Dropped Lion Brian O'Driscoll 'resents' Warren Gatland

 

Forgiving and forgetting is meant to be easier in victory than in defeat, but as the great Irish centre Brian O'Driscoll considered his omission from the last Lions Test of the summer series in Australia as a trouncing of the most personal kind, the normal rules do not apply. The Lions may have won the series, but the Dubliner made clear today that he took no great pleasure in the achievement.

"Of course, I wanted the team to win, but I'll probably look back on some other things that I've won with greater affection because of the manner in which the series finished," he said. "I don't apologise for that. It's just my gut. It's how I feel."

O'Driscoll, who was dropped for the deciding Test in Sydney by the head coach, Warren Gatland – an act that provoked a firestorm of criticism throughout, and beyond, the Emerald Isle – recalled the moment he was informed of Gatland's decision.

Speaking on Sky Sports, he said: "I was making myself a coffee and I got a tap on the shoulder and Gats was there with Rob Howley [the attack coach] behind him and I thought: 'Two is trouble'. We went into the team room and it pretty much just came out that, 'We don't have a place for you this weekend'." Asked if he resented Gatland, he replied: "Yeah, there's resentment, of course. Is he on the Christmas card list? Unlikely."

By way of irony, the tour manager, Andy Irvine, told the same programme that Gatland stood every chance of being offered the opportunity to lead the next Lions tour, to New Zealand in 2017. "There is every chance," the Scot said. "These discussions will be taking place quite shortly. I'm only one of a committee of four, but I would certainly support it. I think Warren did a great job."

Gatland's ears were still likely to be burning, though, especially as a second experienced Irish Lion vented his spleen over selection in Australia. The No 8 Jamie Heaslip, one of O'Driscoll's fellow Leinster contingent who was also dropped from the final Test, said he was "pissed off" with the way things turned out, adding: "I felt very much like a third wheel. I didn't want to be there. I remember walking around and keeping my distance from the lads celebrating. It was a very tough moment."

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future