Paul O'Connell disappointed by decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll for final Lions Test

Last Updated: 11/07/13 12:21pm

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Paul O'Connell: Shocked by the decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll

Paul O'Connell: Shocked by the decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll

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Paul O'Connell says it is "hard to fathom" the logic behind Warren Gatland's decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll for the British and Irish Lions' final Test against Australia.

Lions coach Gatland, who handed O'Driscoll his Ireland debut in 1999, dropped the centre for the first time in his career ahead of the third Test.

O'Connell told Today FM: "I was shocked and disappointed.

"I thought Brian was playing well. If you look at the first two Tests there wasn't a whole lot of quality ball given to the backline."
Paul O'Connell

"After playing so long with him you end up being a bit of a fan. I wouldn't say it took the gloss off it a little bit for me, but it probably did."

He added: "It's a shame he wasn't out there. Even going on the bus with him; I was injured and there were other guys resigned to the fact that they weren't on the team.

"It just felt wrong that he was on the bus with the non-playing squad, not in the 23."

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O'Connell believes his Ireland team-mate was given little chance to showcase his attacking talents during the first two Tests, due to the dearth of quality ball given to the Lions' backline.

"I thought Brian was playing well," said the Munster lock. "If you look at the first two Tests there wasn't a whole lot of quality ball given to the backline.

"Apart from George North, who had a ball kicked down his throat and created an unbelievable try, there weren't any backs that stood out.

"So it's hard to fathom the logic behind the decision, certainly from my point of view."

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