9 Jul 2013

Davies had solid game, says frustrated O'Driscoll

6:11 am on 9 July 2013

Brian O'Driscoll reflected on his first British & Irish Lions series win through gritted teeth on Monday and could muster only faint praise for Jonathan Davies whose final-test selection ahead of him was so controversial.

O'Driscoll, in his fourth Lions tour, played in the first two tests but was left out of the match-day 23 for Saturday night's 41-16 victory in Brisbane as coach Warren Gatland opted for the Welsh centre pairing of Davies and Jamie Roberts.

The selection caused a storm, particularly in Ireland, with respected former players attacking New Zealander Gatland for "not understanding the Lions".

While O'Driscoll paid lip service to the "one for all" philosophy in his column in Monday's Daily Telegraph, he was notably restrained in his praise for Davies, saying he would back himself but there is little between him and Davies.

O'Driscoll wrote that Davies had a solid game and his left boot really came into play a couple of times, though it was a game he might have looked all right in himself, but you cannot say.

O'Driscoll added that you are desperately envious of those who are out there but there is not a sliver of ambiguity about wanting to see the boys win, and he is now a series winner with the Lions, albeit it didn't finish as he would have liked it to. "But you cannot write your own script. Other people write it for you."

He says you deal with your own disappointment in your own way, behind closed doors, but publicly you have to realise that the bigger picture is not your selection, it is about winning the series and it's about doing the right thing for everyone, setting the tone around the lads, doing what needs to be done at training, and trying to be positive.