Sunday 25 August 2019

Where are they now? Philip Orr (Born December 14, 1950)

A sideways look at rugby from our writing team of Tony Ward

AS A ball carrying prop forward Phil Orr was way ahead of his time.

Educated at The High School in Rathgar, he first came to representative notice with Leinster Schools, making it through to the provincial senior side in 1974.

His performances for Leinster and the Combined Universities (while at Trinity) against Andy Leslie's All Blacks had the desired effect and within 18 months he had achieved his first Ireland international cap against France in Paris.

It signalled the start of a remarkable run that saw him make 49 successive appearances in Ireland's front line, marking him out as one of the most durable forwards of his or any other generation.

Orr's international career spanned 12 seasons (1976-'87). During this time he accumulated 58 caps, as well as making successive Lions tours (1977 and 1980), lining out in the first test in New Zealand in '77.

The quarter-final defeat to Australia at the inaugural World Cup in '87 marked the end of an outstanding career.

Orr's attention then focused more firmly on Old Wesley, the club he has represented as player and administrator for over 30 years.

Based in Dublin, he continues to be the Donnybrook club's representative to the Executive Committee of the Leinster Branch where he sits on both the Coaching and Professional Game's steering committees, as well as performing the dual role of Chairman and Manager to the province's U-21s.

International Rugby Newsletter

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

Just this past week he has overseen one of the most satisfying victories achieved by the province in recent seasons when the U-21s lifted the provincial title in fine style, eclipsing Munster in foul conditions at Dubarry Park.

His input to underage development, specifically at this critical level, has been considerable with Coach Greg Lynch highlighting that contribution in the immediate aftermath of the U-21 success. "I would particularly like to acknowledge Philip Orr for the immense contribution that he has made over the last five years or so. I know that this win is hugely satisfying for him as well as for everyone else involved."

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport