Belfast Telegraph

This has left a sour taste, says former Ireland and British Lions hooker Shane Byrne

By Conor George

Former Ireland and Lions' hooker Shane Byrne has condemned Warren Gatland's decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll for Saturday's third and deciding Test against Australia.

Byrne can't fathom the reason and doesn't believe the decision was made for rugby reasons.

"Things needed to be shaken up and the coach probably felt he needed to make a statement," wondered Byrne.

"What bigger statement is there than dropping Brian O'Driscoll.

"I watched his (Gatland's) interview on television and he spoke about needing to get Jamie Roberts back into the side but Brian hasn't been dropped in favour for him.

"He's been dropped for Jonathan Davies, which I cannot understand.

"He played better than Davies last weekend and you should be judged on your last game surely?"

Byrne is so disillusioned by the decision that he believes should the Lions win on Saturday it will leave a bitter-sweet taste as a consequence.

"This has certainly soured the whole thing for a lot of people. And in particular Irish people."

"The way the Lions have been playing is set up for Australia to attack and in that regard Brian has been marshalling them.

"It's change for the sake of change in this instance," Byrne added.

Belfast Telegraph

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