Tony Ward (rugby union)

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Tony Ward
Personal information
Full nameAnthony Joseph Patrick Ward
Born (1954-10-09) 9 October 1954 (age 65)
Dublin, Ireland
Playing information
1975–1982 Munster
1982–1984 Leinster
1978–1987 Ireland 19113
1980 British and Irish Lions 118
19xx–19xx Barbarians

Anthony Joseph Patrick Ward (born 8 October 1954, Dublin, Ireland), commonly referred to as Tony Ward, is an Irish former rugby union and football player during the 1970s and 1980s. He played rugby as a fly-half for, among others, Munster, Leinster, Ireland, the British and Irish Lions and the Barbarians. Ward was selected 1979 European rugby player of the year.


Playing career


Ward won 19 caps for Ireland between 1978 and 1987. He made his international debut against Scotland at Lansdowne Road on 21 January 1978 at the age of 23. He helped Ireland win 12-9 and during the 1978 Five Nations Championship he scored 38 points, a record for a debutant. He made one major tour with Ireland, to Australia in 1979. During his career as an Ireland international he scored 113 points, including 29 penalties, 7 conversions and 4 drop goals. He played his last game for Ireland on 3 June 1987 in a 32–9 win over Tonga during the 1987 Rugby World Cup.


Ward also inspired Munster to a legendary win over New Zealand, scoring two drop goals and a conversion in a 12–0 victory at Thomond Park on 31 October 1978. To date Munster are the only Irish provincial men's team ever to beat the All-Blacks.

British and Irish Lions

Ward also played one Test game for the British and Irish Lions during the 1980 South Africa tour. He set a Lions Test record by scoring 18 points, including 5 penalties and a drop goal. It was also a record for any player against South Africa.


Ward was the first ever recipient of a European Rugby Player Of The Year award for his performances in the 1979 Five Nations Championship. [1]

Association football

Senior career*
1973–1975 Shamrock Rovers ? (?)
1981–1982 Limerick 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Ward also played association football for both Shamrock Rovers and Limerick United. In his last season with Rovers, 1974–75 he scored 6 league goals. He played for Limerick United in the 1981-82 UEFA Cup and in 1982 he helped them win the FAI Cup. [2]

Later years


Since retiring as a sportsman, Ward has worked as a sports journalist, most notably with the Irish Independent , and as a rugby commentator for Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ).

Ward started as a co-commentator for the 1988 Five Nations Championship, and remained in that role for many years.

While playing rugby he had been a geography and PE teacher in St Andrews secondary school.


Ward is currently involved in St. Gerards School in Bray, where he is coaching the Senior Rugby team and has been doing so for a number of years now.

Tony was, during the '90's, a highly valued and well respected coach for St Andrews School in Booterstown, Ireland. He constantly downplayed his fame and success and wouldn't even be in the room if another coach played video footage of his legendary tries.


Association football

See also

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  1. "Tony Ward: O'Driscoll award snub one of sport's great injustices". Irish Independent. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  2. (subscription required)


by John Scally, Blackwater Press, 1993