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Wednesday Jul 3, 2013

Brian O'Driscoll dropped for series decider against the Wallabies

Brian O'Driscoll dropped for series decider against the Wallabies
75
Comments

Warren Gatland has made six changes to the side that faced the Wallabies last weekend, shocking fans by dropping Brian O’Driscoll, who had been widely tipped to captain the team in his last ever British & Irish Lions game.

With the omission of captain Sam Warburton through injury, O’Driscoll appeared to be the front runner to take over on his fourth Lions tour. Instead, a midfield change has meant he’s not even on the bench, and Alun Wyn Jones will skipper the side.

“Picking this team was not easy and ultimately with several players available after recovering from injury the head overruled the heart in many selection decisions,” said coach Gatland.

There are a record equalling 10 Welshmen in the team, the first time since 1950.

“It has been a challenging tour and we have had our fair share of injuries but we always knew that would be the case. Brian O’Driscoll is a great player and has had a wonderful career but for the final Test in Sydney we just felt Jamie Roberts’ presence offered us something more.”

It’s a decision that has dismayed fans as the deciding Test was set up perfectly – should the Lions win it – for a famous send off for one of the greatest rugby players of his generation.

O’Driscoll was reportedly told before the team was announced, which he appreciated.

Elsewhere, Mike Phillips returns to start instead of Ben Youngs, and Sean O’Brien gets a start, along with Toby Faletau. Alex Corbisiero also returns from injury, and Richard Hibbard will start at hooker.

“Mike Phillips and Alex Corbisiero were 1st Test selections and would probably have played in the 2nd Test if not for injury. Richard Hibbard, Toby Faletau and Sean O’Brien have also earned their starting places.

“It all comes down to Saturday. Winner takes all. We know we can leave nothing in the tank and that only a complete performance will get us across the line,” said Gatland.

British & Irish Lions
15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 1 Alex Corbisiero, 2 Richard Hibbard, 3 Adam Jones, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 5 Geoff Parling, 6 Dan Lydiate, 7 Sean O’Brien, 8 Toby Faletau
Replacements 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Makovina Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Manu Tuilagi

Time: 1:42
Credit: @rugbymedia

75 Comments

  •  nr1bacc
    nr1bacc
    12:04 PM 09/07/2013

    I didnt want to say anything at the time partly because it was all so very heated but you have to look at Gatlands record: 1) Lee Byrne - Remember him? Possibly still the best welsh qualified full back - but a yellow card machine - dropped 2) James Hook - sublimely talented and creative fly/inside centre possibly the best welsh fly in years - the odd rush of blood to the head the odd yellow card- dropped 3) Martyn Williams - the flanker that gave Gatland his career in wales - started giving silly penalties and picking up cards- dropped 4) AWJ - yellow card - publicly humiliated and told he would be dropped if he didnt sort his shit out. he did and kept. BOD - Greatest living Irishman (if you believe this forum) didn't understand the breakdown and was in danger of getting a yellow - dropped look guys Gatland is consistent if you have a chance of a yellow you will not be selected. One reason the lions won is because they played 240 minutes of rugby with 15 men on the park.

    Reply
  •  mastersa
    mastersa
    2:47 PM 08/07/2013

    Was I the only one who noticed the crumbling Aussie pack (from minute 3). The game was clearly won up front with a couple of tries from the backs at the death when the dejected Aussies, with nothing on bench had given up. Dropping BOD had nothing to do with win, in fact there is no evidence that he would not have been more creative behind that pack, which didn't take a backward step the whole game. Just the fantastic performance of the back row (Faletau, O'Brien and Lydiate/Tipuric)alone is testimony to Gatlands bad calls in test 1 and 2. Philips in again instead of inform Murray??? The only difference between BOD, Davis and Roberts having a quiet tour by their standards is leadership. There was nothing else to separate them. He at least deserved to be on the bench. As a captain or simple supporter it was easy to recognise how disenfranchised the fans and undoubtedly some non-Welsh players were as a result of Gatlands team selections. We won, im delighted, but against the poorest Aussie side I have ever seen. Beautiful over bosh or a blend is better.

    Reply
  •  kadova
    kadova
    10:22 PM 06/07/2013

    I have not watched the match yet, but the Lions won, and won well. Will have to check the role of the Lions centres in this win.

    Reply
  •  razor
    razor
    5:39 PM 06/07/2013

    you were saying... the lions will always be defeated in battle because they are led by a donkey and a kiwi donkey at that. Is that right? Goes to show how much you know. Eat the humble pie my friend.

    Reply
  •  rugby08
    rugby08
    8:35 AM 05/07/2013

    Well close isn't really good enough. 6 times in a row is a terrible record. Gatland has learnt nothing from the defeats either.

    Reply
  •  tucktuck
    tucktuck
    11:35 PM 04/07/2013

    in the 2 TESTS not the warratah or any of those shite practise game ha jonathan davis out play brian o driscroll , jonathan davis has let him self down hugely in the 2 TESTS , stupid try , jonathan davis fault playing in front of brian messing up runs and hanging be hind him like a headless chicken the only timeJD had an influence when attacking the line was the first 53 second when he knocked that guy out , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VttNqKXu84o

    Reply
  •  tucktuck
    tucktuck
    11:24 PM 04/07/2013

    if roberts get injuried and tuilagi come on we will be ripped a new arse hole ,, defensively they wont be great together

    Reply
  • 10:13 PM 04/07/2013

    I'm of the opinion that BOD should have been on the bench. That his style was a nice contrast to Roberts. And that if they needed to change tack in the second half he'd be the man to do it. BOD's experience and leadership quality is something that could be invaluable off the bench in a tight final. Anyway they thought differently. If they smash the Wallabies will they prove themselves to the naysayers? Results speak louder than words. Though I found this comment interesting from Gatland... "I'll go back to the UK after this and say: 'Did I make the decision because I believe it's the right decision or did I make it because it was politically right?' I have to put hand on my heart and say it's the right rugby decision. I would hate to think we had made calls to avoid criticism or for reasons of public popularity." It must be one of the hardest things to do to bring all these players from different countries together for 3 tests. To pick the players you think are best without bias and yet also without bowing down to diplomatic pressure. Anyway just my 2 cents.

    Reply
  •  themull
    themull
    6:20 PM 04/07/2013

    To be honest even if the lions do win, I think something has been taken away from it, due to the fact that Gatland has gone against what the lions should be about..that is, by and large picking the best players creating a gameplan for them..Gatland has simply chosen his Welsh favourites over guys who have played better, not only on tour but for much of the season too.... There's pretty much no reason why Youngs should be dropped from hooker..the change at 8 isn't bad considering neither has played that well on tour..Phillips at scrum half is wrong because both Youngs and Murray have shown more, especially last week and I still can't get over Phillips not trying to tackle Genia in the first test..(if his knee was so bad he couldn't sprint then there's no way he should've been on the field).. In reality it should be BOD and Manu in the centers...maybe I'm missing something but Manu and bod have definitely been the best centers on tour in both defence and attack...before he got injured Roberts was having a mediocre season and a poor tour showing...if Gatland was set on dropping BOD then it should be Manu who took his place.. Instead, and maybe it was unintentional or sub consciously, but it's obvious that gatland has just simply gone for his safety net with the welsh boys..

    Reply
  •  bishbashbosh
    bishbashbosh
    4:20 PM 04/07/2013

    Lets just wait until the final whistle before you bang on about how bad this tour has gone. Obviously everyone is going to have an opinion on what the test selection should be, and some opinions show why you don't have a job in professional rugby coaching. I agree with most of you that Tom Youngs, Conor Murray and BOD will feel hard done by, but I think we should congratulate Gatland and the rest of the coaching staff on picking the players that they think are best suited for the job in hand - and not picking a side to keep all the media and fans happy because our favourite players are involved.

    Reply
  •  bishbashbosh
    bishbashbosh
    4:00 PM 04/07/2013

    With that theory in mind ... many losses could have easily been wins. Last Saturday could have easily been a win if the kick went over, and Wales have hardly lost convincingly to the Aussies in recent times (14-12, 20-19, 25-23). Wales should have won the last three games that they lost in the dying moments, IMO if they had a player like sexton or Farrell to control the game at the end then they would have.

    Reply
  •  bishbashbosh
    bishbashbosh
    3:50 PM 04/07/2013

    I agree, I think Heaslip has done a lot more than Faloteau on this tour, but I think Faletau deserves his place.

    Reply
  •  i_bleed_green_and_gold
    i_bleed_green_and_gold
    3:25 PM 04/07/2013

    well deans went with continuity and won the second test. Gatland has had whole sale changes each game.

    Reply
  •  flanker2712
    flanker2712
    1:47 PM 04/07/2013

    No. BOD got to O'Connor but Davies had been drawn in possibly thinking O'Connor was going to make it through the gap. Once O'Connor passed to AAC (Davies' man), Davies couldn't get to him in time.

    Reply
  •  mastersa
    mastersa
    1:02 PM 04/07/2013

    Just in case anyone thinks the media in the North are all surprised about selection, check this Aussie article. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/rugby-union/end-of-the-lion-brian-odriscoll-axed/story-e6frg7o6-1226673960137

    Reply
  •  ruggernut
    ruggernut
    1:00 PM 04/07/2013

    That is true. It's a shame as I thought the Lions would batter the Aussies this year and seeing how close it's going to be is not what I had in mind. Had Wales actually beaten Australia in recent times I wouldn't be so worried but the fact that we've come close a couple of times and still not made it is the worrying factor. Ah well, the Lions will still have my support on Saturday.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    12:48 PM 04/07/2013

    Oh I forgot to add. If the Lions lose the media are going to descend like vultures on Gatland and you can bet your soul the interview question of the tour will be "do you think you made a mistake not including BOD?"

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    12:37 PM 04/07/2013

    A lot of people are commenting on J Davies, and a few have briefly mentioned J Roberts. I think personally the attention is on the wrong person (Davies). Whilst I believe Manu should replace him, I don't understand why people haven't cottoned on, or at least have made minimal comments about the fact that Jamie Roberts, who (I must correct myself with earlier comments) ONE game and that was against a club side... 3 WEEKS ago!!! It has been nearly a month since he played rugby, no idea how long it has been since he played an International test, I guess the 6 Nations, so how can you throw him into effectively a final... ??? I think Gatlands made a balls up of the tour with inclusions of players like Shane Williams (what a joke) with the statement of "it's just for one game." Win or Lose I have to say I have a lesser opinion of Gatland before.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    12:24 PM 04/07/2013

    I do get where you're coming from. Whilst I view this as a terrible decision to leave out BOD, there is no telling that the Lions will win WITH him and LOSE without him. They might still win on Saturday. "It's not like the Lions win every series anyway." Not sure about that sentence though... You can't really excuse what I believe is a ridiculous decision because the Lions rarely win... But as I said, I see where you're coming from, it would appear a lot of Lions fans are already packing their bags and cancelling their "Lions win" t-shirt orders when there is still a damn fine game of rugby to play. - Although I have to admit, I am feeling rather deflated an 'cheated' by the team announcement...

    Reply
  •  rugby08
    rugby08
    11:20 AM 04/07/2013

    Actually, I think we can already judge that Gatland has made a balls up of selection and tactics on the majority of this tour.

    Reply
  •  ruggernut
    ruggernut
    11:16 AM 04/07/2013

    Also, rugby08 I'm not defending Gatland. I think he's made the wrong decisions. I'm just saying we can't judge until the end of the match. That's all.

    Reply
  •  ruggernut
    ruggernut
    10:40 AM 04/07/2013

    Fair enough. I'm saying, we can't really judge until the final whistle. Also, as I said above, who really cares what I think.

    Reply
  •  ruggernut
    ruggernut
    10:37 AM 04/07/2013

    Oh no I agree. I'm just saying I think that is why he's been picked as he is a better scrummager than Tom Youngs. Youngs is better in every other aspect of the game though, hence why I would have stuck with him.

    Reply
  •  rugby08
    rugby08
    10:14 AM 04/07/2013

    Not to mention the fact that Gatland had probably the strongest group of players from the home nations in the pro era.

    Reply
  •  rugby08
    rugby08
    10:11 AM 04/07/2013

    "It's not like the Lions win every series anyway" That's a terrible excuse, this is the weakest opponent the Lions have faced in a very very very long time. If anything this tour shows how limited Gatland is as a coach. The 09 Boks reached their peak in the pro era The 05 Blacks had quite possibly one of the strongest international squads in history. The 01 Wallabies had won the 99 world cup and then reached the world cup finals in 03. Gatland apologist are really starting to piss me off...

    Reply
  •  pipo
    pipo
    7:26 AM 04/07/2013

    And that victory could have easily been a defeat had the Wallabies not missed so many kicking opportunities that weren't that hard. They ended the game with a fwd playing in the centres! Still barely lost.

    Reply
  •  rugby08
    rugby08
    4:01 AM 04/07/2013

    He will use the same game plan though. The same one he has used 8 times against the Wallabies in a row now and only had one victory.

    Reply
  • 3:44 AM 04/07/2013

    If you do not recognize the value of leadership in a high stakes, intense game, then you do not have much rugby experience. Rugby is a game of ebbs and flows of emotion, you need to be able to look to a man who's seen it all before when you standing under your posts watching a convert. Someone who know's not all has been lost and will lead the way to getting what needs to be done, done. Not sure who that will be now.

    Reply
  • 3:38 AM 04/07/2013

    Sorry was it BOD who slipped off AAC to allow the last minute try?

    Reply
  • 3:36 AM 04/07/2013

    Wait till hears about who's captain!

    Reply
  • 3:24 AM 04/07/2013

    srum wasn't youngs fault, mako's

    Reply
  •  thebar
    thebar
    2:00 AM 04/07/2013

    the team that should have played: 1. A Corbisiero 2. T Youngs 3. A Jones 4. AW Jones 5. G Parling 6. T Croft 7. S O'brien 8. J Heaslip 9. C Murray 10. J sexton 11. G North 12. J Davies 13. B O'Drisscol 14. T. Bowe 15. L Halfpenny 16. M Vunipola 17. R Hibbard 18. D Cole 19. R Gray 20. T faletau 21. B Youngs 22. O Farrell 23. M Tuilagi The Irish players have been the most effective in defence as they try to hold the ball carrier up.. slow down the ball and the aussies can't play... Shame Gatlanf is trying to make a statement here.. Wales can't beat the south

    Reply
  •  rufio
    rufio
    11:19 PM 03/07/2013

    On Planet Gatland and planet WALES obviously!!!

    Reply
  •  upthelowend
    upthelowend
    10:50 PM 03/07/2013

    Seriously couldn't have put it better myself.

    Reply
  •  ruggernut
    ruggernut
    10:45 PM 03/07/2013

    Let's face facts here. If the Lions lose, Gatland will be strung up and never allowed near the Lions again and...ah well. It's not like the Lions win every series anyway. However! If the Lions win, he will be praised as a genius and still probably not coach the Lions again. How about we wait and see how the final test goes before berating/praising players. For all we know, Mike Phillips could have an absolute barnstormer and destroy the Aussies and George North could have a shocker. We can't judge these decisions until the fat lady sings. That being said, I would have left BOD in. But hey, I'm not the Lions coach or an international Rugby player so who really cares what the heck I think.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm
    10:39 PM 03/07/2013

    Well he has made 6 changes...

    Reply
  •  ruggernut
    ruggernut
    10:37 PM 03/07/2013

    Scrummaging power I reckon. Would have personally stuck with Tom Youngs as he's been outstanding but I reckon they'll chuck him on as a mental ball carrying replacement.

    Reply
  •  dave1970
    dave1970
    9:09 PM 03/07/2013

    I do really hope we win and I was excited about this weekend, I feel really flat now. Not because it's Wales + guests, but because players that have put their bodies on the line and earned places have been overlooked for reasons that are unclear. The story of a Lions tour is meant to be a side developing with different players pushing for test spots including a few surprises, it shouldn't be that when the pressure's on the coach reverts to type and picks all the players he knows best with not much regard for what's happened over the last 9 games.

    Reply
  •  adsy
    adsy
    9:08 PM 03/07/2013

    ye, heaslip has been playing far better than faloteau, i thought he would have made the last test with out a doubt. hes just being a stupid prick (gatland)

    Reply
  •  conorl
    conorl
    9:06 PM 03/07/2013

    I've been trying to rationalise this decision for the last few hours and I simply can't. The whole "out of form" argument just simply isn't true. As a number of people have already pointed out, a quick look at the stats from last Saturday shows that BOD had a vastly superior game to Davies in defense, while they were both ineffective in attack. To pin ALL of the blame for the lack of a cutting edge in attack on BOD is outrageous. It's not his fault he was playing behind a beaten scrum and a pack without a single effective ball carrier (though both problems should now be fixed with the inclusions of Corbisiero and SOB), an inexperienced and out-of-position centre partner inside him, and a deathly conservative game plan that demanded they kick away every scrap of possession they got.

    Reply
  •  adsy
    adsy
    9:03 PM 03/07/2013

    If i was coach, this would be a side that I would put out for the warm up games against the club teams!

    Reply
  •  jimothy
    jimothy
    8:01 PM 03/07/2013

    He hasn't really outplayed him! In fact I would go as far at to say we lost the last test because of JD! As a centre myself I would always trust the inside man to make their tackle (especially if it's BOD) and it is clear that BOD is telling Davis to get AAC! He doesn't and the rest is history! The Lions were in prime line out position towards the end and Hibbard threw it away! Another poor choice! Roberts hasn't played a competitive game for how long? The whole selection I think it is very very poor. So we have 10 Welshmen in the Squad who have never defeated Australia! I have to say that I think WG has ruined a perfectly amazing tour by trying to fill a SH victory gap in his role as Wale national coach and to prove that his way can win down there! I really hope they win on Sat and if they don't WG has apologies to make to all the home nations!

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm
    7:18 PM 03/07/2013

    I feel it's important to note that this is also very very harsh on Ben Youngs. Can't blame a half back when your pack is constantly going backwards. Also very harsh on Heaslip. He was one of the few putting in the grunt in the last test.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm
    7:05 PM 03/07/2013

    On this tour, Davies has definitely outperformed BOD. But as is mentioned above with Warburton, O'Connell and Heaslip out it is a very dangerous game dropping yet another talisman. Should've been Tuilagi and BOD with Davies on the bench.

    Reply
  •  cianrugbyfan
    cianrugbyfan
    6:25 PM 03/07/2013

    Faletau does have an advantage over heaslip seeing that he only playes 4 games a season. Ive watched him playing for the dragons and ive seen more pace and power in a retirement home then come 6 nations he becomes an average international.

    Reply
  •  mrjmmlc
    mrjmmlc
    4:48 PM 03/07/2013

    if youre gonna leave bod out at least have manu starting and bod on the bench anyway seemes that the only two debatable options bod and muray out for phillips and davies. still the bod is worse since the man is a legend and is not even on the bench. but roberts and tuilagi had to be on the 23 for sure

    Reply
  •  rugby08
    rugby08
    4:40 PM 03/07/2013

    Gatland/Warrenball hasn't worked the last 6 times Wales have played Australia in a row. Can't see it working now either especially with that team. What a joke. I really couldn't care less now

    Reply
  •  rugby08
    rugby08
    4:38 PM 03/07/2013

    In what world has Davies outperformed BOD?

    Reply
  •  vannrugby
    vannrugby
    4:08 PM 03/07/2013

    More muscles, less brain. It's the Wallabies they're playing against, not Italy (with all my respect to the Italians). If it's a defeat at the final whistle, it's gonna turn ugly.

    Reply
  •  welshosprey
    welshosprey
    4:00 PM 03/07/2013

    Haha time for gatlandball

    Reply
  •  bunn
    bunn
    3:45 PM 03/07/2013

    Gatland's Wales have never beaten any of the big three southern hemisphere teams playing this style of rugby, why does he think it's going to change now? If the Lions score a try from a passing move I'll be shocked. If he'd picked Manu there might have been an offload or two. How many of the Lions backs could score from half the length of the field?

    Reply
  •  twkp
    twkp
    3:39 PM 03/07/2013

    Biggest call for me is Youngs (Tom) being dropped. Ok he didn't have the best game last week, but I think Vunipola should shoulder a lot of the blame for the scrums from last week. Man of the match in week 1, insane work rate, high tackle/ball carrying count, and best lineout of any of the hookers on tour....and Gatland drops him?

    Reply
  •  connachtman
    connachtman
    3:14 PM 03/07/2013

    Davies should be dropped, need proof, check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VttNqKXu84o

    Reply
  •  dave1970
    dave1970
    2:31 PM 03/07/2013

    It's harsh if BOD is carrying the can for lack of penetration, the stats posted are revealing on his effectiveness, looking at the tackles made/missed stats it looks like he made a much greater contribution in defence than Davies and neither did well going forward. I'm inclined to agree with DrG that Manu probably offers our best chance of breaking the Aussie line. Roberts is a big lad for sure but on his way back from his injury I don't think he's the threat Manu is...read what Adam Jones has to say about Manu on the beeb http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/23080513

    Reply
  •  mastersa
    mastersa
    2:29 PM 03/07/2013

    Well its not the first time BOD has been dropped by a Kiwi. Umaga and Mealamu did it first ;-). Gatland, planned from the start to bring a Welsh team with him, only injuries and undeniable form of other nation players forced his hand. Notables left behind like Robshaw for an injured Warburton. I will be delighted if the Lions win but am certain it will only be because of the Aussies lack of squad depth for a 3 test series. It will have nothing what so ever to do with Gatlands selections and his blunt conservative game plan which, in itself, has done nothing to show off the ever improving skill set and game being played in the NH. He has shown no respect for the Lions ethos and in my opinion has been the worst ever Lions head coach. He knows he is going back to managing the Welsh from Sunday and this selection proves that this is all he cares about. I also surprised that he has not selected Catherine Jenkins and Tom Jones on the bench!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    2:20 PM 03/07/2013

    Interesting point: Denis Hickey on BBC Radio 5 Live:"The omission of Brian, if you don't look at it emotively, you are basically saying he is responsible for the lack of penetration in the last test because the rest of the back line is the same. He has carried the can. It is a very emotive decision over here."

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    1:47 PM 03/07/2013

    I agree in some ways with ryyyyggggbi (??) regarding leadership vs abilities... I don't think you should pick a player just based on leadership qualities. However I think what BOD offers is both leadership, experience and massive ability. He may not have the pace anymore, but he is one hard hitter, massively committed, and makes some bloody good breaks and can definitely put people through gaps. A mention of his fitness... Yes true, he is no spring chicken anymore, so why not have Roberts (or not imo) on the bench to come on after half time. I personally think Manu offers more than Roberts! I'm still baffled how you can select a player who's biggest effort of the tour so far was playing guitar with the manic street preachers for a final chance test.... If the Lions win, I'll be happy. However if the Aussies win, I think I'll feel a bit of "serves you right" sour grapes shit aimed at the Lions management....

    Reply
  •  connachtman
    connachtman
    1:32 PM 03/07/2013

    Not even on the bench?!!! So who will provide the leadership , we see what happened when POC go injured.......

    Reply
  •  totesmcgoates
    totesmcgoates
    1:26 PM 03/07/2013

    I don't know about "out performed"... BOD had a significantly superior tackle count with none missed; Davies slipped up a couple of times. Running meters were about parity. I know stats only tell a part of the story... I don't think I'd say one was much better than the other.

    Reply
  •  dave1970
    dave1970
    1:26 PM 03/07/2013

    some baffling & frustrating selections. Faletau played poorly early in the tour, was rightly dropped and is now back in having done nothing new. Warburton gets injured so why not bring in Tipuric who has kept him out of the Wales side half the season & is a like for like swap? Phillips was useless in the first test and everyone seems to agree that both Young's and Murrays ball distribution is better. BOD hasn't been great but I'd still want him for such a big game. Given the complete lack of penetration in the centres in either test I can see why Manu's got the nod ahead of him. I'm not sure whether I agree or not but I can at least see his thinking on this. Lineout has looked much better with Croft but then again Hibbard can't throw it as far as the back anyway so that cancels that advantage. The only changes that really make sense are the front row ones, much as it's a shame to lose Vunipola & Youngs loose contribution they can't afford to have the scrums like last week. Gatland is guilty of picking a game plan and then picking the players he thinks fit it, unsurprisingly a lot of these are Welsh. He should be picking his best XV and then finding a game plan the suits them. The way he's approaching it there is no plan B, wihch given that Plan A didn't work in the last test seems an error to me. This selection really has taken a lot of the anticipation out of saturday's game for me. Don't get me wrong I'll still be cheering for Wales, but it would have been nice to cheer for the Lions.

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy
    1:24 PM 03/07/2013

    Brilliant!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    1:20 PM 03/07/2013

    *Lets hope that shocking performance in test 2* Sorry that was supposed to be test 1 when he was moseying on back after being stepped...

    Reply
  •  totesmcgoates
    totesmcgoates
    1:17 PM 03/07/2013

    Ha, that didn't take long!!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    1:17 PM 03/07/2013

    "we just felt Jamie Roberts' presence offered us something more." Yeup, I'm sure the Aussies are going to be terrified of a 'just back from injury' Roberts who they've had well and truly pinned in all the Welsh Australia matches...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    1:15 PM 03/07/2013

    He's Welsh...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    1:13 PM 03/07/2013

    Ahahahaha, Good ol' Gatland never forgets April fools does he....oh wait, it's July.... What a cock... As Hitler says (above) selecting Warburton as team captain was firstly the most worrying thing, and now to carry Jamie Roberts the entire tour with injury???? I honestly cannot believe he has included Jamie Roberts. The guy is a good player, but when was the last time he actually played???? We know he hasn't played a single game this tour, so to select him for what is now the biggest game on tour is lunacy. Phillips back in? Lets hope that shocking performance in test 2 was genuinely down to a knee injury which he is well and truly over, because if he brings that shit into the final test, the Lions are going to be screwed... Perhaps the only changes I really semi agree on are the back row, glad to see that get changed about, I've felt Heaslip has been asleep a lot of the time. I actually disagree with the inclusion of Bowe again. With his injury he didn't look 100% last week, maybe he was testing the waters and this week he'll be much better, but he looks like he more reserved than normal... As is customary these days (Horwill episode) when can we launch our appeal against Gatlands selection..

    Reply
  •  cianrugbyfan
    cianrugbyfan
    1:11 PM 03/07/2013

    Heaslips leadership will be sorely missed even if his performances have not been brilliant. Faletaus performances have not been any better. Think it was a poor decision. Im a BOD fan but he cannot play 3 tests in a row any more but should of had a first half in him anyway. Apart from that it seems about right. Joe Schmit for the south Africa tour.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    1:08 PM 03/07/2013

    Should I get your slice ready? I have a nasty feeling the Aussies are going to win this one...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    1:03 PM 03/07/2013

    Apparently I have the same opinion as Hitler ??!?!?

    Reply
  •  benjaj
    benjaj
    12:59 PM 03/07/2013

    I think that to drop out BOD is a mistake, not compared to Jamie Roberts but compared to Jonathan Davies. BOD was more present in defense Davies and he is also better attack. And you deprive yourself of a great captain. Alun Wyn Jones was I believe captain with Wales once, and I think it's not enough for the Lions captaincy. Gatland wants to play as he did with Wales, which explains the titularization of Phillips, who knows how to run the game in this system, and Roberts who is essential in it. But I think Youngs and Murray are far much better than Phillips, and Tuilagi is much more powerful and decisive than Roberts. For those who don't agree, I refer you to his performance from last November against New Zealand. If he could he would put the whole Welsh squad. Faletau, Hibbard, Lydiate, Tipuric .... It lacks Cuthbert, fortunately. Australia is gonna win this Tour, which is good.

    Reply
  •  gerrymentle
    gerrymentle
    12:54 PM 03/07/2013

    What Gatland needed to do was change the game plan and pick players suited to that plan. He was always going to try and win this series through power and BOD voiced his frustration at being shackled by such conservative strategy. At the beginning of this tour one hoped for something different but now we see that was never going to happen, not because of the players but because of the management and coaching staff. The most costly error made on this tour was not to have Joe Schmidt as the Lions attack coach. The Lions would probably have the tour in the bag by now if he had been involved from the start..

    Reply
  •  totesmcgoates
    totesmcgoates
    12:46 PM 03/07/2013

    The first thing that I noted with the line up is the lack of leaders in the side. Warbs and POC can't be picked for obvious reasons, but to take BOD and Heaslip out, both of whom have captained at the highest level, seems strange to me. All credit to AWJ who is a very experienced leader in his own right but I'm left asking myself, "Is one enough?" I'm disappointed for O'Driscoll but I rate the two men selected in the centre. On the other hand, I'm skeptical about Tom Youngs being dropped. I think the line out will suffer as a result.

    Reply
  •  technomouse
    technomouse
    12:26 PM 03/07/2013

    I think this video sums it up quite well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Deg1bQt1rzQ

    Reply
  •  hagmiester
    hagmiester
    12:19 PM 03/07/2013

    Gatland has turned what could have been a brilliant tour for the Lions into an absolute farce by selecting poorly!

    Reply
  •  mise
    mise
    12:17 PM 03/07/2013

    When I read this: "Instead, a midfield change has meant he's not even in the starting XV, and Alun Wyn Jones will skipper the side." I thought, tough call, but at least he's on the bench. He's not even on the bench? Surely Roberts and BOD was the logical midfield combo? And 10 Welsh in the starting XV. Well, that's that then.

    Reply


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Brian O'Driscoll dropped for series decider against the Wallabies | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos