Full name Dion O'Cuinneagain
Born May 24, 1972, Cape Town
Current age 43 years 345 days
Major teams Sale Sharks, Ireland
Position No. 8
Height 6 ft 4 in
Weight 224 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||1999-1999||4||4||0||5||1||0||0||0||2||2||0||50.00|
|Test debut||South Africa v Ireland at Bloemfontein, Jun 13, 1998 match details|
|Last Test||Ireland v Italy at Lansdowne Road, Mar 4, 2000 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Dion O'Cuinneagain has the rare distinction of captaining both South Africa and Ireland at senior level. Before moving to the UK to further his rugby career with Sale Sharks and later Ballymena, Ulster and Ireland, he captained the South African Sevens team, notably at the Hong Kong Sevens.
O'Cuinneagain was born in Cape Town to an Irish father and excelled at schoolboy sports in rugby, cricket and athletics. He captained the South African schools rugby team in 1990, having also played for the side in 1989. After school he studied medicine at Stellenbosch University playing for the well known university team, Maties, and Western Province alongside another dual international Tiaan Strauss.
He had to compete for a back-row place alongside feature South African captains Corne Krige and Bob Skinstad.
O'Cuinneagain debuted for Ireland 'A' in 1998, winning his first full cap against the country of his birth on tour in Bloemfontein 1998 and taking over the captaincy in 1999, including the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
He won 19 caps in total. After retirement O'Cuinneagain returned to Cape Town to practice as a doctor. O'Cuinneagain also had a stint as manager of the South African Sevens team when Chester Williams was the coach.