Philip Orr, the former Ireland and Lions prop forward, was enrolled as the 129th President of the Irish Rugby Football Union at the annual Council meeting in the Aviva Stadium today.
Philip Orr has assumed the highest office in Irish Rugby after a distinguished career as a player and administrator. His services have twice been recognised by the Rugby Writers of Ireland, as winner, in 2007, of the Tom Rooney award for his exceptional contribution to Irish Rugby, and he was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.
A member of Old Wesley RFC for 44 years – he was President in its Centenary Year in 1991/92 and captain of the 1985 Leinster Senior Cup-winning team – and, in a glittering playing career, he also starred for Dublin University FC, the Combined Irish Universities, Leinster, the Barbarians, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions.
Orr made his Ireland debut in 1976 against France in Paris and, in a career spanning 12 seasons, he was for many years Ireland’s most-capped prop forward with a then world record 58 appearances, 49 of which were earned consecutively. His tenure was highlighted as a key player on the Triple Crown-winning teams of 1982 and ’85.
He also represented Ireland in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 and toured with Ireland to New Zealand (1976), Australia (1979), South Africa (1981) and Japan in 1985. He was twice chosen for the British & Irish Lions, playing in New Zealand in 1977 and South Africa in 1980.
On retirement from international rugby after the 1987 World Cup, he immediately began what has been an equally effective administrative career, initially in the preparations for Old Wesley’s Centenary Year celebrations and then in 2000 as Old Wesley’s club delegate on the Leinster Branch, followed by his election to the IRFU Committee in 2009.
Since then he has held a number of key roles, including Chairman of the Disciplinary, Coaching and Referees Committees and as a member of the Representative Game, Commercial and Marketing and Rugby Committees.
He was manager of the inaugural Ireland Club team in 2005/06 and also manager of the Ireland Under-20 team for three years, which included the winning of the U-20 Six Nations Grand Slam in 2007.
Educated at the High School and Trinity College and formerly joint Managing Director of the family-owned protective clothing company Orrwear Ltd, he is married to Anne and is the fourth member of Old Wesley RFC to be elected President of the IRFU.