Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

The Punter: Drico is a Grand bet

Brian O’Driscoll the ‘Grand’ leader of Ireland’s historic Six Nations ‘Slam dunk’ is odds-on favourite to be handed the captaincy of the forthcoming British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

He looks as certain as Ronan O’Gara’s drop goal which secured Ireland first Grand Slam in 61 years in Cardiff last Saturday.

William Hill have cut O’Driscoll from 5-4 to 8-11 following a rush of money. He captained the Lions on the last tour but an early injury curtailed his grasp on the role.

Hence it makes sense all round that head coach Ian McGeechan will give ‘Bod’ the nod.

Paul O’Connell, (pictured) who had been favourite to get the Lions job, has been pushed out to 5-4 second favourite to get the post, while Welsh captain Ryan Jones has drifted out to 8-1 to get the coveted position.

Hills have also opened up a book on who will win the RTE Sports Person of the Year award for 2009.

The firm had O’Driscoll at 11-4 prior to the Welsh game and he is now 8-11 while Bernard Dunne who won the WBA Super bantamweight title in the early hours of Sunday morning, has been cut to 4-1.

The Ireland rugby team are past the post for the team honour and odds of 1-100 reflect that.

Tony Kenny, Hill’s Irish representative said: “Irish punters seem to think O’Driscoll is a stonewall certainty to get the Lions gig and who can argue with them after his lion-hearted displays during Ireland’s Grand Slam campaign.

“O’Connell looks like his only real challenger and either of them would be a great choice for the Lions job”

Next Lions Captain: (William Hill): 8-11 Brian O’Driscoll, 5-4 Paul O’Connell, 8-1 Ryan Jones – Others on Request

RTE Sports Person Of The Year: 8-11 Brian O’Driscoll, 4-1 Bernard Dunne, Paul O’Connell, 8-1 Ruby Walsh,14-1 Padraig Harrington, Ronan O’Gara, 25-1 Willie Mullins 33-1 Rob Kearney , Aidan O’Brien Colin Cooper, 40-1 Robbie Keane, Shay Given, Henry Shefflin, 50-1 Mary Cullen, Derval O’Rourke, 100-1 David Gillick (athletics), Katie Taylor (boxing). Others on request

RTE Team Of The Year: 1-100 Irish rugby team, 16-1 Munster, 20-1 Leinster, 33-1 Kilkenny, 50-1 Kerry. Others on request.