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Vintage rugby shirts and associated products based on the founding clubs of the Rugby Football Union in 1871.

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On This Day

2005

The spear tackle that broke the Lions’ back – and nearly their captain’s neck.

In the first minute of the first Test against the All Blacks in Christchurch, Brian O’Driscoll was lucky he only dislocated a shoulder after being thrust head-down by his opposite number Tana Umaga and hooker Keven Mealamu.

A really nasty piece of work, and O’Driscoll was right to call it a cheap shot. With their captain out of the tour and Paul O’Connell yellow-carded, the Lions didn’t recover.

Against the New Zealand’s two tries and 21 points, all they managed was a Jonny Wilkinson penalty goal. Flanker Neil Back was 36, the oldest to play for the Lions in a Test match and no match for New Zealand’s exemplary Richie McCaw.

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