- James Ryan (Ireland)
- Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
O’Driscoll picked fell countryman James Ryan to partner Alun Wyn Jones. He went on to say that he did question whether Jones was capable of delivering in South Africa but said “I know the warrior that’s in him, the fitness animal he is, the appetite he has for work so I think he’ll still be able to piece himself together.”
- Maro Itoje (England)
- Sam Underhill (England)
- Billy Vunipola (England)
“The back row aside from Billy is very difficult, I’m going to go from a size aspect and it makes another decision easier. I’m going to go with Maro Itoje at six. That size will matter, particularly against South Africa who we have seen decimate teams physically.
“You look at Pieter Steph du Toit playing at six, you have got to match him, Itoje is someone who is capable of doing that.”