O’Driscoll felt lions should have been “smarter” with their free time.
With the final and deciding test looming on Saturday and no midweek game to contend with for the first time on tour, the Lions players were given free rein and a few days off.
If you followed any of the touring players on social media you can see they clearly had an enjoyable few days from going on helicopter rides to feeding the ducks.
The coaches encouraged this downtime with Graham Rowntree saying earlier in the week it’s exactly what the players need after such a strenuous seven week tour. However some of the players actions have been some what questioned due to them having a few beers.
Speaking to Off The Ball on Newstalk on Wednesday evening, former British and IrishLions captain, Brian O’Driscoll had this to say
“I have an appreciation for the number of miles on the clock at this stage. The Lions have completed a full season, are into week seven of a seven-week tour, they have a huge amount of training done over that time. They definitely need some time off their feet, of that there’s no doubt.
“Queenstown was where they decided to go…I definitely think they could have been a little bit smarter about social media. I saw one or two posts of a couple of lads having a beer mid-afternoon.
“I’ve no problem with lads having a few beers, but there’s no need to promote it to the world. The All Blacks are looking at that, and it is adding fuel to the fire. ‘Have these guys switched off already? Are they happy with 1-1?”
O’Driscoll makes a fair point that the players shouldn’t have been taking pictures or videos with beers as it might send the wrong message to fans and even the All Blacks camp. In saying that, you can’t imagine this really actually effecting the Lions in any way shape or form. Is O’Driscoll making too much out of it? Or is his point valid?
All Black Jerome Kaino also gave his thoughts on the Lions down time in Queenstown during the week
“I’d rather be training, to be honest, although jet boating in Queenstown does sound pretty good. I’m sure they’ve thrown some training in there somewhere, but hey, if that’s what they think will get the best out of their players, then good on them.
“But for us, we’ve got a lot of improvements to make in how we want to play in wide areas, so we’re just worried about we’re going to do.”
Other pundits don’t have any issue with it, including Irish Times columnist Gerry Thornley. He too was speaking to Off The Ball and felt all the players were doing was relaxing on rest days that were extremely rare on this tour.
Most would probably side with Thornley on this one due to the level of professionalism this group of players has brought on tour with them. A happy medium is surely where the balance is at.
Give the players a bit of time to unwind but in the knowledge that there is a lot of work to be done before Saturday