IRELAND rugby star Brian O’Driscoll revealed he handed a Christmas card to Warren Gatland as they visited Downing Street signalling he was back on his ‘list’.
There had been public outrage after the former Ireland captain was dropped by Gatland from the Lions squad to play Australia in the crucial third Test earlier this year, which they won.
O’Driscoll had said during a Sky Sports interview shortly afterwards that he did “resent” the coach.
“Is he on the Christmas card list? Unlikely,” he had stated to former player turned pundit Shane Horgan.
The rugby star said on the Late Late Show on RTE that the invite for the successful Lions squad to meet the UK Prime Minister followed his interview outburst.
“I thought ‘I’m going to have to chat to him and that is going to be really weird’,” he said. “I thought to myself, the best thing to diffuse the situation is to actually bring him over a Christmas card.
“I just went up to him and I said ‘I know you’ve probably heard that you’re off my Christmas card list but I’ve had a rethink and you’re back on it, congratulations’. And I just put it into his pocket. I didn’t really talk to him other than that, he just laughed.”
However, O’Driscoll confessed it is hard to feel part of the jubilation if you are not togged out on the pitch.
“That is what you live for that adrenaline rush,” he said. “You don’t get that in the stand. You cheer the lads on and are wanting them to do well but you can’t experience the emotions that they have.”
In an open interview, he told how he still brought his gum shield in the pocket of his suit to that infamous game just in case Jamie Roberts got injured in the warm-up.