The trajectory of the negotiations that started over a year ago to agree a new accord beyond the current season, is a tale of brinkmanship resulting from the abandonment of meaningful cooperation and a refusal to even contemplate change. Myopia is the common theme here and no group is blameless in this episode.
For international football, the conclusion to be drawn from finding 11,809 people turning out to watch a cheap game featuring Gareth Bale in any way encouraging is not a promising one. With clubs long since deserting national sides and players following suit, even the fans have now begun to abandon it too.
Rugby has helped me through some incredibly difficult periods in my life. When I lost my sister in the Marchioness tragedy in 1989, I felt lost and completely misunderstood. As a messed up young man, I made some poor life choices that led to me being expelled. Rugby came at a time when I badly needed guidance and support. That's why I set up Dallaglio Foundation's Rugby for Change project. With the help of money raised by The Supporters Club, BT Sport's charitable initiative, we help young people who have been excluded or expelled from school, and who need some inspiration to make positive life choices.
Why is the O'Driscoll selection of such significance? Because when you walk out to play a 'must win' game, which this third Test certainly is, you need to have a certain number of hardened, experienced winners in that lineup. The Lions have lost Warburton, O'Connell, and Jenkins already, and O'Driscoll was one of the key 'old heads' left to include.
Understandably people are annoyed and upset but what did we expect? Could you really expect Warren Gatland to leave behind the likes of Tommy Bowe, Richie Gray and Dan Lydiate? It's not that he does not have other fantastic options open to him but quite simply he has to pick the best squad that he feels has the ability to defeat the Wallabies.