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Craig Gilroy (born 11 March 1991) is an Irish rugby union player from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He plays wing for Ulster and for Ireland.[1] Gilroy made headlines with his try-scoring exploits in the defeat of Munster in the April 2012 Heineken Cup quarter final. He also took part in the semi final against Edinburgh with which Ulster went through to the Heineken Cup final, winning 22–19.[2] He scored a hat trick of tries against Italy in the Stadio Olympico in a convincing 63-10 win for Ireland in the 2017 six nations.

Date of birth (1991-03-11) 11 March 1991 (age 28)
Place of birthBelfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight93 kg (14 st 9 lb; 205 lb)
SchoolMethodist College Belfast
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing / Fullback
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Dungannon (175)
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2010– Ulster 168 (300)
Correct as of 31 October 2015
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Ireland U20
Emerging Ireland
Ireland Wolfhounds
Correct as of 11 February 2017

Early lifeEdit

Gilroy is the middle of five children and was brought up in Bangor, County Down in Northern Ireland before moving to Belfast upon becoming part of the first team. He was educated and boarded at Methodist College Belfast. He twice won the Ulster Schools' Cup with Methodist College Belfast, scoring several tries in his final year as the school won the cup two years running.[3]


In 2010 Gilroy was promoted to the Ulster Rugby first team. Gilroy scored 8 tries during the 2010–11 Celtic League. Gilroy burst onto the scene and scored his first two tries of the 2010–11 season in a match against the Cardiff Blues which Ulster won 37–15. Gilroy again scored twice the next game against Benetton Treviso when Ulster rugby won 19–9. He then made his tally to 5 tries when he scored against Leinster rugby but it was not good enough and Leinster won 30–13. He was ruled out for two games with an injury but scored a try against Cardiff Blues to make him known a young talent. He scored once again in the 23–10 win over Aironi. During the 2010–11 season, Gilroy's club, Dungannon RFC, came fifth.

In 2011–12 he scored his first try against Aironi, and then scored against Connacht Rugby in a 22–3 win. He then scored in a 30–12 win over Newport Gwent Dragons to have his Pro12 try number at 3. He also scored 3 times in the Heineken Cup. He scored tries in pool play against Aironi and Leicester Tigers. Gilroy made the news with the try that gave Ulster a 22–16 win in the quarterfinals against Munster at Thomond Park to send Ulster through to the Heineken Cup semi final.[4] This try won him the IRUPA award in 2012. He also played in Ulster's 42–14 loss to Leinster in the 2012 Heineken Cup final. Gilroy was also nominated for Irish Young Player of the Year for the 2011–12 season, but that award went to Munster back row Peter O’Mahony. He was also named Ulster young player of the year. Dungannon RFC made a big improvement in 2011–12 season finishing in third place.

Early during the 2012–13 season, Gilroy signed a three-year contract extension to remain with Ulster until summer 2016.[5] In February 2015 he earned his 100th cap for Ulster in a 43–3 win over Treviso, scoring two tries in a Man of the Match performance.[6]


During the Ireland Six nations campaign in 2012, Gilroy was called up to train with the six additional youngsters alongside Fionn Carr, Jack McGrath, Ian Nagle, Peter O'Mahony and Tiernan O'Halloran.

On 29 May 2012, Gilroy was selected for the 2012 mid-year (non-cap) friendly with the Barbarians. This was his first game for Ireland. Gilroy scored his first international try on 15 minutes. Gilroy later put Ireland ahead with a try on 65 minutes. The Barbarians went on to win the match.[7]

On 17 November 2012, Gilroy scored a hat-trick of tries for Ireland in a non-test match against Fiji at Thomond Park.[8] On 24 November 2012, Gilroy was selected for the test against Argentina, scoring the opening try on his test debut in a 46–24 win.[9]

He was selected in the Ireland team to face Wales in the opening match of the 2013 Six Nations Championship in Cardiff.[10]

On 11 Feb 2017, Gilroy came on as a substitute for Ireland against Italy in Rome and he scored a hat-trick of tries.[11]


  1. ^ Ulster Rugby player profile Archived 5 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ O Hara, Victoria (11 April 2012). "Craig Gilroy: Young winger who has Ulster fans dreaming of Heineken Cup glory". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Methody cruise it". 9 February 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Munster 16–22 Ulster". ESPN. 8 April 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  5. ^, Gilroy Pens Three-Year Ulster Deal, 21 November 2012, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Pro12: Ulster 43-3 Treviso". BBC Sport. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Barbarians 29–28 Ireland". BBC Sport. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Ireland XV 53–0 Fiji". BBC Sport. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Ireland show no mercy against Pumas". ESPN. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Craig Gilroy earns first tournament start against Wales". BBC Sport. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  11. ^ Whooley, Declan (11 February 2017). "Nine-try Ireland demolish feeble Italy in Rome". Retrieved 5 April 2018.

External linksEdit