Friday, July 05, 2013


Gatland’s decision doesn’t just go against the Irish, but also the Lions concept in general, says Kristian Ross…

Rugby Opinion

Early Wednesday morning came, I was on the way to work, I refreshed my Twitter feed from the night before and what do I see ? Warren Gatland has dropped Brian O’Driscoll from the final test against Australia for this coming Saturday.

I couldn't quite believe it. The fact that Gatland who has already made a copious amount of controversial squad decisions and call ups this tour has had the nerve to drop the biggest player of my generation. A man who has scored the most tries in the Six Nations, a man who has had European success on four different occasions, and who was described yesterday by Irish rugby legend Willie John McBride ‘’ the best player that Ireland have ever produced’’.

When you think of the number 13 in rugby, immediately BOD springs to mind. A player with superb tactical knowledge, who knows the ins and outs of the game, and a unit that is always associated with the word ‘’gamechanger’’. Gatland not only has caused uproar by leaving out O’Driscoll, but has also said it was ‘’the right call’’.

Brian yesterday was quoted as being ‘’disappointed’’ however he of course said he will be fully behind the Lions come Saturday morning. Needless to say some fans especially within Ireland have finally snapped and have lost interest and I have to say, I cannot blame them. Gatland has been what I can only describe as a shambles, and even Australia head coach Robbie Deans is shocked at the omission. Surely Australian fans must just be laughing all the way.

None other than NZ rugby hero Dan Carter tweeted also voicing his concerns at Gatland’s maddening decision using the hashtag ‘’Should Have Been Captain’’. Keith Wood also expressed his opinion too, and clearly he didn't share the same views as WG. Brian hasn't had the stand out tour that everyone thought he would have, but he hasn't been incredibly poor, so therefore the reason to drop him still remains a mystery.

With the loss of Paul O’Connell in the squad, and the injury that ruled out Sam Warburton, O’Driscoll was odds on favourite of becoming the captain at the weekend. Not just because he displays exemplary talent, but because he displays leadership to the highest magnitude. A grace decision has been made by a coach that I personally believe hasn't a clue about the Lions concept and has ended the British and Irish Lions career of one player on a rather sour note. In all you can say the word legend is overused, but at the end of the day Brian O’Driscoll is one.

I'm Kristian. 18. And my mind is filled with rugby shaped thoughts. Supporting Ulster Rugby, Newcastle Falcons and of course the mighty Ireland. Tommy Bowe is the MAN !!!! SUFTUM.


Taken by JLP from RDS press box on Nov 16, 2019