Lions coach Warren Gatland has risked his repution in ringing the changes and putting ten Welshmen in the starting lineup for the third and deciding Test match against Australia
So the Lions team for the third Test against Australia on Saturday has been announced. The biggest shock is the dropping from the entire squad of the legend that is Irish centre, Brian O’Driscoll. Whilst that is getting all the attention, that particular selection is the least of my worries.
I don’t think O’Driscoll has been in great form and I think that the centre combination of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies will be a stronger one—with the added ammunition of Manu Tuilagi to add his power and pace from the bench later in the game.
The Welsh have a mindset problem when it comes to southern hemisphere teams—especially Australia.
My bigger concern is the number of Welshmen in the side. The Welsh have a mindset problem when it comes to southern hemisphere teams—especially Australia. They can never quite get over the line. It’s not a talent issue; it’s a head issue. And that’s worrying.
I think Tom Croft and Ben Youngs are both very unlucky to be dumped out of the squad completely. They both have experience of beating the Aussies and would in my view offer more variety to the 23 man squad. Tom Youngs, though still on the bench, also seems somewhat hard done by having been one of the players of the tour.
Gatland seems to be going all out for bulk. This is a big side. But it doesn’t fill me with confidence. In what will inevitaby be a close encounter, I’m not sure this team has the right balance and mix to bring it home. I desperately hope I’m wrong.