Donncha O'Callaghan is a retired lock who played for Ireland and the British & Irish Lions.
Donncha O'Callaghan Bio
Donncha O'Callaghan is a retired lock who spent most of his domestic career with Munster and played for Ireland as well as the British & Irish Lions. Famed for his tough tackling, towering figure, dedication and work rate, he’s a popular former player who many feel is one of Ireland’s best ever.
Born in Cork, Ireland in March 1979, Donncha O'Callaghan first turned to rugby during his education and played as a youth for Highfield Rugby Club in the city of his birth. He also trained as a youth with a number of Gaelic football sides, before making rugby union his main sport. His amateur career began with Christian Brothers College in Cork, from which he was scouted and played for the Irish under 19s, winning the championships of 1998.
Donncha O'Callaghan then went professional the season after this, signing for Munster, one of Ireland’s leading provincial sides. It was at Munster where he thrived and really made a name for himself as a player, going on to make over 250 appearances for the team. During his time with Munster he earned a number of awards and accolades. Just a few examples include: Heineken Cup wins in the 2005-06 and 2007-08 seasons and title wins in 2008-09 and 2010-11 in the former Celtic League.
He made his final appearance for Munster as captain in 2015, before then moving to join Premiership Rugby side Worcester Warriors on a two-year deal. He featured in every Premiership game in his first season and was awarded the ‘Supporters Club Player of the Season’ in 2016. He then retired from the game in April 2018.
On the international scene, Donncha O'Callaghan enjoyed an equally glittering career both for the Ireland national team, the British & Irish Lions and the Barbarians. He made his debut for Ireland in March 2003, featuring in the Six Nations Championship of that year and until 2013 was a regular name on the team sheet, earning over 90 caps. This saw him win the Triple Crown in the 2004 Six Nations and Ireland’s first Grand Slam in over 60 years in the 2009 competition. He also played in the 2011 Rugby World Cup starting in most of the warms-ups and tournament games.
In addition, Donncha O'Callaghan featured for the British & Irish Lions twice, firstly in 2005 in the tour of New Zealand and then again in 2009 in South Africa where he captained the side – he made four test appearances in total. In 2014 and 2017 he featured for the Barbarians, playing two games.
Following his retirement, Donncha O'Callaghan is now a pundit and presenter on Irish TV and radio. In 2009 he was also made a UNICEF Ambassador for Ireland and has travelled the world campaigning for children’s needs.
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