Tom Richards Cup - Australia v British & Irish Lions
Nathan Grey describes 'that' tackle
ESPN Staff
June 21, 2013

British & Irish Lions flanker Richard Hill takes the game to Western Australia, Western Australia v British & Irish Lions, WACA, June 8, 2001
Richard Hill was a key part of the 2001 Lions' game plan © Getty Images

Nathan Grey has spoken finally about the controversial tackle on British & Irish Lions flanker Richard Hill in the second Tom Richards Cup Test of the 2001 series at Etihad Stadium, telling Rugby Gold the contact that rubbed the pivotal Englishman out of the series was accidental.

Hill was ruled out of the remainder of the series with concussion, and the Lions team and British journalists didn't forgive Grey for the incident that came just a fortnight after fellow New South Wales Waratahs player Duncan McRae's unprovoked attack on Ronan O'Gara in a tour game at Allianz Stadium.

"I will take it as a compliment if they think I can influence a Test match that much," Grey told Rugby Gold in his first public comment on the Hill incident.

"I haven't seen him, no, but I am sure there will be a hug if we do come across one another. I am sure he's had similar accidents on a football field," Grey said.

Richard Hill wrote in his autobiography, Life On The Flanks: "Most of our guys seemed to think it was malicious and everything I have read since takes the same line, but I am not so sure … as far as I'm concerned, the matter was investigated and Nathan was cleared, so that was that."

Hill laughed about the incident recently when asked about it at a British Chamber of Commerce function in Sydney sponsored by ESPNscrum, saying: "Silly thing to do headbutting his elbow." He also laughed that he went to hospital for precautionary scans after the match: "They didn't find anything wrong but they did find my skull was thicker than normal ... Jonny Wilkinson had an x-ray because he had a bruise."

Greatest Lions Controversies
Tip tackle on O'Driscoll, First Test, 20050%
Burger eye gouge on Fitzgerald, Second Test, 20090%
Dawson and Healey's newspaper columns, 20010%
Grey elbow on Hill, Second Test, 20010%
McRae decking O'Gara, 2001 v Waratahs 0%

© ESPN Australia / New Zealand

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.