Former Dolphin player a Head Coach in Ireland’s World Cup Group.


When Dolphin were looking for a forward to help them make an impression in their first season in AIL  Division 1  little did they know they would recruit a future International Coach.

Steve Jackson had a great pedigree, Nz U 17, part of the undefeated New Zealand Secondary Schools and  New Zealand U19 sides in 1991 & 1992. He played for Auckland in the competition now known as Mitre 10 and at the age of 24 decided to go for his overseas experience and found himself in Dolphin for the 1997/98 season, scoring a try on his AIL debut a 25-24 victory over Garryowen.  

After the season he was back to New Zealand to Southland where he was captain when he was selected for the New Zealand Maori side.

He was assistant coach at Tasman and Counties-Manukau before securing his first head coaching role at North Harbour, leading them to the Championship win which saw them promoted to the Premiership. He then became forwards coach for the Auckland Blues in 2017 & 2018.

It has been a very strange time for Samoa, most of their income comes from World Rugby and they wanted the final say in appointing a coach and the last coach Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua was not their nominated man. So they were forced to readvertise the position, there were over 40 applications, the shortlist of  4 included Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua & Steven Jackson but World Rugby approved Jackson for the position.

In his first 3 games Samoa defeated Spain and were defeated by a point by US Eagles and 8 points by Georgia.


Another man who played for Dolphin (just the once) Peter Borlase is also in the news, he has been appointed Forwards Coach with Glendale Raptors in US Major League Rugby – previously USA U20 coach.

John Fitzgerald makes 50th AIL appearance

Former Club captain John Fitzgerald made has 50th AIL appearance for Dolphin against Queens University. There are now six of this seasons squad on 50 or more appearances. Already in the 100th Club are Rob O'Herlihy and Dave O'Mahony, next in line are Daryl Foley and Will Hanley, both on 71. Last seasons captain James Rochford is on 59.  

AIL  Dolphin 13  Queens University 10

The sides met for the first time on Saturday at Musgrave Park, Queens were the 51st side that Dolphin have met in the AIL. Both sides went into the game with 3 victories from 8 games, however the Belfast side was 6 more points thanks to 3 try bonus points and a losing bonus point from each of their 4 losses.

In the wild and windy conditions it was the sudents who opened the scoring with a try, after 20 minutes. After quite a bit of pressure, Dolphin through Paul Daly forced themselves over for a try near the posts which Daryl Foley converted. Foley was succesfull with a long range penalty soon after to extend the lead to 10-5 at the break.


After 62 minutes Queens  University picked up a loose ball at a lineout and scored a 2nd try to level the game but were unable to convert it. Up stepped Daryl Foley again in 74th minute with another difficult kick from distance to edge Dolphin in front again. As Dolphin tried to run down the clock they were penalised at a ruck which gave the students more than a little hope of a late late try.

The Dolphin defence stood firm and had to handle a determined Queens University to close out the game.

Dolphin go into the Christmas break,6th in the table but well aware that there is only 4 points between 6th and 9th. 

 A great show last night in Dolphin, our thanks to the Off the Ball team and guests Gary Halpin, Mick Galwey and Johne Murphy.

Well worth a listen to (link below) and find out more about.

  • What Irish Hammer thrower met his wife in Dolphin
  • What was Mick Kiernan doing out until 2am
  • A mixed marriage
  • What Prop forward took the soup.
  • Which gentle Dolphin 2nd row pushed Gary out of the lineout.

And a point of clarification, Dolphin J2's scored 4 tries v Muskerry

(note play button in top line after podcast)

Former Dolphin President recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award for Voluntary Service

Former Dolphin (and UCC ) President's, Judge Olann Kelleher has become a recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award for Voluntary Service  for his contribution to UCC RFC as a coach and manager.

He represented Munster at two sports, Rugby and Cricket. He was on the bench for Munster for the famous victory over the All Blacks in 1978. He was also involved in the 1992 victory over Australia.

Won a Munster Senior League medal with UCC and All Ireland Trophy in 1974. He coached and managed teams with UCC as well as serving on their Management Committee and was UCC Club President in 2015/6 and 2016/7.

Upon leaving UCC he joined Dolphin and was club captain in 1978/79 and later served as Club President, being Club President of 2 seperate Senior Clubs is indeed very unique.

Congratulations Olann on your award,UCC's Alumni Achievement Awards are among the highest honours that UCC can bestow on Alumni and recognise those who have achieved outstanding success in their chosen fields.

Looking forward to OFF THE BALL on Friday Night.
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