Brian O'Driscoll said he was honoured and humbled to be made captain of the Lions tour to New Zealand.
O'Driscoll is Ireland's first Lions captain since 1983 and he is one of 11 Irish players in coach Sir Clive Woodward's 44-man touring party.
"It is a tremendous honour to be asked to be Lions captain and lead a squad of so many great players," he said.
"When you see that past captains include the likes of Martin Johnson and Willie John McBride, it is humbling."
O'Driscoll said he was now looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.
"I am relishing the challenge, and I will give it everything I have," the Ireland captain and centre said.
"The Lions has such a powerful history, and Clive will move it on again.
"The level of preparation and professionalism will ensure this tour combines the inspiration of Lions history, while being at the cutting edge of modern sport."
O'Driscoll leads an Irish contingent that is outnumbered only by the 20 England players.
But he says he cannot foresee national rivalries causing any problems on the tour.
"I think the Lions is such a different entity. We kick each other sideways in the Six Nations, but it's all forgotten as we come together for the tour," O'Driscoll said.
"We've all been Irish, Scotsmen, English and Welsh until today when we come together as one team. I don't anticipate it being difficult to bring the team together."