The security guard who "hammered" a streaker who ran onto the pitch during the All Blacks' Test against England on Saturday should have been making similar tackles for his home club, but he needed the extra money, his coach said.
Brad Hemopo was working as security at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin when a streaker entered the field of play at the 62nd minute. Taking the nude man by surprise, Hemopo piled into him from behind, snapping the man's head back violently.
But Hemopo's High School Old Boy's club coach, Joe Gee, said not only was the tackle out of character for the player but he was rostered to play for the team on the day. "He is not an aggressive person …. he is not the sort of person that does that but in the heat of the moment and being paid to do a job," Gee said.
Forsyth Barr Stadium management said in a statement they would meet those involved on Monday morning.
Video of the tackle has divided opinion on social media, with some saying the pitch invader was "destroyed" or "hammered", while others called the tackle "over the top" and a "king hit" and claimed the person "could have seriously injured the guy".