Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll has paid a rare compliment to Wales head coach Warren Gatland after his team selection today.
Wales have made three changes to their starting XV to face Ireland with British & Irish Lions trio Dan Biggar, Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny all returning to the side to face Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
But O’Driscoll wasn’t praising the selection but in fact the timing of it with Gatland choosing to show his hand earlier than the other nations.
I quite like how Gats names his team early in the week. It’s a statement of intent – ‘there it is now. Analyze away. Let’s see if you can stop it.’…
— Brian O’Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) 20 February 2018
The Ireland legend was infamously dropped by Gatland during the Lions 2013 tour of Australia in an incident O’Driscoll described as “gut-wrenching”.
The decision to leave O’Driscoll out of the squad completely is largely judged to be one of the boldest of Gatland’s career, the Kiwi ultimately vindicated by a rousing 41-16 victory in Sydney.
Gatland received huge criticism from some quarters, particularly in Ireland, while O’Driscoll admitted he held some resentment towards the man who gave him his first international cap for Ireland at the age of 20 in his autobiography.
O’Driscoll also went onto say he thought it would be a close game with only one score separating the sides.