Roly Meates was an esteemed Irish rugby icon and national hero, serving both Ireland and Leinster Rugby teams before passing away after an extended illness at age 85. Roly’s passing has devastated rugby communities worldwide as his contributions were truly immense to our game.
Early Life and Playing Career
Roly Meates was born in Dublin in 1936. After attending The High School of Dublin he pursued dental work before dedicating himself fully to rugby – his true love!
Meates began his rugby career by playing as a forward for Bective Rangers before moving onto Dublin University and Wanderers before Leinster where he earned international status for both his skill and tenacity on the pitch.
Roly Meates began coaching at Trinity University for 30 years beginning in 1966 and quickly earned the reputation as an influential coach with his careful and committed approach.
Coaching Leinster in Ireland.
Meates held two stints as Leinster head coach: first in the 1970s and again from mid-1990s until 2010. From 2000, he served as scrum coach.
Meates was Ireland’s coach from 1975-1977 and led their national team to victory against England at Twickenham – including an unforgettable 13-12 comeback!
Meates was an innovator when it came to developing techniques and strategies for scrums. As such, he held scrum clinics throughout Ireland so as to pass along his knowledge.
Meates was not limited to coaching alone in his contribution. Between 2004 and 2005 he served as President of Leinster Branch Irish Rugby Football Union; additionally he held significant influence within various committees of IRFU as well as organizations such as Irish Universities Rugby Union.
Awards and Recognition
Meates was recognized with several prestigious accolades for his dedication and service to Irish rugby, such as receiving the Tom Rooney Award by Rugby Writers of Ireland and Leinster Rugby’s Special Merit Award.
Meates was also widely revered for his teaching career; serving at several Irish schools including Presentation College Bray as Head of Physical Education.
Community and Charity Work Meates was active in his local community. As trustee of IRFU Charitable Trust and dedicated mentor and educator within that institution.
Funeral Services A tribute will be held for Roly Meates’ life and contributions at Sandford Parish Church, Ranelagh on Tuesday 11 July starting from 11:30 am.
Rugby World Tributes
Irish Rugby Football Union extends their sincerest appreciation and respect to John. His contributions are appreciated across global rugby communities.
Roly Meates will always be remembered fondly for his contributions and achievements in rugby, along with his wit and commitment to community service. His legacy as Ireland’s foremost rugby figure will live on for generations to come.