4 Jul 2013

Irish rugby wakes to O'Driscoll's shock omission

6:09 am on 4 July 2013

Irish rugby fans, former players and politicians reacted with anger and bewilderment when they woke to the news that Brian O'Driscoll had been dropped for the British and Irish Lions' deciding third test against Australia.

The talismanic centre, regarded as Ireland's greatest player, was widely expected to lead Warren Gatland's side on Saturday night in Sydney's Olympic stadium, and its the first time he's been axed in a glittering 15-year career.

Gatland replaced O'Driscoll with Jamie Roberts, one of 10 Welshmen in the starting 15.

A former Lions great and Ireland captain Keith Wood accused Gatland of damaging the traditions of the touring side, which is all about the blending of four countries.