Brian O’Driscoll Slams Warren Gatand Over Lions Farce
The geography six.
Welsh quartet Kristian Dacey, Cory Hill, Gareth Davies and Tom Francis along with Scottish duo Allan Dell and Finn Russell were called up as cover by Gatland nearly a fortnight ago, Wales being on tour in New Zealand and Scotland in Australia being his reason for doing so.
Now that all the midweek games are over, only Dell and Russell got game time, with the Welsh quartet set to go home having never taken the field. Gatland came out this week and said he did not want to play them due to the public backlash over their call ups.
Speaking on Newstalk’s Off The Ball on Tuesday evening, Brian O’Driscoll says the whole situation is a mess.
It absolutely is [a mess]. Warren Gatland has made a mistake there personally because he’s not staying strong with his convictions.
He talks about protecting the 23, there’s a chance that he hasn’t protected the 23. Someone like Iain Henderson could easily feature this week. Yet he hasn’t been protected because he had to go and play the full 80 minutes, granted he did spend 10 minutes in the sin bin.
He’s gone and played a full game on the Tuesday. Say he’s on the bench [for the second Test] and there’s an injury in the first minute or two, he plays 78 minutes. That’s 70 minutes on a Tuesday and then 78 minutes on a Saturday and he’s talking about protecting Test players.
I don’t see how that’s good business at all.
O’Driscoll revealed that he has heard the six players in question have not felt part of the Lions camp.
From what I’ve heard, those players that have been involved feel no part of it whatsoever. He’s done a disservice to them as well because they feel that they’re unused cannon fodder. I think they’re just waiting to head home. I think they head home tomorrow [Thursday]. I don’t think that worked.
You can’t have a front row on for 80 minutes. When was the last time you had a front row on for 80 minutes? That’s doing players a disservice, irrespective of whether they’re Test players or not.