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Celebrating 150 years

From George Stack leading Ireland in 1875 to the present day, the role of captain may have evolved over the years but the honour of leading your country is as strong as ever. The list below shows the first game in which the player captained Ireland.

Captain / First Game / Date

George Stack v England, 15/02/1875

Richard Bell v England, 13/12/1875

Richard Galbraith v England, 05/02/1877

William Wilson v Scotland, 19/02/1877

Robert Walkington v England, 11/03/1878

William Neville v Scotland, 17/02/1879

Hugh Kelly v England, 30/01/1880

Arthur Forrest v England, 05/02/1881

John Taylor v England, 06/02/1882

George Scriven v England, 05/02/1883

James McDonald v England, 04/02/1884

Frank Moore v Wales, 12/04/1884

William Rutherford v England, 07/02/1885

Meredith Johnston v England, 06/02/1886

JP Ross v Scotland, 20/02/1886

Robert Warren v England, 05/02/1887

Harry Neill v Wales, 03/03/1888

Dolway Walkington v England, 07/02/1891

Robert Stevenson v Wales, 07/03/1891

Victor Le Fanu v England, 06/02/1892

Sam Lee v England, 04/02/1893

Edmund Forrest v England, 03/02/1894

John O’ Connor v England, 02/02/1895

Charles Rooke v Scotland, 02/03/1895

Glynn Allen v Scotland, 19/02/1898

William Gardiner v Wales, 19/03/1898

Louis Magee v England, 04/02/1899

John Fulton v England, 08/02/1902

Harry Corley v England, 14/02/1903

Ellie Allen v Wales, 12/03/1904

Alfred Tedford v England, 09/02/1907

Harry Thrift v England, 08/02/1908

James Parke v Scotland, 29/02/1908

Fred Gardiner v England, 13/02/1909

George Hamlet v Wales, 13/03/1909

Tom Smyth v Wales, 12/03/1910

Dickie Lloyd v France, 01/01/1912

Alexander Foster v England, 10/02/1912

George Doherty v Scotland, 28/02/1920

Thomas Wallace v Wales, 13/03/1920

William Collopy v England, 11/02/1922

John Thompson v England, 10/02/1923

William Crawford v France, 26/01/1924

George Stephenson v New Zealand, 01/11/1924

Eugene Davy v Scotland, 23/02/1929

Mark Sugden v France, 01/01/1931

George Beamish v South Africa, 19/12/1931

Jack Siggins v England, 10/02/1934

George Morgan v England, 13/02/1937

Sam Walker v Wales, 12/03/1938

Con Murphy v France, 25/01/1947

Jack Monteith v Scotland, 22/02/1947

Ernest Strathdee v Australia, 06/12/1947

Karl Mullen v England, 14/02/1948

Des O’Brien v South Africa, 08/12/1951

Jack Kyle v France, 24/01/1953

Jim McCarthy v England, 13/02/1954

Robin Thompson v France, 22/01/1955

James Ritchie v France, 28/01/1956

Noel Henderson v Scotland, 25/02/1956

Ronnie Dawson v England, 14/02/1959

Andy Mulligan v England, 13/02/1960

Bill Mulcahy v England, 10/02/1962

Tom Kiernan v France, 26/01/1963

James Kelly v New Zealand, 07/12/1963

Ray McLoughlin v France, 23/01/1965

Noel Murphy v Australia, 21/01/1967

Mike Gibson v England, 13/02/1971

Willie John McBride v Wales, 10/03/1973

Tom Grace v Wales, 21/02/1976

John Moloney v Scotland, 21/01/1978

Shay Deering v New Zealand, 04/11/1978

Fergus Slattery v France, 20/01/1979

Ciaran Fitzgerald v Wales, 23/01/1982

Willie Duggan v England, 19/02/1984

Donal Lenihan v Romania, 01/11/1986

Philip Matthews v Western Samoa, 29/10/1988

Willie Anderson v New Zealand, 18/11/1989

Rob Saunders v France, 02/02/1991

Terry Kingston v Japan, 09/10/1991

Philip Danaher v France, 21/03/1992

Michael Bradley v New Zealand, 06/06/1992

Brendan Mullin v England, 21/01/1995

Nick Popplewell v Japan, 31/05/1995

Jim Staples v Fiji, 18/11/1995

Niall Hogan v Wales, 02/03/1996

Keith Wood v Australia, 23/11/1996

Paddy Johns v South Africa, 13/06/1998

Dion O’Cuinneagain v Australia, 12/06/1999

Mick Galwey v Romania, 02/06/2001

Anthony Foley v Western Samoa, 11/11/2001

David Humphreys v Italy, 23/03/2002

Brian O’Driscoll v Australia, 09/11/2002

Reggie Corrigan v Tonga, 14/06/2003

Paul O’Connell v France, 14/02/2004

Simon Easterby v New Zealand, 12/11/2005

Simon Best v Argentina, 26/05/2007

Ronan O’Gara v England, 15/03/2008

Rory Best v Canada, 23/05/2009


Leo Cullen v Scotland, 06/08/2011

Jamie Heaslip v South Africa, 10/11/2012

Peter O’Mahony v USA, 08/06/2013

Eoin Reddan v Georgia, 16/11/2014

Sean O’Brien v Scotland, 15/08/2015

Rhys Ruddock v USA, 10/06/2017

Jonathan Sexton v Russia, 3/10/2019

James Ryan v England, 21/11/2020

Iain Henderson v France, Guinness Six Nations, 14/2/2021

Tadhg Furlong v Fiji, Bank of Ireland Nations Series, 12/11/2022

Caelan Doris v Italy, Guinness Men’s Six Nations, 11/02/2024

The First Ireland Women's Rugby Squad From 1993 11/3/2018

The First Ireland Women’s Rugby Squad From 1993 – Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Gary Carr

The Ireland Women’s team played their first capped international on February 14th 1993.

Captain Opposition Date
Jill Henderson Scotland 14/02/1993
Cath Mullaly Scotland 13/02/1994
Kathryn Hennessy France 15/04/1994
Annie Parsons Scotland 20/04/1994
Therese Kennedy Japan 23/04/1994
Aoife Rodgers  Scotland 21/01/1996
Carole Anne Byrne Wales 26/01/1997
Suzanne Fleming Kazkahstan 10/02/200
Fiona Steed Spain 09/02/2001
Sarah Jane Belton Japan 14/11/2004
Fiona Coghlan Spain 17/05/2008
Germaine Healy England 21/05/2008
Joy Neville France 06/02/2009
Lynne Cantwell Kazakhstan 09/08/2014
Niamh Briggs Italy 06/02/2015
Paula Fitzpatrick England 13/11/2016
Claire Molloy Australia 09/08/2017
Ciara Griffin France 03/02/2018
Sene Naoupu England 24/11/2018
Nichola Fryday Wales 26/03/2022
Edel McMahon* Kazakhstan 13/10/2023
Sam Monaghan* Kazakhstan 13/10/2023


*Edel McMahon and Sam Monaghan were named co-captains.