Keith Wood recounts a comical fight with the Claw from their AIL days

Former Ireland captain was speaking at our Cork Opera House show with Heineken Rugby Club

BY Raf Diallo 21:26 Wednesday 11 October 2017, 21:26 11 Oct 2017

Ireland Rugby Tour to Australia Concorde, Sydney 3/6/1999 Keith Wood and Peter Clohessy relax during training ©INPHO/Patrick Bolger

The AIL might not be what it used to be in regards to its status in Irish rugby's current structures.

But those who played club rugby in pre-professional days have many a good yarn to tell from those days. 

At our Roadshow at Cork Opera House with Heineken Rugby Club, Ireland legends Paul O'Connell, Mick Galwey and Keith Wood shared a few memories from their own AIL days.

Keith in particular fondly recalled a feisty clash with Ireland team-mate Peter Clohessy when they were playing with Garryowen and Young Munster respectively in the early '90s. 


Peter Clohessy and Keith Wood ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"I had a fight with 'Claw' and we were both playing for the Ba Baas. We'd both been picked to play for the Ba Baas the following week against South Africa," he said.

"So that's seven days later and we get into a scrap in an AIL game where I get knocked into the crowd by Claw, tipped me over. I got so many punches in the head from the crowd and Eoin Doyle was the referee and I got pulled out.

Peter Clohessy and Keith Wood stretch ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"Claw pulled me back out again and the two of us are standing there with our arms over each other's shoulders, having a chat as all the other 28 players are pucking the heads off each other.

"It was actually brilliant. It was amazing stuff, it really was."


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