Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Shunned O'Driscoll will walk away a giant

Brian O'Driscoll is the incarnation of the truism that form is temporary but class is permanent.

His reaction to being cruelly axed from the Lions' squad says it all.

Though gutted, he put his own massive disappointment to rest and immediately saw the bigger picture in declaring it is up to "the boys to see it through".

With his back against a wall for the stale, stilted brand of rugby he has been championing, Lions chief Warren Gatland has backed himself into a corner.

This test series should already be won. Caution, conservatism and an innate lack of creativity have given the kiss of life to the Wallabies.

Gatland's lack of vision is a great shame, but his decision to revert to the tried and the trusted in selecting 10 Welsh players is not surprising.

He put himself in a desperate situation and O'Driscoll has taken the hit. The Welsh contribution has been outstanding and for every joyous day in sport there has to be a loser in the reckoning too.

O'Driscoll has lost this time out but he has already sealed his place in the pantheon of legends of the oval ball.

If honour, courage and consummate skill count for anything in rugby then O'Driscoll will walk away a giant, regardless of tomorrow's result.

TG O'Brien

Dublin

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