Willie Anderson (rugby union, born 1955)

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Willie Anderson (born 3 April 1955 in Sixmilecross, Northern Ireland) is a rugby union coach and former Ireland international. A lock, Anderson was capped 27 times for the national side between 1984 and 1990, some of which as captain. [1] In one notable appearance as captain against the All Blacks, Anderson led his side into a confrontation with their opponents whilst they were performing the haka. [2]


While on a 1980 tour in Buenos Aires, Anderson was imprisoned for three months by the Argentinian authorities after attempting to smuggle a flag from a government building. He was later cleared of "demeaning a patriotic symbol". [3]

In a memorable moment, Anderson along with his French rugby counterpart Jean Condom, unwittingly became the subject of an amusing banner spotted by TV cameras in the crowd during a 5 Nations rugby match at Landsdowne Road in Ireland's championship campaign of 1985. The banner proudly read 'Our Willie's bigger than your Condom!' Incidentally the match ended 15-15. Willie is also the father of fashion designer Jonathan Anderson a.k.a. J.W.Anderson.

He attended Omagh Academy.


After retiring he became assistant coach of Leinster and later the Scottish national team, both under head coach Matt Williams. After a spell as a full-time physical education teacher and rugby coach at Grosvenor Grammar School and later at Sullivan Upper School, Anderson was appointed head coach of Rainey Old Boys in July 2007. [4]

Anderson coaches Coolmine R.F.C.'s senior first XV. They play in Division 1 of the Leinster League. [5] On 22 March 2011, Willie Anderson led Sullivan Upper School to their second Medallion Shield Victory defeating Limavady Grammar School 17-0.

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  1. "Anderson given Scots role". BBC News . 28 May 2004. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  2. "Anderson bucks the trend". BBC Sport . 15 November 2001. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  3. "NZ tour in turmoil: 6 other tours hit by trouble". The Daily Telegraph . 19 June 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  4. "Anderson takes over at Rainey OB". BBC Sport . 17 July 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  5. "Anderson takes over at Coolmine". 4 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.