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Brian O’Driscoll shares his thoughts on Owen Farrell missing out on Lions captaincy

Owen Farrell Lions

Brian O’Driscoll has questioned Owen Farrell’s place in the British and Irish Lions’ starting test team after the Englishman missed out on the captaincy.

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray was named as Lions tour captain after Alun Wyn Jones dislocated his shoulder seven minutes into the game against Japan.

Murray was a surprise selection for Lions captain, as the 32-year-old has never captained either Munster or Ireland, while England captain Owen Farrell and Scotland captain Stuart Hogg are both in Warren Gatland’s squad.

Conor Murray chosen as captain in Alun Wyn Jones’ absence.

While O’Driscoll was happy for Murray to be named as the Lions’ captain for the tour to South Africa, he did find it intriguing that Farrell was overlooked for the role.

The Lions squad members elected a leadership group for the tour at the start of the week, and Gatland revealed that Farrell had actually received more votes than any other player.

Despite that, Murray has been chosen to skipper the Lions, leading O’Driscoll to question whether Gatland intends to start Farrell in any of the tests against the Springboks.

‘Maybe Gats doesn’t see Owen Farrell as his Lions starting test 12.’

“Big congrats to Conor Murray on replacing the unlucky Alun Wyn Jones as skipper,” O’Driscoll tweeted.

“Now we know who starts at nine. Interesting the chat about the leadership group and Owen Farrell getting most player votes however, maybe Gats doesn’t see him as his starting test 12. Bundee [Aki] was good yesterday too.”

Farrell will have to show some impressive form in the coming weeks for the Lions, after the Saracens man played below his potential in a disappointing Six Nations campaign for England.

Gatland is well aware of Farrell’s abilities, having started him in all three tests against the All Blacks in 2017, but Dan Biggar is currently the front runner to start at fly-half in the tests against the Springboks.

While Farrell can also play at inside centre, Gatland seems to have picked a physical group of centres to deal with the Springboks.

Farrell certainly isn’t small, but he is lacking in physicality compared to Lions centres Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw and Chris Harris and will likely play mainly at fly-half on the tour.

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