SYDNEY, Australia (Sporting Aler) — It’s been the most talked about in the English media this week and finally, the series decider between the British and Irish Lions and Australia is well set for an entertaining contest.
Most of the build up for the game has been around Brian O’Driscoll, who was dropped completely from the match-day squad for the deciding Test by head coach Warren Gatland.
But while he would have loved to see O’Driscoll involved, Tommy Bowe said the players are well motivated and is now looking forward to beating the Australians, especially for the legendary centre.
“Brian came and trained with the team yesterday,” Bowe said. “He spoke up and told us exactly what it meant to him again.
“I think everybody knows the disappointment that he has from not being involved but for a guy like that, such a presence he has around the squad, for him to really be rallying around the team and to really want us to push on and win the series, it is a huge motivation for us to do a job for him.”
Meanwhile, Bowe is also confident that the Lions’ decision to play a powerful line-up could provide further for Australia, offensively at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
“We’ve picked about as big a side as we could have for this game,” he said Bowe on Friday.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to get on the front foot and for me personally, I’ll be able to get my hands on the ball too.”
Preparation for the Final Test is also going well.
“We have had a great session today. It was very upbeat, with a good skill level and was exactly what we needed before a tough match,” the Ireland wing said.
“We had a couple of days off to get away from it in Noosa but the last three days have been intense.
“It doesn’t feel like the last game of the season, it is a do-or-die match and we are fully up for it.”
In the meantime, as the British and Irish Lions gear up for the contest, several supporters, former players and pundits back the visitors to come away with the series victory, but remain committed to their views that Gatland is taking a massive gamble dropping O’Driscoll.
Former England skipper Will Carling, who is counting on the travelers to pull off the win, revealed that he was left in disbelief after hearing about the news that Gatland had decided to drop O’Driscoll for the game that will decide the series.
Carling believes that O’Driscoll, despite not being at his very best, had still done enough to merit a place in the side.
“My jaw almost hit the floor when I heard the news,” Carling was quoted as telling The Sun.
“Gatland will be hung out to dry if he gets this one wrong and I firmly believe he has made the wrong call.
“There is just no logic to his decision. I would never pick a team on sentiment but O’Driscoll would still be in my team on merit.
“Okay, he hasn’t set the world alight in this Test series but in make-or-break games like this you need players of proven world class.
“O’Driscoll ticks all the boxes. And because of that I’d have given him the captaincy,” he added.