The Greatest Munster XV Of The Professional Era
Knockout rugby returns to Thomond Park this weekend.
Munster Rugby is back where it belongs and that’s mixing it up with the very best in Europe. Ahead of this weekend’s Champions Cup quarter final match with Toulouse we’ve decided to have a look at putting together an all-time greatest XV.
This was really difficult and is up for debate, but we’ve given it a go nonetheless.
Check out the XV below and let us know what you think.
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.
2. Jerry Flannery
A tough decision here between Wood and Flannery. While Wood was probably a better player overall, Flannery was better for Munster considering Wood’s time with the southern province was brief. 93 caps for the current Munster coach and also started in the 06 & 08 triumphs.
3. John Hayes
Another man to play over 200 times for Munster. Started both finals and an integral part of one of the best front row’s in European history. A giant among men.
4. Donncha O’Callaghan
Another tough one here. Mick Galwey can certainly put his hands up for contention but DOC edges it considering Galwey played much of his career in the amateur era.
5. Paul O’Connell
Don’t really need to explain this one. One of the greatest of all-time.
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.
7. David 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 at the breakdown and sheer power and pace.
8. Anthony Foley (C)
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.
9. Peter Stringer
Murray will probably overtake Stringer here at some stage, but as it stands the 230 times capped scrumhalf gets the nod.
10. Ronan O’Gara
240 caps and 2,625 points for Munster. Need we say anymore?
11. Keith Earls
Tough choice here and may be subject to some crticism. John Kelly, Ian Dowling, Simon Zebo and Anthony Horgan all notable mentions but the 2009 Lions tourist gets the nod from us.
12. Trevor Halstead
Another tough one. Rob Henderson or Trevor Halstead? The heart says Halstead. Halstead it is.
13. Rua 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.
14. Doug Howlett
No need to explain this one either.
15. Shaun 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?