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Warren Gatland sheds new light...
Rugby

Warren Gatland sheds new light on his falling out with Eddie O'Sullivan

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

03:43 8 Dec 2017

Warren Gatland's relationship with Eddie O'Sullivan during his time as Ireland head coach is one that has been the subject of a lot of speculation since his tenure came to an end. 

Despite winning nine out of 11 games in his final year in the job, the man who would one day take charge of the Lions was given his marching orders by the IRFU.  

Part of the reason behind that was the breakdown of a number of key relationships within the camp, not least with O'Sullivan himself. 

Speaking at Off The Ball's Rugby Roadshow, Gatland revealed exclusively that there had been one particular run-in with O'Sullivan which still sticks out in his mind. 

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

With the side set to play Scotland, there had been agreement that the man to start at 10 would be Ronan O'Gara, but a last minute decision meant the Munster man was dropped. 

"I'll tell you a story that I've never repeated, and I haven't even told the person this," Gatland said. "We selected the team to play Scotland [...] and at midnight I get a knock on my door and it's Eddie and Brian O'Brien. 

"Eddie says to me: 'I think we've made a mistake at 10, I think we should look at that and change the team around, and pick Dave Humphreys."

Gatland stated that after discussion, they did change the teamsheet and brought Humphreys in at out-half. 

"Later that day, Ronan O'Gara comes to me," Gatland continued, "and says: 'I'm pretty disappointed about being left out of the team and not being selected, but I've spoken to Eddie and he said to me that at the end of the day, you're the coach and you had the final say.'

"I never said anything to Ronan, and I've never ever told him that story," he added. 

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