Ireland’s most-capped player, MALCOLM O’KELLY has been featuring in Irish sides since his debut against the All Blacks in November 1997.
O’Kelly, who was educated at Templeogue College and holds a Masters degree in Mathematics from Trinity College, set a new caps record of 70 - legendary centre Mike Gibson (69) - in the 2005 Six Nations win against Scotland, marking the occasion with his seventh Test try.
Born in Essex, the 1994/95 season saw him capped by Ireland at Under-21 and Students level while he also debuted for the Leinster senior side against Northern Transvaal.
His performance in his Ireland debut against New Zealand in 1997 helped him gain a foothold in the side and he was then ever-present for 12 consecutive internationals.
The Dubliner is noted as a superb lineout jumper and offers mobility and a strong presence in the loose. He played at both the 1999 and 2003 World Cups, but has fallen victim to injury in recent seasons. A groin injury cut short the Leinster lock’s Lions tour in 2005, and a knee injury ruined his chances of playing in this year’s Six Nstions.
He returned to play twice on the recent summer tour to Argentina and was also involved against Scotland in Ireland’s first World Cup warm-up match. His Test haul of eight tries includes efforts against Scotland (2), Argentina, the USA, Russia, Wales, Italy and the Pacific Islanders, whom he scored against in the last ever international at the old Lansdowne Road stadium last November.