Munster and Ireland rugby legend Tom Kiernan dies aged 83

Kiernan won 54 caps for Ireland and coached Munster to a legendary win against the All Blacks in 1978.

Tom Kiernan pictured in 1982.
Tom Kiernan pictured in 1982.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

MUNSTER AND IRELAND rugby legend Tom Kiernan has died at the age of 83.

Kiernan won 54 caps for Ireland and was the country’s most capped player at the time of his retirement. He also captained the team 24 times, including a famous 10-10 draw against New Zealand, and was the record points scorer with 158.

A stalwart of Cork Constitution and UCC, Kiernan kicked the winning score the first time Ireland beat South Africa in 1965, captained the first Irish team to win a Test in Australia in 1967 and was full-back on the first Munster team to defeat Australia the same year.

He coached Munster to a legendary win against the All Blacks in 1978 and subsequently coached Ireland to the Triple Crown in 1982.

Kiernan also served as President of the Munster Branch, President of the IRFU, Honorary Treasurer of the International Rugby Board [World Rugby] and Director of the Rugby World Cup in 1999 to name just a few of his roles.

He was an influential Chairman of the Five Nations and played a key role in establishing the European Rugby Cup.

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“It is with great sadness that I pass on condolences to the Kiernan family, on the passing of their beloved Tom, on behalf of everyone in Irish Rugby,” said IRFU President Des Kavanagh.

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