Lions coach Ian McGeechan says his team captain will have to have the ability to unite a squad, with the player's personality a key factor in the Scot's upcoming decision.

The Wasps director of rugby was in Cork to meet with Ireland coach Declan Kidney on Tuesday, with many predicting that either Brian O'Driscoll or Paul O'Connell will be handed the prestigious role of leading The British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa this summer.

"A Lions captain has to have the right qualities to pull a group of players together in a very short time.

"The 2009 Lions will have a backs' leader, a pack leader, a defensive captain, ideally a kick-off captain, which I had in 1997 and which something the All Blacks have perfected," McGeechan told The Irish Star.

"I still believe the person is the most important thing - which is why I chose Martin Johnson in 1997. He hadn't captained anyone ever at the time.

"I'd always got an impression that he respected his own team and the opposition team as well."

He concluded: "You don't have a lot of time to do what you want to on a Lions Tour so it can be a nice feeling if some of the things are already in place."

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