Lions Down Under: Ireland centre admits he bears grudge
Brian O’Driscoll has admitted that he resents Lions coach Warren Gatland after the New Zealander left him out of the crucial third Test against Australia that secured a first series win for 16 years.
Gatland received widespread criticism over his decision to drop the Ireland centre for the Sydney decider, especially in light of tour skipper Sam Warburton’s injury.
O’Driscoll was expected to step in and captain the Lions for the crunch clash, only to see Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones handed the job while the Irishman failed to make the matchday 23.
In the end Gatland’s decision was vindicated as the Lions romped to a 41-16 triumph but O’Driscoll told Sky Sports that he was still unhappy with the call.
He said: “Yeah, there’s resentment of course. Is he (Gatland) on the Christmas card list? Unlikely.”
Omission meant a frustrating end to O’Driscoll’s fourth and last Lions tour after he had started the first and second Tests Down Under.
“When you’re left with disappointment that way, you can’t help but feel a little bit of resentment,” O’Driscoll added.
“People will say the decision was justified because of the results and the performance. The way the team played, I felt within the 13 jersey that I might have been able to do a decent job within that part of the team the way they played in that game.
“I guess it comes back to you backing yourself, feeling you too could have done some things that maybe others didn’t do on the day.”