As bizarre injuries go, this former Leinster player tops the lot
Scott Baldwin's unfortunate coming together with a South African lion sparked an interesting chat on bizarre rugby injuries.
The Ospreys prop was bitten by a lion whilst he was in the process of petting its head during their short sojourn in South Africa.
He missed last Friday's game against Cheetahs and has been ruled out of this weekend's clash with Ospreys.
"I've seen the video," said Ronan O'Gara, "and I've shown it to my kids. Even they were saying, 'Why did he put his hand near a lion's mouth?' A five-year-old said it, which I thought was great... He's lucky he came back with his hand intact. He could've just seen a stump."
On the latest episode of The Hard Yards, Kevin McLaughlin and Ronan O'Gara [from 3:00 below] shared some tales of freak events that ruled star men out.
McLaughlin's recollections definitely stole the show but he was very careful not to reveal [too much of] the identity of his former, accident-prone Leinster teammate.
He said: "We had a prop, a South African prop who I'm not going to name, a few years back.
"He was dancing to a song in the gym and tried to do the splits, and the threw his groin out. The coach went absolutely mad!"
That was not the end of the forward's injury woes.
"A second time," McLaughlin continued, "this same character had hurt his calf and he was back after being six weeks out.
"He went for a medical to test his calf and did a calf raise of his body weight and got a Grade 2 calf tear doing that. He had a propensity to get low impact injuries and severe ones at that."
O'Gara can finally see those frustrations, over hapless players, now that he is on the coaching staff at Racing 92 and he says the big risk is often in the regular games of football in training or before matches.
"If the boys put the same effort into the 5-a-side soccer as the match, we'd win everything," O'Gara remarked.