O’Driscoll has Twitter all a flutter
Lions coach Warren Gatland’s decision to drop Irishman has polarised opinion
Brian O’Driscoll and Jamie Heaslip look on at the British & Irish Lions Training, Dolphins RFC, Noosa, Queensland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
The overwhelming consensus in the Twitter-sphere is that Lions coach Warren Gatland has erred in dropping Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll for Saturday’s third and decisive test against Australia on Saturday.
It’s far from unanimous as evidenced by the comments of 2005 Lions and 2003 England World Cup winning coach, Clive Woodward and former Australian coach Eddie Jones in newspaper columns during the week.
Woodward wrote: “Brian O’Driscoll has been an incredible servant to the Lions but Gatland needs to return to his all-Welsh midfield,” ahead of the controversial team selection.
Jones pointed out: “O’Driscoll is a clever player but he looked out of sorts on Saturday. I think that the Lions have to start with Jamie Roberts and Manu Tuilagi who would take them over the gain-line and generate the momentum they need. They desperately need power, which those players can provide, and pace, which the wings can offer if they ever get their hands on the ball.”
Here is a selection is tweets from some rugby players, starting with the Leinster, Ireland and Lions centre, himself.
Brian O’Driscoll: “Obviously totally gutted at being left out for deciding Test but all efforts go into preparing the boys to see it through.”
Will Greenwood: “Incredible range of opinions re Selection... Gatland will do his own explaining but “Ballsy” re Bod is an understatement.”
Matt Dawson: “Wow. What news to wake to. 10 Welshmen and no bod. V strong team stil but not sure it’s a selection issue. More a game plan thing!!”
Dan Carter: “There must be some angry Irish out there waking up to see @BrianODriscoll not playing this weekend. #ShouldBeTheCaptain”
Matt Giteau: “Gee dropping @BrianODriscoll out of the team is a huge call.. For mine, he has been the stand out unsung hero this series.. Defensively huge.”
Brian O’Driscoll: “@giteau_rugby cheers man, hard one to take.”
Will Carling: “Jaw is still hanging open at Lions selection ……..!!”
Morgan Turinui: “Best Wallaby of our generation IN. Best Lion of our Generation @BrianODriscoll OUT. Most influential Lion @JonnyWilkinson absent. Advantage?”
Donncha O’Callaghan: “Harsh call by Gatland to leave O Driscoll out of the starting team, but out of the bench too #madness #Lions.”
Austin Healy: “So Wales v Australia it is then….hope then rain stops as the grass needs cutting Saturday morning.”
Austin Healy: “I actually thought BOD played well last week made some decisive big tackles…big call has Gatland panicked?”