Former Wales and Lions prop O’Shea dies aged 83

Home » Former Wales and Lions prop O’Shea dies aged 83

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions prop John O’Shea has died in Australia at the age of 83 after a lengthy illness.

Capped five times from 1967-1968, O’Shea made his international debut for his country against Scotland at Murrayfield in February 1967.

O’Shea was selected for the 1968 Lions tour to South Africa, where he became the first Lion to be sent off for foul play in a game after punching an Eastern Transvaal player.

He always claimed he had been retaliating after the opponent had targeted Lions scrum-half Roger Young, while there was an infamous melee as he walked off the pitch after a spectator then struck the departing prop.

  • History of the Lions: The 1960s

During that tour, on which O’Shea played eight games including the first Test, he also became the first Lions prop to score two tries in a game when he crossed twice against Rhodesia.

O’Shea played his club rugby for Cardiff between 1963-1970, making 213 appearances and scoring 19 tries. He was the club captain in the 1969-1970 season.

The club paid tribute to their former player, saying: “A great character, John was a very popular and respected member of the club where he made many life-long friends, and he will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him.”

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