Brian O’Driscoll has named three Irishmen in his British and Irish Lions starting 15 after Thursday’s 37-man squad announcement.
Lions head coach Warren Gatland threw up plenty of surprises in the squad announcement, as the likes of Johnny Sexton and Kyle Sinckler were excluded, while outside choices such as Jack Conan and Bundee Aki will travel to South Africa.
O’Driscoll selected his starting team for Off The Ball after the official squad reveal, and has opted for a largely settled and experienced side to take on the Springboks this summer.
Brian O’Driscoll’s Lions XV.
The Ireland legend has selected nine players who started in the Lions’ third test against the All Blacks four years ago, with the tight-five the most similar area as all but Mako Vunipola retain their place.
O’Driscoll has gone with six Welsh players to start, after they secured an unlikely Six Nations title this year after what was a very poor first year under new Wales head coach Wayne Pivac in 2020.
The four-time Lions tourist has named five English players in his starting team, three Irish players and one Scottish player.
Just two players in O’Driscoll’s starting side have never toured with the Lions before – England’s Tom Curry and Wales’ Wyn Jones.
The Irishman has backed England captain Owen Farrell to start at outside-centre again for the Lions, where he will pair with Wales’ Dan Biggar to make up a play-making 10-12 axis.
Check out Brian O’Driscoll’s full Lions starting XV below.
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Liam Williams (Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
12. Owen Farrell (England)
11. Anthony Watson (England)
10. Dan Biggar (Wales)
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)
7. Justin Tipuric (Wales)
6. Tom Curry (England)
5. Maro Itoje (England)
4. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
2. Jamie George (England)
1. Wyn Jones (Wales)