Former Leinster Rugby, Ireland and British & Irish Lions winger, Niall Brophy has died aged 87.

Brophy also played for UCD RFC, Blackrock College RFC, London Irish RFC and also represented the Barbarians in an illustrious career.

The Dublin born winger was also a noted athlete winning national underage schools and collegiate titles over 100 and 220 yards, but it’s with the oval ball in hand that he excelled captaining Blackrock to the 1954 Leinster Rugby Schools Senior Cup against Tony O’Reilly’s Belvedere College.

He is pictured below, in November 1962, third from the left, back row, lining out with the rest of the Leinster Rugby squad ahead of their game against Munster Rugby.

Brophy won the first of his 20 Irish caps in 1957 against France, scoring on his debut, and was selected on two British & Irish Lions tours although injury denied him any Test appearances on the first tour in 1959 to Australia and New Zealand.

He was not to be denied on the subsequent tour to South Africa, winning two Test caps in 1962.

Following his playing career, he was president of the Leinster Rugby Branch (1981-1982), Blackrock College RFC (1985-1986) and was also the IRFU president (1997-1998).

His contribution to rugby was acknowledged far and wide as he was inducted into the Rugby Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame in 2003, the Leinster Rugby Hall of Fame in 2011 (pictured above receiving his award from Rory Sheridan, Guinness) and he was named in UCD’s ‘Team of the Century’.

His legacy in his club, Blackrock College RFC, is also secure as their refurbished and state of the art gym was opened in 2018 and was renamed the Niall Brophy Gym in honour of one of their favourite sons.

You can read more about his time and his love for the Stradbrook Road club HERE. 

His wife Mary Rachel and children David, Cara, Harry, Marie-Elena, Niamh and Rachel are all very much in our thoughts as are his wide network of family and friends.

May Niall rest in peace.

Funeral details can be found HERE.