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Gatland: Dropping O'Driscoll from Lions was 'not easy'

The British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said the decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll was "not easy" but claimed the Irishman's leadership would still be vital for the touring side in the run-up to the Sydney showdown.

Gatland said "the head overruled the heart" when it came to selecting the squad that will face Australia in the decisive third test match.

When asked how O'Driscoll took the news, the Lions coach said: "I told him this morning. Obviously he was pretty disappointed as anyone is disappointed but he appreciated the fact that he was spoken to before the announcement.

"It's the first time any coach has ever had that decision with him in 15 years of rugby so it's not easy for that to be the first time but he's still going to be very important for us for the next 72 hours".