Friday 15 December 2017

O'Driscoll sore over Lions omission

Brian O'Driscoll still feels he should have played in the final Test
Brian O'Driscoll still feels he should have played in the final Test

Brian O'Driscoll still feels "resentment" towards British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland following his omission from the decisive third Test against Australia earlier this summer.

The Ireland centre was controversially dropped by Gatland for the Sydney decider - a move that sparked widespread criticism of the New Zealander.

With tour skipper Sam Warburton injured, O'Driscoll was widely expected to captain the Lions in that game, but Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones was handed the job.

O'Driscoll did not make the matchday 23, yet the Lions romped to a 41-16 victory and clinched a first Test series triumph overseas since 1997.

"Yeah, there's resentment of course," O'Driscoll told Sky Sports.

"Is he (Gatland) on the Christmas card list? Unlikely."

It meant a frustrating end to O'Driscoll's fourth and last Lions tour, with Gatland preferring an all-Welsh midfield combination of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies.

"When you're left with disappointment that way, you can't but feel a little bit of resentment," added O'Driscoll, who started the first and second Tests Down Under.

"People will say the decision was justified because of the results and the performance.

"The way the team played, I felt within the 13 jersey that I might have been able to do a decent job within that part of the team the way they played in that game.

"That is absolutely not taking anything away from Jonathan's performance, I thought he was pretty good that day, made some big plays at important times.

"But I guess it comes back to you backing yourself, feeling you too could have done some things that maybe others didn't do on the day."

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