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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Cullen Is Ireland’s 100th Captain

Cullen Is Ireland’s 100th Captain

As well as leading Ireland out for the first time on Saturday, Leo Cullen will be creating Irish rugby history as the country’s 100th Test captain.

A trawl through the annals of Irish rugby history show that Blackrock College and Leinster’s Leo Cullen is the 100th player appointed to captain Ireland at Test match level.

Cullen has already had notable success at Murrayfield, the venue for Saturday’s pre-season clash with Scotland. Back in 2009, he led Leinster to their first Heineken Cup title at the Edinburgh ground.

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Praising the Newtownmountkennedy man’s leadership qualities, Ireland head coach Declan Kidney said: “Once Leo was in the team he was the natural man to captain it. He was knocking on the door during the last Six Nations.

“I know Leo well and we’re fortunate that captaincy sits easily on his shoulders.

“When there’s so much as stake for the players, you don’t want to be burdening them with it, but I was delighted to be able to hand it to him.”

The player himself, who will be winning his 30th cap, said that it will be a ‘special day’ for him. No stranger to the captain’s role, he has in fact skippered Ireland at Under-19, Under-21 and ‘A’ level previously.

“To be asked by Declan to be captain is a real privilege for me. I think sometimes you appreciate it more when it comes later in your career,” he admitted.

“I’ve been knocking around for quite a while now at this stage and I’ve had a lot of ups and downs, particularly in the international sphere.

“It’s something I really appreciate, playing for Ireland, because there’s been plenty of years where I sat back and watched the team from afar. It’s kind of a strange feeling.

“To get the opportunity to lead the team out is a special day for me.”

Cullen will be following in the footsteps of his Leinster team-mate and Ireland’s long-term captain Brian O’Driscoll, who misses Saturday’s game due to a neck/shoulder injury.

O’Driscoll is Ireland’s longest serving captain. Last March’s Six Nations win over England marked his 75th match as skipper. He is just one win away from leading his country to 50 Test victories.

IrishRugby.ie, with the assistance of statistician Stuart Farmer, has published the full list of Ireland’s Test captains below – from Dublin University’s George Stack, the captain on that fateful day at Kennington Oval in 1875, through to fellow forward Cullen.

IRELAND’S 100 CAPTAINS FOR FULL INTERNATIONAL MATCHES:

NO DEBUT OPPS CAPTAIN GAMES W D L Win%  
1 15/02/1875 England George Stack 1 1 0.0%  
2 13/12/1875 England Richard Bell 1 1 0.0%  
3 05/02/1877 England Richard Galbraith 1 1 0.0%  
4 19/02/1877 Scotland William Wilson 1 1 0.0%  
5 11/03/1878 England Robert Walkington 1 1 0.0%  
6 17/02/1879 Scotland William Neville 2 2 0.0%  
7 30/01/1880 England Hugh Kelly 2 2 0.0%  
8 05/02/1881 England Arthur Forrest 4 1 3 25.0%  
9 06/02/1882 England John Taylor 2 1 1 0.0%  
10 05/02/1883 England George Scriven 2 2 0.0%  
11 04/02/1884 England James McDonald 2 2 0.0%  
12 12/04/1884 Wales Frank Moore 1 1 0.0%  
13 07/02/1885 England William Rutherford 2 2 0.0%  
14 06/02/1886 England Meredith Johnston 1 1 0.0%  
15 20/02/1886 Scotland J.P. Ross 1 1 0.0%  
16 05/02/1887 England Robert Warren 9 2 1 6 22.2%  
17 03/03/1888 Wales Harry Neill 2 1 1 50.0%  
18 07/02/1891 England Dolway Walkington 2 2 0.0%  
19 07/03/1891 Wales Robert Stevenson 1 1 0.0%  
20 06/02/1892 England Victor le Fanu 3 1 2 33.3%  
21 04/02/1893 England Sam Lee 7 3 2 2 42.9%  
22 03/02/1894 England Edmund Forrest 6 4 2 66.7%  
23 02/02/1895 England John O’Conor 1 1 0.0%  
24 02/03/1895 Scotland Charles Rooke 1 1 0.0%  
25 19/02/1898 Scotland Glynn Allen 1 1 0.0%  
26 19/03/1898 Wales William Gardiner 1 1 0.0%  
27 04/02/1899 England Louis Magee 10 4 1 5 40.0%  
28 08/02/1902 England John Fulton 2 1 1 50.0%  
29 14/02/1903 England Harry Corley 5 1 4 20.0%  
30 12/03/1904 Wales Ellie Allen 11 5 6 45.5%  
31 09/02/1907 England Alfred Tedford 1 1 100.0%  
32 08/02/1908 England Harry Thrift 1 1 0.0%  
33 29/02/1908 Scotland James Parke 2 1 1 50.0%  
34 13/02/1909 England Fred Gardiner 3 1 2 33.3%  
35 13/03/1909 Wales George Hamlet 8 4 1 3 50.0%  
36 12/03/1910 Wales Tom Smyth 1 1 0.0%  
37 01/01/1912 France Dickie Lloyd 12 5 7 41.7%  
38 10/02/1912 England Alexander Foster 3 1 2 33.3%  
39 28/02/1920 Scotland George Doherty 5 1 4 20.0%  
40 13/03/1920 Wales Thomas Wallace 1 1 0.0%  
41 11/02/1922 England William Collopy 5 1 4 20.0%  
42 10/02/1923 England John Thompson 4 1 3 25.0%  
43 26/01/1924 France William Crawford 15 10 1 4 66.7%  
44 01/11/1924 New Zealand George Stephenson 13 7 1 5 53.8%  
45 23/02/1929 Scotland Eugene Davy 3 3 0.0%  
46 01/01/1931 France Mark Sugden 4 2 2 50.0%  
47 19/12/1931 South Africa George Beamish 5 3 2 60.0%  
48 10/02/1934 England Jack Siggins 10 4 6 40.0%  
49 13/02/1937 England George Morgan 8 4 4 50.0%  
50 12/03/1938 Wales Sam Walker 1 1 0.0%  
51 25/01/1947 France Con Murphy 2 1 1 50.0%  
52 22/02/1947 Scotland Jack Monteith 2 1 1 50.0%  
53 06/12/1947 Australia Ernest Strathdee 2 1 1 50.0%  
54 14/02/1948 England Karl Mullen 15 10 2 3 66.7%  
55 08/12/1951 South Africa Des O’Brien 5 2 3 40.0%  
56 24/01/1953 France Jackie Kyle 6 2 1 3 33.3%  
57 13/02/1954 England Jim McCarthy 4 1 1 2 25.0%  
58 22/01/1955 France Robin Thompson 3 3 0.0%  
59 28/01/1956 France James Ritchie 2 2 0.0%  
60 25/02/1956 Scotland Noel Henderson 11 6 5 54.5%  
61 14/02/1959 England Ronnie Dawson 11 3 8 27.3%  
62 13/02/1960 England Andy Mulligan 3 3 0.0%  
63 10/02/1962 England Bill Mulcahy 11 2 2 7 18.2%  
64 26/01/1963 France Tom Kiernan 24 14 4 6 58.3%  
65 07/12/1963 New Zealand James Kelly 1 1 0.0%  
66 23/01/1965 France Ray McLoughlin 8 3 2 3 37.5%  
67 21/01/1967 Australia Noel Murphy 5 3 2 60.0%  
68 13/02/1971 England Mike Gibson 5 1 4 20.0%  
69 10/03/1973 Wales Willie-John McBride 12 5 2 5 41.7%  
70 21/02/1976 Wales Tom Grace 8 1 7 12.5%  
71 21/01/1978 Scotland John Moloney 4 1 3 25.0%  
72 04/11/1978 New Zealand Shay Deering 1 1 0.0%  
73 20/01/1979 France Fergus Slattery 17 5 2 10 29.4%  
74 23/01/1982 Wales Ciaran Fitzgerald 19 9 1 9 47.4%  
75 18/02/1984 England Willie Duggan 2 2 0.0%  
76 01/11/1986 Romania Donal Lenihan 17 8 9 47.1%  
77 29/10/1988 Samoa Philip Matthews 13 4 9 30.8%  
78 18/11/1989 New Zealand Willie Anderson 3 3 0.0%  
79 02/02/1991 France Rob Saunders 5 1 4 0.0%  
80 09/10/1991 Japan Terry Kingston 6 3 3 50.0%  
81 21/03/1992 France Phil Danaher 3 3 0.0%  
82 06/06/1992 New Zealand Michael Bradley 15 5 1 9 33.3%  
83 21/01/1995 England Brendan Mullin 1 1 0.0%  
84 31/05/1995 Japan Nick Popplewell 2 2 100.0%  
85 18/11/1995 Fiji Jim Staples 7 3 4 42.9%  
86 02/03/1996 Wales Niall Hogan 3 1 2 33.3%  
87 23/11/1996 Australia Keith Wood 36 15 1 20 41.7%  
88 13/06/1998 South Africa Paddy Johns 10 4 6 40.0%  
89 12/06/1999 Australia Dion O’Cuinneagain 7 3 4 42.9%  
90 02/06/2001 Romania Mick Galwey 4 3 1 75.0%  
91 11/11/2001 Samoa Anthony Foley 3 3 100.0%  
92 23/03/2002 Italy David Humphreys 5 4 1 80.0%  
93 09/11/2002 Australia Brian O’Driscoll 75 49 1 25 65.3%  
94 14/06/2003 Tonga Reggie Corrigan 2 2 100.0%  
95 14/02/2004 France Paul O’Connell 4 2 2 50.0%  
96 12/11/2005 New Zealand Simon Easterby 2 2 0.0%  
97 26/05/2007 Argentina Simon Best 2 2 0.0%  
98 15/03/2008 England Ronan O’Gara 1 1 0.0%  
99 23/05/2009 Canada Rory Best 2 2 100.0%  
100 06/08/2011 Scotland Leo Cullen            
      TOTALS 602 253 29 320 42.0%