Brian O’Driscoll calls for midfield shake up

Brian O’Driscoll calls for midfield shake up

Brian O’Driscoll has called for a change in the British and Irish Lions midfield for their second test against the Springboks on Saturday.

The former Lions centre wants either Bundee Aki or Chris Harris to replace Elliot Daly in the starting XV. 

Speaking on the BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast, O'Driscoll sympathised with Daly after a tough day at the office in the Lions’ first test.

‘I feel for Elliot Daly, it didn’t really happen for him.’

“I think you’ve got to look at changes. I feel for Elliot Daly, it didn’t really happen for him. It’s even worse when you concede a couple of penalties,” O’Driscoll said.

“I did that in the second test in Australia. You’re trying to find a way into the game, and you give away breakdown penalties – maybe you feel hard done by – but it doesn’t matter because there are two Xs marked by your name.

“He gets smashed by Am another time. Nothing he did really worked out for him. Sometimes you have those games that just aren’t for you.

“He was fortunate that he managed to come back on at the end of the game, and might have had one or two nice touches, but it just didn’t feel that on the balance of the way the Lions were trying to play the game, that it was a combination that really worked.”

He added that the inclusion of Harris or Aki could be a major improvement for Gatland's side.

“If they’re looking at trying to play that game, and take South Africa on at their own game, play massively physical and confrontational through the guts, maybe the combination might be Harris and Henshaw, or Aki and Henshaw,” O’Driscoll said of the Lions’ centre partnership.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens with Dan Biggar, if he passes his HIA, and if Farrell ends up playing 10. There’s an awful lot to deliberate. Even in victory, you can’t just think, ‘Everything is fine.’

“You’ve got to pull it apart and think how can you be better next week, and what personnel will make that change.”


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