Jack O’Donoghue Set For 200th Munster Appearance

Jack O’Donoghue Set For 200th Munster Appearance

Friday’s United Rugby Championship Round 17 clash with Edinburgh at Hive Stadium will see Jack O’Donoghue make his 200th appearance for the province.

In doing so, the Waterford man will become the youngest player to reach 200 appearances for Munster and also becomes the 14th player to achieve this landmark.

The 30-year-old is a product of the Munster youth’s system having previously captained his club side Waterpark to an U17 Munster title in 2011 and the year previous was part of the All Ireland winning Waterpark U17 side that defeated Enniscorthy in the decider.

In April 2012, he captained the Ireland U18 Club side against France and England, and then made his British and Irish Cup Munster A debut at 18 years of age against Rotherham Titans in December 2012 after featuring in the Munster U20s interprovincial series.

He featured for the Ireland U19s in 2013 before getting a call up to the U20s squad for the IRB Junior World Championship in France where he played against Fiji.

O’Donoghue captained the Munster U20s for the Interprovincial series in September 2013 and was selected for the Irish U20s squad in the 2014 Six Nations, starting in four games and picking up the player of the match award in the opening game against Scotland, scoring two tries.

O’Donoghue was named in the U20 Junior World Cup squad in June 2014 and captained the squad when they travelled to New Zealand for the tournament, playing in four games.

Jack made his Munster Rugby senior debut when coming off the bench for Robin Copeland after 57 minutes against Zebre in Thomond Park in September 2014 where he went on to make 10 senior appearances that season in addition to captaining the Munster ‘A’ squad throughout 2014/15.

O’Donoghue was awarded that Academy Player of the Year in 2015 before signing a three-year deal which began with making 26 appearances in the 2015/16 season.

That strong campaign led to Jack making his Ireland debut against Canada at the Aviva Stadium in the 2016 November Series and he signed a contract extension in March 2017 to bring him up until the end of the 2018/19 season.

O’Donoghue earned his second cap against Japan in 2017 before becoming the first Waterford man to captain Munster in the professional era in February 2018.

O’Donoghue made his 100th appearance for Munster in May 2019, a year after he suffered a knee ligament injury. A two-year contract extension signed that season brought him up until the end of the 2020/21 season.

The back-row made 40 appearances across the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons and signed another two year contract which saw him clock up the most minutes (1,638) out of anyone in the squad during the 2021/22 campaign. He was awarded the Munster player of the year that season and became the youngest player to reach 150 appearances for the province.

Another stellar season in 2022/23 saw O’Donoghue make 23 appearances as Munster won the URC title.

This season, an injury picked up against Connacht in January saw O’Donoghue miss out on a block of games but the back-row has returned in recent weeks putting in a number of excellent performances as the campaign reaches its climax.

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