Alan Quinlan

Alan Quinlan
Date of birth (1974-07-13) 13 July 1974
Place of birth Tipperary, Ireland
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 16 st 7 lb (105 kg)
University Setanta College
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Back-Row
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team

Clanwilliam Rugby Club
Shannon RFC
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1996–2011 Munster 212 (165)
correct as of 11 Jun 2011.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1999–2008 Ireland 27 (30)
correct as of 15 Sep 2010.

Alan Quinlan (Irish: Ailín Ó Caoindealbhain, born 13 July 1974 in Tipperary, Ireland ) is a retired Irish rugby union player. He played for Munster and was registered to the AIB League side Shannon. He retired from rugby in May 2011.

Early years

Quinlan was educated at Abbey CBS in Tipperary and worked for a motor dealer after leaving school.[1] He began his rugby career with Clanwilliam FC. Quinlan moved from Clanwilliam to join Shannon U20s in 1994. He captained the Irish Youth Team against Scotland in 1993. He normally plays as a blindside flanker, but has also played openside, number eight and second row for Munster.[2]


He began playing for Munster in 1996 and captained the youths team before becoming a regular in the first team. In May 2006 he made a comeback from a cruciate ligament injury earlier in the season to win both the AIB League Division 1 title with Shannon and the Heineken Cup with Munster after a late appearance from the bench in the Heineken Cup Final win over Biarritz in Cardiff. He captained the side from Number Eight in Munster's upset victory over Ulster in Ravenhill in the 2007 Magner's League. Quinlan was voted Man of the Match as Munster beat Toulouse 16–13 on 24 May 2008 to win the Heineken Cup for a second time. He was part of the Squad that won the 2008–09 Magners League. In total he holds five league medals with Shannon, as well as two Heineken Cup medals and a Celtic League Medal with Munster. Quinlan won his 201st cap against Leinster, equalling Anthony Foley's club record for caps, on 2 October 2010. He became Munster's most capped player ever on 16 October 2010, against Toulon in the Heineken Cup.[3]

In the 2009–10 season he represented Munster 21 times, including all 8 of their 2010 Heineken Cup matches, often earning the Man of the Match award.. .

In April 2011, Quinlan officially announced his retirement from professional rugby, to be effective at the end of the 2010/11 season.[4][5] He played his last game for Munster on 6 May 2011, against Connacht in the Celtic League, scoring a try to mark the end of his remarkable career and going off to a standing ovation from the Munster and Connacht supporters. He joined the Munster team at the 2011 Magners League Grand Final trophy presentation, celebrating Munster's 19–9 victory over old rivals Leinster in Thomond Park.


Quinlan represented Ireland 'A' between 1998 and 2001 and made his senior debut for the Irish national team in October 1999, as a replacement in a Test against Romania. He played his first Six Nations match against Italy in 2001. He was a part of Ireland's squad at the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia and scored two tries in the tournament before dislocating his shoulder scoring a vital try against Argentina in the pool stages, which ended his involvement. He was named in Ireland's 2007 Rugby World Cup squad but did not make any appearances. Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan was widely criticised afterwards for not using his bench. Quinlan took his caps to a total of 27 by playing in the Autumn Internationals of 2008 against Canada and the All Blacks.[6]

British and Irish Lions

On 21 April 2009, Quinlan was named in the squad for the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa.[7] During Munsters Heineken cup semi-final defeat to Leinster in May 2009, Quinlan was cited for making contact with the eye or eye area of Leinster captain Leo Cullen. The offence was deemed at the low range of seriousness and he received a 12 playing week ban until 9 September 2009.[8] As a result, he missed the Lions tour to South Africa.


He was a co-commentator for ITV's coverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He regularly commentates with RTÉ and Sky Sports on their rugby coverage.

Personal life

Quinlan married Irish model Ruth Griffin in Tipperary town during the summer of 2008.[9] They have one son named AJ who was born in January 2009. They later split up in June 2010.[10]

He released an autobiography, entitled 'Quinlan: Red Blooded', in 2010. Quinlan is a big golf fan and supports Liverpool.[11]


  1. "Age hasn't withered Quinny the elder". The Irish Times. 4 April 2009.
  3. "Alan Quinlan". The Irish Times. 4 April 2009.
  4. "Quinlan calls it a day". Planet Rugby. 13 April 2011. Archived from the original on 16 April 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  5. "Munster and former Irish flanker Alan Quinlan to retire". BBC Sport. 13 April 2011. Archived from the original on 14 April 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  7. "O'Connell to lead 14 Irish Lions". RTÉ Sport. 21 April 2009. Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
  8. "Banned Quinlan to miss Lions tour". BBC Sport. 13 May 2009. Archived from the original on 18 May 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  9. "It was the biggest let down of my career - Alan Quinlan". The Herald. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  11. "Take it as Red". Irish Examiner. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2014.

External links

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