Brian O’Driscoll is tipped to captain the British & Irish Lions in their decisive third test against Australia on Saturday.
Welsh international Sam Warburton has been ruled out of the showdown in Sydney after limping off during the second match with a hamstring injury, and the Irish veteran is set to lead the side in his absence.
Warburton suffered ‘a significant tear’ to his left hamstring in Melbourne, and the skipper's exit served to be a pivotal moment during the Wallabies’ 16-15 victory at the Etihad Stadium.
"It is incredibly disappointing to be ruled out of the tour through injury as we head to Sydney for the deciding match. I wish the team all the best and hope I can play some part in the build-up this week,” said the flanker, according to The Guardian.
"I am confident that the boys can finish the job off and secure the series win."
O’Driscoll skippered the Lions during the 2005 tour of New Zealand, when a controversial tackle in the first test ended his tour abruptly.
The centre has also skippered Warren Gatland’s side on this tour against the Western Force, and it would be a major surprise if the 34-year-old were not tasked with the responsibility once again ahead of the crucial clash down under.
As for Warburton, he’s set to stay on with the touring party under the supervision of team doctor Eanna Falvey, with Sean O’Brien now favourite to take his number seven jersey.