Ospreys coach Lyn Jones hailed captain Ryan Jones as the outstanding candidate to follow in Martin Johnson's shoes and lead the Lions on the 2009 tour to South Africa.
Johnson led the victorious 1997 tourists and Jones, the dynamic Wales Grand Slam skipper, is fast emerging as the strong favourite to lead next year's assault on the world champions.
Lyn Jones hailed his skipper's influence as the Ospreys buried the disappointment of last weekend's shock Heineken Cup defeat to Saracens to lift the EDF Energy Cup with a comprehensive victory over Leicester.
Andrew Bishop and Alun-Wyn Jones scored either side of half-time and James Hook kicked 13 points in a comprehensive performance.
The back-row trio of Marty Holah, Filo Tiatia and Jones controlled the game against a Leicester side who were comprehensively outplayed in a reverse of last year's final.
"I thought Ryan Jones' captaincy was fantastic. It was a big decision to make Ryan captain this year because Duncan Jones did so well," said Jones.
"I felt his personality was spot on for captaincy. This weekend he took Martin Corry on at the captaincy role and I thought he edged it.
"For me, Ryan Jones is already captain of the Lions for next year.
"Ryan is a leader on the field. His performances are exemplary. He is hard on himself, he is hard on everybody else. He demands high standards.
"He is not a lover, he is a leader. He is not a manager, he is a leader. He won't go missing next year in South Africa."