Dawson slams Lions management
Lions scrum half Matt Dawson has launched a scathing attack on the tour management and their ability to deal with players.
Speaking in his tour diary in The Daily Telegraph accuses the management team of coach Graham Henry, manager Donal Lenihan and coach Andy Robinson of treating players like children and running an overly harsh regime.
Dawson, who starts on the bench for today's 1st Test against Australia in Brisbane, wrote in an entry for June 14, "More mindless training. Coaching staff are taking it too far. Boys are not enjoying themselves. No energy for bonding. Lot of unhappy people, which is a shame because I think there's a better bunch of individuals than '97."
Dawson's feeling on the matter are echoed in his entry for the following day where he describes a conversation with a Welsh colleague. "He feels we are not being trusted. If it all goes wrong, then players will get the blame because coaches have done all they can. They don't seem to realise that by flogging the boys they are not getting the best out of them," Dawson writes.
Dawson's feelings have been intensified by the following week after the defeat to Australia 'A'. "GH (Graham Henry) does teamtalk but doesn't inspire me at all. Too much shouting and screaming. Picked out individuals to wind them up but all very childish," wrote Dawson, who said he and his Lions team-mates had played like "idiots" in the match.
Dawson also criticised the post-match comments of manager Donal Lenihan. "Treated us like kids. As if we wanted to lose," he wrote. "Have flogged us for three weeks. Defeat was waiting to happen. Senior players warned management but they didn't listen."
The most shocking revelation, rumoured via an anonymous email that has been circling the internet during the past week, comes on his entry for June 21, "It's officials - some of the boys have decided to leave the tour. We said (before the tour) that if this should happen we would implement peer pressure, but to be frank with so many young players it is hard to avoid," said Dawson.
Management have yet to comment on the matter perhaps hoping they protect team morale ahead of the clash at the Gabba.
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown