18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Date: Thursday 27th November, 2003
Venue: The Burlington Hotel, Dublin
On Thursday 27th November The Burlington Ballroom will be full of rugby stars, past and present, Irish and international, from former French international Phillippe Sella to former Australian Captain Michael Lynagh. Everyone will gather in Dublin to celebrate the rugby career of Paul Wallace who had to retire suddenly for rugby after an injury earlier this year.
Paul was seen by many as being one of the first truly professional Irish rugby players. He won his first cap against Japan in the 1995 in Rugby World Cup and went on to win 46 caps between 1995 and 2002. He was one of only five British & Irish Lions to play the whole duration of the victorious test series against South Africa in 1997.
After a badly broken leg in 2001 Paul's rugby career hung in the balance but with the determination that he had often exhibited on the pitch he managed to return to the sport and win the Celtic League with Leinster in December of that year. However that injury proved instrumental in his decision earlier this year to retire from the sport.
In his career Paul played for not only his country and for two Irish provinces Leinster and Munster and also for Blackrock, Saracens,Garryowen and UCC.
For many he was the total professional both on and off the pitch without doubt Paul was regarded by many as a key player and cornerstone of the Lions scrum in 1997 says Fran Cotton the former British & Irish Lions coach.
Tickets are available for this event which is perfectly timed for Christmas corporate entertaining and immediately after the Rugby World Cup.
Tables of ten cost 1,600 with a table hosted by an international player can be purchased for 1,900. Individual seats are also available at 160.
Ray McLoughlin, the former Irish and British and Irish Lions player will be the guest speaker on the night and Fergus Slattery will be the MC on the night. Other beneficiaries from this testimonial event will include the Irish Cancer Society.