Sean O'Brien takes part in a British & Irish Lions training session. Photo: Reuters / Clodagh Kilcoyne
Sean O'Brien takes part in a British & Irish Lions training session. Photo: Reuters / Clodagh Kilcoyne
O'Brien scores a try during the first test against the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland. Photo: Greg Bowker/New Zealand Herald via AP
O'Brien scores a try during the first test against the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland. Photo: Greg Bowker/New Zealand Herald via AP

LONDON - Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien has criticised the coaching during this year's British and Irish Lions tour, saying the team were "overtrained" and should have easily beaten the All Blacks.

O'Brien, speaking to the Off The Ball podcast, said Warren Gatland's coaching team were "panicking" at some stages in New Zealand and that they may have cost them the tour.

The England, Wales, Scotland and Irish composite side tied the three-Test series 1-1 after they lost the first game, won the second and drew the final encounter in Auckland.

"I'd be pretty critical of (the tour) because I think we should have won the tour and we probably should have won it comfortably," O'Brien said.

"Looking back there's a bit of frustration we didn't get it right over the whole duration of the tour... We can be proud of some of the performances we put in but I think as a player it was probably one that got away from us."

O'Brien said a triple training session two days before the first Test hurt the Lions' chances. They lost the tour opener 30-15.

"In the first week we definitely overtrained on the Thursday and maybe the coaches were panicking a little bit about getting the information into us," he said. 

"And I think we did nearly the same thing on the last week... less is more sometimes on a tour like that."

O'Brien scored a classic try in the first game but he said the tour was "probably one that got away from us".

"I think there's a lot of learnings to take from the tour in terms of the coaching set-up as well and from a player's point of view with how we dealt with things," he said.

O'Brien added: "At the end of the day with the squad we had, I think we should have beaten them, 100 percent."

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