O'Driscoll to captain the Lions against the Golden Lions
Brian O'Driscoll will captain the British and Irish Lions side to face the Golden Lions in Johannesburg on Wednesday. The Lions starting XV features just three of the players who narrowly beat the Royal XV on Saturday.
Head coach Ian McGeechan spoke to reporters about the selection shortly after the team was announced: "The starting XV is very different to the one that played against the Royal XV on Saturday. There are only three players backing up from that match but six of the replacements have been promoted to Wednesday's starting XV. This is in line with our intention that all players will play a full match in the first three matches on tour."
Despite six players making their debuts in a Lions shirt McGeechan highlighted the experience running through the team from prop to fly-half through to centre. "The team has a very solid core with Brian O'Driscoll, Stephen Jones, David Wallace, Phil Vickery and Gethin Jenkins, who are all very experienced internationals and previous Lions tourists.
The Lions earned a disappointing 37-25 victory over the Royal XV on Saturday, but Wednesday's game should prove a sterner test against one of South Africa's Super 14 franchises.
Lions team to face the Golden Lions: 15. Rob Kearney (Leinster/Ireland) 14. Tommy Bowe (Ospreys/Ireland) 13. Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster/Ireland) 12. Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues/Wales) 11. Ugo Monye (Harlequins/England) 10. Stephen Jones (Scarlets/Wales) 9. Mike Phillips (Ospreys/Wales) 8. Jamie Heaslip (Leinster/Ireland) 7. David Wallace (Munster/Ireland) 6. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers/England) 5. Alun-Wyn Jones (Ospreys/Wales) 4. Nathan Hines (Perpignan/Scotland) 3. Phil Vickery (London Wasps/England) 2. Lee Mears (Bath/England) 1. Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues/Wales). Replacements: 16. Ross Ford (Edinburgh/Scotland) 17. Euan Murray (Northampton Saints/Scotland) 18. Stephen Ferris (Ulster/Ireland) 19. Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues/Wales) 20. Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers/England) 21. James Hook (Ospreys/Wales) 22. Shane Williams (Ospreys/Wales)