There’s a thin line between brave and stupid, and Warren Gatland now walks that line. The British and Irish Lions coach has dropped Brian O’Driscoll for the decisive third test against Australia and caused a Twitter meltdown as fans, ex-players and pundits came out to question his decision.
If, and it is a massive if, the Lions beat Australia, Gatland’s decision could be justified but in the four days before the match all the talk is going to be about BOD’s exclusion. O’Driscoll hasn’t even made the bench for Saturday’s match and a day of mourning is expected to be called in Ireland within the next few hours.
Warren Gatland has made six changes for the match with Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones captaining the side. The Lions are evens for the match, with Australia the slight favourites at 5/6, which isn’t great news for Paddy who paid out on the Lions after the first test.
Lions team to face Australia (yes that’s 10 Welshmen):
Leigh Halfpenny (Wales); Tommy Bowe (Ireland), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Jamie Roberts (Wales), George North (Wales); Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Mike Phillips (Wales); Alex Corbisiero (England), Richard Hibbard (Wales), Adam Jones (Wales), Alun Wyn Jones (captain, Wales), Geoff Parling (England), Dan Lydiate (Wales), Sean O’Brien (Ireland), Toby Faletau (Wales).
Obviously totally gutted at being left out for deciding Test but all efforts go into preparing the boys to see it through. #seaofred
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) July 3, 2013
Lions team info. Sorry but you have just handed to series to Australia. 7 chances and still no real match winner
— David Campese (@Davidcampese11) July 3, 2013
— Sportsbet.com.au (@sportsbetcomau) July 3, 2013
BBC's Ian Robertson on BOD: "It's catastrophic leaving him out. He's still one of the top centres in world rugby. It's a massive mistake."
— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) July 3, 2013
Right, who's sick idea of a joke is this? #BOD
— PaddyPowerShops (@PaddyPowerShops) July 3, 2013
— Jean Smyth (@JeanSmyth) July 3, 2013
More likely to see a bigger protest march for this O'Driscoll news than the bank guarantees and that.. #blamegatland
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) July 3, 2013
Warren G has issued a statement: "They got guns to my head I think I'm going down I can't believe this happenin in my own town." #Lions
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 3, 2013
No room for sentimentality in top level sport & BOD/Lions is no different. Exceptional career but under-performed throughout the tour #Lions
— Scott Brown (@sc_brown) July 3, 2013