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O'Driscoll Points The Finger At All-Blacks Captain.
6 June 2005, 4:01 pm
Brian O Driscoll said that he was shocked to learn that New Zealand captain Tana Umaga was one of the two players involved in the spearing incident that has ended his Tour.
Brian O Driscoll said that he was shocked to learn that New Zealand captain Tana Umaga was one of the two players involved in the spearing incident that has ended his Tour.

O'Driscoll's comments were made before the independent citing commissioner ruled on the incident that saw the Lions captain injured in the opening minute of the game.

And it has been reported, although there has been no official confirmation, that the Australian citing officer has ruled that neither Umaga nor the other player named has any case to answer.

In a statement issued by the Lions media team, O'Driscoll said, " I am in no doubt whatever that it was deliberate foul play, a double spearing. It was a cheap shot which has put me out of the Tour. But the truth is it could have been an awful lot worse because they could have quite easily broken my neck. I was turned upside down, in the air and speared into the ground.

I tackled one of their players and then a ruck formed. I was pushing against Jerry Collins and two guys came in, they had a leg each, I got turned around in the air and speared into the ground. I knew straight away that it was serious. I had this searing pain that just wouldn t go away, I have never had a dislocated shoulder before so I did not know that is what it was, but I knew instantly that I was out of the game.

I can hardly believe that I put so much into this and just got over a minute of play in a Test match. I have worked so hard for so long to get to this and to have it taken away but such a cheap shot leaves a really nasty feeling. I am really shocked that Umaga did that.

O Driscoll was speaking as he sat with his parents and other family members at the team hotel in Christchurch, where earlier he attended the post match meeting with all members of the Lions party.

He said It is very hard to describe any emotion at the moment. I just cannot put it into words. I am angry because it was such a cheap shot. It was one of the most dangerous things that you can do in our game. It is why spear tackling is banned.

He said he and head coach Clive Woodward had not yet decided whether he will stay in New Zealand for the rest of the Tour. A lot will depend on the medical situation, and whether actually as someone who is not going to be playing in the Tests, I can add anything.

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