Sunday 22 April 2018

Don't blow chance to savour rare series triumph – O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll
Conor George

Conor George

Brian O'Driscoll has warned his team-mates not to waste what could prove to be a last opportunity to share in a Lions series win.

O'Driscoll (above) is on his fourth Lions tour but last Saturday's win was just his second Test victory in the red jersey, and he has never won a series. His message to the squad, according to coach Warren Gatland, has been to make sure they realise the stakes involved.

"I spoke to Brian at training and he just said he's a little bit worried because back in 2001 he didn't realise just how long he'd have to wait to have a second chance of a series win," said Gatland.

"He came out here as a 21-year-old four years after the 1997 Lions won in South Africa and was part of a series that was close.

WINNING

"He thought he would get another chance and here he is on the cusp of this being his last chance to be part of a winning Lions series.

"He wants to be able to communicate that to the players, to say 'don't leave this opportunity behind' because it could be you won't get that chance again.

"'Don't waste the moment' is the message to our players."

Gatland has sought to guard against complacency by making changes to the team for tomorrow's second Test in Melbourne.

Ireland's Tommy Bowe, as expected, is included on the wing, where he will wear a hurling glove on his injured right hand, while Dan Lydiate and Ben Youngs are promoted to the starting team from the bench, with Sean O'Brien and Conor Murray brought into the match-day 23.

"It's horses for courses," said Gatland. "We have picked a side we believe can do the job and we have some real impact off the bench too.

"We're desperate to win the series and have the opportunity to wrap it up this weekend, which is what we aim to do."

Irish Independent

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