Lions 2013: Tim Horan says Wales factor won't favour Aussies

Warren Gatland and Brian O'Driscoll at a Lions media conference


ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Saturday, 6 July
11:00 BST (20:00 local)
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Wallaby legend Tim Horan expects Australia to beat the Lions in the deciding third Test - but not because there are 10 Welshmen in the team.

Coach Warren Gatland - who also coaches Wales - has left out Irish centre Brian O'Driscoll and named 10 Welshman.

But former centre Horan, a World Cup winner in 1991 and 1999, does not think the Welsh factor will be decisive.

"When they pull on a Lions jersey it's got nothing to do with Wales, it's the Lions," he said.

Wales have lost eight consecutive Test matches against the Wallabies, including four in 2012.

That fact has been used to criticise the New Zealander's selection, with the Test series tied 1-1.

Horan - who never played against the British and Irish Lions - thinks its significance is being overstated.

"I think there's in the back of the Wallabies' mind and at the back of the Welsh players mind they'll be saying 'okay, we've got a bit of an idea here'," Horan added.

"But I don't think matter too much. They all know how important this is, it can make or break your career in 80 minutes."

Horan played in 80 Test matches for the Wallabies, was man of the tournament at the 1999 World Cup and is regarded as one of the game's all-time great centres.

And he agrees with most of Gatland's critics when it comes to the omission of O'Driscoll.

"You know Jamie Roberts definitely should come in, but I probably would have sacrificed Jonathan Davies to have Brian O'Driscoll in the team," he said.

"I don't think it's as big a mistake as people are making out, you can see why he's [Gatland] done it.

"Jamie Roberts is a wonderful player and also Jonathan Davies has had some pretty good form during this tour.

"You can see how Warren Gatland is looking to play, get across the advantage line and really sort of hold this team together.

"I think it's a mistake [to leave out O'Driscoll], but come 9.45pm Australian time we'll all know then if it's a mistake or not.

"If they [Lions] win the game it won't be a mistake, if they lose it will be on Gatland's call.

"I think the momentum is with the Wallabies and they'll win by about eight points."

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