FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN Lewis Moody believes Brian O’Driscoll shouldn’t start for the Lions, arguing that he hasn’t done enough in recent times to warrant a place in the side.
O’Driscoll has had a mixed year, getting sin-binned in Ireland’s disappointing final Six Nations game against Italy and struggling with injury on occasion, while also helping Leinster to win both the Amlin Cup and the RaboDirect Pro12.
He added that the management were unlikely to pick O’Driscoll to start the first test, telling reporters:
“The Lions have not played a game yet, I might be wrong. I would love him to play, and he is such a legend, one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, and a mesmerising player – but at the moment he would miss out through lack of form.”
He added: “There is no place for sentiment – it’s all about winning. Which Lions tours are memorable? Only the ones which were successful. Winning is all that matters. You pick the guys – whether they have played one match or 100 Tests for their country – who are in the best form at that moment to deliver what needs to be done to get that Test series win.
“For me now the centre partnership would be Roberts and Manu Tuilagi, with the Welsh back three (Alex Cuthbert and George North on the wings with Leigh Halfpenny at full-back) and Jonny Sexton at No 10 and Phillips at scrum-half. Ben Youngs has a chance at scrum-half.”
The ex-British and Irish Lion has also claimed Jamie Heaslip may be in contention to start, explaining how he “has come into some form in the past few weeks with Leinster, especially in the Amlin Cup. He could suddenly come alive on the tour again like he did in 2009. I know from personal experience that the burden of captaining your country weighs on you.”