2005 Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll named the XV he believes capable of defeating South Africa when the expected series of tests against the Springboks begin this time next July. Rugby fans can book British lions tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
O’Driscoll, the Irish midfielder who toured four Lions and Warren Gatland infamously dropped him for the 2013 series decisive against Australia, has opted for an England-dominated team for a 2021 series starting in Johannesburg on 24 July next year.
It is a team that reflects O’Driscoll’s taste for the England team under Eddie Jones: O’Driscoll had tipped them to win last year’s World Cup before the tournament began, a prediction that only fell short in the final hurdle when the Springboks beat the English in Yokohama.
By announcing his choice of the Off The Ball radio show in Ireland, O’Driscoll began his eight-player English preference by choosing Anthony Watson and Jonny May on the wings, Manu Tuilagi in the middle and Owen Farrell in the middle.
In advance, he added four more English men, Billy Vunipola at n. 8th, Sam Underhill in the opening, Jamie George in the prostitute and ending with Maro Itoje on the blind side instead of the second row, which is his regular position in England and where he played for the Lions tied in 2017 Test Series in New Zealand.
Explaining his thoughts on Itoje, O’Driscoll said: “The back row, aside from Billy, is very difficult. I’m going to go from one size aspect and it makes another decision easier. I’m going to go with Maro Itoje to That size will matter, particularly against South Africa, whom we’ve seen physically decimate the teams.
“If you watch Pieter-Steph du Toit playing at six, you have to match him. Itoje is someone who is capable of doing that.”
Trading players from other countries that he wants to present at the Gatland XV, O’Driscoll chose Jonathan Davies at No. 13, Tomos Williams in the scrum-half and veteran Alun Wyn Jones in the lock.
Completing the team with two teams from Ireland and Scotland, O’Driscoll calculated that Irish regulars Tadhg Furlong and James Ryan will appear in the tight five, while his Scottish favorites were Stuart Hogg on the side and surprisingly Rory Sutherland on loosehead.
Off The Ball Lions XV, by Brian O’Driscoll: Stuart Hogg Scotland; Anthony Watson England, Jonathan Davies Wales, Manu Tuilagi England, Jonny May England; Owen Farrell England, Tomos Williams Wales; Rory Sutherland Scotland, Jamie George England, Tadhg Furlong Ireland, James Ryan Ireland, Alun Wyn Jones Wales, Maro Itoje England, Sam Underhill England, Billy Vunipola England.
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