Willie Duggan

William Patrick Duggan (born 12 March 1950) is a former Ireland international rugby union player. He won 41 Irish Caps, the first in 1975 and finished his international career in 1984 as captain.[1] He toured New Zealand in 1977 with the British and Irish Lions,[1] and at the time played club rugby for Blackrock College RFC. Willie was widely regarded as one of the hard men of world rugby at the time, despite not enjoying training and being a heavy smoker. This attitude was entirely different on the pitch as Willie was widely regarded as the premier No. 8 in Europe at the time which was reflected in his being picked for the Lions in 1977. In January 1977, he became, along with Wales' Geoff Wheel, the first player to be sent off in a Five Nations match.[1][2] According to fellow player Moss Keane, Duggan did not consider himself to have been sent off, simply being asked by the referee "would he mind leaving the field", to which he replied "Sure not at all. I was buggered anyway".[1]

On one occasion was smoking a cigarette as he ran onto the field to play against France, passing the cigarette to referee Allan Hosie, who was pictured holding the cigarette in the television coverage.[3] He was once told by a coach that if he gave up the smokes he would be faster around the pitch. Typical of Willie's wit he replied "but then I would spend most of the match offside".

Willie lives and works in Kilkenny, where he runs the lighting shop that he took over from his father (Willie Duggan Lighting Ltd.),[4] but is still a huge supporter of the game and is one of the most revered and loved rugby players in the history of the Irish game.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "When Duggan set an unwanted 'Nations' record", Irish Independent, 12 February 2006, retrieved 2010-08-27
  2. Hewett, Chris (2010) "Chris Hewett’s Six Nations A to Z", The Independent, 6 February 2010, retrieved 2010-08-27
  3. Shields, Tom (2003) "Throwing a rugby rule-book at a football fan; SRU president Allan", Sunday Herald, 16 March 2003, retrieved 2010-08-27
  4. "Lighting: Ireland", The Guardian, 23 February 2008, retrieved 2010-08-27

http://www.williedugganlighting.com (Willie Duggan Lighting - Duggan's family business)

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