Friday, 6 September 2013

Jonathan Davies: I nearly went on Twitter and did a Lee Westwood after ... -

"I was pretty happy with the way my form was," says Davies. "The way I played against the Waratahs I think I would have been disappointed [not to have started the first Test] but Gats' decision would have been his decision and I would have had to make sure I supported the team."

Which is precisely what O'Driscoll did when he was dropped. "Obviously he was gutted not to be involved but the way he trained over the next couple of days was testament to the guy," says Davies.

"Before the Test he didn't say much. He just let me get on with it. To be fair I wouldn't have said much to him either. We had a couple of beers together after the Test. We got on fine. In the grand scheme of things we had just won a Lions series and not many people have done that."

O'Driscoll unsurprisingly announced this week that this is to be his final season, but it means that there will still be time for a head-to-head with Davies in what could be a feisty encounter between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Feb 8.

They might have been facing each other on Friday night at Parc-y-Scarlets when the Scarlets entertain Leinster in the opening RaboDirect Pro 12 fixture of the season, but both players are likely to be rested.

And they will not be opposing each other in the return fixture on Nov 30. Wales play Australia that day.

Davies did not think he would be selected for that final Test. "I wasn't sure," he says. "I'm obviously quite close to Jamie [Roberts] and he said he was fit and up for selection.

"I didn't think I was going to play. I thought they would have gone with what happened in 2009 [the Roberts/O'Driscoll partnership in South Africa].

"I was over the moon to get the nod. Rob Howley [Lions assistant coach] called me over and gave me the heads up before the team meeting.

"He said it in a roundabout way. He said: 'You need to learn this and that move for the 13 role. You understand me?' And I was just smiling. I was walking around before the meeting trying to keep that smile off my face."

And, most importantly, Davies proved a point on the field. His performance in Sydney was superb. Under that mountain of pressure, he responded.

"I think I perform better under pressure, and there was a fair bit of it!" he says. "Afterwards you just felt like saying, 'Have that!' I wanted to get on Twitter and say something, but I just had to pull the reins a little. I didn't want to do a Lee Westwood, did I?"

There seems less chance of Davies 'doing a Westwood'– the golfer's late-night Twitter rant at his detractors following a dreadful last round at the USPGA Championship became an internet sensation last month – and more of him doing a George North or Jamie Roberts.

That is the crucial issue for Welsh rugby this season. With the likes of Davies, Sam Warburton and Leigh Halfpenny out of contract at the season's end, will they stay in Wales or go to England like North, or France like Roberts and others?

Toby Faletau has committed to Newport Gwent Dragons, but Davies says: "I just want to win competitions. As long as the Scarlets and I are on the same page and we have got the squad to do it, that's what I want to do."

To displace a legend takes some player. And Davies clearly is just that.

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