An Anzac team? Get real, Brian

Bring on the Anzacs, says O’Driscoll

Maybe the real reason Brian O’Driscoll missed last Saturday’s Test win was because he wasn’t too well in the head – because he’s talked a bit of nonsense since, suggesting the Wallabies and All Blacks could join forces to take on the British and Irish Lions.

O’Driscoll didn’t hesitate when the idea was put to him on the back of the Lions’ demolition of the Wallabies in Sydney to break their long series drought in Australia.

“It’s an interesting concept and one worth exploring a bit more,” the veteran Irish centre said.

“I think it would heighten the excitement for Australia and New Zealand. I think it would make it very special, albeit special already, when the Lions come to tour.

“It’s hard to fight tradition. But you have to be able, with professional times, to change. Lots of things have moved on. You have to answer all questions… and look at the pros and cons of it.

“It’s a pretty special time when guys who kick lumps out of each other every Tri Nations or Rugby Championship get to play together.”

Hold on a bit Brian.

The All Blacks certainly don’t need the Wallabies’ help to beat teams from the north, even the combined might of the Lions.

History shows that.

Brian, you’ve never beaten the All Blacks in an Irish jersey or a Lions strip.

The Lions haven’t won a series in New Zealand since 1971. That’s a long, long stretch.

Come down here and pulverise the All Blacks like the New Zealanders did to Sir Clive Woodward’s 2005 Lions, and then maybe we can start talking.

The Lions are a tradition and that’s their strength. They are an endangered species in a rugby environment that has all but killed off full tours in the professional environment.

Good on the Lions for winning in Australia. It was deserved, but it was also pretty crucial for their own future. They were in danger of becoming nothing more than cash cows since their last series win was back in 1997.

There also needs to be a bit of perspective placed on their heroics in Australia.

They got served up second-class opposition early in the tour and through the midweek phases with weakened home sides.

That’s never the case when they tour New Zealand or South Africa where provincial teams are desperate for their scalps.

And you can add New Zealand Maori to the list of teams anxious to field their best players and play their best game against the Lions.

Then there’s the actual Wallabies that these Lions played. A squad that hardly seemed in harmony and have now lost their coach as a consequence.

But the Lions might have been only a Kurtley Beale penalty away from seeing another tour go down the drain.

Then again, Beale summed up the Aussie attitude, out and about to the small hours of the morning during Test week with his troublesome mate James O’Connor.

This will be a treasured win by the Lions but it didn’t come against a great Wallabies side, nothing like the 2001 team.

Right now there wouldn’t be much point in fielding an Anzac team against the Lions because it would pretty much be an All Blacks outfit. Australian halfback Will Genia might be the only Aussie worthy of a place in a combined team.

The All Blacks are next on the Lions’ agenda, touring New Zealand in 2017.

I doubt the men in black will need a helping hand from anyone who normally wears a yellow jersey.


The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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