We were saddened to hear the news of John O’Shea’s passing earlier today. Five times a Welsh international in the late 1960s, he won selection for the 1968 British Lions tour to South Africa.

He played in the first Test against the Springboks as the Lions were narrowly beaten 25-20 in Pretoria, but later in the tour became the first Lion to be sent off in a game against Eastern Transvaal. He was attacked by a spectator on his way off the pitch, leading to a mass brawl.

On a happier note, later in the tour, he became the first Lions prop to score two tries in a game in the fixture with Rhodesia. He played eight games overall on the trip.

O’Shea was a stalwart with Cardiff from 1963 to 1970, playing 213 times and captaining then in his final season.

As part of that British Lions touring party, Rugby World included him in their souvenir edition ahead of the tour in May 1968, including a potted biography, his photograph and signature. You can find them here.

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