Duncan McRae has claimed that Ronan O’Gara elbowed him in the face twice and kicked him “in the nuts” before he punched him 11 times on the ground.
Former New South Wales Waratahs back McRae was shown a red card for attacking O’Gara during his side’s encounter with the British and Irish Lions back in 2001, which left the Irishman in need of eight stitches.
The Australian was given a seven-week ban for the incident, which is considered to be one of the most famous attacks in a game of rugby since the sport went professional back in 1995.
McRae was speaking on a Stan Sport podcast about the incident, and claimed that O’Gara had elbowed him in the face twice in that match, before kicking out at him while he was pinned on the ground moments before McRae unleashed a flurry of punches.
Duncan McRae on the Ronan O’Gara incident.
“O’Gara had come through once to clear out – and I don’t know what I was doing near a ruck firstly, because I was never there – but he had sort of come to elbow me and I caught his elbow straight in the face,” McRae explained.
“I thought, ‘Fuck you,’ you know? The same thing happened 15 minutes later. I’ve got up and I sort of seen him at the last second and he elbowed me straight in the face.
“I just caught him and I’ve swung him under and he ended up on the ground right under me. I just said to him, ‘What the fuck are you going to do, champ?’ And he just kicked me straight in the nuts.
“So I’ve just pinned him and the rest is history, you know?”
What led to McRae v O’Gara back in the day pic.twitter.com/EsG41HlJBB
— Sean Maloney (@seanny202) November 19, 2021
The five worst incidents to ever happen on a sporting field.
McRae would soon be reunited with O’Gara, as he joined Gloucester in 2003 and found himself playing against Munster in the Heineken Cup.
Unbeknownst to McRae before he signed with Gloucester, the English club had been drawn in the same Heineken Cup pool as Munster, which meant that not only would he have to play them twice, he had to play against them at Thomond Park.
Before flying over to Limerick, McRae’s incident with O’Gara was named as one of the five worst incidents to happen on a sporting field, just behind the shocking on-court stabbing of Monica Seles.
“Just before we flew over to play in his home town, one of the boys brought in a paper. I don’t know if it was The Times or whatever rugby paper it was,” McRae said.
“It was the five worst incidents that ever happened on a sporting field. Ever. I can’t remember number five but number four was Eric Cantona karate kicking the guy in the crowd.
“Number three was Mike Tyson biting the ear off. I was number two. Number one was Monica Seles getting stabbed on the court. I said, ‘Jesus, they can hold a grudge these people.'”
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