Moss Keane

Ireland rugby legend Moss Keane has died at the age of 62.

Keane, a Kerryman, started his life as Gaelic footballer and played and won Sigerson Cup finals, and played for Kerry at under-21 level. But rugby, in Keane’s time the enemy of Gaelic Games, soon won over and he became an international lock forward, representing Ireland 51 times.

Keane’s career had many highlights. He was in the Ireland team that won the Triple Crown in 1982. He was in the Munster team that beat New Zealand in Thomond Park in 1978.

There were low-lights, too. He toured for the British and Irish Lions, but made just one appearance. In a pre-test game against New Zealand Universities he got what he described as “a dunt.” He was concussed and a doctor advised him not to play for three weeks. He was picked for the first game anyway and received a few kicks in the head while on the ground. “That ruined the tour for me, basically.”

A civil servant by trade, Keane was famous for his bonhomie and fun-loving side, but he was also a intelligent, observant man, as evidenced by his autobiography, called,” Rucks, Mauls and Gaelic Football”.

He was diagnosed with cancer in early 2009.