Ireland's 2007 U20s Grand Slamers: Where are they now?

Ireland's 2007 U20s Grand Slamers: Where are they now?

The year is 2007 and although Ireland's senior side came second in the men's Six Nations claiming a Triple Crown, the u21s have impressed Grand Slamming the u21 Six Nations and claimed a Triple Crown.

The team from 13 years ago was packed with stars of the future, who did not disappoint. The likes Cian Healy, Felix Jones and Keith Earls all started the final game against Italy with Sean O’Brien in squad as well.

Led by Eric Elwood, the side beat Wales 15-17, France 19-16, England 13-6, Scotland 8-31 and finally Itlay 25-36.

We take a look at where the starting XV who won the final game are now.

15. Felix Jones

Jones scored a try in the final game of the U21 Six Nations and would go onto represent Ireland at the highest level during 2011 Rugby World Cup warm-ups against Scotland.

His career was cut short in 2015 when he was forced to retire from all rugby due to a neck injury. He moved into coaching after 13 tests for Ireland. He was Technical and Backs coach for Munster until 2019 when he joined Rassie Erasmus' coaching staff for the Rugby World Cup, which South Africa ultimately won.

He is currently a European-based coaching consultant with the South African national team.

14. Shane Monahan

Monahan hung up his boots in 2015 after stints with Leinster, Connacht, Rotherham, Gloucester and Munster.

Before his retirement, Monahan released his a music app called 'The Limor App'.

13. Darren Cave

Another try scorer on the day, Darren Cave would go on to represent the Irish Wolfhounds and Ireland making 11 appearances for both sides.

He made a huge impact at Ulster for well over a decade making well over 200 appearances for the Province and become a legend at Ravenhill before announcing his retirement at the end of the 2018/19 season. 

12. Aidan Wynne

Wynne would play for Connacht until 2011 making 20 appearances for the Province before ending his professional career.

11. Keith Earls

Earls has become a mainstay in both the Munster and Ireland starting XVs for well over a decade.

He has made over 80 appearances for Ireland since his debut in 2008, went on Tour with the Lions in 2009 and has been one of the most consistent players in Ireland for some time.

10. Ian Keatley

After scoring over 1 000 points for Munster between 2011 and 2018 Keatley left the Province he joined from Connacht to join Italian side Benetton ahead of the 2019/20 season.

Keatley made his senior debut for Ireland during their 2009 Summer Tour to North America against Canada and earned a further 6 caps while also playing for Emerging Ireland and the Irish Wolfhounds.

9. Paul O’Donohoe

After 16 appearances for Leinster between 2008 and 2011, O'Donohoe left his native Province to join Connacht.

There he would play 54 times before he was among a number of Connacht players to not have their contracts renewed.

1. Cian Healy

Healy is fast approaching his 100th test cap for Ireland after he made his international debut in the test against Australia at Croke Park back in 2009.

With well over 200 appearances for Leinster, Healy is one of the most decorated Irish players having been a pivotal cog in the Leinster and Ireland pack since 2007.

2. Richard Sweeney

Sweeney joined Coventry but was released from the club in 2009 to enable him to return home and take up a university place for a medical degree course at St Mary’s College in Dublin.

3. Jamie Hagan

Hagan is now a well-travelled tighthead prop having played in the Premiership, PRO14, PROD2 and Super Rugby.

He earned one test cap for Ireland against the USA and represented the likes of Leinster, Connacht, London Irish, Melbourne Rebels and currently Béziers in France.

4. Conor McInerney

McInerney was forced to retired at the age of 24 after a troubling knee injury that deteriorated to a point where he is unable to continue playing.

He joined Ospreys and made five appearances for the side after joining from Leinster in 2009 before retiring in 2011.

5. Andrew Browne

A Connacht native Andrew Browne and made his debut for the senior side in April 2007 and went on to make over 150 appearances for his home province.

He was at the heart of the development of Connacht Rugby for over a decade and was a central figure in Connacht’s PRO12 Championship-winning campaign in 2016.

After 11 years in the senior squad, Browne announced his retirement in 2019 and is now the head coach of Galwegians.



6. Thomas Anderson

Anderson featured for Ulster, the Ealing Trailfinders and Connacht but has since stopped playing professional rugby.

7. Kevin Sheahan

Kevin Sheahan represented Ireland at U-18, U-19 and was part of the Leinster Academy and is still turning out for Cork Constitution FC.

8. David Pollock

The captain of the side, Pollock was forced to retire from rugby at 23 due to a hip injury.

He has since pursued a career in medicine after making 45 appearances for Ulster between 2007 and 10

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