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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 18 May 2021

Gatland considered dropping on knees to 'ask Irish public for forgiveness'

The Lions coach was interviewed on the Late Late Show and asked about his decision to drop Brian O’Driscoll.

Warren Gatland talked about his time as Ireland coach, and dropping Brian O'Driscoll, on the Late Late Show.
Warren Gatland talked about his time as Ireland coach, and dropping Brian O'Driscoll, on the Late Late Show.

LIONS COACH WARREN GATLAND remarked that he was considering asking for the Irish public’s forgiveness after dropping Brian O’Driscoll during the summer.

The New Zealander, who is back as Wales’ head coach, made the tounge-in-cheek comment during an interview on the Late Late Show this evening. Gatland oversaw the British & Irish Lions’ Test series triumph in Australia this summer.

He spoke about many aspects of the tour and addressed the matter of his controversial decision to drop Brian O’Driscoll from the third Test squad.

He said, “[Dropping Brian] was the toughest thing I’ve had to do in my coaching career. Incredibly tough.” Gatland added:

I did think about coming here and dropping to my knees, and asking the Irish public for forgiveness.”

The Ireland centre revealed on the show, last week, he was devastated when he learned of his axing. He added, however, that he had given the New Zealander a Christmas card when they last met. O’Driscoll had remarked, in August, that Gatland would not be on his Christmas card list.

Gatland argued that Welsh centres Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies were best suited, in his opinion, to deliver a win for the Lions in the third Test. He paid tribute to the manner in which O’Driscoll reacted to the news.

Gatland’s Wales face Ireland next February in the Six Nations, at Lansdowne Road, and the Kiwi is expecting a boisterous reception from Irish rugby fans.

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Patrick McCarry

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