Rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll keeps it classy in Lions triumph despite feeling left out
Dricco was the first man out to congratulate the Lions on their victory
“It is not easy, keeping your standards up at training. I have said all along on this tour, that it is the contributions of everyone that will make or break it.
“That was true and remains true. Suddenly I was that person. You cannot say things one week and then behave differently. You have to suck it up. I hope I did my bit last week.”
O’Driscoll did indeed do that. Irish out-half Jonny Sexton, set to get married on Friday, scored one of the decisive second half tries for the Lions and dedicated the win to O’Driscoll on Saturday.
The Paris-bound Irish ace said, “We wanted to do that for Brian O'Driscoll and give him a send off.
“We wanted to do it for Paul O’Connell with his injury, and then for Brian to miss out. I was so disappointed for him, I felt like I had been dropped myself.”
Lions coach Warren Gatland almost quit in the wake of the abuse that came his way after the O’Driscoll decision and denied any sense of vindication after the win.
“I don’t want to gloat. It was a tough call but it’s about the boys, winning the series,” he said.
The Welsh team boss also admitted he was amazed at the reaction to the O’Driscoll decision.
“I was absolutely shocked, it was vitriolic almost in terms of the criticism. We made a tough call and we knew there was going to be some fallout from that,” he said.
“I have not taken a lot of pleasure out of tonight in terms of feeling vindicated. Maybe in a week or two I might get some pleasure out of this, but at the moment there isn’t a lot of pleasure because of the amount of criticism that had been personally placed on me.
“The last 72 hours have been pretty tough personally. That’s why you’re in the job, you’ve got to make tough calls and hopefully, every now and then, one comes through.”
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