David Wallace (rugby union)

David Wallace
Full name David Peter Wallace
Date of birth (1976-07-08) 8 July 1976
Place of birth Limerick, Ireland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 16 st 8 lb (105 kg)
School Crescent College
Notable relative(s) Richard Wallace and Paul Wallace (brothers)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Back-Row
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1997–2012 Munster 203 (200)
correct as of 9 Apr 2012.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2001, 2009
correct as of 28 Aug 2011.

David Peter Wallace (born 8 July 1976) is a retired Irish rugby union player, who played for Munster, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions. He normally played as an Openside flanker, but also played Blindside and Number 8.

Early life

Wallace grew up in Limerick on Ennis Road, and later lived in Cork. He was educated at Crescent College


Wallace made his Munster debut against Connacht in August 1997.[1] He made his European debut against Harlequins in September 1997 in the 1997–98 Heineken Cup.[2]

He started for Munster in the 2000 Heineken Cup Final. He scored his side's only try but opponents Northampton Saints eventually won 9–8.[3] Wallace again started for Munster during the 2002 Heineken Cup Final against Leicester Tigers. Once again, Munster lost narrowly, being defeated 15–9.[4]

Injury ruled Wallace out of much of the 2002–03 Celtic League, meaning he missed Munster's victory against Neath that won the league.

His first taste of silverware with Munster came against Scarlets in the Celtic Cup Final in May 2005.[5]

Wallace scored the fourth try in Munster's win over Sale in the 2005–06 Heineken Cup to take the Irish province into a home quarter-final against USA Perpignan.[6] After defeating Perpignan in the quarter final, Munster beat arch-rivals Leinster 30–6 in the semi-final to reach their third Heineken Cup final. At the Millennium Stadium, Munster beat Biarritz Olympique 23–19 to win the 2006 Heineken Cup Final. This was Munster's, and Wallace's, first Heineken Cup Final victory.[7]

Munster, and Wallace, again secured Heineken Cup success when they beat Toulouse 16–13 in the 2008 Heineken Cup Final.[8]

Wallace was part of the Munster team that won the 2008–09 Magners League.[9]

In February 2011, he extended his contract with Munster until the end of the 2011–12 season.[10]

He became the sixth player to reach 200 caps for Munster against Leinster during the 2011 Magners League Grand Final, a game in which he won the Man of the Match award.[11]

Having returned to full training after the knee injury that ruled him out of the 2011 World Cup and 2012 Six Nations, Wallace was named in the Munster squad to travel to Aironi on 7 March 2012.[12] He made his comeback during the game, playing the last 20 minutes.[13][14] Wallace continued his comeback by playing the first 40 minutes of Munster A's friendly against a Munster Development team on 16 March.[15] He was added to Munster's 2011–12 Heineken Cup squad in March 2012.[16] Wallace made his first appearance in the 2011–12 Heineken Cup season in the quarter-final against Ulster on 8 April 2012. This turned out to be Wallace's last game for Munster, as a recurrence of the knee injury suffered in August 2011 forced him to retire in May 2012.[17][18]


Wallace made his Ireland debut against Argentina on 3 June 2000.[19]

On 10 June 2000, Wallace was on the Ireland team that recorded their largest win by beating the United States 3–83.

Three lengthy injury-enforced absences hindered Wallace's international development. He only played in five games for Ireland until returning to start in the Triple Crown victory over Scotland in the 2004 Six Nations Championship — scoring a vital try in the process. He started again in both Tests in 2004 against South Africa. He did not return again to the Irish side until the second Test against Japan in June 2005, where he scored his fourth international try.

His form for Munster saw him earn a recall to the Irish set-up in 2006.[20] He was present during the 2006 Six Nations Championship and the Summer Tour in June.

Wallace scored a try for Ireland in their 43–13 demolition of England in the 2007 Six Nations Championship, and his form saw him selected in Ireland's squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. He started all four of Ireland's pool games at the tournament.

He was a member of the Irish Grand Slam winning side in 2009.[21]

He kept his place in the Ireland team for the November Tests in 2009, and played a crucial role in the win over South Africa. He played in all 5 of Ireland's 2010 Six Nations Championship games and won the Man-of-the-Match award against Italy. Wallace was in outstanding form for Munster throughout the 2009/10 season, and was selected in Ireland's squad for the summer tour to New Zealand and Australia. He played against New Zealand and came on as a substitute against the New Zealand Maori before returning home for the birth of his second child. He played against South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina during Ireland's 2010 Autumn Tests, and became Ireland's most capped back-row player. Wallace played in all five of Ireland's 2011 Six Nations Championship games, including the 24–8 victory over England at Aviva Stadium that ended England's hopes of a Grand Slam.

Wallace was selected in Ireland's training squad for the 2011 World Cup warm-ups in August, and was also selected in the final 30-man squad. However, a knee injury sustained during Ireland's final warm-up game against England ruled Wallace out of the tournament in New Zealand.[22]

Following the injury, he was ruled out of action for six months,[23] which also ruled Wallace out of the 2012 Six Nations Championship.[24]

British and Irish Lions

He toured Australia with the 2001 British and Irish Lions following in the footsteps of his brothers Richard and Paul. He played against NSW Country Districts, and scored a try against ACT Brumbies.[25]

On 21 April 2009, Wallace was named in the British and Irish Lions squad for the tour to South Africa.[26] He started the first[27] and second tests,[28] and came on as a substitute for the third.[29]


Wallace announced his retirement from rugby on 3 May 2012, due to the knee injury he suffered in August 2011. Wallace had made a comeback from the injury, but a re-occurrence of the injury forced him to quit the game.[30]

Speaking at the announcement,

"Although it's disappointing that injury is forcing me to retire now, I take great comfort that I've had an unbelievably enjoyable career and I feel very lucky to have been involved in an era that has seen Munster and Ireland enjoy so much success. Professional rugby has exploded in popularity and changed beyond all recognition in this country since I began and I feel honored to have played witness to its massive improvement. I'd like to thank anyone who has helped me and had faith in me during my 15 year professional career including family, teammates, coaches, medics, friends and not least supporters. I will be looking to step away from rugby and explore a few different business opportunities while also looking forward to being able to spend more time with my wife Aileen and sons Andrew and Harvey."[31]

Since his retirement from rugby, Wallace has opened a sweet shop in Limerick.[32]


  1. "Connacht 9–29 Munster". munsterrugby.ie. 16 August 1997. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  2. "NEC Harlequins 48–40 Munster". munsterrugby.ie. 7 September 1997. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  3. "Munster 8–9 Northampton Saints". munsterrugby.ie. 27 May 2000. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  4. "Leicester Tigers 15–9 Munster". munsterrugby.ie. 25 May 2002. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  5. "Munster 27–16 Llanelli Scarlets". munsterrugby.ie. 14 May 2005. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  6. "Munster 31–9 Sale Sharks". munsterrugby.ie. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  7. "Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque 19–23 Munster". munsterrugby.ie. 20 May 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  8. "Munster Champions of Europe". munsterrugby.ie. 24 May 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  9. "Munster End in Style". munsterrugby.ie. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  10. "Wallace Extends His Contract". munsterrugby.ie. 22 February 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  11. "Munster Crowned Magners League Champions". munsterrugby.ie. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  12. "Wallace in Munster Squad". munsterrugby.ie. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  13. "Wallace looks on bright side despite shock defeat". irishexaminer.com. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  14. "Wallace shines on dark day for Munster". irishindependent.ie. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  15. "Munster A Just Edge It in Temple Hill". munsterrugby.ie. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  16. "Wallace, Borlase & O'Dea Added To HC Squad". munsterrugby.ie. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  17. "Ireland forward David Wallace calls time on rugby playing career due to ongoing knee problems". Daily Telegraph. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  18. "Ireland and Munster forward David Wallace retires". BBC Sport. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  19. "Argentina 34–23 Ireland". irishrugby.ie. 3 June 2000. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  20. "Wallace wins place in Irish pack". BBC News. 31 January 2006.
  21. "Ireland Are Grand Slam Champions!". irishrugby.ie. 21 March 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  22. "Desperate Kidney at breaking point". irishindependent.ie. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  23. "Wallace ruled out for six months". RTÉ Sport. 30 August 2011.
  24. "Ireland And O2 Ireland Wolfhounds Squads Announced". irishrugby.ie. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  25. "ACT Brumbies 28–30 British and Irish Lions". lionsrugby.com. 3 July 2001. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  26. "McGeechan Announces British & Irish Lions 2009 Squad to Tour South Africa". theglobalherald.com. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  27. "Lions name Test team". lionsrugby.com. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  28. "South Africa 28–25 Lions". BBC Sport. 27 June 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  29. "South Africa 9–28 British and Irish Lions". espnscrum.com. 4 July 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  30. "David Wallace Announces Retirement". munsterrugby.ie. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  31. "Munster and Ireland legend David Wallace retires after failing to recover from injury". Irish Independent. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  32. "Wally Wonka's golden ticket". espnscrum.com. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.

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