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Irish Players You Might Have Forgotten Played For Both Munster And Leinster

Irish Players You Might Have Forgotten Played For Both Munster And Leinster
By Conor Neville
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Yesterday, the Irish Times reported that the IRFU were trying to steer an understandably restless Ian Madigan in Munster's direction.

In the old days, it was more common for Munster born players to migrate to the capital and reluctantly join forces with Leinster. In the last few years, the traffic has headed in the other direction, with Munster picking up the players who've struggled to make headway in Leinster.

Here are a number of players who've made the journey from Munster to Leinster.

Paul Wallace

Back during the early 90s, when inter-provincial rugby clashes attracted similar crowds to Railway Cup matches, Paul Wallace was a key cog in the Munster scrum.

After the 1994-95 season, in which Munster unseated Ulster as inter-provincial champions after ten straight victories, Wallace chose to declare for Leinster for work purposes.

He played in Leinster's first ever game in the Heineken Cup in Milan where his bacon was saved by second row Brian Rigney who stopped an opposing forward from taking his head off.


In the great exodus of 1996, he left for Saracens but was to return in due course, playing for Leinster in the early 2000s.

Wallace has told us that he was the common denominator in victory in every Munster-Leinster game in which he played. He never lost a Munster-Leinster game on either side.

I was lucky enough never to lose for one side against the other from all levels. But yeah, putting an Irish jersey on to play against England was like playing for Munster against Leinster. There was always that competitiveness. When you came up to play for Leinster, you knew what you were going to get on the other side. You always get a particularly nice welcome from the Munster pack if you've actually left. Except for my brothers, they did look after me once or twice when on the other side.... There's a couple of draws there I think at u-20s, one for Munster against Leinster and we drew one senior game in Musgrave Park in around 2002, but other than that, yeah, clean sheet.

Eoin Reddan

A product of the Limerick club rugby scene, Reddan was given his first chance by Connacht in 2001. He moved back home to Munster in 2003 only to serve two years as understudy to Peter Stringer. He played just under 30 games in two seasons, almost all of them coming in the Celtic League.

One of those players whose career was rejuvenated rather than hindered by a move to the Premiership.

Mike Ross

Like Reddan he didn't transfer directly from Munster to Leinster, spending some time developing his game in the hothouse of the Aviva Premiership in between.


Ross began his professional career at Munster but could not dislodge John Hayes from the tighthead prop role. Ross spent three years at Harlequins. Ross played in the infamous bloodgate game in 2009. In the off-season he would move to the other side of the fence, joining Leinster.

Tony Ward


Indelibly associated in the folk memory with Munster, Ward declared for Leinster in 1982. He made no secret of the fact that business commitments had forced his hand.


At the time he owned sport shops in Dublin city centre and Dun Laoghaire and was playing club rugby with Greystones.

It is a decision I have taken with regret but one forced on me by circumstances.

Ward stuck with Leinster until the end of his playing career, moving to centre from 1986 onwards to accommodate Paul Dean at outhalf.


Liam Toland

Toland commenced his career with Munster in the mid-1990s but found it difficult to break into the back row which contained internationals Eddie Halvey and David Corkery.

He suffered a career threatening injury in 1997 during an AIL game for Old Crescent against Shannon. After a spell out of the game, Mike Ruddock took him to Leinster in 1999.


John Fogarty

Another who began at Munster before ending up at Leinster, Fogarty represented three of the four provinces and spent the bulk of his career in Connacht. He was at Munster during the agonising early years of the noughties when the side excelled but fell short against Europe's best in the latter stages.

He spent the last two seasons of his career at Leinster before being advised to retire following repeated concussions. He won a Heineken Cup with Leinster in 2009.

Trevor Hogan

Born in Tipperary, Hogan is rare among modern players in swapping directly from Munster to Leinster. After spending the early portion of his career at Munster, he moved to Leinster in 2006. He retired through a knee injury in 2011.

Niall Ronan

Now more readily associated with Munster, Ronan began his career with Leinster during the mid-noughties. Like many others, injury forced his relatively early retirement from the game.

Felix Jones

Jones made one appearance for Leinster in the Sportsground in their victorious 2007-08 Magners League campaign. He played numerous times for the Leinster 'A' team before transferring to Munster ahead of the 2009/10 season.

Andrew Conway 

Reasonably well known. Quintessentially Leinster of background, Conway moved from Blackrock College into the Leinster academy. Another of the modern players who has gone directly from Leinster to Munster, Conway, at present, has made roughly the same number of appearances for both provinces.

Read more: The Bitter-Tasting 'If Only They'd Stayed There' Connacht XV...

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