Irish Rugby Players That Have Been Unfairly Overlooked Over The Years

While many are delighted that the likes of Josh Van Der Flier and Stuart McCloskey are being give their chance this weekend, many still argue that the likes of Paddy Jackson and Craig Gilroy of Ulster are being unfairly overlooked.

This is an issue that has gone on in rugby for many years with many countries, James Hook and Danny Cipriani of Wales and England respectively are two perfect examples where you wonder what they’ve done wrong to be excluded when they’re clearly talented enough to make the cut.

It got us thinking and we’ve decided to put together a small selection of Irish players we reckon have been unfairly overlooked over the years. If we’ve missed any players you reckon should have been mentioned, let us know.

bob casey

Bob Casey

The lock spent three years at Leinster before going to to spend over a decade with London Irish in a hugely successful spell in England. Casey was named London Irish’s Players’ Player of the Season in 2003–04 and was Supporters Club Player of the Season 2004–05. Regarded as one of the best locks in the Premiership for many years, amazingly he only played for Ireland on seven occasions.

coughlan (1)

James Coughlan

From 2010 until 2014 James Coughlan was one of Munster’s standout players. The powerful backrow showed an immense workrate and his ball carrying skills were second to none. In 2014 Coughlan won the IRUPA Unsung Hero award but amazingly the Corkman has never played for Ireland.


Geordan Murphy

Murphy was said to have had a poor working relationship with former Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan. The Leicester Tigers fullback may have earned 74 caps for Ireland but many of those came from the bench as he played second fiddle to Girvan Dempsey and a young Rob Kearney. Murphy played his entire career in England in a 13-year spell with the Tigers in which he was captain for several seasons.


Alan Quinlan

Quinny was perhaps unlucky in that Ireland had such depth in their backrow throughout the Munster flanker’s career. It’s still an absolute travesty that a player of Quinlan’s quality only every played 27 times for Ireland.


Craig Gilroy

The Ulster winger made his debut for Ireland and burst onto the scene against Wales in the 2013 Six Nations. However since then he’s been relatively overlooked despite blistering form with Ulster. Gilroy only has six caps for Ireland.

Paddy Jackson

Paddy Jackson

The 24-year old outhalf has been Ulster’s standout player in both the PRO12 and Champions Cup this season yet hasn’t even made the bench for Ireland’s opening three games of the Six Nations. 13 caps is all the young playmaker has to his name.

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