Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster believes Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has a wealth of options to choose from to succeed Rory Best as captain.  

The role has been vacant since Best's retirement following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Incoming head coach Farrell will take charge of his first Ireland match on 1 February against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in the Six Nations.

Among the younger candidates most talked about as a future international captain has been Leinster lock James Ryan.

Lancaster highlighted the 23-year-old's leadership qualities.

But he also feels he is just one of many possessing the necessary qualities to fulfill the remit.

"James does a great job in terms of our leadership group here," he said.

"Equally Garry [Ringrose] does, Robbie [Henshaw] does. So it's one for Andy really."

Lancaster also cited Johnny Sexton as another "great leader".

However, he acknowledged that the out-half is fighting to be back fit for the start of the Six Nations.

The ex-England head coach recalled how he addressed the captaincy question during his own period as an international coach.

"When I was in Andy's position, the only thing I did in the weeks leading up to the first Six Nations game in charge was work out who is fit and who was available," he said.

"We had a situation in 2012 where I hadn't announced a captain. I didn't decide until the Wednesday of the week of the camp, which is the equivalent of the end of January.

"So I think Andy will be assessing all of his options. He has got some great leadership in there already. He's got some potential future leadership definitely in there."