The Greatest Munster XV Of The Professional Era

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Munster rugby recently lost on it’s greatest players of all-time.

Anthony Foley epitomised what it meant to be a Munster great. He played in many of the southern province’s greatest sides, and was very much a focal point of the golden era. In 2006 he captained his side to Heineken Cup glory.

Who would make an all-time XV though? It’s a tough one, but we’ve given it a go.

Check out the XV below and let us know what you think in the comments section on Facebook, or give us a Tweet.

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We’ve seen some wonderful tributes, and we’ve reminisced about the good times and it got us thinking. After seeing all the wonderful footage of Foley’s career gone by and the fantastic teams he led, just who makes the greatest Munster XV of the professional era? It’s a tough one but we’re gonna give it a go.

Feel free to let us know in the comments on social media if you would change any players around, if any.

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1. Marcus Horan
225 caps in an astonishing career with Munster that spanned from 1999-2013. Started both Heineken Cup winning finals in 06 & 08.

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2. Jerry Flannery
A tough decison here between Wood and Flannery. While Wood was a better player overal arguably, Flannery was better for Munster considering Wood’s time with the southern province was brief. 93 caps and also started in 06 & 08

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3. John Hayes
Another man to play over 200 times for Munster. Started both finals once again in one of the best front row’s in European history. A giant among men.

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4. Donncha O’Callaghan
Another tough one here. Mick Galwey can certainly put his hands up for contention here but DOC edges it considering Galwey played much of his career in the amateur era.

Anthony Foley and Paul O'Connell after the game 23/4/2006

5. Paul O’Connell
Don’t really need to explain this one. One of the greatest of all-time.

Shaun Payne Ronan O'Gara and Alan Quinlan celebrate the final whistle 20/5/2006

6. Alan Quinlan
This was another sticky choice. Peter O’Mahony may overtake Quinlan in time but not yet. Denis Leamy and Jim Williams could easily also slot in here also, even though they were both primarily eights. With over 200 caps in a career that spanned from 1996-2011, Quinlan is one of Munster’s all-time greats.

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7. D. Wallace
Arguably the best seven in the world at one stage in his career, the Limerick native is another member of the 200+ club. An absolute machine, he terrified teams for many years with his tackling, work and the breakdown and sheer power and pace.

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8. A. Foley
The late, great captain and another member of the 200+ club. Played in all but one of Munster’s first 78 Heineken Cup games until a shoulder injury thwarted him. Famously captained Munster to their first Heineken Cup in 2006, on a day we will never forget. RIP Axel.

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9. P. Stringer
Murray comes close here for us, and will probably overtake Stringer, but as it stands the 230 times capped scrumhalf gets the nod.

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10. R. O’Gara
240 caps and 2,625 points for Munster. Need we say anymore?

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11. K. Earls
Tough choice here and may be subject to some crticism. John Kelly, Ian Dowling and Anthony Horgan all notable mentions but the 2009 Lions tourist gets the nod from us.

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12. T. Halstead
Another tough one. Rob Henderson or Trevor Halstead? The heart says Halstead. Halstead it is.

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13. R. Tipoki
Tough choice here again, Munster have struggled at 13 for many years but a lot of very good players have held that famous jersey. The New Zealander lifted the Heineken Cup with Munster in 2008 but only played 29 times for the club in a two year stint. He however left a lasting impression and gets the nod at outside centre for us.

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14. D. Howlett
No need to explain this one either.

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15. S. Payne
Paul Warwick came very close here, but the South African pips him. The safest hands in Munster for many years, played a key role in the 2006 season as Munster finally lifted the Heineken Cup.

What do you think of this selection? How would it fair in this year’s Champions Cup?

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