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.
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: The best memes as the internet reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Arsene Wenger reveals the Gunners are still in the market for defensive midfielder
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Risky business to think Balotelli can replace Suarez
Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
AEL Limassol vs Tottenham match report: Erik Lamela shrugs off last season’s woes to set up Spurs fightback
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians