AIL LUNCH SPEAKERS
31 OCTOBER 2015 – D.U.F.C. v B. Harlequins
Roly studied dentistry at Trinity, where he won Colours for 3 years and was a member of the Trinity team which won the Leinster Cup in 1960. After leaving College he went on to play prop for Wanderers and Leinster.
He was involved in the inaugural coaching seminars in Mosney in the early 1960’s before taking up the position of Head Coach with D.U.F.C., a position he held for 30 years (1966-’96). In his year serving as President of the Leinster Branch in 1968-69 he coached the first ever Leinster Under-19 team, many of whom went on to be capped at provincial and national levels. In September 1970 he was appointed Leinster coach in succession to Ronnie Dawson.
He coached Leinster for five seasons after which he was appointed Ireland coach for two seasons (1975-’77). He was an Irish selector for five years and oversaw, as Chairman of Selectors, Ireland’s Triple Crown winning success in 1982.
He was later re-appointed in November 1985 for a further five seasons as Leinster coach. From October 2000 he was Leinster’s Specialist Scrum Coach for 7 seasons and he later initiated what became something of an institution in Leinster rugby- touring scrum clinics around the province with the assistance of ex D.U.F.C. & Ireland props (and lunch speakers this year) Philip Orr and Des Fitzgerald. He has also had much involvement with individual schools in the province.
His commitment to Leinster and Irish rugby did not finish on the playing field or in passing on his expertise as a coach. His role as an Administrator has also been immense. He served as President of the Leinster Branch (1968/’69), D.U.F.C. (1992/’93) and Wanderers (2001/’02). He also served on the IRFU committee and found time to run a successful Dental practice.
Roly has been one of the foremost scrummaging coaches in world rugby and has made an outstanding contribution to Leinster and Irish rugby. This was reflected in his becoming the first Honorary Member of Dublin University Football Club.
A true legend of Trinity Rugby.
5 DECEMBER 2015 – D.U.F.C. v Shannon
He was educated at Roscrea College and on coming to Trinity he played for D.U.F.C. and was awarded 5 Colours and captained the club for 2 consecutive years and to a Leinster Senior Cup win. He won 6 of his seven caps playing for D.U.F.C.
Having graduated as a solicitor he joined Lansdowne where he won his final cap against Wales in 1981. He was “6’5 ½” and as a former Gaelic footballer, had excellent ball skills and was an outstanding lineout exponent. He featured both at lock and no.8 for Ireland and partnered fellow Kerry man Moss Keane at lock forward on 4 occasions.
He won 16 caps with Munster and was part of the team that had a famous victory over the All Blacks at Thomond Park in 1978. In 1982 he took a sabbatical in the south of France where he played with Bagniers. Rugby was very hard there – he described his rugby there as a learning curve in survival. In going to France he probably lost the opportunity to gain more Irish caps and indeed was never dropped off an Irish team.
He rejoined Lansdowne on his return where he made a huge contribution, picking up 3 Leinster Senior Cup medals and 4 Leinster Senior League medals in the process, in what was a golden era for the club which he captained in 1984. He had an extraordinary record as captain in that he also captained the Leinster Schools and Leinster Under 19’s.
On his retirement from senior rugby he picked up a couple of Metropolitan cup medals and coached the Lansdowne1st XV, the Leinster Under 19’s for 3 years and the senior Leinster team. His brother Dick Spring also captained D.U.F.C. and Lansdowne and also played for Ireland.
9 JANUARY 2016 – D.U.F.C. v BUCCANNEERS
Noel was educated at Garbally College, Ballinasloe and represented Connaught at Schools and U 20’s. He initially played for Corinthians where he gained 11 of his caps and was the first player from that club to win an Irish cap. He played for Connaught on many occasions and on joining Lansdowne he won a further 5 caps. He played both as No.8 and flanker for Ireland and played in the World Cup against Japan in 1991.
“Fly” is probably most famously remembered for his try against Wales in Cardiff Arms Park in 1989. Having blocked Bledwyn Bowen’s fly kick on the Irish 22 metre line Mannion came up with the ball as much to his own surprise as everyone else’s. The most amazing scene developed as the Galway man made a bee-line for the Welsh line pursued by most of the Welsh team. All that was missing was the plaintive tooting of the hunting horn, and the baying of the hounds. It was a long journey, a full 70 yards passed before Mannion eventually fell over the line in a dive that was as graceful as a tree being felled. He remained on the ground for a few moments totally drained after scoring one of the most remarkable tries ever seen in the game. (See You Tube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NCH29cPQt4).
He also had the distinction of playing Gaelic Football for Galway when they reached the All Ireland semi final in 1987 when they were narrowly defeated by Cork.
30 JANUARY 2016 – D.U.F.C. v DOLPHIN
Philip was educated at The High School, Dublin, and Trinity College Dublin where he played in 2 Colours matches for D.U.F.C. Upon graduating he played for Old Wesley for over 20 years and was, for many years, his country’s most-capped prop with a then world record 58 appearances.
He first came to representative notice with Leinster Schools, making it through to the provincial senior side in 1974 while playing for D.U.F.C. His performances for Leinster and the Combined Universities (while at Trinity) against Andy Leslie’s All Blacks had the desired effect and within 18 months he had achieved his first Ireland international cap against France in Paris.
It signalled the start of a remarkable run that saw him make 49 successive appearances in Ireland’s front line, marking him out as one of the most durable forwards of his or any other generation. Orr’s international career spanned 12 seasons (1976-’87) and he was a senior player in the Irish teams that won Triple Crowns in 1982 and 1985. During this time he accumulated 58 caps, as well as making successive Lions tours (1977 and 1980), lining out in the first test in New Zealand in ’77.
The quarter-final defeat to Australia at the inaugural World Cup in ’87 marked the end of an outstanding career.
His record as a rugby administrator stands similarly with his playing record. He was president of Old Wesley in its Centenary Year, 1991. He has been manager of the Irish U21 rugby squad for prolonged periods and has been the club’s representative to the Executive Committee of the Leinster Branch where he has sat on both the Coaching and Professional Game’s steering committees, as well as performing the dual role of Chairman and Manager to the province’s aforementioned U-21s. He is currently Junior Vice President of the I.R.F.U. and due to become President in the 2017/18 season.
– A true D.U.F.C. and Irish rugby “legend”.
20 FEBRUARY – D.U.F.C. v OLD WESLEY
A former Ireland cricket international and Captain who won 121 caps for Ireland, Alan Lewis took up refereeing when his rugby career was curtailed by injury.
He went on to become one of the leading referees in world rugby, taking charge of matches at the 2003 and 2007 World Cups and he was a touch-judge at the 1999 event. He was on the line for the 2007 final, refereed by his Irish colleague Alain Rolland. Lewis became the most capped Heineken Cup referee and when he announced his retirement in 2011 he had officiated in 45 Test matches, across both hemispheres, and a record 83 Heineken Cup games.
What the rugby family may not be as familiar with is Alan’s cricket career. A right-handed batsman and right-arm medium pace bowler,he played 121 times for the Ireland cricket team between 1984 and 1997, including eight first-class matches (batting average 53) against Scotland and 23 List A matches. He captained Ireland on 35 occasions. He is one of only six players to have played more than 100 times for Ireland.
In 1995, Lewis won the man of the match award in a Benson & Hedges Cup match against Kent, this added to his 1991 Man of the match award in the NatWest Trophy against Middlesex made him the only Irish player to win man of the match awards in both competitions.
He is an insurance broker by trade.
5 MARCH 2016 – D.U.F.C. v BALLYMENA
Paddy was born in Portadown and learnt his rugby at Royal School Dungannon before earning 2 Colours with D.U.F.C. in 1989/90 and 1990/91.
He played mainly as a lock and occasionally in the back-row and having won his first international cap against Argentina in Dublin in October 1990 he went on to win 59 caps, 10 of which were as captain. He was a stalwart of the Irish team all through the decade and his final appearance came in November 2000, a full ten years after his debut. He played at the 1995 Rugby World Cup finals and the 1999 Rugby World Cup finals and captained both Ulster and the national sides.
Having graduated from Trinity as a Dentist he played for Dungannon FC where he captained the side and led them in 2001 to a first All-Ireland League title success by an Ulster side. He had a professional spell at Saracens and helped them win the English Tetley Bitter Cup in 1998 before retiring in 2002.
Before Paddy’s 50th cap Donal Lenihan said: “He’s hugely respected within the group and his commitment and workrate are an example to any young player. Since he came into the captaincy role in South Africa, he’s been fantastic for us on and off the field”. The article goes on…”One of the great mysteries about Johns is how somehow so correct and precise, so self-effacing, and so soft-spoken to the point where it seems he is whispering, becomes an aggressive, abrasive, enforcer-type figure on the pitch.” Cue Lenihan again… according to Lenihan, this beast within the gentle giant was always there… “He is a Jekyll and Hyde character, there’s no question about that. I remember one Munster-Ulster interpro, going back 10 years, and taking a short penalty and this fella coming in and halving me” recalls Lenihan, almost wincing at the memory. “I remember catching my ribs and looking around to see who it was, and I couldn’t believe it when it was Paddy Johns, because he certainly never had the reputation.”
According to the team doctor, Donal O’Shaughnessy, Johns was meticulous in taking care of himself. “I’ve never come across anyone like him in my lifetime in sports. He’s a model professional. He does everything he’s told, and he’s on time for every appointment, be it massage, or physio, or medical. He’s so well versed on his own body that he can work the machines himself. Paddy worked with me as a dentist in my health centre and he’s a model professional about his dentistry, too. He’s a very serious man, very diligent. All you get is a little wry smile. Nothing else.”
He currently practices as a dental surgeon, working as a Community Dentist treating priority groups. He continues to take care of his fitness and has signed up to join the “Ruck & Ruckers” cycling team that has entered the famous “Race across America” cycle race next June to raise money for Charity – Paddy’s extract from the race website is:
9 APRIL 2016 – D.U.F.C. v BLACKROCK RFC
After leaving De La Salle College, Churchtown Des came to Trinity and was awarded 3 Colours ( 1978/’81). He was tight head prop for the Ireland team from 1984 to 1992, winning 34 caps, after making his debut in February 1984 against England. Having missed out on the Triple Crown success in 1985 he returned to the side against the Welsh the following year and later in 1986 played for the Lions against a Rest of the World XV in a special match to celebrate the centenary of the International Board. He played in 15 of the 16 internationals from ’86 until the game against England in 1988 when losing out to friend and rival Jim McCoy. He was out of the side until replacing the injured Nick Popplewell against New Zealand and went on to play 14 of the next 15 internationals before illness interrupted. Just one cap followed, marking his appearance as a replacement against Scotland in 1992. He played in two Rugby World Cups: 1987 and 1991.
He represented Leinster at senior interprovincial level for several years and toured with Ireland to South Africa (’81), Japan (’85), New Zealand & Australia (’87) and to Namibia (’91).
From D.U.F.C., his club career embraced Lansdowne (where he won 3 Leinster Senior Cup medals and 3 Leinster Senior League medals), DLSP and Cork Constitution.
Des was also both an excellent GAA football player ( he won a schools final while playing for De La Salle Rathfarnham National School in Croke Park in 1968) and an Irish Universities heavyweight boxing champion.
He is the father of Irish International rugby player Luke Fitzgerald.