British and Irish Lions 2013: #justiceforBOD trends on Twitter in Ireland after Brian O'Driscoll is dropped for crucial Test against Australia
Coach Warren Gatland opts for a side heavily reliant on Welsh players
Wednesday 03 July 2013
Irish rugby fans, former players and politicians reacted with anger and bewilderment today when they woke to the news that Brian O'Driscoll had been dropped for the British and Irish Lions' crucial third test against Australia.
The talismanic centre, regarded as Ireland's greatest ever player, was tipped to captain Warren Gatland's side for Saturday's series decider but was instead axed for the first time in a glittering 15-year career.
Gatland, who is also the head coach of Six Nations champions Wales, replaced O'Driscoll with Jamie Roberts, one of 10 Welshmen in the starting 15.
The decision dominated morning news shows, stoked ire on Twitter and led one former Lions great, ex-Ireland captain Keith Wood, to accuse Gatland of damaging the traditions of the touring side.
"I think he has sidestepped what the Lions is all about, which is the blending of four countries. I think it does the Lions a disservice," Wood said of Gatland, who also picked three Irishmen and two from England to start on Saturday. Scotland's sole representative is lock Richie Gray, who is on the bench.
"I'm upset for the Lions and I'm really upset for Brian ... I think Brian gets the Lions more than Warren Gatland does if I'm brutally honest," Wood, who was part of the last Lions team to win a test series in 1997, told Irish radio station Newstalk.
O'Driscoll, Ireland's record try scorer who led his country to a first Grand Slam in 61 years in 2009 and is on his fourth Lions tour, reacted gracefully to the decision.
"Obviously totally gutted at being left out for deciding Test but all efforts go into preparing the boys to see it through," he wrote on Twitter.
Irish rugby fans were less understanding.
The hashtag #justiceforBOD, a reference to the 34-year-old's initials and nickname, was the most popular term on Twitter in Ireland.
Northern Ireland's deputy first minister Martin McGuinnes summed up the feelings of many when he took to the social network to describe Gatland's call as "mind boggling".
Others described the feeling as similar to that when Ireland soccer captain Roy Keane walked out on the team ahead of the 2002 World Cup, a story that dominated national news for days.
But with three Irish players - Jonathan Sexton, Tommy Bowe and Sean O'Brien - managing to make the cut in a team dominated by Welshman, some managed to see the light side.
"Big congrats to Sean O'Brien, Tommy Bowe and Jonathan Sexton on their debut for Wales this weekend," comedy writer Colm Tobin said on Twitter.
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food