The IRFU and Ulster Rugby are pleased to announce that Rory Best has signed a new two-year Irish contract which will keep him at Kingspan Stadium until June 2018.
Born: Cork, 7th January 1939
Educated: Presentation Brothers College Cork, University College Cork. Played for Munster Schools and won Munster Schools Senior and Junior Cup Medals.
Clubs: UCC and Cork Constitution.
Representative Teams: Munster, Ireland, The Lions and Barbarians; Combined Ireland - Scotland team (RFU Centenary Match 1970; Captained the team). Won 54 caps for Ireland and captained Ireland on 24 occasions (a record). Member of the Lions team that toured South Africa in 1962 (one test); Captained the Lions in South Africa 1968 (Four tests). Won 13 Munster Senior League Medals; Three with University College Cork and 10 with Cork Constitution. His winning sequence included 12 league titles in succession, three with UCC and nine with Cork Constitution. Won seven Munster Senior Cup Medals, one with UCC and six with Cork Constitution. He also played cricket for Munster at senior level.
Coached the Munster team that defeated the All Blacks at Thomond Park, Limerick in October 1978, and Coached Ireland 1980-83. Ireland won the Triple Crown and Five Nations Championship in 1982, first Triple Crown win since 1949. Ireland also finished on Top of the Five Nations Championship table in 1983.
President of the Munster Branch in 1977-78. Centenary president of Cork Constitution 1991-92. Elected to I.R.F.U. Committee 1983-84, President of I.R.F.U. 1988-89. Has been the chairman of I.R.F.U. Game Development Committee, Chairman of I.R.F.U. Commercial Committee, Chairman of I.R.F.U. Grounds Committee, of the sub committee that elected the national selectors; International Board Representative 1994-2000. Has been chairman of Five Nations Committee, Chairman of ERC 1995-99; Chairman of the IRB's Policy Committee and Honorary Treasurer of the IRB since 1997; Director of Rugby World Cup (1999). Trustee of I.R.F.U. since 1992.
Paddy Madigan was an outstanding player while a student at another great rugby school Belvedere College. His talent as a hooker was recognised by being a member of the Leinster schools side for two seasons 1952 - 53 and 1953 - 54 and he was capped five times for Leinster schools. He was a member of the Belvedere side beaten in the 1954 Leinster Schools Senior final by Blackrock College in what was an epic final.
After leaving school, he joined Old Belvedere and rendered outstanding service to the club and played a major role in the club's victory in the Leinster Senior Cup final in 1968.
He won his first Leinster cap in 1964 and made 15 appearances for the province. And although he played in several Irish trials, he was extremely unlucky not to gain the ultimate honour, an international cap, and his appearances as an Ireland replacement ran into double figures. He was, however, a member of the Ireland team that toured Argentina in 1970. He also played for the Barbarians.
After he retired as a player, he served on the Old Belvedere executive and then became the club's representative on the Leinster Branch. He was president of the Branch in 1976 - 77 and was a member of the Leinster selection committee including a term as chairman of that committee. He was an Ireland selector from 1978 to 1981 and was chairman of the selection committee in 1980 - 81. He was manager of the Ireland team that toured South Africa in 1981.
He was a member of the IRFU Executive Committee for well over a decade and was president of the Union in 1987 - 88. He was the first chairman of the IRFU Sponsorship Committee and still serves as a member of the Union's Commercial Committee and of the IRFU Charitable Trust. On and off the field his contribution to the game has been immense.
Born: Dublin, 7TH May 1936
Educated: Belvedere College and University College Dublin. Played for Leinster schools and captain of the Belvedere team that lost to Blackrock College in the final of the Leinster Schools Senior Cup in 1954.
Clubs: Old Belvedere, Dolphin, Leicester
Representative Teams: Leinster, Ireland, The Lions, The Barbarians, Combined Ireland - Scotland Team.
Made his international debut as an 18 year old in the centre against France on 22nd January 1955. Went on to play 29 times for Ireland in an international career that spanned 16 seasons and three decades (1955-1970).
Toured South Africa with The Lions in 1955 and was the youngest player to earn Lions selection at 19 years of age. Made his test debut on the right wing before a then world record crowd of 95,000, at Ellis Park, Johannesburg on 6th August 1955 and was the youngest player to play in a test for the Lions, a record that still stands. He scored a try in the Lions 23-22 victory. He played in all four tests and scored a try in the fourth in a series that was drawn 2-2. He scored a record 16 tries on the tour. He was again a member of the Lions team that toured Australia and New Zeland in 1959 and played in all six tests, two against Australia and four against New Zeland. He scored tries in the two test wins against Australia and in the first and fourth tests against New Zeland, thus bringing his total to six in test matches, a Lions record. He also set a try scoring record on that tour by scoring 22 tries. His total of 38 tries for the Lions on two tours, set a mark that has not been equalled.
He won the last of his 29 caps against England at Twickenham on 14th February 1970, making an unexpected return to the international arena after and absence of seven years. Is a member of the I.R.F.U. Commercial Committee
Ken Reid was educated at one of Ireland's great schools Methodist College Belfast. After playing at schools level, he played for Collegians and while studying in Dublin for Old Wesley. After he retired as a player he made an immense contribution at administrative level at club, branch and union levels.
After becoming Collegians representative on the Ulster branch he was subsequently elected president of the branch in 1980 - 81. The year after serving as president, he took over as honorary secretary of the branch and served in that capacity for nine years.
He was an Ireland selector from 1975 - 76 to 1978 - 79. He was manager of the Ireland team that toured France in 1988 and the team that toured USA and Canada in 1989. After being appointed manager of the Ireland team for the World Cup in 1991, he rejoined the Ireland selection committee in 1990 and served on that for two further seasons.
He subsequently served for a time as manager of the Ulster team after the game went professional and was also a central figure in the administration of the inaugural European Cup. He has made an outstanding contribution to the game.