Former Ireland lock and backrow Alan Quinlan will be the guest of honor at the Rugby Patrons Society annual dinner set for Saturday 13 January 2018 in Nairobi.
Quinlan, who arrived in the country on Monday morning, also has a series of activities lined up during his stay in Kenya. He will conduct an age grade coaching clinic with the Community Rugby Association coaches and a group of players from Githogoro Village in Runda on Saturday 13 January. He will later that afternoon attend the top of the table Kenya Cup clash between champions KCB and Menengai Cream Homeboyz at the KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka before conducting another clinic at a yet to be confirmed venue on Tuesday 16 January.
Quinlan was educated at Abbey CBS in Tipperary and worked for a motor dealer after leaving school.He began his rugby career with Clanwilliam FC. Quinlan moved from Clanwilliam to join Shannon U20s in 1994. He captained the Irish Youth Team against Scotland in 1993. He normally plays as a blindside flanker, but has also played openside, number eight and second row for Munster.
He began playing for Munster in 1996 and captained the youths team before becoming a regular in the first team. In May 2006 he made a comeback from a cruciate ligament injury earlier in the season to win both the AIB League Division 1 title with Shannon and the Heineken Cup with Munster after a late appearance from the bench in the Heineken Cup Final win over Biarritz in Cardiff. He captained the side from Number Eight in Munster’s upset victory over Ulster in Ravenhill in the 2007 Celtic League.
Quinlan was voted Man of the Match as Munster beat Toulouse 16–13 on 24 May 2008 to win the Heineken Cup for a second time. He was part of the Squad that won the 2008–09 Celtic League. In total he holds five league medals with Shannon, as well as two Heineken Cup medals and a Celtic League Medal with Munster. Quinlan won his 201st cap against Leinster, equalling Anthony Foley’s club record for caps, on 2 October 2010. He became Munster’s most capped player ever on 16 October 2010, against Toulon in the Heineken Cup.In the 2009–10 season he represented Munster 21 times, including all 8 of their 2010 Heineken Cup matches, often earning the Man of the Match award.
In April 2011, Quinlan officially announced his retirement from professional rugby, to be effective at the end of the 2010/11 season. He played his last game for Munster on 6 May 2011, against Connacht in the Celtic League, scoring a try to mark the end of his remarkable career and going off to a standing ovation from the Munster and Connacht supporters. He joined the Munster team at the 2011 Magners League Grand Final trophy presentation, celebrating Munster’s 19–9 victory over old rivals Leinster in Thomond Park.
Quinlan represented Ireland ‘A’ between 1998 and 2001 and made his senior debut for the Irish national team in October 1999, as a replacement in a Test against Romania. He played his first Six Nations match against Italy in 2001. He was a part of Ireland’s squad at the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia and scored two tries in the tournament before dislocating his shoulder scoring a vital try against Argentina in the pool stages, which ended his involvement. He was named in Ireland’s 2007 Rugby World Cup squad but did not make any appearances. Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan was widely criticised afterwards for not using his bench. Quinlan took his caps to a total of 27 by playing in the Autumn Internationals of 2008 against Canada and the All Blacks.
British and Irish Lions
On 21 April 2009, Quinlan was named in the squad for the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa.During Munster’s Heineken cup semi-final defeat to Leinster in May 2009, Quinlan was cited for making contact with the eye or eye area of Leinster captain Leo Cullen. The offence was deemed at the low range of seriousness and he received a 12 playing week ban until 9 September 2009.As a result, he missed the Lions tour to South Africa.
He was a co-commentator for ITV’s coverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He is a regular commentator with Sky Sports on their rugby coverage. He is a Rugby Correspondent for the Irish Independent newspaper and a TV Sports Presenter with the RTE Newstalk Breakfast Show.