World Rugby Hall of Fame – Induction No.106 – Thomas Joseph Kiernan (Ireland, British and Irish Lions, Munster) 1951-
One of 25 legends inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame at Wembley Stadium, London, on 20 September, 2015.
Born: 7 January, 1939 in Cork, Ireland
Cork Constitution has produced some great rugby players down the years but few will have made as big an impact as Tom Kiernan, who captained and coached Munster and the Irish national team to some notable successes. The dashing full-back led Munster to victory against Australia at Musgrave in 1967, and 11 years later he repeated the feat as coach of the province against the touring All Blacks.
With Ireland, Kiernan eclipsed the hallowed Jack Kyle’s all-time appearance record, earning 54 caps for his country until his retirement in 1974. He also established a new milestone for points scored (158) and captained his country a record 24 times. Having succeeded his cousin and Cork Constitution team-mate Noel Murphy as coach of the Irish national team, Kiernan, a renowned motivator of men and an astute tactician, helped Ireland claim the Triple Crown in 1982 – their first for 33 years.
Kiernan toured South Africa with the Lions twice, captaining the side in 1968 when he was an ever-present in the four-match test series against the Springboks. He scored 96 points for the Lions from 23 appearances.
As an administrator, Kiernan held a number of influential roles including President of the Irish Rugby Football Union (1988-89), Honorary Treasurer of the International Rugby Board (1986-1990) and Director of Rugby World Cup 1999.
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