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IRFU To Cap Previously Uncapped Men’s Internationals

A view of a jersey in the Ireland dressing room 28/9/2019

A view of an Ireland jersey in the Ireland dressing room Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The IRFU is to award caps to 17 players who featured for Ireland but were not awarded caps at the time for games which were not then recognised as International Test Matches.

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Dating back to 1946, and ranging up to 1989, the players will be honoured with an Ireland cap and enrolled in the official list of International Players.

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A special committee of the IRFU was set up to oversee the awarding of caps and decide on how best to recognise the players. This involved a rigorous process examining the history of capped and uncapped games, identifying the players involved and contacting them and their families.

The 17 players will be honoured at a pre-match event at the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match against England on Saturday, 19 August in Aviva Stadium.

Prior to 1986, with two exceptions, Ireland only awarded caps to players who played in an international game against one of the “original” rugby playing nations – England, Scotland, Wales, France, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The two exceptions were the 1888 match against the touring NZ Natives and the IRFU Centenary match against the President’s International XV in 1974. (The third capped game against a non-national side was the final game in Lansdowne Road against the Pacific Islands in 2006).

Ireland has played 19 games against national sides where caps were not awarded by Ireland. However, in 14 of these games, caps were awarded by our opponents. In all, 12 players played in those 14 games and they will be presented with their international cap in recognition of this.

From a statistical point of view the players will receive their Irish International player number today as opposed to retrospectively going back and reordering every Irish player’s player number. Nor will the past caps and points records be adjusted for those games.

In 2018, the 112 women’s internationals who represented Ireland between 1993 to 2005, (the period prior to the IWRFU’s integration into the IRFU) were presented with caps at a ceremony at Aviva Stadium

List of names, Clubs at the time, Year Capped & Ireland Cap Number

#1142 – Jack Belton (Old Belvedere) 1946
#1143 – Hugh Dolan (UCD) 1946
#1144 – Hugh Greer (NIFC) 1946
#1145 – Jack Guiney (Bective Rangers) 1946
#1146 – Des Thorpe (Old Belvedere) 1946
#1147 – Paul Traynor (Clontarf) 1952
#1148 – John Birch (Ballymena) 1970
#1149 – Frank O’Driscoll (UCD) 1970
#1150 – Leo Galvin (Athlone) 1973
#1151 – Emmet O’Rafferty (Wanderers) 1976
#1152 – Rab Brady (Ballymena) 1985
#1153 – Paul Clinch (Lansdowne) 1989
#1154 – Gerry Quinn (Old Belvedere) 1946
#1155 – Terry Coveney (St Mary’s College) 1946
#1156 – Rev Austin Carry (Old Wesley) 1946
#1157 – Hugh “Gordon” Dudgeon (Collegians) 1946
#1158 – Edward “Teddy” Coolican (Dublin University) 1946