Donal Lenihan

Donal Lenihan

Donal Lenihan

After-dinner speaker Donal Lenihan is a former Irish rugby union player; with 52 international caps.

Born in Cork on 12 September 1959, Donal was raised in a sporting background; his father Ger was a national boxing champion and GAA player. Famous for his aerial skills in the line-out, the hard-nosed second row was ever present in the Irish team for over a decade which saw two Triple Crowns. He is best remembered for his break which set up Mike Kiernan’s championship clinching drop-goal against England in 1985.


Lenihan played his first test match for Ireland on 21 November 1981 versus Australia at the age of 22. He played three matches in the 1991 Rugby World Cup and four matches in the 1987 Rugby World Cup, where he was the Irish captain.

Lenihan, a proud Munsterman, captained his country 17 times. He was selected for three Lions Tours (1983, 1986, 1989) and was the popular captain of the 1989 midweek side that became known as Donals Donuts. They were unbeaten. His last cap came against Wales on 18 January 1992. Since then he has managed both the Irish national team and the British and Irish Lions (2001).

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