Brian O'Driscoll is urging the new Leinster and Ireland number 13 not to give up on his hopes of again following in his footsteps and wearing the number 13 for The Lions.
In an interview with the Telegraph, which is worth a read, O'Driscoll says that New Zealand is by far the toughest place he's ever had to tour and is convinced that the 41 man squad named by Warren Gatland will not be enough to handle the physicality of a grueling tour that includes seven midweek games, including fixtures against against all five of New Zealand's Super Rugby clubs, and three tests against the All Blacks.
The former Lions captain says he would have liked to see Ringrose in the original squad, and is someone that could make a big impact on the squad if given a chance.
He is the man for all seasons. He’s fast over the ground. He has all the attributes to be a brilliant centre. He backs it up both ways; enjoying defence almost as much as attack. He’s a player I would love to have alongside me if I was a 12.
O'Driscoll revealed the classy text he sent to the young Leinster centre after he was left out of the original squad, telling him not to give up on his hopes of being on the plane to New Zealand.
I sent him a text when the squad was announced saying I knew he would be really disappointed but there was a long way to go yet. A lot can change in two months.
Brian O'Driscoll was 22 when he was the star of the show for the Lions for their tour of Australia in 2001, and his performance in the first test of that series remains one of the most iconic moments in Lions' history and was the moment he became a worldwide star.
A lot of comparisons are sometimes unfairly drawn between the two players, but it's something that's becoming harder and harder to avoid. Ringrose's performances in November, in the Six Nations and in Leinster's Champions Cup run have been outstanding this season and have established him already as one of Ireland and Leinster's most important players.
And not to add unduly to the comparisons, but their birthdays just days apart in January, Ringrose will be exactly the same age as O'Driscoll was for the amazing 2001 Tour. Who's to say he couldn't repeat those feats if called upon by Gatland?
SEE ALSO: Mike Brown Is Seriously Unimpressed With Warren Gatland After Lions Exclusion