Wales head coach Warren Gatland hit back at Sean O’Brien on Monday night, responding vociferously to his criticism of the Lions tour.
“I don’t know what planet he’s on but I was on a different tour to him if he thought we should have won comfortably,” he said.
“I thought Sean’s comments were disrespectful to New Zealand, saying that we should have comfortably won the series 3-0. I have to be honest it took a bit of the gloss of the Lions tour.
The Irishman also took aim at attack coach Rob Howley saying that Owen Farrell and Johnny Sexton ran the tourists’ offence as the Welshman ‘struggled’.
But Gatland said he always wanted the tour to be player-led. ‘Ironically, I see that as a compliment,’ he added.
“That’s what good coaching is about, giving players the decision-making responsibility. You want them to take control of moves, tactics, calls and moves.
‘Did we learn as coaches from that experience? Would we have done some things differently? Of course, we would. That’s part of coaching, part of the experience.
“Sean O’Brien had a fantastic tour. He played exceptionally well. It’s only fair to acknowledge that.
‘”But if he was going to make some comments, then he could have done so in a different way. No one has ever in the history of the game taken on a tour of that magnitude or difficulty.
“You watch how hard the coaches and the backroom staff worked – they worked their absolute bollocks off on that tour – and then to have someone come out and make a comment like that…it really, really did hurt.”