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."
|Ramos hits back at Maradona|
|Spieth praises U.S. Open champion Koepka|
|Loftus-Cheek will consider Chelsea future|
|Jorginho deal not done yet - City|
|Amrabat slams Geiger over alleged shirt request|
|Neymar targets improvement against Costa Rica|
|Confident Spieth ready to relish ´Car-nasty´ Open|
|All Blacks ring the changes for series finale with France|
|Sampaoli yet to decide on Argentina XI to face Croatia|
|Bale needs Real Madrid assurances, says agent|
|What game were you watching? - Costa bites back at journalist|
|Catalans capitalise on Leeds collapse to secure victory|
|Ronaldo facial hair inspired by Quaresma joke|
|This is not football - Carvajal criticises Iran tactics|
|Costa strike keeps 2018 World Cup waiting for first goalless draw|
|FIFA fines Mexico over discriminatory chants|
|Suarez announces wife´s pregnancy after World Cup heroics|
|Fortune favours Spain´s ´Supermen´ as luck proves to be Iran´s kryptonite|
|Hubert Green, U.S. Open winner who ignored death threat, dies at 71|
|Osaka injured in Birmingham, Kerber crashes out in Mallorca|
|Iran 0 Spain 1: Costa goal breaks stubborn resistance|
|Cilic battles back but Wawrinka bows out at Queen´s|
|Messi the greatest but Croatia will play to beat Argentina, says Dalic|
|Thiem stunned by Sugita in Halle|
|Salah rejects talk of rift in Egypt camp|
|England Women follow up men´s ODI record with T20I high|
|Southgate laughs off dislocated shoulder: Better me than one of the players!|
|World Cup hosts Russia qualify as Egypt make early exit|
|Pique wins 100th Spain cap in Iran World Cup clash|
|Serbia v Switzerland: Kolarov not interested in playing for a draw|
|Rakitic wary of ´uber-motivated´ Messi|
|Not my finest moment - Mickelson issues apology after U.S. Open controversy|
|´Best in the world´ Messi the victim of unfair treatment, says Sampaoli|
|Suarez off the mark but resurgent Russia will not fear stuttering Uruguay|
|Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0: Centurion Suarez strikes to send La Celeste, Russia through|
|Peru boss Gareca not a fan of ´novelty´ VAR|
|Nigeria v Iceland: Hallgrimsson anticipates another intense battle|
|Griezmann to face Peru despite ankle issue and struggles – Deschamps|
|Leicester sign Norwich´s Maddison|
|Leinster face Wasps, Bath, Toulouse in Champions Cup draw|
|2019 Ashes to start World Test Championship|
|Wizards to face Knicks in London next season|
|Vettel eyeing Paul Ricard profits - French GP in numbers|
|Malaga turn to Muniz once again|
|Amrabat: VAR doesn´t work if you do not use it|
|Suarez earns 100th Uruguay cap|
|You´ve got to look beyond football - Denmark chip in to fly new father Knudsen home|
|Neymar returns to Brazil training after injury scare|
|No passports required - Burnley´s 51-year wait for European tie sees Clarets draw... Aberdeen|
|Huddersfield bring in Bacuna to boost midfield|
|Forget the GOAT and the goatee - just enjoy Ronaldo and Messi|
|Ronaldo bearing down on Daei after going past Puskas - The top five goalscorers in international foo|
|Portugal 1 Morocco 0: Record-breaker Ronaldo sends Renard´s men out|
|Halep pulls out of Eastbourne International|
|Brazil v Costa Rica: Coutinho ready for more Selecao toil|
|Muller and Bierhoff dismiss reports of German disharmony|
|Mooy can play at a higher level, says Socceroos boss Van Marwijk|
|Remarkable Ronaldo breaks Puskas´ European record|
|Belgian Grand Prix deal agreed until 2021|
|Isco: I´m not going to speak to Ronaldo again!|
|Slater expects to be fit for Origin II|
|Curran and Overton added to England ODI squad|
|Hussey fears Australia will be left with ´mental scars´|
|Fabianski swaps Swansea for West Ham|
|Loftus-Cheek ready to replace Alli|
|England are a team now - Rashford|
|Lazaridis calls for Cahill to start against Denmark|
|Arzani and Ryan can play at the highest level, says Bosnich|
|Dust (Ja)pan and brush: Blue Samurai fans clean up in Saransk|
|Lodge reaches agreement over New York attack|