Ireland's 2009 Grand Slam heroes: Where are they now? 2 years ago

Ireland's 2009 Grand Slam heroes: Where are they now?

Ireland ended a 61-year wait for their Grand Slam in 2009 with a dramatic two-point win over Wales in Cardiff.

It had everything. 'Tommy Boweeeeeeeee', one of the most iconic pieces of commentary in Irish Rugby history. Ronan O'Gara's drop goal gave Ireland a late lead before Stephen Jones missed a late penalty to give Ireland the win.

The Grand Slam was the crowning jewel for a fleet of great Irish Rugby players that had fell short at international level over the previous years.

Ireland had won various Triple Crowns under Eddie O'Sullivan but the 2007 Rugby World Cup was a black cloud that followed many players on that squad until it evaporated in the 2009 championship.

Rob Kearney and Rory Best are the sole survivors from that squad and both will feature again against Wales this weekend but where are the rest of those players now?

15. Rob Kearney - Has retained his place at full-back for the match, and for much of the decade, as he has fended off all comers to win another three Six Nations championships. Has a slender shot at a fifth Six Nations crown should Scotland defeat England and should Ireland down Wales.

14. Tommy Bowe - Second on the list for Ireland's all-time leading try scorer and scored his most memorable try in this game a decade ago.

Retired only last year and has transitioned into television with a presenter role on both eir Sport's PRO14 coverage and Getaway.

13. Brian O'Driscoll - A try scorer on the day and one of the greatest rugby players to ever tie up a pair of boots. The Grand Slam was O'Driscoll's best honour with Ireland and the former captain has since transitioned into a prominent punditry career with BT Sport and Off The Ball as well as helping create documentaries with his Shoulder to Shoulder airing on BT.


Has also invested in a joint venture with tech investor Ray Nolan, where the two are overseeing the growth of the Ultimate Rugby App and website.

12. Gordon D'Arcy - The former World Player of the Year nominee retired in 2015 but stays involved with the game through his Irish Times column as well as providing punditry services for Champions Cup matches.

Also runs a Pilates school with Aoife Cogan called Form School and may dabble in coaching this year.

11. Luke Fitzgerald - Retired in 2016 after years battling injuries but has become a prominent media member in Irish Rugby and regularly provides commentary in both the PRO14 and Champions Cup as well as offering his views on his podcast The Left Wing.

10. Ronan O'Gara - The hero on the day in Cardiff and a player that has made incredible strides since entering the coaching world with a highly successful spell with Racing before he joined the Super Rugby winning Crusaders last year. Also serves as a television pundit with Virgin Media.

9. Tomas O'Leary - O'Leary was supplanted by Conor Murray after the 2009 Six Nations but the former Munster scrum-half bounced around with London Irish for a few years before returning to Munster and then for a brief stint with Montpellier in the 2016/17 season.


O'Leary launched a watch company with his wife Julie called Told & Co with the company striking a deal with leading Cork jewellers, Keanes, last year.

8. Jamie Heaslip - Heaslip retired last year after playing his last ever game of professional rugby in this fixture in 2017 but the former Leinster number eight has been an entrepreneur for most of this decade with various investments in pubs, website and restaurants keeping him very busy.

Has also stepped into the punditry sphere with Channel 4 among others.

7. David Wallace - The longtime Munster stalwart very recently stepped into punditry this year with Virgin Media but has had a steady post-rugby career and was appointed Bank Of Ireland's business development manager for the Munster region in 2017.

Wallace also opened MrSimms Olde Sweet Shoppe in the Crescent Shopping Centre in Limerick.

6. Stephen Ferris - Stepped away from the game in 2014 after a sustained battle with injury but has since established himself as one of the leading pundits in rugby with work for the BBC and Sky Sports.

Wrote an autobiography and is also the CEO of Ferrosity Limited, his holding company.

5. Paul O'Connell - Ireland's talisman has moved into coaching since his retirement from rugby in 2016 and has done some work with the Munster Academy and the Ireland U20s.


Moved to Paris last year where he now serves as an assistant coach with Stade Francais.

4. Donncha O'Callaghan - Played for nearly another decade after the Grand Slam win and has since made the transition into the media with his column with The Times, his punditry work with eir Sport and other platforms as well as taking part in television shows like Ireland's Fittest Family.

3. John Hayes - The Bull was one of Irish Rugby's most recognisable figures of the last decade but Hayes has since retired to a more secluded life with his farm in Cappamore, Co. Limerick.

Occasionally will do some punditry work as a guest and also helps out with the Rearing To Go charity.

2. Jerry Flannery - Like O'Gara and O'Connell, Flannery has also made his way into the coaching sphere and is currently serving as an assistant coach with Munster under Johan van Graan.

Away from the pitch, he is the force behind Flannery’s Bar in Limerick and one of the original investors in Maximum Media.

1. Marcus Horan - TG4's pitchside commentator and Munster Rugby's Player Development Manager.

Horan also lectures at Limerick IT in the Higher Certificate in Sports Development in Arts in Sports Development & Coaching.