With just over 12 months before the Lions make the trip down to South Africa to face the World Champions Springboks, former Ireland and Lions legend Brian O'Driscoll has picked his backline to tackle the Boks.
O'Driscoll is no stranger to Lions tours, having gone on four himself in 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013. The former Ireland captain writing in The Telegraph, picked the seven players he would select in the team's backline as things stand with England the most well represented side four players featuring from Eddie Jones' side with Ireland, Scotland, and Wales each having one representative.
Stuart Hogg takes the 15 jersey with Anthony Watson and Jonny May either side of him.
Manu Tuilagi and Garry Ringrose pair up in his midfield with Owen Farrell and Tomos Williams making up the half-back pair. O'Driscoll believes that Tuilagi is all but guaranteed to in the centre if he is fit, with Ringrose seen as the perfect player to compliment his skillset.
Writing on the decision to pick Farrell over Jonathan Sexton, O'Driscoll said: "He [Farrell] is just a born winner. I was on the tour in 2013 when he was part of the 23 and then he kicked on four years later and has had a lot of success with Saracens and, to a degree with England – he probably should have won a World Cup as captain. He’s a great competitor."
“I am obviously a big Johnny Sexton fan but time is not on his side at the moment. I am not ageist, though – if he is still delivering at the age of 35 then he could play. He is still capable of delivering great performances. It just hasn’t been his year this year."
Speaking on Farrell's halfback partner O'Driscoll said: “I don’t know who is going to be playing at nine and it is open… but I am going to pick Williams. I really thought he was excellent at the World Cup.
O'Driscoll's Lions backline:
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Anthony Watson (England)
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
12. Manu Tuilagi (England)
11. Jonny May (England)
10. Owen Farrell (England)
9. Tomos Williams (Wales)exton fan but time is not on his side at the moment. I am not ageist, though – if he is still delivering at the age of 35 then he could play. He is still capable of delivering great performances. It just hasn’t been his year this year.