Pat Lam's optimistic about Sean O'Brien and Peter O'Mahony's Lions test chances

Ireland back rows are in pole position for the big tests to come according to the ex-Connacht head coach

Sean O'Brien, Lions, Peter O'Mahony

British and Irish Lions Peter O’Mahony and Sean O’Brien ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Former Connacht  head coach Pat Lam believes Peter O'Mahony and Sean O'Brien can secure their place on the Lions team to face New Zealand in the first test next Saturday.

The Ireland duo are playing on the flanks tomorrow against the Maori All Blacks this Saturday morning with O'Mahony skippering the side.

With regular captain Sam Warburton struggling with injury, Lam feels O'Mahony, O'Brien and No 8 Taulupe Faletau are the front runners to be the back row trio for the first test.

"To me, these three have got the jerseys and it's whether they can keep them by playing well. If they play well, those three will do the job," he said.

"Sean O'Brien hasn't played much rugby, so he's like the kid in the candy store. He's all excited and showing his class, Peter O'Mahony just brings that real tough edge and the ability at the line out. If you're going to stop the All Blacks, you have to put pressure, not only at the breakdown but at the set piece.     

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