Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions tour to Australia is imploding in a way similar to Sir Graham Henry’s did in 2001.
Gatland made six changes to the Lions after the 16-15 defeat in the second Test, including axing veteran Brian O’Driscoll from the match 23.
Gatland is starting with Welsh centre Jamie Roberts who missed the first two Tests because of injury and hasn’t played in nearly a month.
Gatland has lost several senior players to injury during the series and tour but it is a massive gamble to omit the experience of O’Driscoll from the match 23. The selections ask more questions than they currently give answers on the mindset of the Lions coach.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has recalled George Smith for one last Test. Smith, still part of the Japanese club scene, signed a short-term contract with the Brumbies, and made himself available for the three-Test series.
He got injured when the Brumbies played the Waratahs in Super Rugby and appeared unlikely to feature again.
He has recovered and will start ahead of Michael Hooper against the Lions, who have lost captain Sam Warburton.
Deans’s selection of Smith is on the money. Gatland’s omission of BOD isn’t.
My money will be on the Wallabies to add to the agony of the Lions and win in Sydney and win the series.