The rugby community is grieving the loss of renowned Irish coach Roly Meates, who passed away recently at 85 years old. Meates leaves behind an incredible legacy after dedicating his life to the sport he loved. This article will explore Meates’ illustrious coaching career, his impact on Irish rugby, and how he will be remembered.
Meates’ Notable Coaching Career in Ireland
Roly Meates was a highly respected figure in Irish rugby thanks to his decades-long coaching career. He first got involved coaching the Trinity College team in 1953, which he led for 30 successful years.
Meates then moved on to coach Leinster for two stints in the 1960s and 70s. He helped develop the province into a powerhouse by recruiting promising young talent.
One of Meates’ career highlights was coaching the Ireland national team for two seasons from 1975-77. In 1976, he guided Ireland to a memorable 13-10 win over England at Twickenham.
Renowned for His Scrummaging Expertise
While Meates experienced success with various teams, he was best known as a scrummaging specialist. He studied and perfected every detail of the scrum, which was a major part of rugby.
Meates shared his expertise by running scrum clinics and training sessions for school teams. His love of coaching resulted in him mentoring players of all levels.
He was twice interviewed for the British and Irish Lions head coaching role based on his scrum knowledge. Though he didn’t get the job, it demonstrated Meates’ reputation.
Lasting Influence on Irish Rugby
Beyond just coaching, Meates contributed to Irish rugby in numerous roles over several decades. He served as Chairman of Selectors for the Ireland team and President of the Leinster Branch.
Meates was also on the IRFU Rugby Committee for many years. He helped shape key policies and recruitment strategies to strengthen Irish rugby from the grassroots on up.
Through his diverse roles and willingness to serve the rugby community, Meates helped modernize and unite Irish rugby during a transformative era.
Fond Memories & Tributes from the Rugby World
Since news emerged of Meates’ passing, tributes have poured in celebrating his life and career. Both players he coached and mentees he inspired expressed gratitude for his lasting impact.
Ireland coach Andy Farrell stated: “Roly’s legacy lives on through those he coached…He made a real difference to Irish rugby.”
Leinster CEO Mick Dawson said Meates would be remembered as “one of the greatest coaches in the history of Leinster and Irish rugby.”
TRINITY College, where Meates shone as coach for 30 years, called him “an inspirational figure” who “contributed hugely to rugby’s development.”
Conclusion: A Life Devoted to Rugby
From the streets of Dublin to the halls of Trinity College and the Irish national team, Roly Meates dedicated himself fully to advancing rugby in Ireland. Though Roly Meates Death, the “scrum doctor’s” legacy will live on in the players and coaches who embody his spirit. Irish rugby owes a great debt to Roly Meates for his instrumental impact over decades.