Michael Owen has been speaking of his 'delight' at being selected to lead the Lions against Argentina on his hom patch.
Newport Gwent Dragons No.8, Owen, who stepped in for the injured Gareth Thomas during the RBS Six Nations, has been rewarded for the leadership qualities that led Wales to the Grand Slam with the honour of leading the Lions in Cardiff on May 23rd.
He will deputise for tour captain Brian O'Driscoll, who is rested for the opening game of the tour against Bay of Plenty on June 4th, and has an early opportunity to stake his claim for a starting Test place.
Lions Coach Sir Clive Woodward said: "I spoke with Brian about the captaincy as he obviously will not play in every game. Like me, he was unanimous in backing Michael for the job. I think he took less than 0.1 seconds to accept the role as captain. He had an outstanding RBS Six Nations and reflects why Wales were so successful. It will be a special occasion for him to captain the British Lions in Cardiff. It's probably the best rugby stadium in the world at the moment."
Meanwhile 24-year-old Owen, capped 24 times, could not hide his delight at the prospect of leading the Lions at the ground where Wales clinched the Grand Slam just two months ago.
"I haven't stopped smiling since Clive asked me to be captain," he said. "The British Lions don't play home very often so for me to captain the side at the Millennium Stadium is brilliant. There's a real buzz around the squad at the moment and I think everyone is just desperate to get on with the rugby now and start the tour with a win. We want to set out a marker to show what this Lions squad is all about."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.