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An All-Time Irish Rugby XV With No Two Players From The Same County

An All-Time Irish Rugby XV With No Two Players From The Same County
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By Balls Team Updated
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Following on from the football version of the same concept, we give you the rugby edition of the one county team.

There were some close calls, and a variety of ways we could have gone, but we think that this is the best combination available, with a host of all timers featuring throughout the side.

READ HERE: England Legend Claims Leinster Lacked Leadership In Crucial Final Area

All-time Ireland XV with only one player from each county

Reggie Corrigan (Wicklow) - Loosehead Prop

The former Presentation College man was a few of years too early to enjoy the peak days of Ireland's 'golden generation,' winning the last of his 47 caps against France in 2006.

He was, however, a core member of the glorious Triple Crown winning side of 2004, and a stalwart of the Leinster pack for many years while captaining them to a Celtic League title in 2000/2001.

27 March 2004; Irish rugby : Ireland players l to r, Reggie Corrigan, Shane Horgan and Victor Costello celebrate victory over Scotland. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship 2003-2004, Ireland v Scotland, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

Keith Wood (Clare) - Hooker

Rory Best, being from Armagh, was also an option here, but we had to opt for one of Ireland's true all-time greats.

As known for his Lions career as he is for Ireland, he also played underage hurling for his county.

He has proud Limerick roots as well, having attended St. Munchin's College and played for Garryowen.


9 November 2003; Irish rugby : The Ireland front row of, from left, Marcus Horan, Keith Wood and John Hayes. 2003 Rugby World Cup, Quarter Final, France v Ireland, Telstra Dome, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

Tadhg Furlong (Wexford) - Tighthead

One of the no brainer selections in the team, given his stature and the lack of Wexford options.


Despite having many years in an Irish jersey ahead of him, the 30-year-old is already in the conversation for Ireland's best ever prop.

Also a former New Ross RFC man and played underage Gaelic football for Horeswood GAA.

19 November 2022; Irish rugby : Tadhg Furlong, left, and Garry Ringrose of Ireland during the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Moss Keane (Kerry) - Lock

This was a tough call between himself Mick Galwey (also of Kerry), and Tipperary's Donnacha Ryan. The fact that Ryan should have had more caps, through no fault of his own, counts against him.

It was a tough choice between Keane and Galwey.


Keane also played underage Gaelic for Kerry, was part of the Munster side which beat the All Blacks, and was capped for the Lions in 1977.

5 March 1983; Ireland players, from left, John O'Driscoll, Moss Keane and Gerry "Ginger" McLoughlin. Five Nations Rugby Championship, Wales v Ireland, Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Paul O'Connell (Limerick) - Lock

Being a rugby hotbed, there were options galore from Limerick. However, if you have the chance to pick Paulie you, you pick Paulie.

Comfortably one of the top five players to wear the green - probably top three - and one of the most respected and well loved sportsmen the country has ever produced.

19 November 2006; Irish rugby : Paul O'Connell, Ireland, is tackled by Mark Gerrard and Mark Chisholm, Australia. Autumn Internationals, Ireland v Australia, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Caelan Doris (Mayo) - Blindside Flanker

Although he attended the poster boy school of South Dublin rugby, Blackrock College, Doris was born and raised in Mayo.

Some readers will no doubt argue the (strong) case for Tipp man Alan Quinlan, given that Doris is still in the youth of his professional career.

However, his seemingly complete game, his role in Ireland making it to no. 1 in the world rankings, and his all-time Irish performance against France last year, give him enough to make the team.

11 February 2023; Irish rugby  : Caelan Doris of Ireland takes the ball in a lineout during the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and France at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Sean O'Brien (Carlow) - Openside Flanker

Another of the easy picks, from the low-key sporting county of Carlow.

O'Brien was unplayable at times when healthy, and was a player known to be feared in the Southern Hemisphere.


While injuries were often cruel to him, he had a knack for getting fit for World Cups and Lions Tours, allowing him to shine on a world stage.

8 October 2011; A dejected Sean O'Brien, Ireland, applauds the Welsh team from the pitch at the end of the game. Ireland v Wales, 2011 Rugby World Cup, Quarter-Final, Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Jamie Heaslip (Kildare) - Number Eight

Born in Israel to an army father, Heaslip grew up in Naas, before attending Newbridge College.

His play style typified the modern eight along with his peers such as Sergio Parisse and Kieran Read.

He also managed to get the best years of both the 'golden generation' and the 'Schmidt era,' in a career which saw him reach 100 international caps (Lions included).

28 November 2009; Jamie Heaslip, Ireland, celebrates after the game. Autumn International Guinness Series 2009, Ireland v South Africa, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

Peter Stringer (Cork) - Scrum-half

The original Craig Casey, and a tap-tackle maestro who could fell even the biggest of beasts, namely Jonah Lomu.

His small stature and lightning pass made him a fan favourite, as he enjoyed a 98 cap Irish career.

A certified Munster and Ireland legend.

16 February 2002; Irish rugby : Ireland captain Mick Galwey, left, sings "Ireland's Call" alongside Peter Stringer, centre, and Peter Clohessy England. Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship, England v Ireland, Twickenham, England. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Jack Kyle (Antrim) - Out-half

For years Kyle had the reputation, alongside Mike Gibson, as being Ireland's greatest ever player.

He was the main man in Ireland's first ever grand slam win, in the 1948 Five Nations tournament, while also starring on the 1950 Lions Tour to New Zealand and Australia.

2 June 2004; Former Ireland rugby international Jack Kyle. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Tommy Bowe (Monaghan) - Left Wing

Younger fans may get the wrong impression of Bowe from his bubbly TV persona, but the former Ulster and Ospreys winger was one of the toughest and best around.

An incredibly rounded winger, with elite defence and finishing, and superb fielding and kicking skills.

From 2009-2013 he was a top five/top three winger in the world.

21 March 2009; Tommy Bowe, Ireland, goes over for the second try of the game despite the attention of Shane Williams, Wales. RBS Six Nations Championship, Wales v Ireland, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Robbie Henshaw (Westmeath) - Inside Centre

While the dream was to get a centre partnership of Gibson/BOD, Henshaw is a fine substitute, who has worked his way up to being one of the world's premier centres.

An absolute work horse on the pitch, with many more years to give.

16 July 2022; Irish rugby : Robbie Henshaw of Ireland is tackled by Will Jordan of New Zealand during the Steinlager Series match between the New Zealand and Ireland at Sky Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Brian O'Driscoll (Dublin) - Outside Centre

Still the greatest to ever pull on the green jersey, and the finest centre in world for at least a decade.

It could be a long time until we see another Irish player blessed with such talent at such a young age, alongside longevity that is rarely seen.

In the conversation for most complete rugby player of all-time.

27 March 2004; Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland, celebrates at the end of the game. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship 2003-2004, Ireland v Scotland, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Shane Horgan (Meath) - Right Wing

There is an argument for Jacob Stockdale to take his place in the no. 14 shirt, given is 2018 exploits, but Shaggy was consistently brilliant and the finisher of some of Ireland's most memorable tries.

Another man on the team who played GAA at a high underage level for their county.

24 February 2007; Shane Horgan, 14, Ireland, celebrates his try against England with team-mate Girvan Dempsey. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v England, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture Credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Rob Kearney (Louth) - Fullback

The easiest choice in the entire XV, Kearney would also slot into a regular all-time Irish XV.

His supreme quality in the air and his backfield coverage made Ireland the envy of many countries.

His performance against South Africa for the Lions, in the second test in 2009, will go down as one of the great fullback showings.

23 June 2012; Rob Kearney, left, Ireland, and team-mate Keith Earls, in action against New Zealand. Steinlager Series 2012, 3rd Test, New Zealand v Ireland, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand. Picture credit: Ross Setford / SPORTSFILE

SEE ALSO: Jackman Shares Eyebrow-Raising Stat That Asks Questions Of Leinster's Strategy v Toulouse

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