Friday 18 October 2019

'You'd have to invite Rog to add some bit of sensibility to the mix'

My Munster: Len Dinneen

Former Limerick Live95 rugby commentator Len Dinneen interviewing Paul O'Connell in 2011. Len still presents his music show 'Sounds Easy' on Saturday and Sunday nights. Photo: Sportsfile
Former Limerick Live95 rugby commentator Len Dinneen interviewing Paul O'Connell in 2011. Len still presents his music show 'Sounds Easy' on Saturday and Sunday nights. Photo: Sportsfile

1. What was your first Munster Rugby match?

The first game I did as a commentator for Limerick's Live95 was Castres against Munster in 1995. The match was moved to a place called Mazamet, and before the match it was a lovely, sedate ground. Come match-time, it was hugely intimidating and us in the press box even got the brunt of it.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

2. What Munster game sticks out in your memory and why?

The 2000 Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulouse in Bordeaux. That Toulouse side was incredible. For the captain's run I remember Peter Clohessy getting off the coach with the socks rolled down and a cigarette in his mouth. Toulouse were polished outfit in immaculate club gear, but in 32 degrees Munster played the most scintillating rugby and beat them 31-25.

3. What current Munster player do you looking forward to watching?

Keith Earls. You saw him against Japan how he saved the try at the end. He hasn't lost his pace and hopefully we'll see him at his best in the coming months.

4. Describe the most memorable Munster score you've seen?

Ronan O'Gara against Toulouse in 2000. From inside the 22, Stringer to O'Gara to Jason 'Dutchy' Holland. Holland broke well and after 11 sets of Munster hands O'Gara scored under the posts.

International Rugby Newsletter

Rugby insights and commentary from our renowned journalists like Neil Francis, Will Slattery, Alan Quinlan & Cian Tracey.

5. You're given a blank cheque to sign any player in the world. Who would it be?

Beauden Barrett. He's equally comfortable at out-half, 12 or full-back. He is very versatile and an elite talent.

6. Earliest rugby memory?

I played Junior and Senior Cup in the same season for Crescent College when I was 15-and-a-half. We lost the senior final to a Pres team who had three fellas that went on to be Lions: Tommy Kiernan, Jerry Walsh and Pat McGrath.

7. Where do you sit or stand in Thomond Park?

I was at the famous All Blacks game, where I sat with my wife in the back of the stand. But the front row of the press box was always my seat. My son Len was co-commentator with me for ten years. Never once did he slip up and call me Dad on air!

8. Which overseas player that represented the province is or was your favourite?

John Langford. He made a huge impact on the next generation of Munster second-rows. Donncha O'Callaghan and Paul O'Connell both point to his influence on their careers.

9. What is your favourite away ground?

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. I was on commentary duty there in 2002 when Leicester were the better team. I was there again in 2006 when Anthony Foley lifted the cup, and in 2008 when they won it again.

10. What player from another Irish province do you admire?

Connacht's Jack Carty. I think he is going to have a great career. He has worked so hard to succeed and he makes the rush defence think twice.

11. What is your favourite Munster jersey and what does it remind you of?

When I played the jerseys were big thick things. When it rained, they were a stone heavier. That's what I remember.

12. What team in any other sport other than Munster Rugby do you follow?

I'm a Manchester United fan. I'm very confident that the good times are just around the corner.

13. What game in Munster's history would you love to go back to and attend?

The game that started it all was against Saracens in Vicarage Road in 1999-2000. They had Francois Pienaar on that team, but Stringer hauled him down in full stride. Munster won by one point over there and then beat them again in Thomond by one point.

14. You have one wish for Munster this season. What is it?

I was very impressed with the Munster backs against Dragons. I really hope Stephen Larkham can help introduce adventurous rugby again. I have a good feeling about it.

15. Invite three Munster players past or present to dinner. Who would you bring?

Peter Clohessy, Mick Galwey and Ronan O'Gara. You'd have to invite Rog to add some bit of sensibility to the mix. To put it politely, the other two have no filter.

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: Welcome to Irish rugby's biggest week - is an upset on the cards?

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport