The Team From Eddie O'Sullivan's Last Six Nations Game: Where Are They Now?

The Team From Eddie O'Sullivan's Last Six Nations Game: Where Are They Now?

Gary Connaughton By Gary Connaughton

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Eddie O'Sullivan's final game in charge of Ireland. The man who helped revolutionise the team over the first half of the decade, it's fair to say that his tenure had run its course by the time the 2008 Six Nations had come around.

Ireland's shambolic performance at the World Cup the previous autumn had essentially been a death knell on his time as head coach, although he managed to limp into the spring with his position still intact.

The tournament was a disaster from an Irish perspective, winning only two of five games and finishing in fourth position. His final game came at Twickenham, where they were on the end of a 33-10 hammering at the hands of England.

He resigned from his position a few days later.

The team who played that final fixture was a very talented one, with the majority of them going on to win a grand slam under Declan Kidney the following year.

Here what the players that took to the pitch at Twickenham on that day are up to now.

Ireland 2008 Six Nations Team - Where Are They Now?

Geordan Murphy

Geordan Murphy represents something of a bygone era in Irish rugby, in that he played his club rugby outside of the country for his entire career. Earning 72 caps for Ireland, he retired as a Leicester Tigers players in 2013.


After retiring, he was appointed as an assistant coach at the club, eventually being appointed as head coach in 2018. After Steve Borthwick's appointment in the summer of 2020, he was promoted to director of rugby. His contract was terminated a few months later, ending a 23-year association with Leicester.

Tommy Bowe

Tommy Bowe had announced just before this Six Nations campaign that he would be leaving Ulster at the end of that season, going on to spend four years with Ospreys before returning to the province. He would earn 69 caps for Ireland over a 13-year period before retiring from rugby in 2018.

Since then, he has moved into television presenting, acting as an anchor on both rugby coverage and daytime television on Virgin Media. His time on Ireland AM has certainly provided a few memorable moments.



Andrew Trimble

Despite struggling with injuries at different points in his career, Andrew Trimble would go on to earn 70 caps for Ireland over a 12-year period. He retired from the sport in 2018.

Since then, he has dipped his toe into punditry on quite a few occasions. He also acts as host of the Potholes & Penguins Podcast alongside former Ireland teammate Barry Murphy.

Trimble is also listed as the CEO of Kairos, a sport planning tool which is currently used by a number of top professional rugby and football clubs, including Ulster, Brentford, and the Scottish national football team.


Shane Horgan

A mainstay in the side throughout Eddie O'Sullivan's tenure with the team, Shane Horgan has been busy with a number of different ventures since his retirement from the sport.

Not only was he a regular on the RTÉ and Virgin Media's punditry panel, but he also acts as the company director for UK-based video production company Bluewing Media.

Since 2018, he has balanced that with a role as the director of strategic development for Soccer Aid.


Rob Kearney

Rob Kearney earned 95 caps for Ireland, taking in a brief spell in Australia before retiring in 2021. Since then he has returned to playing Gaelic football with his local club in Louth, as well becoming a part of the punditry team at Virgin Media.

He also recently moved into the world of horse racing as an owner, as well as acting as a founding member and non-executive director at recruitment firm Mason Alexander.

Ronan O'Gara

Ronan O'Gara quickly moved into the world of coaching after retiring from the game, although he opted to do so outside of Ireland in order to broaden his perspective on the game.


After spending four years as a coach at Racing 92, he moved to New Zealand to work with Crusaders for one year, before returning to France to become the head coach of La Rochelle. He would lead the club to a first Champions Cup triumph in 2022.

Eoin Reddan

Another Irish player that was playing their club trade outside of the country at the time, Eoin Reddan moved to Leinster in 2009 and would remain there until his retirement in 2016.

After hanging up his boots, he joined aircraft leasing company Avolon as a business analyst. He has worked at the company ever since, currently acting as a VP of marketing.

Marcus Horan

Spending his entire career at Munster, Marcus Horan retired in 2013 after 14 years in their senior setup.

He has acted as a pundit for various outlets since then, including for RTÉ and TG4. For his day job, he has been a player development manager with Rugby Players Ireland since 2016, where it is his responsibility to support the career and wellbeing of members of the Munster squad.

Rory Best

Rory Best earned a hugely impressive 124 caps for Ireland, bringing his international and provincial careers to an end in 2019.


Best became involved in both coaching and the insurance industry. He has acted as a business development director at The Ardonagh Group since 2021, while he also took up a role as a high performance coach with the USA-based club Seattle Seawolves.

John Hayes

A two-time Lions tour member, John Hayes retired from rugby in 2011 soon after missing out on Ireland's World Cup squad. It also brought to an end a 14-year spell at Munster, while the prop would earn 107 caps at test level.

Since retirement, he has opted against becoming involved in punditry or high level coaching. Instead, he has moved into full-time farming, managing after a suckler herd on his 90-acre plot in Bruff, co. Limerick. He also spends time coaching at local club Bruff RFC.

Donnacha O'Callaghan

Donnacha O'Callaghan spent 20 years playing top level professional rugby, spending three years at Worcester Warriors after leaving Munster in 2018.

After retiring, he has worked in punditry quite a bit. He also helped found digital media and data analytics company 4impacts in 2013, before moving into broadcasting in recent years. He has been a co-host on the RTÉ 2fm Breakfast Show since 2021 as well as acting as a coach on Ireland's Fittest Family.

This year, O'Callaghan will be a part of Davy Fitzgerald's backroom team with the Waterford hurlers.

Paul O'Connell

Paul O'Connell quickly moved into coaching after his retirement, developing an increasingly glowing reputation over the last couple of years.

Having first acted as an assistant coach with the Ireland U20s and then a forwards coach at Stade Francais, he he has the forwards coach under Andy Farrell with Ireland since 2021. It is probably not a coincidence that the team has vastly improved in this area since his arrival.

Denis Leamy

After ending his career in 2013, Denis Leamy wasted little time before getting into coaching. He spent time with Rockwell College, Garryowen, and Munster's underage teams, and was also part of the Tipperary hurling backroom team when they won the All-Ireland in 2016.

He was appointed as as an elite player development officer with Leinster in 2019, also working with the Ireland U20s in 2021. He returned to Munster as defence coach ahead of the 2022/23 season.

David Wallace

After hanging up his boots due to injury in 2012, David Wallace has been involved in a number of different ventures away from rugby. He opened a sweet shop in Limerick, also taking up roles as a consultant with STATsports and regional business development manager with Bank of Ireland.

Since 2019 he has been the chief commercial officer at i3PT, an assigned certification firm, providing auditing and inspection of construction projects.

Jamie Heaslip

Having only made his international debut a few months before the tournament, Jamie Heaslip would go on to earn 95 caps for Ireland before retiring from rugby in 2018.

He has since been a mainstay on RTÉ's rugby coverage, as well as becoming a part-owner in a number of well-know bars around Dublin. Heaslip has also invested in a number of startup companies and has worked with Stripe since 2021, currently acting as their Ireland Growth Lead.


Bernard Jackman

Bernard Jackman made his final Ireland appearances during the 2008 Six Nations, going on to retire from club duties in 2010. He moved into coaching soon after, acting as head coach at both Grenoble and Dragons. He has been a big part of RTÉ's rugby coverage over the last few years.

Away from rugby, he recently worked as as account executive at Gartner for financial services.

Tony Buckley

Tony Buckley earned 25 caps for Ireland across four years after making his debut in 2011, retiring in 2014 after three seasons with Sale Sharks.

He worked in plumbing and piping after retirement, before spending four years as a process technician at Johnson & Johnson in Limerick. Since 2020, he has worked as a biotech production specialist at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Mick O'Driscoll

14 years after making his debut for Munster, and having had a brief spell at France in between, Mick O'Driscoll played his final game for the province in 2012.

He joined the Munster coaching staff as a technical advisor in 2014. His LinkedIn accounts currently lists him as an owner of Home Instead Senior Care Cork North, a provider of home care services to elderly people across Cork.

Simon Easterby

Playing the majority of his club rugby in Wales, Simon Easterby would go on to earn 65 caps for Ireland after making his debut in 2000. He would retire from international rugby after this Six Nations campaign.

Having become the defence coach at Scarlets after retiring in 2010, he was promoted to head coach in 2012. After two more years in Wales, he became a forwards coach with Ireland in 2014, a position he still holds to the present day.

Peter Stringer

Peter Stringer played his final game for Ireland in 2011, although it would be another seven years before he hung up his boots at club level. Since finishing his spell at Worceseter Warriors, he has acted as a pundit with both RTÉ and Premier Sports.

Having developed quite a passion for fitness in recent years, he is now a co-owner at F45 Training, who operate a number of gyms throughout Ireland.

Paddy Wallace

Making his debut in 2006, Paddy Wallace would go on to earn 30 caps for Ireland over the following six years. He would spend his entire club career with Ulster before retiring in 2014.

The Down native moved into the financial industry after retiring, working at PwC before becoming a financial adviser at PFP Wealth Group.

Luke Fitzgerald

Luke Fitzgerald played for Ireland over the span of a decade, although he would have ended his career with far more than 30 caps to his name were it not for his injury issues. He has been a major part of RTÉ's rugby coverage in recent years.

After taking a job with AIB after retirement, he has held a number of position in the company during the intervening years. He currently acts as an analyst in US leveraged finance.

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