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Jerry Flannery

Jerry Flannery

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Jeremiah Paul "Jerry" Flannery (born 17 October 1978) is an Irish rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 player who plays at Hooker for Munster
Munster Rugby
Munster Rugby is an Irish professional rugby union team based in Munster, that competes in the RaboDirect Pro12 and Heineken Cup.The team represents the Irish Rugby Football Union Munster Branch which is one of four primary branches of the IRFU, and is responsible for rugby union in the Irish...

 and Ireland
Ireland national rugby union team
The Ireland national rugby union team represents the island of Ireland in rugby union. The team competes annually in the Six Nations Championship and every four years in the Rugby World Cup, where they reached the quarter-final stage in all but two competitions The Ireland national rugby union...

.

Early career


Although capped at Ireland Schools level while attending St Munchin's College Limerick, and with a fine underage pedigree, Flannery had to wait patiently for his opportunities, but made the most of those that eventually came his way.

He began his professional career with Connacht
Connacht Rugby
Connacht Rugby is an Irish professional rugby union team based in Connacht that competes in the RaboDirect Pro12 comprising teams from the Celtic nations plus Italy. Normally, it also competes in the second-tier pan-European club competition, the European Challenge Cup...

, where he spent two seasons vying for the hooker's jersey with Marnus Uijs.

Munster


Flannery then moved to Munster
Munster Rugby
Munster Rugby is an Irish professional rugby union team based in Munster, that competes in the RaboDirect Pro12 and Heineken Cup.The team represents the Irish Rugby Football Union Munster Branch which is one of four primary branches of the IRFU, and is responsible for rugby union in the Irish...

, where he initially found his opportunities severely restricted by the consistent form of Frankie Sheahan
Frankie Sheahan
Frankie Sheahan is a retired Hooker and played for Munster from 1996 up to the end of the 2008-2009 season, and also for the Ireland where he gained 29 caps, having made his debut on June 10, 2000....

, a regular Ireland international. He did, however, make his Heineken Cup
Heineken Cup
The Heineken Cup is one of two annual rugby union competitions organised by European Rugby Cup involving leading club, regional and provincial teams from the six International Rugby Board countries in Europe whose national teams compete in the Six Nations Championship: England, France, Ireland,...

 debut as a replacement against Stade Français at Thomond Park
Thomond Park
Thomond Park is a stadium located in Limerick in the Irish province of Munster. The stadium is owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union and count Munster Rugby, Shannon RFC and UL Bohemian RFC as tenants. The capacity of the stadium is 26,500 following its large scale redevelopment in...

 in the quarter final in April 2004, which Munster
Munster Rugby
Munster Rugby is an Irish professional rugby union team based in Munster, that competes in the RaboDirect Pro12 and Heineken Cup.The team represents the Irish Rugby Football Union Munster Branch which is one of four primary branches of the IRFU, and is responsible for rugby union in the Irish...

 won 37–32.
Following a serious neck injury to Sheahan in 2005, Flannery made the Munster Number 2 jersey his own. Voted Man-of-the-Match on his first try-scoring Heineken Cup start against Castres
Castres Olympique
Castres Olympique is a French rugby union club located in the Midi-Pyrénées city of Castres and currently competing in the top level of the French league system.Founded in 1898, the club took its current name in 1906...

, Flannery's outstanding form and obvious ability to compete at the highest level meant that he was promptly called into the Ireland squad, and made his international debut against Romania
Romania national rugby union team
The Romania national rugby union team , nicknamed The Oaks , is the representative side of Romania in rugby union. Long considered one of the stronger European teams outside the Six Nations, they have participated in all six Rugby World Cups, and currently compete in the first division of the...

 in November 2005 where he came on as a replacement.
He played a key part in Munster's Heineken Cup
Heineken Cup
The Heineken Cup is one of two annual rugby union competitions organised by European Rugby Cup involving leading club, regional and provincial teams from the six International Rugby Board countries in Europe whose national teams compete in the Six Nations Championship: England, France, Ireland,...

 winning teams of 2005/06 and 2007/08. He missed the majority of the 2009/10 season through injury, playing only 6 matches, and has also missed much of the 2010/11 season, again through injury, featuring only against Toulon in October and Ulster in January so far. His most recent injury occurred during the Ulster game.

Ireland


By January 2006, Flannery was installed as Ireland's first-choice hooker, and played his first full international game against Italy in the RBS 6 Nations. He retained his place in the side that claimed the Triple crown in 2006, and was unanimously chosen as the Six Nations' best hooker of that season.
Bedevilled by injury in late 2006, Flannery briefly lost his place in the Ireland side to Ulster's
Ulster Rugby
Ulster Rugby, usually referred to simply as Ulster, is an Irish professional rugby union team based in Belfast, representing the Irish province of Ulster, that competes in the RaboDirect Pro12 and also competes in the Heineken Cup...

 Rory Best
Rory Best
Rory Best from Poyntzpass is an Irish rugby union footballer. He plays at the position of Hooker for Ulster and is registered for Banbridge RFC.-Club/Provincial:...

. Flannery did, however, appear as a replacement in each of Ireland's Six Nations
Six Nations Championship
The Six Nations Championship is an annual international rugby union competition involving six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales....

 fixtures in 2007. Having toured Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 with the shadow squad, he was also a try-scoring member of Ireland's 2007 Rugby World Cup
2007 Rugby World Cup
The 2007 Rugby World Cup was the sixth Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. Twenty nations competed for the Webb Ellis Cup in the tournament, which was hosted by France from 7 September to 20 October. France won the hosting rights in 2003,...

 squad in France, starting the games against France
France national rugby union team
The France national rugby union team represents France in rugby union. They compete annually against England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. They have won the championship outright sixteen times, shared it a further eight times, and have completed nine grand slams...

 and Argentina
Argentina national rugby union team
The Argentina national rugby team, nicknamed Los Pumas, represents Argentina in international rugby union matches. The team, which plays in sky blue and white jerseys, is organised by the Argentine Rugby Union .Argentina played its first international rugby match in 1910 against a touring British...

. He was a member of the victorious Ireland team that won the 2009 Six Nations Championship
2009 Six Nations Championship
The 2009 Six Nations Championship, known as the 2009 RBS 6 Nations because of the tournament's sponsorship by the Royal Bank of Scotland, was the tenth Six Nations Championship, an annual rugby union competition contested by the six major Northern Hemisphere rugby union national teams...

 and Grand Slam
Grand Slam (Rugby Union)
In rugby union, a Grand Slam occurs when one team in the Six Nations Championship manages to beat all the others during one year's competition...

.
Flannery was suspended for 8 weeks in 2008 for stamping on Julien Bonnaire
Julien Bonnaire
Julien Bonnaire is a French rugby union footballer, who played for CS Bourgoin-Jallieu in the Top 14 competition in France until the 2006–2007 season...

; the penalty was subsequently reduced to 4 weeks, which allowed him to play in the 6 Nations tournament. In February 2010, Flannery was cited for "an alleged kick" on France wing Alexis Palisson
Alexis Palisson
Alexis Palisson is a French rugby union footballer. He plays as a fullback and wing. He is 1.76m tall and weighs just 83 kg....

 during the 2010 Six Nations Championship
2010 Six Nations Championship
The 2010 Six Nations Championship, known as the 2010 RBS 6 Nations due to the tournament's sponsorship by the Royal Bank of Scotland, was the 11th series of the Six Nations Championship, an annual rugby union competition between the six major Northern Hemisphere rugby union national teams...

 defeat in Paris. He received a six-week ban which ruled him out of the remainder of the 2010 Six Nations.

Flannery missed the 2010 June Tests, the 2010 November Tests and the 2011 Six Nations through injury, but was selected in Ireland's preliminary squad for the 2011 World Cup warms-ups in August. He made his comeback against Scotland in the 2011 Rugby World Cup warm-up in August, and was selected in Ireland's 30-man squad for the World Cup. Despite coming through Ireland's four warm-up Tests in August and the first pool game against US Eagles in September, Flannery suffered a recurrence of the troublesome calf injury in training and was forced to with draw from Ireland's World Cup squad, being replaced by Damien Varley
Damien Varley
Damien Varley is a rugby union player for Munster. He plays as a Hooker. Varley was educated in St. Munchin's College in Limerick where he scored two tries as Munchin's won the Munster Schools Senior Cup final in 2002. He studied at the University of Limerick...

.

British and Irish Lions


On 21 April 2009, Flannery was named as a member of the British and Irish Lions
British and Irish Lions
The British and Irish Lions is a rugby union team made up of players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales...

 for the 2009 tour to South Africa
2009 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa
The 2009 British and Irish Lions Tour to South Africa was an international rugby union tour which took place in South Africa from May to July 2009....

. On 21 May, however, he sustained an elbow injury during training which ruled him out of the tour.

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