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O'Mahony was Ireland's best 6 Nations player but he won't be a Lion

The former England and Lions centre Jeremy Guscott also has some bad news for England captain Chris Robshaw.

Jeremy Guscott has been impressed with Peter O'Mahony this season.
Jeremy Guscott has been impressed with Peter O'Mahony this season.
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

JEREMY GUSCOTT HAS nothing but good things to say about Munster and Ireland back-row Peter O’Mahony. However, the former England and Lions centre still feels O’Mahony is in for some bad news this morning.

British & Irish Lions head coach will name his touring squad to travel to Australia for a Test Series against Robbie Deans’ Wallabies. The announcement will take place from 11am in London, with Sky Sports News broadcasting all the latest.

Guscot, who won two of the three tours he was involved in, has selected ‘an entirely subjective’ 37-man squad for the BBC but he took time out to explain some of his decisions to TheScore.ie.

He said, “I’ve picked James Hook rather than Owen Farrell as my second flyhalf. Farrell does not offer you any more than Sexton if he comes on. Hook can. Owen is a quality player but not a threat with ball in hand.

“The back row is incredibly hard. 12 players could go but any seven from that 12 would still make for a strong squad. I’ve picked Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton, Tom Wood, Sean O’Brien and Tom Croft as flankers. My Number 8′s are Ben Morgan and Toby Faletau, who does the same job as Jamie Heaslip only with more consistency. Heaslip had a great game at the weekend but it was his best of the season. He hasn’t taken to [the Ireland] captaincy too well this year. Some fall into it easily, some don’t.” Guscott added:

The Irish second rows, Mike McCarthy and Donnacha Ryan, might be unlucky as they played well in a poor team this year. My player of the tournament was Peter O’Mahony but I don’t think he’ll make the squad. I’ve chosen Tom Wood ahead of him but I’d have no qualms if it was O’Mahony. It’s a coin flip thing, a gut feeling I have.”

Guscott believes Sam Warburton will best serve the Lions at blindside flanker, with the ‘lightning fast’ Justin Tipuric at openside. He has not included Dan Lydiate or England captain Chris Robshaw in his back row.

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Guscott celebrates winning the 1997 Test Series in South Africa. (©INPHO/Billy Stickland)

Jeremy Guscott’s 37-man Lions squad

Forwards – [PROPS] Cian Healy, Ryan Grant, Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones, Dan Cole; [HOOKERS] Rory Best, Richard Hibbard, Ken Owens; [LOCKS] Alun-Wyn Jones, Paul O’Connell, Joe Launchbury, Ian Evans, Richie Gray; [FLANKERS] Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton, Tom Wood, Sean O’Brien, Tom Croft; [NO.8's] Toby Faletau, Ben MorganBacks – [SH] Mike Phillips, Ben Youngs, Danny Care; [OH] Jonny Sexton, James Hook; [CENTRES] Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Manu Tuilagi, Brian O’Driscoll, Billy Twelvetrees; [WINGERS] George North, Tommy Bowe, Simon Zebo, Sean Maitland, Alex Cuthbert; [FB] Leigh Halfpenny, Rob Kearney.

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Patrick McCarry

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