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Lawrence Dallaglio Fully Experienced New Zealand Madness For Rugby After Breaking Ankle

Lawrence Dallaglio Fully Experienced New Zealand Madness For Rugby After Breaking Ankle
By PJ Browne Updated

Though his tour of New Zealand with the Lions in 2005 lasted a quarter of a game, Lawrence Dallaglio suffered as much pain and anguish as his teammates who went down 3-0 to the All Blacks.

Just 20 minutes into the Lions' first game in New Zealand, Dallaglio broke his ankle while playing against Bay of Plenty in Rotorua.

Speaking on The Times' Ruck podcast this week, Dallaglio recalled the incident and the fervent New Zealand appetite for rugby which he observed in the hours which followed.

James Robson, the Lions doctor, came onto the field and attended to me. I’d fractured and dislocated my ankle, it was basically facing in the opposite direction. He glided it back into place, which was good.

As I was being stretchered off the field, the game started again. The guy stretchering me off was watching the game.

I took my Lions shirt off and gave it to one of the other guys. I said, ‘Look, could you hang that on the peg of the guy I’m playing against because I’m sure he’ll want that.’

When Dallaglio go to the local hospital he found it manned by a skeleton crew. He was greeted by a green young doctor, the more senior staff were in attendance at the Rotorua International Stadium.


Even when the senior surgeon arrived back after the game, Dallaglio found him a little 'over-refreshed' for his liking.

Then I arrived at the hospital, I kid you not, Rotorua General Hospital, there was no one there because they were all at the game. They left a very young junior orthopaedic surgeon there. He must have lost a three card brag or something. He came out as I was being lifted off the ambulance. He looked at me and said, ‘Mate, I’ve just looked at it on the telly, I reckon you fractured and dislocated your ankle.’

I’m lying there with my ankle facing the wrong way. Then he started foaming at the mouth and got terribly excited. He looked at me and said, ‘Can I have your kit?’ At which point I said to him, ‘You go get me some morphine young man and you can have the entire kit bag.’

The surgeon came back after the match. The senior surgeon, he was clearly over-refreshed. He looked at my leg and said, ‘We’ll operate on that in the morning.’

I looked at the Lions doctor, Gary O’Driscoll, and I said, ‘There’s no way this guy is operating on me in the morning.’ I said, ‘Go and find me whoever operates on Sean Fitzpatrick. That is who is operating on me in the morning.’

Picture credit: Sportsfile


See Also: Stuart Barnes Explains Why He Has Doubts About CJ Stander's Lions Starter Credentials

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