The towering physical presence of Paul O'Connell should have made him Ireland captain this season, Australian Michael Foley believes.
And the former Wallabies forwards coach believes the Munster man has the credentials to be Lions captain in South Africa this year.
Foley, now forwards coach of the New South Wales Waratahs for the coming Super 14 season, says: "I like my captain to be in the forwards, so I'd have chosen O'Connell to lead Ireland. Brian O'Driscoll has been a good captain and I take nothing away from him.
"But it is a physical game and a good leader must have presence and the ability to stand in front of men and inspire them.
"But he must also be able to do that by the way he plays and as a forward, O'Connell can do that best.
He is always going to be in the game from his position because from a forward's point of view, you get the chance to do things more than backs.
"It's not rubbish at all to say that the Lions need a big man in every sense of the word, a player who commands respect by his size and presence.
"O'Connell is very much in the same mould as Martin Johnson of England. When they ask things, people generally want to deliver for them. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Paul made Lions captain.
"You can connect with a guy like that. If he asked his players to do something, he would be the first one to do it himself. He is a very, very impressive player. And whenever I have heard him speak, you could hear the leadership qualities jumping out at you."
The delay in naming O'Driscoll as leader may suggest coach Declan Kidney agonised over his decision.
But it's clear from Foley, one of the most respected coaches of a pack of forwards in world rugby, that O'Connell could and perhaps should have done the job, not least to freshen things up in the Irish camp.
Foley delivered a wide-ranging assessment of the Irish pack and its potential during this Six Nations season.
He demolished the theory in some quarters that major changes need to be made in certain positions because of the age of some players.
He has high praise for John Hayes, the obvious guy with this topic in mind.
"He has done incredibly well in the last two years. He was always a mobile footballer who was particularly strong at mauling. But his scrummaging has come on so much," says Foley.
Why? Hayes has always had the ability, in Foley's estimation.
But the Australian suggests it may have been the fact that Ireland were paired in the strongest scrummaging group at the last World Cup, with teams like Argentina, France and Georgia, which may have concentrated minds on improving Hayes's work in the tight.
"I guess it wasn't a priority up to that point," he said.