Thursday 22 February 2018

Brian O'Driscoll names five Irish players in his Lions test team

19 November 2016; Ireland players, from left, CJ Stander, Donnacha Ryan, Simon Zebo and Conor Murray sing the national anthem ahead of the Autumn International match between Ireland and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
19 November 2016; Ireland players, from left, CJ Stander, Donnacha Ryan, Simon Zebo and Conor Murray sing the national anthem ahead of the Autumn International match between Ireland and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Brian O'Driscoll is tipping a quintet of Irishmen to force their way into the Lions first XV for the opening test match against the All Blacks this summer.

Warren Gatland is set to name his 37-man squad this Wednesday, and Irish fans will be hoping that Joe Schmidt's men are well represented on the flight to New Zealand.

This will be the first Lions tour since 1997 that Brian O'Driscoll won't be involved in, but he is still hopeful that another Irishman can claim the number 13 jersey this time around.

Speaking to Thomas Pink, Official Outfitter of the British & Irish Lions, the Lions legend picked his preferred test team, with five Irish players making the cut.

Tadhg Furlong, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw were in his side, giving Ireland the joint most selections with England.

Here is his full team:

15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

14. Liam Williams (Wales)

13. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)

12. Owen Farrell (England)

11. George North (Wales)

10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)

9. Conor Murray (Ireland)

1. Mako Vunipola (England)

2. Jamie George (England)

3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

4. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

5. Maro Itoje (England)

6. CJ Stander (Ireland)

7. Sam Warburton (Wales)

8. Billy Vunipola (England)

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