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Benjamin Button-like Owens better than ever

Ken Owens with the Guinness Six Nations trophy and Triple Crown

Benjamin Button-like Owens better than ever

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Benjamin Button-like Ken Owens is getting better than ever and has been tipped as a potential British & Irish Lions captain.

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But the hooker is more concerned about keeping his job in Wales than leading Warren Gatland’s side against South Africa this summer.

Owens, 34, had a superb Guinness Six Nations as his country claimed the title and two-time former Lions skipper Sam Warburton believes he would make a superb leader.

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“It would be great to get the tour on after what has been a tough year for everybody. A Lions tour is a career high for every player,” said Owens, who helped the team draw with New Zealand in 2017.

“I didn’t know my name had been thrown around for that (captaincy) – I’ll just concentrate on my own performances and see what happens. I feel like I can always get better and improve.

“I’m enjoying my rugby. It’s nice to hear the coach thinks I’m playing the best rugby of my career and hopefully I keep getting picked because I need to stay in a job!”

The Lions have confirmed they still plan to travel to South Africa despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Scarlets head coach Glenn Delaney said: “Ken has been there and done it. He’s a little bit like Benjamin Button and seems to be getting better and better.

“His aura and presence are immeasurable. You’re seeing him now play possibly the best rugby of his career and he was outstanding in the Six Nations.

“One of the main reasons Wales did so well in the Six Nations was because he was back in the environment. He’s got experience, he’s been on the Lions tour before, and he’s performed.

“He knows what the Lions is about and loves the Lions. Regardless of whether he’s the captain or not, he’ll be a leader if he’s in the group.

“If you’re going to pick on form from the Six Nations then for me there’s been one hooker who has been head and shoulders above the others.”

Owens, Delaney and the Scarlets face Sale on Sunday in the last 16 of the Heineken Champions Cup.

If they win, they will face either Gloucester or La Rochelle in the quarter-finals.

“The boys who have been here while the internationals have been away have done well to deliver Europe for next season,” said Owens.

“For us who are coming back, we still need to perform which gives a bit of added pressure. I always put pressure on myself to turn up and perform.”

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