions leadership role.

And rugby pundit and former Wales dual-code star Jonathan Davies tipped Wales loose-head prop Jenkins as the man to lead Warren Gatland's squad against the Wallabies.

Alun Wyn Jones returned from a shoulder injury to play a starring role in Wales' wins over Scotland and England, having come back as a replacement in the victory over Italy in Rome.

Williams said of 70-cap Alun Wyn Jones, a Lions Test tourist to South Africa in 2009: "He's so committed to playing rugby.

"Even if he broke his leg he'd still carry on playing. That's the kind of person he is.

"He just wants to be on that field. He just wanted to be part of this Six Nations - incredible player, a future [Wales] captain [and] I think an outside dark horse for captain of the Lions."

Warburton, who captained Wales in their opening Six Nations match of the 2013 campaign, a 30-22 defeat by Ireland, agreed with Wales coach Rob Howley that he should not regain the captain's armband in the wake of the shoulder injury that ruled out Ryan Jones against England.

Alun Wyn Jones and Shane Williams

Alun Wyn Jones and Shane Williams

However, Vickery says that should not count against the 24-year-old, who was won 38 caps and led Wales to the 2012 Grand Slam before suffering a dip in form ahead of the 2013 title defence.

"For me, he's proven himself," said Vickery. "He's gone through a dip in form, we've built him up to be this incredible, wonderful player that we all know he is and nothing can touch him, he's invincible.

"He's gone through a bit of a rough time and he's had the weight on his shoulders and fair play to him and credit to him for not taking it [the captaincy against England]."

In backing Jenkins, Davies said: "Gethin Jenkins has been brilliant. He took the captaincy [against England] and he's been there and done it.

"He's stuck his hand up to be [Lions] captain as well."

Veteran Irish centre Brian O'Driscoll has also been touted to regain the captaincy he first held on the Lions 2005 tour to New Zealand.

Ahead of their 30-3 defeat by Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, England flanker Chris Robshaw was also heralded by some pundits as a potential Lions skipper.