Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Deans understands Gatland selections

04th July 2013 09:29


SKY_MOBILE Robbie Deans - Australia presser

Making sense of things: Robbie Deans

Australian coach Robbie Deans says that he sees the logic behind Lions boss Warren Gatland's selections for the third Test.

Gatland has been heavily criticised for his decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll for the decider, instead going for an all-Welsh midfield comprising of Jonathan Davies and the fit-again Jamie Roberts.

There are 10 Welshman in the starting XV for Saturday's match and Deans sees Gatland's familiarity with the players as an understandable reason for selecting them. Gatland guided Wales to the 2012 Six Nations title and watched on as his assistant, Rob Howley, helped them defend their crown thanks to a high-pressure 30-3 win over England in the final round of fixtures.

"I think it's unsurprising Warren has looked to his Welsh players. He knows them well," Deans told Sky Sports.

"You've only got to look at that final Six Nations fixture where they responded at the final moment, so that's what he'll be looking for."

However, Deans does feel that the loss of O'Driscoll's experience could count in Australia's favour.

"I guess from our perspective it's a little bit of experience gone and a little bit excitement in term of emotion from the occasion. Those aren't decisions that aren't made lightly," he added.

"Warren's obviously given it due consideration and left with what he's put together will serve him better.

"We probably anticipated that he'd be there, but as I said on many occasions we haven't spent the time and consideration that the Lions staff will have."