O’Driscoll keen to avoid mistakes of 2005 Lions

Brian O’Driscoll insists that the new British and Irish Lions coach must not repeat the key mistakes made by Sir Clive Woodward on the 2005 tour to New Zealand.

It is widely expected that the Lions will confirm on Wednesday that Ian McGeechan will take charge of his fourth tour where he will attempt to repeat the famous 1997 series win over South Africa.

“There are definitely huge lessons to be learned,” O’Driscoll told the PA.

“In 2005 the coaching staff went in with pre-conceived ideas as to what the Test team would be. Not everyone performed the way they should have but some guys still got into the Test team.”

In 2005 Woodward tried to create a blueprint for future Lions success using two squads but in the end he used 51 players with 26 backroom staff and got thumped.

O’Driscoll held up McGeechan’s 1997 triumph over the Springboks as the ultimate Lions experience.

“I do believe it is hugely important for this next tour that everyone starts on level pegging,” added O’Driscoll.

“If you play well you get selected next time round, irrespective of reputation or whether you have been on other Lions tours or whether you have been captain of your country. None of that should matter.

“It is the guys who are playing well when you are on tour who should play the Test rugby. You have to give everyone equal opportunity to get into the Test team.”



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