Connacht Rugby will induct Connacht and Ireland back-row legend Eamonn McGuire in the Hall of Fame at the annual Awards Nights on Saturday, April 28.
Eamonn was part of the Ireland pack including four Connacht players (back-rows Noel Murphy & Tony O’Sullivan and props Ray McLoughlin & PJ Dwyer) that played New Zealand as part of their ‘63/64 tour. Despite losing the match five points to six and having a try of his own disallowed (which would have given Ireland their first victory over the All Blacks) McGuire is credited with rattling Kiwi out half Mac Herewini enough to shake the New Zealand team to the core and cement his place for the upcoming 5Nations tournament.
Born in 1939, McGuire first came to prominence playing for Connacht Schools in the 1956/57 as a St Josephs, Galway student. That season they went on to beat Leinster and Munster, losing out only to Ulster and Eamonn went on to represent Connacht Schools for a further two years.
In 1960 Eamonn was called up to represent Connacht in the inter-provincial series and he earned his first cap against Leinster that November. A prolific try scorer, Eamonn went on to accumulate over 20 Connacht caps over his eight seasons with the club.
In the 1960/61 season Eamonn, an Engineering student at UCG, was selected for the Combined Universities for their matches against UCD and the Rest of Ireland, scoring trys in both games and it was his skill and turn of pace in the back-row of the scrum that helped him go on to win several Connacht Senior League and Cups title whilst with UCG RFC.
In February 1963 he earned the first of eight Ireland caps with a home match against England in Lansdowne Road. That match finished scoreless and though Ireland lost to France in that series they went on to thump Wales 14 6.
A broken leg in 1966 cut short the fabulous career of a tremendous sportsman who alongside representing Connacht and Ireland in rugby had rowed with The Bish, played football with the Claddagh Gaels and earned 3 provincial championship sprinting medals.
Eamonn will join fellow inductee’s Brendan Guerin, Noel Mannion, Tony O’Suillivan, Ciaran Fitzgerald and Billy Mulcahy in the Hall of Fame to forever be remembered for his exceptional contribution to Connacht Rugby.
The Connacht Rugby Awards Dinner will be held on Saturday, April 28, in the Connemara Coast Hotel, Furbo, Galway. Tickets are available from €85 and can be purchased from the Connacht Rugby Office on College Rd, Galway or by contacting Commercial Manager Fiona Keys by email: firstname.lastname@example.org