Saturday 29 April 2017

Brian O'Driscoll doesn't see Garry Ringrose or Peter O'Mahony being picked for the Lions and has an interesting bolter

Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll believes Garry Ringrose and Peter O'Mahony will miss out on selection for Warren Gatland's 37-man Lions squad.

Ringrose has been mooted as a possible Lions centre for some time and O'Mahony has thrown his hat back in the ring after a stellar display in the Six Nations over England but Ireland record tryscorer doesn't think it will be enough.

The competition for places in the squad, that will be announced on April 19, is fierce and four-time tourist O'Driscoll is expecting Gatland to stick with tried and trusted players.

Speaking on a live chat on the Rugby Tonight Twitter page, O'Driscoll said: "I wouldn't be shocked if either of them (Ringrose and O'Mahony) did but I don't think either of them will.

"I think Peter O'Mahony has had a huge game against England but he essentially hasn't been playing for the national team.

"Would he do a brilliant job in the midweek team? That's what a lot of people are talking about. You've got to pick guys in the test reckoning. When you look at the strength of the back row, I'm not sure he features in that with the best of them.

"It will be interesting to see what happens. I think one player gets picked between Sean O'Brien, (CJ) Stander and Peter O'Mahony.

"I don't feel it's likely to be Pete and it would be some shock if they left Stander out.

"Don't be shocked of you see Sean O'Brien in the squad, even though he hasn't been playing the best rugby of his career. He played at 7 in the third test in Australia. Warren Gatland likes him and Andy Farrell likes him."

O'Driscoll added: "I don't think there are going to be a any major bolters, anybody travelling has already had their name thrown into the discussion.

"People are talking about the likes of Garry Ringrose, I think players like that will just miss out.

"Warren Gatland has gone with a coaching staff that he is comfortable with, similar to last time round, and I think he is going to go with a similar group of players.

"You're going to see a lot of repeat tourists.

"I don't think there is going to be many bolters, I'm sorry, I just think that's the reality."

If there is to be a surprise pick from Gatland, BOD believes that it may be Sale's New Zealand-born winger Denny Solomona.

"If you are looking at a bolter, I think Solomona is an outside bet.

"The type of game he brings. A physical, attritional game is going to be needed down there. Whether he has the defensive nous yet, I'm not so sure.

"You could carry winger potentially, and if there's an outside bet, he's not a bad one.

"He's a big guy, brilliant finisher and he's up for the fight."

RUGBYU Solomon.jpg  

The 23-year-old has just completed a three-year residency period to qualify for England has scored 11 tries in as many games in the Aviva Premiership this season.

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