Despite the delay in the rugby calendar due to the coronavirus, it looks as though the Lions tour to South Africa in 2021 will go ahead as planned. With just over 12 months to go until the trip, people have already started to look at what team Warren Gatland will choose for the first test in Johannesburg next July.
One of those is Brian O'Driscoll.
The former Ireland captain is no stranger to Lions tours, having gone on four himself in 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013.
Writing in The Telegraph, he picked the seven players he would select in the team's backline as things stand.
Unsurprisingly, England are the most well represented with four of the seven coming from Eddie Jones' side. Ireland, Scotland, and Wales each have one representative.
O'Driscoll selects Stuart Hogg at fullback, with Anthony Watson and Jonny May on the wings. He picked Garry Ringrose and Manu Tuilagi in the centre, while Owen Farrell and Tomos Williams making up the half-back pair.
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Anthony Watson (England)
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
12. Manu Tuilagi (England)
11. Jonny May (England)
10. Owen Farrell (England)
9. Tomos Williams (Wales)
O'Driscoll believes that Tuilagi is all but guaranteed to in the centre if he is fit, with Ringrose seen as the perfect player to compliment his skillset.
In the debate for the 'ten' jersey, the Irishman said that Johnny Sexton's age means he is very unlikely to beat off competition from Farrell:
[Farrell] is just a born winner. I was on the tour in 2013 when he was part of the 23 and then he kicked on four years later and has had a lot of success with Saracens and, to a degree with England – he probably should have won a World Cup as captain. He’s a great competitor.
I am obviously a big Johnny Sexton fan but time is not on his side at the moment. I am not ageist, though – if he is still delivering at the age of 35 then he could play. He is still capable of delivering great performances. It just hasn’t been his year this year.