4 Jul 2013

O'Driscoll dropped from Lions third test lineup in one of six changes

6:09 am on 4 July 2013

The veteran Irish centre Brian O'Driscoll has been dropped from the British and Irish Lions side in one of six changes to the starting line-up for Saturday's third and deciding test against Australia.

O'Driscoll was expected to take the captaincy after Sam Warburton suffered a tour-ending hamstring injury.

But Jamie Roberts, who missed the first two tests with a hamstring injury and Jonathan Davies will start in the centres, with coach Warren Gatland selecting 10 Welshmen in his starting lineup.

Toby Faletau comes in at number eight for Ireland's Jamie Heaslip and Mike Phillips, who played in the first test win but was rested for the second test loss because of concerns about his knee, returns at halfback in place of England's Ben Youngs.

Irishman Sean O'Brien replaces Warburton at openside flanker in the new-look back row, which hints that the Lions will again try to overpower the Wallabies in the forwards rather than play too expansively.

O'Driscoll, who's playing on his fourth Lions tour and still searching for his first test series win, has failed to even make the reserves England midfielder Manu Tuilagi preferred to cover the backline.

Team: 15-Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), 14-Tommy Bowe (Ireland), 13-Jonathan Davies (Wales), 12-Jamie Roberts (Wales), 11-George North (Wales), 10-Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), 9-Mike Phillips (Wales), 8-Toby Faletau (Wales), 7-Sean O'Brien (Ireland), 6-Dan Lydiate (Wales), 5-Geoff Parling (England), 4-Alun Wyn Jones (captain, Wales), 3-Adam Jones (Wales), 2-Richard Hibbard (Wales), 1-Alex Corbisiero (England)

Replacements - 16-Tom Youngs (England), Mako Vunipola (England), 18-Dan Cole (England), 19-Richie Gray (Scotland), 20-Justin Tipuric (Wales), 21-Conor Murray (Ireland), 22-Owen Farrell (England), 23-Manu Tuilagi (England)