Austin Healey, who was on the same British and Irish Lions team as Brian O'Driscoll, Ronan O'Gara and Keith Wood back in Australia in 2001, has called bullshit on a famous story Wood told about that tour, which involved Brian O'Driscoll beating Healy up in retaliation at Healey's winding-up of Ronan O'Gara.
Around this time last year, Newstalk's Off the Ball had a road show and Wood was a guest on it alongside O'Driscoll. An audience member had visited A Question Of Sport and heard from Matt Dawson of an encounter between Healey and O'Driscoll. He asked if the former Leinster star would elaborate and the two Irishmen duly obliged:
Wood: It is one of my favourite Lions memories. You look at him (BOD) now and he's got a little soft face on him. It was after Duncan McCrae beat the crap out of ROG (on that Lions tour). It was lunacy, he just absolutely lost it.
Austin came in and he was being an unbelievable pain in the arse. I mean beyond all belief. He was touching ROG's face and saying, 'Come on, ROG, let's have a little boxing match. Come on, come on...'
ROG just said: 'Piss off, just leave me alone, get away from me', and then suddenly this little voice peeps in.
'I'll have a bit of that!' says Drico. And they put on a pair of boxing gloves and Drico beat the living crap out of him!
BOD: You have those things in camp when something happens and then people make a joke about it and say, 'Too soon, too soon'. Well, it was too soon. It was still too raw.
I could tell that people were all all on one person (ROG)'s side - and that included all the English players.
O'Driscoll said he told Healey they would have to stop, telling the Englishman:
Austin, you have a game at the weekend. And I can't have you going out with your own cut eye.
A large part of the reason most people believed the story is that Healey was (to put it mildly) a bit of a 'lip' as a player. It wasn't much of a stretch from his on-field behaviour to suggest that he would manage to make BOD box him out of sheer annoyance.
But now Healey himself has hit back at the story, denying it completely when a punter tweeted to him an article in the Indo about it.
completely fabricated after dinner story
— Austin Healey (@IamAustinHealey) February 4, 2017
We eagerly await Wood's response.