Jason Robinson believes Brian O'Driscoll is the outstanding candidate to lead the Lions in South Africa this summer.
Lions head coach Ian McGeechan will unveil his squad and captain on April 21 - with O'Driscoll, Ireland's Grand Slam-winning captain, favourite for the job.
McGeechan last night stated there were "still three or four names" in the running, although it appears to be a straight shoot-out between O'Driscoll and Paul O'Connell.
Robinson, a Lions ambassador who made five Test appearances on the tours of 2001 and 2005, is convinced the Scot will reappoint O'Driscoll to the role he carried out in New Zealand four years ago.
"The three contenders are Ryan Jones, Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll," he said.
"I suspect it won't be Ryan, because it's come too early for him - but he's done a tremendous job for Wales.
"He did well on the last Lions tour, when he was a replacement, but for me it comes down O'Driscoll or O'Connell.
"O'Connell leads from the front and doesn't take a backwards step.
"He has a lot of experience and is one of those players who can win a game by the way he plays. You don't usually say that about a forward.
"But for me, it has to be O'Driscoll. He's back to his best and has led this Ireland team very well in winning the Grand Slam.
"He's a match-winner, as he proved against England in the Six Nations.
"He has a great temperament, and your captain needs that composure. Time and again, he's delivered when the pressure is on.
"Most people like him, and he'll bridge the relationship between players and managers very well."
Former England captain Robinson is not persuaded by the argument that a player from the tight five should captain the Lions against the physical Springboks.
McGeechan, also coach of the successful 1997 tour to South Africa, selected the towering Martin Johnson -despite his lack of leadership experience - because he felt it sent out a message.
"I don't agree with that at all. If you're the best man to lead the team, then it doesn't matter whether you play at one or 15," said Robinson.
"There have been some good captains in the backs in recent years. McGeechan has to give the job to the guy best suited for it."