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Carling: My jaw hit floor over Drico call

FORMER England captain Will Carling believes Warren Gatland has made a huge error in dropping Brian O'Driscoll for the Lions Test decider against Australia, claiming the decision has "no logic."

Gatland caused a massive stir after controversially opting to omit the experienced Ireland centre as one of six changes to last weekend's 16-15 defeat to the Wallabies.

O'Driscoll had been tipped as a possible captaincy replacement for the injured Sam Warburton, but not only did the 34-year-old lose his starting spot to Jamie Roberts, he also failed to even make the matchday 23 for the winner-takes-all third Test in Sydney.

Carling, who toured with the Lions in 1993, admitted he was stunned by the decision and believes O'Driscoll should have been involved and also named as skipper.

He said: "My jaw almost hit the floor when I heard the news.

"Gatland will be hung out to dry if he gets this one wrong and I firmly believe he has made the wrong call.

"There is just no logic to his decision. I would never pick a team on sentiment but O'Driscoll would still be in my team on merit.

"Okay, he hasn't set the world alight in this Test series but in make-or-break games like this you need players of proven world class. O'Driscoll ticks all the boxes. And because of that I'd have given him the captaincy."

But Gatland has received a measure of support from England's World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward.

Woodward, who represented the Lions as a player in 1980 and 1983 and as coach in 2005, believes Gatland was right to leave O'Driscoll out of his starting line-up, although he believes the Irishman should have been on the bench.

"I agree with dropping O'Driscoll from the team, but he should not have been left out of the match-day squad," said Woodward.


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