Malcolm O'Kelly (born 19 July 1974) is an Irish former rugby union player who played as a lock for Ireland and Leinster.

Malcolm O'Kelly
O'Kelly signing autographs at the RDS, November 2009
Birth nameMalcolm O'Kelly
Date of birth (1974-07-19) 19 July 1974 (age 45)
Place of birthChelmsford, Essex, England
Height2.03 m (6 ft 8 in)
Weight119 kg (18 st 10 lb; 262 lb)[1]
SchoolTempleogue College
UniversityTrinity College
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
  St Mary's College ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
London Irish
Correct as of 29 May 2010
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2001, 2005
British and Irish Lions
Correct as of 4 June 2010

O'Kelly was born in Chelmsford, England, and attended Templeogue College secondary school in Dublin, Ireland. He has played for the Barbarians FC three times, wearing his old school socks.[2] O'Kelly completed a B.A. in Engineering at Trinity College, Dublin between 1992 and 1996.

The 6-foot-8-inch (2.03 m) O'Kelly, who made his international début in 1997 against New Zealand, became a talisman of the Irish side and was Ireland's all-time caps leader,[citation needed] surpassing Mike Gibson, on 12 February 2005 when he started in Ireland's Six Nations fixture against Scotland. O'Kelly not only earned his 70th cap, but scored Ireland's first try in the match, giving them a lead they never relinquished. O'Kelly has since been surpassed by Ronan O'Gara (128caps), Brian O'Driscoll (124 caps) Donncha O'Callaghan (94caps), John Hayes (105 caps) and Peter Stringer (98 caps), but earned 92 test caps in his career.[3]

O'Kelly also played with the Lions on their tour to Australia, and had been named in the Lions squad for their 2005 tour of New Zealand, but aggravated a groin injury in training and was replaced by Simon Shaw. He has five Lions caps.[3]

At the end of the 09/10 season, O'Kelly announced his retirement from professional rugby. He is the only player in the Heineken cup to have played since the start of the competition – 15 years. He claims to have won a grand slam, the Heineken cup, the Magners League(3) and 5 Triple Crowns: he is also Ireland's third most capped second row. As well as that, he is a two time British and Irish Lion.

O'Kelly is a supporter of the children's charity Plan Ireland [4] and is a committee member of the rugby sevens club, Shamrock Warriors RFC.[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Barbarians Player Profile Archived 24 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Leinster Player Profile
  4. ^ "Plan and TV3 launch child sponsorship appeal". Plan Ireland. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Shamrock Warriors Committee". Archived from the original on 2 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.

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