RPI Announce Latest Hall of Fame Inductees
November 10, 2023 1:00 pm Site Editor
Rugby Players Ireland today welcomed Alison Miller and Shane Horgan into the Rugby Players Ireland Hall of Fame where they joined the likes of Keith Wood (2004), Ronan O’Gara (2016), Brian O’Driscoll (2018) and Fiona Coghlan (2022) in an illustrious list of previous inductees.
Miller and Horgan were joined at the InterContinental Dublin Hotel on Friday by their family, friends and many of their former teammates.
A Feared Force: Alison Miller
A feature on the Irish wing for almost a decade, Alison Miller’s name will forever be associated with some of the greatest moments in Irish Rugby history.
One of the game’s great finishers, it was Miller’s hat-trick of tries in a first-ever win over England that teed up the victorious Grand Slam campaign of 2013, while she will always be remembered for her contribution to Ireland’s historic pool triumph over New Zealand in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
With 24 tries in 47 international appearances, encompassing another Six Nations title in 2015, Miller was a feared presence in the XVs game whether it was for Portlaoise, Old Belvedere, Connacht or Ireland.
A Laois native, she is the daughter of Laois GAA legend Bobby Miller, and her sporting abilities were honed as she traversed numerous disciplines including the Sevens game, becoming one of Ireland’s go-to players when they burst onto the World Sevens Series circuit in 2013.
In a lovely moment for the Miller family, in 2019, in the Women’s Interpro Final, Miller faced off against younger sister Grace as the two Old Belvedere players chased interpro glory, with Leinster holding on for a 25-12 win at the Donnybrook venue.
Upon hearing of her induction, the PE and History teacher at Athy College said: “As I reflect on my rugby journey, I am filled with gratitude. I consider it an honour and a privilege to have had the opportunity to represent my country on the international stage for 10 years. To do so alongside those who would become some of my best friends makes it all the sweeter.
“It wasn’t always easy. There have been many challenges and injuries to go along with the triumphs, but through it all, my husband Alan, my family, and my friends have been constant sources of reason and support. Thank you for the memories, the camaraderie, and those special moments that will live with me for the rest of my life.”
A Legacy of Iconic Moments: Shane Horgan
Forced into retirement by injury in 2012, Shane Horgan packed a huge amount into his 13-year professional rugby career.
Having made his Leinster debut against Ulster in 1998, Horgan played an integral role for the province over the ensuing years as the side scaled the heights of domestic and European rugby. He became the first Leinster player to reach 200 caps and in so doing claimed two Celtic League titles and two Heineken Cups.
The Boyne RFC club man, is still to this day Leinster Rugby’s leading all-time try scorer and his contribution to the game in the 12 counties is honoured with the BearingPoint Shane Horgan Cup which is played for annually between the five competing Area sides of the Leinster club player pathway.
Horgan’s powerful presence also extended to the international stage, earning 65 caps for Ireland. He played a pivotal role in the Triple Crown successes of 2004 and 2006, while his iconic try against England at Croke Park in 2007 will live long in the memory.
As well as representing Ireland in the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups, Horgan also toured New Zealand with the Lions in 2005, contributing as a replacement in all three Tests.
Reflecting on his Hall of Fame induction, Horgan said: “I am deeply honoured to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Setting out on my rugby career I had no idea what the future might hold but immediately found myself surrounded by teammates whose talent and ambition were unprecedented.
“I consider myself extremely fortunate that my career coincided with a remarkable era of playing talent in Ireland. This recognition is testament to those teammates for both Leinster and Ireland as well as all my coaches and the wider rugby community.
“I am so grateful to have an incredible family and wife who have inspired and supported me at every turn. Most of all, this recognition honours my parents John and Ursula, who, from the first day I picked up a rugby ball, have provided limitless encouragement and unwavering support.
“Thank you, Rugby Players Ireland, for this incredible acknowledgement – and to the game for shaping my life in ways I could have never imagined.”
Simon Keogh, CEO at Rugby Players Ireland, stated that both Miller and Horgan will be remembered as two of the greatest players in Irish rugby history.
“It is a privilege to welcome Alison Miller and Shane Horgan into the Rugby Players Ireland Hall of Fame. However, we not only celebrate their remarkable achievements on the field, we are also recognising their respective trail-blazing journeys that saw them scale the heights of the game against the odds.
“Their dedication, skill and many memorable contributions served to inspire new generations of rugby players across the country.”
LIST OF RUGBY PLAYERS IRELAND HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
2003 Mick Galwey, Peter Clohessy
2004 Keith Wood, Paddy Johns
2005 Eric Elwood
2006 Jeremy Davidson
2007 Victor Costello
2008 David Humphreys
2009 Anthony Foley
2010 Girvan Dempsey
2011 Malcolm O’Kelly
2012 John Hayes
2013 Denis Hickie
2014 Simon Best
2015 David Wallace
2016 Ronan O’Gara
2017 Geordan Murphy
2018 Brian O’Driscoll
2019 Conor O’Shea
2020 Gordon D’Arcy
2022 Fiona Coghlan, Tommy Bowe