Former Connacht players Claire Molloy and Simon Geoghegan announced as this year’s inductee to the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame.

Pictured is former Ireland Rugby captain and current Wasps player, Claire Molloy, who today was inducted into the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame. Molloy, who announced her retirement from international rugby this year, won 74 caps for her country over the course of a 12-year international career. She was an integral part of a team that won a Grand Slam, 2 Six Nations Championships and Ireland’s first victory over New Zealand in 2014. She also captained both the 15s and 7s teams during her career. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tony Kershaw

Former Connacht and Ireland rugby international Claire Molloy has been announced as this year’s inductee to the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame. Molloy, who announced her retirement from international rugby this year, won 74 caps for her country over the course of a 12-year international career. She was an integral part of a team that won a Grand Slam in 2013, 2 Six Nations Championships and Ireland’s first victory over New Zealand in 2014. She also captained both the 15s and 7s teams during her career.

Also inducted into the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame today was former Ireland, Bath, London Irish and Connacht player, Simon Geoghegan. The winger is perhaps best known for his try in the 1994 Five Nations match against England at Twickenham, that was instrumental in a famous 13–12 win. Geoghegan represented Ireland on 37 occasions, scoring 51 points.

Former Munster player, Billy Holland, was announced as the recipient of this year’s Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Tom Rooney Award in recognition of his immense contribution to Irish Rugby. Holland, who earned one cap for Ireland, was a stalwart for the southern province and retired in June of this year having played 247 times for Munster.

Next week, the winners of the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Men’s Player of the Year, Women’s Player of the Year, 7’s Player of the Year, Dave Guiney Team of the Year and Club of the Year will be announced.

Rory Sheridan, Head of Partnerships for Diageo Ireland, said;

“Guinness is a long-time partner of Irish Rugby, and a proud supporter of the Rugby Writers of Ireland and all that they do to spotlight the sport through their work. We are delighted to be recognising some of the true legends of Irish Rugby who have recognised for their outstanding contributions to the sport in this country.  I would like to congratulate Claire, Simon and Billy on receiving their awards today and we look forward to seeing who will be honoured by the Rugby Writers of Ireland next week.”

Sinead Kissane, Chairperson of the Rugby Writers of Ireland added;

“Many congratulations to Claire & Simon on their inductions into the Guinness Rugby Writers Hall of Fame. Both players had unbelievable careers and all of our members enjoyed watching, reporting and writing about them throughout their time in Irish rugby. In addition, I would like to give a special mention to Billy Holland, who is a truly deserving winner of this year’s Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Tom Rooney Award, for his 14 seasons of service to Munster & Irish rugby. My thanks also to Guinness for their continued sponsorship of these awards and we look forward to announcing the rest of the award winners next week.” 

Molloy was delighted to receive the accolade;

“To follow in the footsteps of my former teammate and captain, Fiona Coghlan and be inducted into the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame is an incredible honour for me. I was lucky enough to be awarded as the Women’s Player of the Year in 2018 and to be recognised once again by the Rugby Writers of Ireland is an absolutely amazing feeling. I would also like to thank Guinness for its brilliant support of the women’s game in Ireland, it is very exciting to see a global brand, like Guinness get behind us to bring our game to fresh audiences.”

Holland was thrilled with his award;

“The Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Tom Rooney Award is a very prestigious award in the rugby community and I am very privileged to receive the award this year. Throughout my career, the support of the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland has been outstanding, and this award means a lot to both me and my family.”