The New Zealand All Blacks in Limerick (1905-1978) : A Talk by Alan English

May 2024
Responsive image

On Sunday 2nd June, join author and journalist Alan English for a fascinating talk focusing on The All Blacks in Limerick, 1905-1978, and their impact both on and off the field of play. 


When the All Blacks came to town

Munster’s 1978 victory over the All Blacks is one of the most famous rugby matches ever played, but two lesser known encounters with the New Zealanders have their own place in Limerick’s social and sporting history.

It wasn’t until 1905 that the New Zealand rugby team became known as the All Blacks – they started that first tour as completely unknown quantities, referred to in reports as The Colonials. They immediately created a sensation, by virtually reinventing the game. By the time they arrived in Limerick to play Munster on November 28, 1905, they were already superstars.

By 1905, Limerick was a city in thrall to the relatively new game of rugby – but also a place where poverty was endemic, as the All Blacks found to their cost.

By the time the New Zealanders returned, in 1963, the city was much changed – and the passion for rugby had only grown. That second Limerick battle between the two sides was a full-blooded contest that planted a seed for the 1978 triumph.

Alan English - 

Alan English is the current editor of the Sunday Independent and was editor of the Limerick Leader from 2007-16. He is the author of five best-selling rugby books including The Test by Brian O'Driscoll and The Battle by Paul O'Connell.

He also wrote the highly acclaimed Stand Up and Fight which tells the real story of what happened on one of the greatest days in rugby history, 31st October 1978, through the eyes of those who were there and those who made it happen.

Stand up and Fight:

Praise for Stand Up and Fight:
'A modern classic . . . Absolutely riveting and frequently moving' - The Telegraph
'Among the best books ever written on Irish sport' - Sunday Tribune
'A seminal account' - New Zealand Herald

Venue: The Dugout, International Rugby Experience
Date/Time: Sunday 2nd June, 12pm
Tickets: €5

Book your tickets here!

Presented by Shannonside History Festival. Limited tickets available.