Wales great Mervyn Davies has backed Ryan Jones' credentials to captain the British and Irish Lions in South Africa next summer.
Jones is a front-runner to lead a tour that will culminate in three Test matches against the world champion Springboks.
The Ospreys back-row forward was among only a handful of players who emerged with genuine credit from a shambolic 2005 expedition in New Zealand.
Sir Clive Woodward's tourists suffered a 3-0 Test series whitewash, demolished by an All Blacks outfit whose supremacy never waned.
Jones, despite being part of Wales' memorable RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam triumph earlier that year, initially missed out on Lions selection.
But he ultimately featured in all three Tests following a stunning debut against Otago in Dunedin after being summoned as a replacement for injured Scotland star Simon Taylor.
Jones, 27, now has another Grand Slam success in his career portfolio, this time as Wales skipper, a job that he only landed less than eight months ago.
And former Wales captain Davies, who won 38 caps and played in every Test of the unforgettable 1971 (New Zealand) and 1974 (South Africa) Lions tours, believes Jones has given himself an outstanding chance to land one of world rugby's highest-profile roles.
Davies said: "The position where the captain plays is quite important.
"Rugby still tends to be a forward-orientated game - it's up-front where the grunt is and where you win and lose games.
"Ryan, if he keeps his fitness and form, has every opportunity to captain the Lions in South Africa.
"He thinks about the game, he carries the ball well, he reads the game well as a captain and he has all the physical attributes of a modern back-row forward.
"But captaincy of the Lions is also about a public role off the field, and Ryan is someone who is comfortable with all of that.
"I remember when I first captained Wales, I was more worried about my speech after the game than actually playing."
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