British & Irish Lions
Warburton hot favourite to be Lions captain
April 19, 2013
Sam Warburton is the clear favourite to skipper the Lions this summer © PA Photos
Lions captaincy odds
A leading bookmaker has suspended betting on who will captain the British & Irish Lions to Australia after an influx of bets were placed on Sam Warburton.
Warburton was the pre-season favourite to be handed the captain's armband for the summer tour to Australia, but his odds drifted to as far as 36/1 during the 2013 Six Nations during which he lost the Wales captaincy. But since his starring performance against England in the final match of the championship, Warburton's odds have shortened dramatically.
And following "a flood of money in the last 48 hours", according to the bookmaker, the flanker has now been installed as the bookies' favourite to lead the tourists in the summer.
The bookmaker claims that "it looks like [Warren] Gatland has made up his mind", but punters will have to wait until the squad is announced on April 30 to find out whether they have successfully predicted the Lions captain.
Warburton led Wales to the 2011 World Cup semi-finals and a Six Nations title and Grand Slam last season. Despite struggling for his best form earlier this season, he retained the captaincy for their opening Six Nations clash against Ireland.
But he missed the following match against France through injury and Ryan Jones stepped in as skipper for the next two games. When Jones was ruled out of their title showdown against England, Warburton passed up the chance to lead the side once again with Gethin Jenkins eventually handed the honour.
England's Chris Robshaw was favourite to lead the Lions earlier this season following his side's stunning victory over New Zealand while 2005 captain Brian O'Driscoll and 2009 skipper Paul O'Connell have also attracted widespread support.
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