O’Connell disappointed that O’Driscoll was dropped from decider

Munster star says decision was ‘hard to fathom’

Paul O’Connell and  Brian O’Driscoll raise the the Tom Richards Cup after the Lions won the series over Australia in Sydney. Photograph: Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll raise the the Tom Richards Cup after the Lions won the series over Australia in Sydney. Photograph: Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Thu, Jul 11, 2013, 14:19

Paul O’Connell has admitted that Brian O’Driscoll’s dropping from the final Test against Australia “probably” took the gloss off the Lions’ series victory.

O’Connell stayed on in Australia after suffering an arm injury and was on the sidelines for the victory in Sydney as the Lions secured a 2-1 result in the series.

Speaking on Today FM, O’Connell described his mixed emotions after Lions coach Warren Gatland named the Welsh pairing of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies, with O’Driscoll not even named on the bench.

“I was shocked and disappointed,”said O’Connell. “I thought Brian was playing well. If you look at the first two Tests there wasn’t a whole lot of quality ball given to the backline.

“Apart from George North, who had a ball kicked down his throat and created an unbelievable try, there weren’t any backs that stood out.

“After playing so long with him you end up being a bit of a fan. I wouldn’t say it took the gloss off it a little bit for me, but it probably did.

“It’s a shame he wasn’t out there. Even going on the bus with him; I was injured and there were other guys resigned to the fact that they weren’t on the team.

“It just felt wrong that he was on the bus with the non-playing squad, not in the 23.

“So it’s hard to fathom the logic behind the decision, certainly from my point of view.”