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WATCH: A look back at the wildest clean-out attempt in rugby history

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Tuesday Jul 18, 2023

Paul O’Connell is widely regarded as one of Irish Rugby’s greatest-ever rugby players.

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An ultimate competitor and consummate professional, the 6’6” Munster lock was a titan for Munster, Ireland and the Lions.

Representing the famous touring side on four occasions, including captaining the 2009 tour to South Africa, O’Connell enjoyed several memorable days in the red shirt.

In the end, he would finish his Lions career on a high note with a 2 – 1 series victory over the Wallabies in 2013.

Since retiring following a horrific hamstring injury he sustained during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, O’Connell has gone on to become a world-class coach.

Currently coaching the Irish forwards, O’Connell has played an integral part in Andy Farrell’s team that has risen to being ranked number one in the world.

Renowned for their clinical execution and exceptional discipline, Ireland has won a Six Nations Grand Slam and won a test series against the All Blacks in New Zealand during the 2022 season.

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Now firmly considered to be one of the favourites for this year’s World Cup, O’Connell will be priming his pack to face some stern tests, namely the reigning World Champion Springboks.

Whilst O’Connell will be preaching to his players to remain disciplined, he will hope that none of them sees this wild footage of his attempted clean-out on the 2005 Lions Tour.

Having seen his Ireland teammate and Lions captain for that tour, Brian O’Driscoll, taken out by one of the dirtiest clean-outs in rugby history by All Blacks Tana Umaga and Kevin Mealamu. O’Connell appeared to be out for blood as he launched himself into a ruck.

The most Legal, Effective and necessary clean out I’ve ever seen for Paul O Connell for the lions
by u/KingDaveyM14 in rugbyunion

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