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Ten Years To The Day; The Heroic Munster XV From The 2006 Heineken Cup Final - Where Are They Now?

Ten Years To The Day; The Heroic Munster XV From The 2006 Heineken Cup Final - Where Are They Now?
By Conor O'Leary
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10 years to the day Munster finally claimed their holy grail, we thought we'd take a look at where that famous Munster XV are now.

15. Shaun Payne

Munster's South African-born cult hero with Sligo connections was coming down from his peak for Munster's first breakthrough in Europe. Payne became Munster's team manager in the summer of 2007, whilst remaining as a player for his final season.

He remained in this role until 2012 when he returned to South Africa. He was in the news after he was attacked with a taser and kidnapped last January.

14. Anthony Horgan

Once upon a time, he was Munster's all time leading try scorer but he saw that recored fall to Simon Zebo this season. Horgan continued playing until 2009 - winning another Heineken Cup medal and a Pro 12 in his final season.

Since retiring, Horgan has stepped away from rugby altogether. He recently became the manager of Flannery's pub. No, not that Flannery's - this one is in Cork.

13. John Kelly

Kelly was one of the first of this team to retire, just over 18 months after the final. Kelly retired aged just 31. He's forged an impressive career away from the game - but retains an interest and is the chairman of the Munster professional game committee.

12. Trevor Halstead

One of Munster's best and most admired imports, Halstead has been tough to track down since his retirement. Scorer of the the other try in the final.


Halstead had one more year with Munster before retiring, and disappearing from the face of the earth. Last seen at the South African Investec coaching academy

11. Ian Dowling

One of a number of players in this team that had their careers cut short through injury. Defines the term 'cult hero' given how often the STFU Army banded his name into international selection despite his two caps on a summer tour in 2009.

A hip injury cut short Dowling's career in 2011 aged 28, and is currently a physiotherapist in Limerick.

10. Ronan O'Gara

ROG burned the trail for all outhalves in Ireland, specifically Johnny Sexton, who was his heir in the Ireland 10 jersey and followed him out to Racing Metro.

He's earning a lot of plaudits for his punditry on RTE along with Shane Horgan and is eking out a fine reputation as Racing Metro's defence coach.

9. Peter Stringer



The defining memory of that final belongs to Stringer. The ever popular player is still whipping out passes for Sale Sharks at the ripe old age of 38. .

1. Marcus Horan

Horan tried to establish himself outside of rugby by working in insurance after his retirement in 2013. The emergence of Cian Healy signaled the end of his international career in 2011.

Horan is the now trying his hand at coaching having been appointed as head coach of UBL side Shannon.

2. Jerry Flannery

After several failed attempts at making a comeback after the 2008 success, Fla hung it up in 2012. Injury also ruined his Lions call up in 2009.

Since retiring, Flannery has enjoyed a stint as an strength and conditioning coach with the Arsenal academy, and the Munster scrum coach also has a thriving pub in Limerick.

3. John Hayes

In typical John Hayes fashion, the Bull was a dependable rock of Munster and Ireland until he was quietly replaced just before the 2011 World Cup. Ireland's most capped front-row player is now Ireland's most recognisable cattle farmer.

4. Donncha O'Callaghan

Still rumbling away in the second row for Worcester Warriors, O'Callaghan will be home for a pre-season friendly against Munster in August.

5. Paul O'Connell

The former Munster, Ireland and Lions captain had his dream sojourn in Toulon cruelly snatched away from him through injury. SInce retirement he's made a few TV appearances for Sky and the BBC and memorably battled Batman earlier this year.

6. Denis Leamy

Leamy was well established in the Munster set-up in 2006, shunting Alan Quinlan out of the starting line-up, but playing second fiddle to Anthony Foley in Leamy's preferred position of No.8.


He did go on to succeed the current Munster coach for the 2008 final, and after a horrible run of injuries - he failed to recover from a long standing hip issue and retired prematurely in 2011.

He is still involved in the game as an assistant and forwards coach at his alma mater Rockwell College

7. David Wallace

After his unfortunate retirement after losing a collision to the man-beast that is Manu Tuilagi in the World Cup warm-ups for 2011.

In his retirement he has pursued  into some media opportunities. He's not on as much as his brother Paul - despite being the more attractive of the pair.

He's remained in the game as an assistant coach to Rockwell College, and has a number of business ventures, including opening a sweet shop in Limerick

8. Anthony Foley

The captain for Munster's breakthrough in Europe began to lose his place in the team to Denis Leamy.

Since retiring, unlike Leo Cullen - Foley took the long way around to becoming head coach of his beloved province until a certain Rassie Erasmus came along.

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