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The gruesome injury from the 'biggest shot' of O'Driscoll's career

By Josh Raisey
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

In a Test career that spanned 141 matches for Ireland and the British and Irish Lions, Brian O’Driscoll was on the receiving end of his fair share of big tackles – but one stood out more than any other.


Ahead of Ireland’s round three Guinness Six Nations clash with Wales last Saturday, the former Ireland captain listed a tackle by Wales centre Scott Williams as the “biggest shot” of his career.

The hit came at the Aviva Stadium in 2014 and left O’Driscoll crumpled on the floor in a heap. Williams came off worse from the collision, ironically.

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The Welshman responded to a video shared by ITV Sport of his opponent describing the tackle, writing on X: “Grade 4 ruptured AC joint and torn deltoid… this makes it worth it.”

O’Driscoll was able to play the remainder of the match after the hit, while Williams had to leave the field in the opening quarter of Ireland’s win.

“The biggest shot I ever took was here and it was Scott Williams of Wales, and he melted me,” O’Driscoll said. “He read the play, hit me in my sternum. My whole backside was black and blue from the impact of hitting the ground, such was the force.

“He broke his collarbone and I would have broken multiple ribs if he hadn’t hit me square in the sternum – very badly winded, but managed to carry on.


“They were trying to get me off for an HIA and I couldn’t actually get my words out to say that I was just winded because I was so badly winded.

“I must have been down for 90 seconds until I came round and I was able to tell them and as he was holding his shoulder, I was like ‘See! That’s why I can’t breathe!’

“My whole backside was black and blue. It was ridiculous. It was the biggest bruise that I have ever had. It was a really badly orchestrated play and a really well-read defensive piece came together, collided and yeah, the repercussions were not beautiful.”



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