Donnacha Ryan

Donnacha Ryan
Ryan playing in the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Date of birth (1983-12-11) 11 December 1983
Place of birth Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland
Height 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in)
Weight 116 kg (18 st 3 lb, 255 lb)
School St. Munchin's College
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Lock, Flanker
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Nenagh Ormond RFC
Shannon RFC
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2004–present Munster 154 (35)
correct as of 3 December 2016.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
correct as of 19 November 2016.
Donnacha Ryan contesting a line-out in the Heineken Cup

Donnacha Ryan (born 11 December 1983 in Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland) is an Irish rugby union player for Munster in the Pro 12 and European Rugby Champions Cup.

Early life

He went to school at Nenagh CBS and played all his underage rugby with Nenagh Ormond RFC, representing Munster and Irish Youths, before moving to St. Munchin's College in Limerick, where he was a key member of the side that won the Munster Schools Rugby Senior Cup in 2002.


Ryan is a member of Shannon Rugby Football Club, who play in AIB League Division 1. He won an AIL league medal with Shannon in the 2005–06 season. Ryan moved to Shannon following a successful period at Nenagh Ormond, where he learnt his trade.


Ryan made his debut for Munster against Ospreys on 3 September 2004, during a Celtic League fixture.[1] He made his Heineken Cup debut against Llanelli Scarlets on 16 December 2007.[2] He played for Munster in their 2007–08 Heineken Cup semi-final against Saracens,[3] and was on the bench for the 2008 Heineken Cup Final against Stade Toulousain, which Munster won 16–13.[4]

Ryan was part of the Munster squad that won the 2008–09 Celtic League, and he added a second Celtic League winners medal to his collection when Munster beat arch-rivals, and newly crowned Heineken Cup champions, Leinster 19–9 in the 2011 Magners League Grand Final. Ryan started at Blindside Flanker in the final.[5]

After the 2011 Rugby World Cup, he began to regularly partner Paul O'Connell in the Munster pack, particularly during the 2011–12 Heineken Cup, keeping Donncha O'Callaghan on the bench. It was announced on 13 March 2012 that Ryan had signed a contract extension with the IRFU, which will see him continue to play his rugby with Munster until the end of the 2013–14 season.[6] Ryan won his one-hundredth cap for Munster in the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ulster on 8 April 2012. He won the Munster Player of the Year award for the 2011–12 season.[7]

Ryan has become the first-choice Second Row, alongside Paul O'Connell during the 2011–12 season, although injury to O'Connell has seen Ryan start more often with Donncha O'Callaghan. Ryan started all of Munster's 2012–13 Heineken Cup pool games, and was a crucial player in getting them through to the semi-finals.

In December 2013, Ryan signed a new three-year contract with Munster, which will see him remain with the province until at least June 2017.[8]

Ryan returned from injury on 7 March 2015, coming off the bench against Ospreys. On 1 October 2016, Ryan earned his 150th cap for Munster during the 2016–17 Pro12 fixture against Zebre.[9]


He represented Ireland at Youth U18 level and at U21.

He made his debut for the Irish national team on 22 November 2008 in a test against Argentina in Croke Park, Dublin.[10]

Ryan missed out on selection for the Ireland senior squad for the 2009 Six Nations Championship, and had to wait until the 2009 Summer Tests to play for Ireland again, earning caps against Canada and the USA.[11][12] He was named in the squad for the 2009 November Tests,[13] but did not earn any caps during the series.

Named in Ireland's squad for the 2010 Six Nations Championship,[14] Ryan made his Six Nations debut against Italy on 6 February 2010 as a replacement.[15] He made another replacement appearance against France on 13 February, but did not feature in the rest of the tournament. He missed out on selection for Ireland's 2010 Summer Tour, but was back for Ireland during the 2010 November Tests,[16] and made appearances off the bench against South Africa Samoa.

Ryan missed out on selection for Ireland's squad for the 2011 Six Nations Championship, but was named in the training squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.[17] He made his first start for Ireland in the World Cup warm-up against Scotland on 6 August 2011, as well as playing against France and England. He won selection in the final 30-man squad for the tournament in New Zealand,[18] and made three appearances at the tournament, including a start against Russia and bench appearances against Italy and Wales. He was selected in Ireland's 24-man squad for the 2012 Six Nations Championship.[19] He came off the bench against Wales, Italy and France, and made his first Six Nations start in the Round 4 game against Scotland, in which he was named man of the match.[20] Ryan started in all of Ireland's tests against New Zealand in June 2012, as part the 2012 Tour of New Zealand, and the tests against South Africa and Argentina on November 2012.

Ryan continued to hold down the Ireland number 5 jersey going into the 2013 Six Nations Championship, starting against Wales,[21] England[22] Scotland,[23] France,[24] and Italy.[25]

Ryan was added to Ireland's squad for the 2014 Six Nations Championship on 17 February 2014.[26]

Ryan was named in the 45-man training squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup on 24 June 2015.[27] He started in the first World Cup warm-up against Wales on 8 August 2015.[28] Ryan came off the bench in the third warm-up game against Wales on 29 August 2015.[29] He was selected in the final 31-man squad for the World Cup when it was announced on 1 September 2015.[30] Ryan came off the bench in the final warm-up game against England on 5 September 2015.[31] He came off the bench in the pool opener against Canada on 19 September 2015.[32] Ryan started the second pool game against Romania on 27 September 2015.[33] He came off the bench for Ireland in the 43-20 quarter-final defeat against Argentina on 18 October 2015.[34]

On 20 January 2016, Ryan was named in Ireland's 35-man squad for the 2016 Six Nations.[35] On 7 February 2016, he came off the bench against Wales in Ireland's opening match of the Six Nations.[36] On 13 February 2016, he came off the bench against France in Ireland's second game of the Six Nations.[37] On 12 March 2016, Ryan won the Man-of-the-Match award in Ireland's 58-15 win against Italy.

On 25 May 2016, Ryan was named in the 32-man Ireland squad to tour South Africa in a 3-test series.[38] On 18 June 2016, Ryan came on as a replacement in the second test against South Africa. On 26 October 2016, Ryan was named in Ireland's squad for the 2016 end-of-year rugby union internationals.[39] On 5 November 2016, Ryan started in Ireland's test against New Zealand at Soldier Field, Chicago. Ireland's 40-29 win was their first ever against New Zealand.[40]




  1. "Ospreys 34–17 Munster". 3 September 2004. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  2. "22–13 Win Puts Munster Top of Pool 5". 16 December 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  3. "Brave Munster Battle Through". 28 April 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  4. "Munster Champions of Europe". 28 May 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  5. "Munster Crowned Magners League Champions". 28 May 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  6. "Ryan Sign on For Two More Years". 13 March 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  7. "Persistence pays off for Munster's gentle giant". 7 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  8. "Donnacha Ryan Signs Three Year Deal". 15 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  9. "Try Fest In Thomond". 1 October 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  10. "Ireland End Series With Crucial Win Over Pumas". 22 November 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  11. "Ireland Made To Work Hard For Canada Win". 23 May 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  12. "Ireland Finish Tour With Four-Try Triumph". 31 May 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  13. "Ireland Squad Announced For GUINNESS Series". 27 October 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  14. "Ireland Squad Announced For RBS Six Nations". 19 January 2010. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  15. "Two-Try Ireland Grind Out Opening Win". 6 February 2010. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  16. "Ireland Squad Announced For GUINNESS Series". 19 October 2010. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  17. "Ireland Training Squad Is Announced". 17 June 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  18. "Ireland Rugby World Cup Squad Announcement". 22 August 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  19. "Ireland And O2 Ireland Wolfhounds Squads Announced". 18 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  20. "Four-Try Ireland See Off Scottish Challenge". 10 March 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  21. "Cardiff Cracker Gets Ireland Up And Running". 2 February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  22. "Penalties Decide It As Ireland Lose Brutal Contest". 10 February 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  23. "Six Nations: Scotland beat Ireland in Murrayfield turnaround". BBC Sport. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  24. "Six Nations 2013: France recover to draw with Ireland". BBC Sport. 9 March 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  25. "Six Nations 2013: Italy 22–15 Ireland". BBC Sport. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  26. "Extended Ireland Squad Named For England Game". 17 February 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  27. "9 Munster Players Ireland Training Squad". 24 June 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  28. "Ireland Win Opening Warm-Up Clash In Cardiff". 8 August 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  29. "Tipuric And Halfpenny Guide Wales To Dublin Victory". 29 August 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  30. "Ireland Squad Named For Rugby World Cup". 1 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  31. "England Consign Ireland To Second Warm-Up Defeat". 5 September 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  32. "Bonus Point Win Gets Ireland Off To Satisfying World Cup Start". 19 September 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  33. "Ireland Back On Top After Second Bonus Point Victory". 27 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  34. "Ireland's World Cup Journey Ended By Four-Try Pumas". 18 October 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  35. "Ireland Squad Named For Opening Rounds Of RBS Six Nations". 20 January 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  36. "Ireland And Wales Play Out Pulsating Draw In Dublin". 7 February 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  37. "Ireland Suffer First Loss To France Since 2011". 13 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  38. "32 players named in Ireland squad for South Africa tour". 25 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  39. "Six Uncapped Players In Ireland Squad". 26 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  40. "Ireland Stun All Blacks To Create History In Chicago". 5 November 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016.

External links

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