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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 24 January, 2020

'I'm all for having a few beers, but there's no need to promote it to the world'

Brian O’Driscoll says the Lions could have played it ‘a small bit smarter’ this week.

Image: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

BRIAN O’DRISCOLL HAS questioned the decision of some of the British and Irish Lions, who posted material about their relaxation time in Queenstown ahead of the third Test against the All Blacks.

The Lions are facing into a series decider this weekend, and management have treated the squad to a few days off before the crunch tie, in order to recharge the batteries.

Bungee jumping is one of the activities they have engaged with during their break, as well as having some casual drinks.

O’Driscoll understands that the players deserve some down time during a hectic campaign, but feels they could have acted more sensibly on social media.

Speaking on Newstalk’s Off The Ball alongside Gerry Thornley of the Irish Times, O’Driscoll cautioned:

“It’s a really difficult one. I have an appreciation for the amount of miles on the clock at this stage.

“The Lions have just finished a season, they’re into week seven of a seven-week tour. They have a huge amount of training work done over the course of that period of time.

“They definitely need to have time off their feet, of that there’s no doubt. Queenstown is the choice to go and switch off a little bit, they managed to do that.

I think they could have been a small bit smarter, definitely around social media. I saw one or two posts of a couple of lads having a beer mid-afternoon. I’m all for having a few beers, that’s fine but there’s no need to promote it to the world and let everyone know.

He continued:

“Undoubtedly, the All-Blacks are looking at that and it is adding fuel to the fire — “Have they switched off already? Are they happy with 1-1?” If I was an All Black, that’s the way I’d be looking on it now.

I’d be thinking, “are they on easy street? Here we are grafting everyday because we’re hurting from last weekend and these boys are off having a good time.”"

“I appreciate that they do need down time but I think they could have been a small bit smarter with how they went about that.”

Source: Off The Ball/SoundCloud

Thornley however, said that the movements of the Lions in Queenstown have not caused any concern among those currently in New Zealand.

He also said that most of the squad are spending a lot of time in their hotel, as opposed to indulging in any relaxation activities.

“Not only has it been an extraordinarily long season, as ever, they’ve hardly had a day off until this week. The days off they’ve had have been travel days.

“There’s been about eight changes of venues and hotels across the tour already. They’ve had no time off. It’s very intense in New Zealand, and you can’t go anywhere without talk of the Lions .

I think it (the week off) might just refresh them mentally, and ultimately, the proof will be next Saturday.

“If they get beaten out the gate, it’s been a really bad move. If they do really well, then it’ll be seen as a master stroke.”


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