British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland was scheduled to sit down with Brian O’Driscoll at Carton House last night for a first-hand update on the Ireland centre’s fitness.
Gatland, who has brought the Lions to Ireland for the first time in the touring party’s 125-year history by staging a five-day training camp in the Kildare resort used by the Ireland rugby team, has been receiving regular reports on the 34-year-old captain from the 2005 tour, who missed last Friday’s Amlin Challenge Cup final against Stade Francais due to a back spasm.
Yet he has still not managed to speak to O’Driscoll person-to-person since naming him in his 37-man squad for the 10-game tour to Australia. That was due to change last night, with O’Driscoll breaking off from his preparations for Leinster’s RaboDirect Pro12 final against Ulster next Saturday to hook up with the Lions for an evening at Carton House.
“ He’s with Leinster this week,” Gatland said. “I haven’t spoken to Brian yet. He was hoping to be available last week, but by all accounts he’s going to be fit and available this week.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved