Former British & Irish Lions skipper Gavin Hastings believes Ireland’s Grand Slam captain Brian O’Driscoll will pip team mate Paul O’Connell to this summer’s tour leadership duties in South Africa.
At the start of the RBS 6 Nations there were three outstanding candidates for the Lions captaincy – O’Driscoll, O’Connell and Wales’ Ryan Jones.
But after the form O’Driscoll displayed throughout Ireland’s march to their first Grand Slam in 61 years it is not just Hastings who is backing him to follow in Martin Johnson’s footsteps and lead the Lions on two successive tours.
Speaking on 5 Live Hastings said: “Undoubtedly it’s going to be between Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell. With Brian having lifted Ireland’s first Grand Slam in 61 years he’s probably going to be favourite though.
“Paul O’Connell is a wonderful leader of the team as well. And in this day and age of rugby there’s normally four or five leaders on the field and that will continue with the Lions.
“I just think Brian has played so well this year it would almost be a fitting tribute to the way he has played were he to be named Lions skipper.”
The great Scot also tipped England to be well represented in the tour party following their late successes over France and Scotland.
“There’s no doubt the majority of players will come from Wales and Ireland but England’s strong finish to the Six Nations, pushing them up to second, means they will feature a lot of players,” said Hastings.
“All credit to them for coming good. You sense the influence of Martin Johnson is slowly beginning to come through.”