Former Ireland international Jerry Holland dies aged 66

Holland earned three national caps and lined out for both Munster and Leinster

Jerry Holland, a huge figure in both Cork Constitution and Munster rugby, has died at the age of 66 after an illness.

Confirming the news on their website, Munster described him as “a legend of rugby in Munster. Jerry excelled as a player, coach, team manager and administrator.”

Born in Cork, Holland played in the second-row for UCC, Cork Constitution and Munster, and later Wanderers and Leinster after moving to Dublin.

He won three Ireland caps, making his debut away to South Arica in May 1981 in Cape Town and playing in the second Test a week later in Durban, both times alongside Brendan Foley, before being recalled in 1986 for the Five Nations game against Wales alongside his long-time friend Donal Lenihan.


Holland became Munster’s head coach for three seasons from 1994–95 until 1996–97, overseeing the province’s transition from amateur to professional rugby and their entry into the Heineken Cup. During that time, Munster won the Interprovincial Championship twice, in 1994–95 and 1996–97, and won all of their home Heineken Cup games.

Ahead of the 1997–98 season, Holland chose to became part of Munster’s coaching staff under new head coach John Bevan, as well as becoming the Ireland A manager for the 1998–99 season.

As Munster manager from 2000 until 2008, he signed off with their Heineken Cup triumphs in 2006 and 2008, and outside of rugby Holland worked for EBS.

He was Director of Rugby at his beloved Cork Constitution since 2010 and also served as the club’s President in 2016. His son, Billy, won 247 caps for Munster and emulated his father when playing for Ireland in their win over Canada in November 2016.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times