O'Driscoll buries hatchet with Umaga - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Driscoll buries hatchet with Umaga

10/11/2009 08:31:44 PM Comments (0)

Ireland's Grand Slam rugby captain, Brian O'Driscoll, says he has buried the hatchet with former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga.

This is despite the New Zealander's refusal to apologise for his part in the alleged spear tackle at Christchurch in June 2005, which put the Dubliner out of the game for seven months.

O'Driscoll's magnanimous gesture to end the feud took place in France, the Daily Mail reported.

They met by chance during the Leinster team's pre-season trip to Nice.

"He happened to be in the ground seeing someone and I was on the side of the pitch at the time," O'Driscoll said.

"I thought, `Maybe, this is the time when you need to be the bigger man and go over and shake hands'.

"I went over to him and did just that. We chatted for a while and that was the end of it."

At no stage during their conversation did Umaga refer, however obliquely, to the events in Christchurch when the Irishman's captaincy of Sir Clive Woodward's ill-fated Lions ended in the first minute of the first Test.

Neither did O'Driscoll.

"To have done so would have been to re-hash the whole thing," he said. "We didn't talk about it. It was very much swept under the carpet."

Their previous conversation, during the heated aftermath of Christchurch, broke up in some acrimony.

At the time O'Driscoll was hurt, the citing commissioner, South African lawyer Willem Venter, decided neither Umaga nor fellow All Black Keven Mealamu had a case to answer over a joint tackle dangerous enough to have dislocated O'Driscoll's right shoulder as he fell from a considerable height.

Over the years, Umaga has been adamant that he has nothing to apologise for despite the Lions' anger.

"The sustained personal attack they launched against me was hard to believe and even harder to stomach," the New Zealander wrote in his autobiography.

"You don't want to take it personally but it's almost impossible not to when another player, a guy you had some respect for, attacks your character in the most direct and damning terms."

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