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INPHO/Billy Stickland Jonathan Davies: respect.
# Lions 2013
Stoic O'Driscoll earns praise from Welsh centre Jonathan Davies
“After the team was announced BOD came over and shook my hand and congratulated me,” Davies revealed.

BRITISH AND IRISH Lions centre Jonathan Davies has praised the way Brian O’Driscoll handled his axing for the deciding Test against Australia.

O’Driscoll was a shock omission from Warren Gatland’s 23-man squad yesterday, with Davies, who started at inside-centre in the first two Tests, replacing the 35-year-old in the number 13 jumper for Saturday’s third Test in Sydney.

Wales giant Jamie Roberts has overcome a hamstring injury and will start at inside-centre to form an all-Welsh centre pairing with Davies.

“After the team was announced he (O’Driscoll) came over and shook my hand and congratulated me,” Davies said in Sydney today. “And that’s what the whole squad’s been (like), everyone’s been really close and together and we know how important this game is and we’re looking to do the job on Saturday.

“It’s one of the biggest games of my career ever and I just can’t wait for the opportunity now.”

Asked if he feels an extra burden after replacing the Irish legend in the number 13 jumper, Davies said: “I wouldn’t say pressure but I’m just grateful for the opportunity to play in such a big game.

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“Brian with what he’s achieved in the game, he’s one of the greats and I was very grateful for him to come up and congratulate me and it’s been great to be in the squad and everyone’s got their focus on the game.

“There’s a lot of pressure on everyone and everyone’s got to deliver on Saturday, it’s the last chance saloon here and we’ve got to win it. “Everyone who has been obviously disappointed not to be involved has been a total professional, that’s been one of the positives of this tour and Brian has been like everyone else.”

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