Kevin Mealamu Finally Opens Up On That Infamous Spear Tackle On O’Driscoll
One of the most sickening acts in the history of rugby.
The last time the Lions toured New Zealand in 2005, they went into the series full of optimism. England had just won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, and they were set to be captained by the best rugby player in the world at the time, Brian O’Driscoll.
However just 41 seconds into the 1st Test, O’Driscoll was taken out as a result of a sickening act by two men- Tana Umaga and Kevin Mealamu. The ball was nowhere to be seen as O’Driscoll was lifted up above the horizontal and driven into the turf.
Had he not the strength and awareness to get his head out of the way, O’Driscoll could have ended up with a far worse injury than a dislocated shoulder. Mealamu has now opened up on that infamous spear tackle which ended O’Driscoll’s 2005 tour in an interview with The Newsroom in New Zealand.
Mealamu says he still feels “a little bit stink” about the way things played out. The hooker is adamant he and Umaga never set out to injure O’Driscoll and said he wasn’t even aware Umaga was on the other side of O’Driscoll when he went to drive him out of the ruck.
Mealamu said he didn’t realise O’Driscoll was injured till play was stopped so he could be carried from the field.
“It’s one of the reasons I didn’t go back to see how he was because it happened so quickly and I had moved on,” Mealamu told The Newsroom.
“I just thought it was a typical rugby movement till I realised Tana was on the side and we had tipped him up and he had landed on his shoulder.”
Whether it was deliberate or not, it remains one of the most sickening acts in the history of rugby. A complete disregard for a fellow professional. It was careless and could have ended up causing O’Driscoll even more serious harm than it did.