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Paul McNaughton – RIP

Paul McNaughton

Ireland team manager Paul McNaughton Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

The committee and staff of the IRFU were saddened to hear of the death of former Ireland international Paul McNaughton and send condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.

IRFU CEO Kevin Potts said,

“We are deeply shocked and saddened at the news of Paul’s passing. Our thoughts are with his wife Jean and his sons Conor, Cormac, and Cian. Paul was an immense figure in Irish Rugby for decades, a man who made a powerful impact on all of us who worked with him.

On and off the field he made an incredible contribution to the game. He wore the green jersey with pride and distinction and served the game well in a variety of roles with his acumen, experience, and leadership. Above and beyond all of that he was a decent man who always offered help and advice when called upon. Irish Rugby is richer for his involvement;  he will be deeply mourned and missed.”

Paul was a multi-talented sportsman who played with Dublin University FC, Wanderers RFC, during which time he won a Leinster Senior Cup and league title in 1973, and Greystones where he later served as Club President in 2018

In football, he lined out with Bray Wanderers and with Shelbourne, with whom he played in the UEFA Cup and two FAI Cup finals, in 1973 and 1975, where Shelbourne were runners-up, but shortly after that 1975 loss, he started to focus on his rugby and on Greystones.

Five Nations Championship, Landsdowne Road, Dublin 2/2/1980 Ireland vs Scotland Ireland’s Paul McNaughton – Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

He was selected for Leinster Rugby and Ireland ‘A’ in 1977 and a full Ireland debut followed in February 1978 against Scotland in a 12-9 win in Lansdowne Road in the Five Nations Championship. Paul went on to win 15 caps for Ireland between 1978 and 1981 and was a key member of the ’79 Tour Squad to Australia that produced a series win not matched until 2018.

He was a prominent figure in rugby off the pitch as well, serving as Leinster Team Manager and then Ireland Team Manager from 2008 to 2011 which included the famous Grand Slam win in 2009.

Paul McNaughton, Les Kiss, Gert Smal, Alan Gaffney and Mark Tainton with Declan Kidney 7/8/2008

Ireland Rugby Team Management Media Conference, 7/8/2008 Manager Paul McNaughton, Les Kiss, fGert Smal, Alan Gaffney, Mark Tainton with Ireland coach Declan Kidney in front
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

McNaughton was inducted into the Leinster Rugby Hall of Fame in 2018 and served with distinction as Chairman of EPCR.