Gatland slammed across the globe for dropping BOD

Warren Gatland’s decision to drop Brian O’Driscoll from the British and Irish
Lions test team has been almost universally slammed by former players, coaches
and rugby legends.

After Sam Warburton was ruled out of the third Lions test it was largely expected
that former Lions captain (2005) O’Driscoll (affectionately called BOD) would take over the captaincy not
only because if his experience of captaining teams at the highest level but
also because he is the most capped Lions player on the tour.

Gatland’s selections have been confusing at times as he made five changes to
his first team for the second Test and has made six changes for the third Test.

While players returning from injury have played a minor role 10 changes over
two tests suggests that Gatland is uncertain of who his best players are. This
is a shocking as he has been in the job for almost a year and the Lions have
already played 10 matches.

Compare Gatland’s 11 changes over two tests to the settled teams that Clive
Woowdward and Jake White had when they won the Rugby world cup.

Obviously both coaches had more time but Gatland has known about his position
for over a year and had plenty of time to settle on his best team.

He might have been appointed late last year officially but he knew he had the
job early in the year and the announcement was delayed when he had an accident
at home in New Zealand.

Gatland’s third Test team also features 11 Welsh man which has given rise to
speculation that he has given up on winning the tour and that he is now doing
what he can to win favour with Welsh players as he will take over the coaching
reigns in Wales again after the tour.

In 2001 the then Wales coach Graham Henry lost favour with his Welsh players
after his stint as British and Irish Lions coach and Gatland – who will coach
Wales to the 2015 Rugby World Cup – may be concentrating on his long term future
rather than the immediate future.

In the meantime commentators from both sides and across the world have reacted
with shock to Gatland’s Third test selections.

Here are a few.

David Campese – former Australia Test wing on Twitter
“Sorry but you have just handed to series to Australia. 7 changes and still
no real match winner”

Willie John McBride -Legendary Lions series-winning captain in a BBC
R4 interview

“I was absolutely gutted. The first thing that came into my mind was that
Robbie Deans, the Australia coach, must be laughing all the way. The Australian
media and others have convinced him (Gatland) to drop O’Driscoll, which I find
amazing, I must say. He was the guy I would have picked as captain of the tour.
He has been superb and his influence on the tour has been terrific; but you
live and die by the team you pick so we will see what Saturday brings.”

Brian Moore – Former England hooker on Twitter
“BOD not even being on the bench is a strange call. No player is an automatic
Test pick. For me the issue is over the relative captaincy experience with so
short prep time.”

Stuart Barnes – former England fly-half in a Sky Sports interview
“Now they (the Lions) have no real leadership (and) when the heat comes
on … (there is) no one to go to.”

Keith Wood – former Ireland and Lions hooker in a BBC 5Live interview
“Gatland has made a terrible mistake … (and is) missing what the Lions
is about. Leadership is the most important thing. BOD has been quiet in the
two Tests but at every stage he has been the clarion call once Paul O’Connell
got injured.”

Ben Foden – England and Northampton full-back on Twitter
“Very surprised to see @

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