England batsman Kevin Pietersen has called into question the methodology behind the British & Irish Lions’ selection of Sam Warburton as captain.
The Surrey star waded into the rugby union debate with just eight days to go until the first test in Brisbane, and is struggling to understand why Warren Gatland has announced the Welshman as his leader when the flanker is guaranteed to start against the Qantas Wallabies.
He wrote on his official Facebook page: “Can somebody please tell me - how you can pick a Lions squad, announce the captain and now a coach says he's not a dead cert selection?”
Warburton has only played one game on the Lions tour thus far, with a knee injury ruling him out of the opening matches against the Barbarians and Western Force.
He started in the victory over the Queensland Reds, but missed out once again against the Combined Country XV. He will return to the side to face the NSW Waratahs tomorrow (Saturday), but Gatland has since confirmed that the No.7 is not an automatic selection.
"I have been 100% consistent from day one. It is about picking the best players. I haven't changed that tune, and Sam is well aware of that,” said the head coach.
“I thought he had a good blow-out last week against the Reds, he got a couple of good turnovers, and we will see what happens on Saturday."
Justin Tipuric and Sean O’Brien are both in form and fighting for the position, and the 24-year-old Cardiff Blue will have to earn his place in the side, irrespective of Pietersen’s thoughts on the matter.