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About the book
  • Published: 15 March 2017
  • ISBN: 9781848272262
  • Imprint: Transworld Ireland
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $19.99

Donal Lenihan

My Life in Rugby




The hard-hitting and forthright autobiography of the Cork Con, Munster, Ireland and Lions rugby legend - a number one bestseller.

As player, manager, and pundit, Donal Lenihan has seen it all in the world of rugby - and done much of it too. A victorious captain of Munster Junior and Senior Schools, he went on to skipper the Ireland team at the inaugural Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 1987 and was a fixture in the second row for over a decade, winning two Triple Crowns and three Five Nations championships. Selected for three British & Irish Lions tours, he was famous for skippering the unbeaten side nicknamed 'Donal's Doughnuts', before taking charge of both Ireland and the Lions as manager.

From such a stellar position at the heart of the rugby world, Donal Lenihan has a wealth of stories to tell from both on and off the pitch, from raucous antics on tour to the sometimes difficult fellowship of players in a time of Troubles. He delves deeply into Cork and Munster culture and the influence on his career of his family. And as a much-respected analyst, Donal is also not short on voicing his opinion on the rights and wrongs of the modern game, and how the transition from the amateur to the professional era has affected the heart and soul of rugby.

Full of wit, insight and emotional sincerity, this is a rugby book for the ages by a sporting great.

  • Pub date: 15 March 2017
  • ISBN: 9781848272262
  • Imprint: Transworld Ireland
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Donal Lenihan

Donal Lenihan was born in Cork on 12 September 1959 and educated at Christian Brothers School and UCC, leading rugby teams at all age levels, including Ireland schools, and winning multiple honours. A loyal servant of Cork Constitution and Munster, Lenihan won the first of his 52 senior Ireland caps against Australia in November 1981, at the age of 22, and played in eleven Five Nations championships and two World Cups, captaining his country 17 times, before playing his final Test match against Wales in January 1992. He went on to manage both Ireland and the British & Irish Lions and is now a much-respected commentator and analyst of the game for RTE and columnist with the Irish Examiner.


Praise for Donal Lenihan

“Always a writer of authority, Lenihan tells his story in the careful, meticulous way that any readers of his columns will recognise. There's a steel to him that shines through here, whether dealing with the political situation in Ireland during his playing days or the dreadful tragedies that robbed him of two of his children at an early age.”

Irish Times, Sports Books of the Year

“Always a writer of authority, Lenihan tells his story in the careful, meticulous way that any readers of his columns will recognise. There's a steel to him that shines through here, whether dealing with the political situation in Ireland during his playing days or the dreadful tragedies that robbed him of two of his children at an early age.”

Irish Times, Sports Books of the Year

“Particularly good on Ireland's Triple Crown teams of the 1980s, Lenihan is also revealing about his varied experiences with the Lions as player and manager.”

Sunday Times, Sports Books of the Year

“Full of wit, insight and emotional sincerity, this is a fine rugby book by a sporting great.”

RTE Radio 1, Today Show

“An enjoyable and engaging read... offers both a cold and affectionate eye on all aspects of the game.”

Kieran Shannon, Irish Examiner

“I wholeheartedly recommend it... a brilliant achievement.”

Ger Gilroy, Newstalk, Off the Ball

“Lenihan's eventful life makes a colourful read.”

Rugby World, Book of the Month

“A true icon of Irish rugby.”

Mail on Sunday

“Charts an epochal time in the game when it moved from amateur to professional and typically doesn’t pull his punches.”

RTE Guide


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