Former Lions centre and Ireland great Brian O'Driscoll has pleaded to the organisers of the British and Irish Lions tour to bring back the midweek games between the first and second Test matches.
The three-time tourist aired his view on Twitter on Tuesday to express his concerns that a number of players have seen no action for three weeks.
"Can't have been an easy three weeks for [Gareth] Davies, [Zander] Fagerson, [Iain] Henderson, [Jonny] Hill, [Marcus] Smith, LRZ, [Josh] Navidi and [Ronan] Kelleher with no game time. Yes, some originally will have been happy to have been selected but no game time means not feeling a proper part of it. That can't happen again."
Can’t have been an easy 3 weeks for Gareth Davies, Fagerson, Henderson, Hill, Smith, LRZ, Navidi & Kelleher with no game time. Yes some will originally have been happy to have been selected but no game time = not feeling a proper part of it. That can’t happen again.— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) August 3, 2021
12 years ago, the Lions faced the Emerging Springboks between the first and second test, the Melbourne Rebels between the first two tests in 2013 and the Hurricanes four years ago.
O'Driscoll makes a good point particularly considering all the players are stuck in the bio bubbles and are not afforded the same freedom as the players on previous tours would have been.
The midweek game before the second also gives the opportunity for players to put their hand up for the second test on the pitch rather than in training.
Jack Nowell, Courtney Lawes and Jack Nowell all cracked the matchday 23 for the second test after their performances against the Hurricanes after missing out on the 23 in the first test.