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Brian O’Driscoll calls for changes to the Lions’ centre partnership for second test

Brian O'Driscoll Lions

Brian O’Driscoll has called for either Bundee Aki or Chris Harris to replace Elliot Daly in the British and Irish Lions’ second test against the Springboks.

Daly was given a rough introduction to the game by a massive tackle from Lukhanyo Am in the opening minutes, and never really got to grips with the game in which the Lions’ backline failed to really trouble South Africa’s defence.

Former Ireland centre Brian O’Driscoll was speaking on the BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast and sympathised with Daly after a tough day at the office for the Englishman in the Lions’ first test.

‘I feel for Elliot Daly, it didn’t really happen for him.’

“I think you’ve got to look at changes. I feel for Elliot Daly, it didn’t really happen for him. It’s even worse when you concede a couple of penalties,” O’Driscoll said.

“I did that in the second test in Australia. You’re trying to find a way into the game, and you give away breakdown penalties – maybe you feel hard done by – but it doesn’t matter because there are two Xs marked by your name.

“He gets smashed by Am another time. Nothing he did really worked out for him. Sometimes you have those games that just aren’t for you.

“He was fortunate that he managed to come back on at the end of the game, and might have had one or two nice touches, but it just didn’t feel that on the balance of the way the Lions were trying to play the game, that it was a combination that really worked.”

Brian O’Driscoll suggests bring in Chris Harris or Bundee Aki.

Although the Lions did win the first test against the Springboks, there is plenty of room for improvement for the tourists.

The Lions were able to force South Africa to cough up plenty of penalties in the second half in Cape Town through consistent phase play, but save for Robbie Henshaw’s break late on in the first half, their backs struggled to threaten the hosts’ defence.

O’Driscoll urged the Lions not to be content with their opening win, and suggested that starting either Chris Harris or Bundee Aki may make a major improvement to the tourists’ backline.


“If they’re looking at trying to play that game, and take South Africa on at their own game, play massively physical and confrontational through the guts, maybe the combination might be Harris and Henshaw, or Aki and Henshaw,” O’Driscoll said of the Lions’ centre partnership.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens with Dan Biggar, if he passes his HIA, and if Farrell ends up playing 10. There’s an awful lot to deliberate. Even in victory you can’t just think, ‘Everything is fine.’

“You’ve got to pull it apart and think how can you be better next week, and what personnel will make that change.”

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