Sunday 25 February 2018

Brian O'Driscoll claims Lions' drinking in Queenstown could give the All Blacks an added edge

Brian O'Driscoll believes the Lions should have had stricter guidlelines on social media use
Brian O'Driscoll believes the Lions should have had stricter guidlelines on social media use
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Lions and Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll believes the Lions' players and staff should have been shrewder on social media during their two-day break in Queenstown.

Warren Gatland opted to let the players recoup in the popular tourist area after the rigours of last weekend's victory over the All Blacks in Wellington.

New Zealand flanker Jerome Kaino said he would prefer to train this week with the All Blacks than enjoy jet-boating and bungee-jumping.

There was no drink ban imposed on the players and while they avoided the controversy that mired England's Rugby World Cup campaign in 2011, there was some criticism of the decision to drink alcohol just a few days out from the series decider at Eden Park.

Speaking on Off The Ball on Newstalk last night, O'Driscoll said it was a mistake to allow images of players drinking beers appear on social media sites and it could give Steve Hansen's men a psychological edge.

"I have an appreciation for the number of miles on the clock at this stage. The Lions have completed a full season, are into week seven of a seven-week tour, they have a huge amount of training done over that time. They definitely need some time off their feet, of that there's no doubt," he said.

"Queenstown was where they decided to go...I definitely think they could have been a little bit smarter about social media. I saw one or two posts of a couple of lads having a beer mid-afternoon. I've no problem with lads having a few beers, but there's no need to promote it to the world. The All Blacks are looking at that, and it is adding fuel to the fire. 'Have these guys switched off already? Are they happy with 1-1?'

"If I was an All Black, that's how I'd be looking at it. 'Are they on easy street? We're here grafting because we are hurting from last week'. I appreciate that they need down time, but I think they could have been a small bit smarter about how they went about that."

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