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Gatland wants BOD to Lion out

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Lions head coach Warren Gatland. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile.

LIONS coach Warren Gatland is keeping his "fingers crossed" that Brian O'Driscoll will be fully recovered from a minor twinge to his back for Friday night.

"He's hoping to be right for Friday for the Amlin final and fingers crossed everything will be okay for him," said New Zealander Gatland.

"My information is that he just has to stay off his feet for 48 hours. It is something that he's had and sort of comes once a year at some stage."

The durability of O'Driscoll has been given as one of the reasons why he did not win Gatland's vote to captain the 2013 tour to Australia.

 

Length

The 34-year-old spoke at length last week about how he has become the best judge of his body and what it needs to be at its best.

"A punter isn't in my bedroom on a Sunday morning, thankfully, to see how much more of a struggle it is now than it was six or seven years ago to get going or to recover," O'Driscoll revealed.

"It takes 48 hours or longer sometimes to recover. You can't always get the workload. You have to give something up to allow yourself to be right. It has a cumulative effect."

The physical manifestation of the fallout out from his commitment to put his body on the line is with him every day.

"If I was to stand for half an hour or three-quarters of an hour my back will start seizing up on me so I need to sit down or I need to lie down and work the muscle out," the former Ireland captain said.

"In time, you understand your body and what makes you tick, what you need, the small edges, how to counteract the ailments with certain exercises or more of one thing and less of another.

"One of the upsides of being a senior player and being 34 is that the S and C (strength and conditioning) guys know that you're not trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

"They know that you know yourself best and they're happy to change up your schedule and your workload to specifically fit your needs."

"That's a big aspect of becoming a senior figure in any team and getting to prolong your career for as long as you can. It's a huge component."

The centre partnership of O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy (calf problem) has been central to Leinster and Ireland's strategy for well over a decade.

Now, Leinster coach Joe Schmidt could be faced with preparing for Stade Francais without one or both of them.

That would leave a void in attack and defence that would be very difficult to deal with against a French club that is coming to the boil at the right time of the season.


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