Mick Doyle (rugby union) : biography
Doyle was born in Castleisland, County Kerry, and began playing rugby union at Newbridge College, County Kildare. He went on to study veterinary science at University College Dublin, who he also represented at rugby. He made his Ireland debut against France on January 23, 1965, scoring a try in the game. While representing Ireland he also studied at Cambridge University where he gained a Blue in the 1965 Varsity match against the Oxford University RFC. Doyle also studied at Edinburgh University and played club rugby for Edinburgh Wanderers before returning to Ireland.
He went on to earn the distinction of never being dropped during his 20-cap international career as a flanker. Doyler, as he was affectionately known, scored the winning try against Wales in 1967, toured Australia with Ireland in 1967 and South Africa with the British Lions the next year.
His last game for Ireland was against Australia in October 1968, when he lined out alongside his brother Tommy. He coached Leinster to Interprovincial Championship success five times between 1979 and 1983 before he succeeded Willie John McBride as Ireland coach during the 1984–85 season. Under Doyle’s stewardship, Ireland, in 1985 won the Triple Crown and Five Nations Championship.
He led Ireland to the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup, but that joy was tinged with sadness as he suffered a heart attack at the opening dinner. He battled illness and adversity and his recovery from a brain problem was chronicled in his book ‘0.16’.
In latter years, apart from working in his veterinary practice, he was a regular contributor to rugby matters on RTÉ Radio One.
Mick Doyle was killed in a car crash in Dungannon on 11 May 2004.