Owen Farrell has to be in the mix when discussing candidates for the British and Irish Lions captaincy, says head coach Warren Gatland.
Farrell was a key component of an England side that won back-to-back Six Nations titles and embarked on a record-equalling 18 consecutive Test victories by a tier-one nation.
With his ability to slot in at fly-half or inside centre and his flawless kicking off the tee, Farrell is almost guaranteed a spot on the plane for the tour of New Zealand, providing he avoids injury.
Former England and Lions star Will Greenwood has suggested Farrell should even be given the armband and Gatland acknowledged the 25-year-old will be part of the discussion.
"I know his [Farrell's] name has been discussed. The beauty is he can cover two positions at 10 and 12, and he's a great goal kicker," Gatland told Sky Sports.
"The way he's developed, I think he's world class. I don't think it's giving too much away to say he's got a chance of being selected.
"He's a real competitor. He didn't have the best game versus Italy, I think he'll admit that, but he was very good for the rest of the Six Nations.
"He's a real fighter, he's a winner. He's someone I think that potentially you could easily put in the mix and discuss as well."
Gatland also reiterated that whichever player is handed the armband is not necessarily guaranteed a start against the All Blacks.
"He [captain] doesn't have to start," Gatland added. "Ideally the discussion with the captain will be what a fantastic honour [it is], but their form has to be good enough to be selected.
"Then the second conversation is with players in the same position, they might be a bit disappointed and they think they might not play.
"But if they play well enough and their form is good enough they'll start. You want that competition in the squad.
"The biggest challenge is if we get it right off the field, we can get it right on the field. It's about trying to get the right personalities and characters, that's key to winning the series."
|Hamilton contract to be finalised ´soon´, says Wolff|
|Warriors star Curry ´definitely´ wants ownership stake in Panthers|
|Kings´ Kopitar tallies first four-goal game|
|Ter Stegen dismisses ´Messi with gloves´ label|
|Medvedev fumes after win, Shapovalov battles through|
|Buffon: Messi more complete than Ronaldo|
|Neymar is irreplaceable, says Tite|
|Halep joined by Pliskova and Kerber on mixed day for seeds in Miami|
|Rahm joins Johnson in early elimination, McIlroy hits back|
|Red Wings´ Green to undergo cervical spine surgery|
|Conti: Milan much better thanks to Gattuso|
|Show must go on in Hollywood! - Pogba and Mkhitaryan say Ibrahimovic goodbyes|
|Arthur: I´ll find out if Messi is from this planet|
|Barcelona better than Real Madrid even if Neymar signs - Iniesta|
|I haven´t booked a holiday yet - Leno hoping for World Cup call|
|I may be 40 but I´m still Juve´s number one – Buffon bullish over Italy return|
|Italy coach Di Biagio dismisses Raiola rage over Balotelli snub|
|Lopetegui not ruling out Martinez World Cup chances|
|Late Widnes rally sees off Salford|
|Ailing Halep battles past Dodin in Miami|
|Spain defender Ramos targeting Casillas caps record|
|Pogba gets no special treatment from Deschamps|
|Defending champion Johnson dumped out of WGC Dell Match Play|
|Ibrahimovic to LA Galaxy? Beckham, Drogba, Pirlo and the other stars to try MLS|
|Wilshere out for England with Pickford to face Netherlands|
|Southgate rejects England safety concerns over World Cup|
|Great things come to an end - Ibrahimovic confirms Man Utd departure|
|This is Messi´s team - Sampaoli puts faith in Barcelona superstar|
|Tony Romo plays rollercoaster first round in PGA Tour debut|
|Total embarrassment: Hussain and Willis slam England following Auckland humiliation|
|Elgar urges South Africa to ´brush off´ disappointment of collapse|
|Juventus to play in MLS All-Star Game|
|Low confirms Can will miss Spain game|
|Tiger´s Masters timeline: Can Woods rediscover his best Augusta form?|
|Morgan to captain World XI for T20 hurricane fundraiser|
|Ibrahimovic released by Manchester United|
|Santos not interested in Ronaldo to China links|
|French Open prize money up to €2.2m for singles champions|
|WATCH: Messi scores superb solo strike in Argentina training|
|Zimbabwe´s World Cup hopes all but over after UAE loss|
|Koeman names Van Dijk new Netherlands captain|
|Dybala and Icardi´s World Cup hopes doused by Sampaoli|
|Pierre-Paul joins revamped Bucs pass rush in trade|
|I almost s*** myself - Pique on Keane rant|
|UEFA order PSG to close Auteuil stand|
|Cummins puts Australia in control as South Africa collapse after tea|
|Surgery on both elbows for ´different animal´ Parker|
|Director of rugby Kennedy leaves London Irish|
|Brilliant Bale basks in Wales record|
|Romo hits back-to-back birdies on PGA Tour debut|
|Neuer needs to play to make Germany´s World Cup squad – Low|
|All we can do is take it on the chin - Bayliss responds to Auckland humiliation|
|China 0 Wales 6: Record-breaking Bale leads demolition job in perfect start for Giggs|
|Curry closer to return than Durant - Kerr|
|Alonso expects McLaren to be at ´lowest level´ in Melbourne|
|Serena´s conqueror and a new tennis superstar - who is Naomi Osaka?|
|Bale becomes Wales´ record goalscorer with China hat-trick|
|Hamilton warns Ricciardo not to rock Red Bull boat|
|It could have been worse! England´s lowest Test totals|
|The ´reality for people with a brain´ is Manchester United are in transition, Mourinho claims|
|Black Caps seamer savours Boult from the blue|
|West Ham ban disruptive fans for life after Burnley chaos|
|Storm respond by beating Cowboys|
|Ten wickets in 79 minutes - a timeline of England´s Auckland horror show|
|England´s bleak winter sinks to new low|
|Iniesta hints at post-World Cup international retirement|
|All we do is talk s*** - Pique goads Madrid stars over WhatsApp|
|England like rabbits in the headlights - Bayliss|
|Euro 2016 humiliation helped England, claims Dele Alli|
|58 all out! Shambolic England overshadow Broad milestone|