Limerick rugby international dies aged 46

Former international rugby player Tom Tierney who has died at the age of 46.

WELL-known Limerick sportsman Tom Tierney, who died last night at the age of 46, was a former Irish rugby international and head coach of the Ireland women’s team.

The scrum-half, who was capped eight times for Ireland and started four games at the 1999 World Cup, played his club rugby in Limerick with Richmond and Garryowen before moving on to represent Munster.

He also played for Connacht, Galwegians and Leicester Tigers before embarking on a highly successful coaching career with Garryowen and Cork Constitution. He  took charge of the Ireland Club International squad in 2013 and was named head coach of the Ireland women’s team in 2014.

He also worked with the Irish men’s Under-20 and U-19 teams.

He has been employed as an IRFU national talent coach at Munster Rugby’s high performance centre at the University of Limerick since 2021, working with the province’s academy and national talent squad players.

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Munster Rugby chief executive Ian Flanagan expressed deepest condolences to the late Mr Tierney’s wife Mary, daughters Isabel and Julia, and the wider Tierney family.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by Tom’s sudden passing. A great servant to Munster and Irish Rugby, he will be dearly missed. The younger players and his colleagues in the high performance centre enjoyed working closely with Tom each day as he brought a great energy and unique personality to his role, always ensuring the future of Munster Rugby was in safe hands,” Mr Flanagan added.

Among the many online tributes was one from Ireland rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll who made his international debut alongside Tom Tierney against Australia in Brisbane in June 1999.

“Such awful news to hear this morning. Received our first caps together. Love to Mary and his girls. May he rest in peace,” the former Irish captain wrote.